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Stephanie Merchant Johnson's Blog (22)

Former Couch Potato Hikes Purple Mountain Majesty

Ever since I visited Colorado Springs in the late 70's during a cross-country road trip with my family, I've had a deep respect for Pikes Peak.  My dad towed our 28-ft. trailer up Pikes Peak Highway in the middle of July, and when we reached the summit, we were greeted with a hail storm and had a snowball battle while running around in shorts and flip flops.  In 1996,…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on August 21, 2011 at 12:30am — No Comments

Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run

I was showered, had my hair done, my running outfit laid out, and alarm clock set and double-checked before I went to bed the night before the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run taking place on June 12, 2011.  No oversleeping like I did for the Take 5 in the Garden, this time I was READY! I was so excited I must've lain awake for an hour or two before I finally fell asleep, so when I woke up by myself at 5:02 a.m., I was startled to discover the alarm clock had never gone off!  Or had…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on June 14, 2011 at 4:13am — No Comments

One Week to the Countdown

So here it is, one week from the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Race ... a race I've been training for since the middle of February ... and as the time gets closer, I'm beginning to doubt myself.  So far, I've been running up to 8.6 miles, and have even clocked 9.79 miles accidentally, but with the left knee pain I've been having, I don't know if I'll be able to finish.

 

I…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on June 5, 2011 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Bolder Boulder was AWESOME!

Back in February when I started training for the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Race coming up on June 12th, several runner friends suggested I participate in other races to prepare myself.  I took their advice and ran the St. Patrick's 5K in March.  Even though it was my first race and kind of tough, I felt exhilirated afterwards!  I was so proud of myself for finishing, I couldn't wait for the next one!  So I signed up for the Take 5 in the Garden, conquering 5 miles with my fellow running…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on June 2, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Take 5 in the Garden

My eyes focused on the red glowing numbers floating beside my pillow:  7:03.  The time slowly registered in my brain in reference to what day it was. I shouted a few expletives, threw off the covers, and shot out of bed like a rocket.

 

"IT'S RACE DAY!"  I announced, barely disturbing my snoring husband.  "I was supposed to be at Lisa's at 6:45!"  I dressed…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on May 26, 2011 at 1:30am — No Comments

I'm Halfway There!

The owners of Boulder Running Company threw a "Halfway Mark" party for the Women's FIT Team this past Friday.  I passed up an Artwalk at Cottonwood, a fundraising banquet for Northern Churches Care, and an Art Auction Dinner for the Alzheimer's Association to go hang out with my fellow runners.  It's so hard to believe we're halfway there already!

 

I was able…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on May 2, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

The Accidental Ten-Miler

As I get more fitness-oriented, I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate exercise into my daily regimen.  I recently dusted off my bicycle, bought some new gear for it, and am using in on my cross-training days.  However, with the price of gas these days, I decided I'd start riding my bike to work and got permission from my boss to park my bike in our warehouse on days I feel motivated to ride.

 

I'll be biking along the Pikes Peak Greenway in the…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on May 2, 2011 at 7:41pm — No Comments

Rocky Mountain High for Runners

Six in the morning sure comes early on a Saturday, but I guess that's the price I pay for being part of a running training team.  Small price, especially since this first-time-runner has no idea what she's doing and needs all the help she can get.  That's not to say I haven't overslept a time or two, but I'm looking forward to getting my Saturday mornings back.

 

So far, our women's team has trained on the Austin Bluffs Trail (I ran/walked 3 miles our first week) behind Boulder…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on May 2, 2011 at 6:00pm — No Comments

More Than Just a Number

When deciding if a project has been a success, most people often ask for the numbers: 

 

What is your control? 

What is the end result? 

Are those the results we're looking for? 

How can we improve the numbers? 

 

Based on what direction the project was designed to go, the bigger the difference between the starting point to the…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on May 1, 2011 at 11:30pm — No Comments

All the Difference in the World

April 10, 2011, signaled a huge accomplishment for me:  it was the one-year-anniversary that I joined Weight Watchers and started down the road of my new Fitness Journey.  The day gave me a chance to analyze the past 12 months, and not just in terms of a number on the scale.  In the past, I usually quit after I reached a certain amount of weight or specific length of time…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on May 1, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Mark Twain once said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment."  For me?  A compliment a day keeps my blues away.  But hey, if someone wants to pay me compliments more often than that, I'm not one to complain.

 

You see, I'm a "Words of…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on April 6, 2011 at 11:32pm — 3 Comments

A Word About Safety

This weekend while chatting with some fellow runners, I discovered some of us are more worried about local wildlife than getting struck by a car or attacked by a stranger.  Whatever your concerns when you're outside running, biking, walking, or blading, there are certain safety precautions we should all be taking. 

 

Here are several I do, but please feel free to add more.

 

1.  Dress bright.  Dress right. 

 

Whether you're running in…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on March 28, 2011 at 5:00am — No Comments

No Break for the Birthday Girl

When my alarm clock went off at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 26th, I hit the snooze, rolled over, and promptly fell back asleep.  However, when it went off again 9 minutes later, I remembered I had race training to do, hit the snooze, rolled over, and fell back asleep again.  When it sounded a third time, I remembered it was my BIRTHDAY, and surely I could take off just this one Saturday and pick up where I left off the following weekend, right?

 

Not.

 

Ask any…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on March 28, 2011 at 3:24am — 4 Comments

First Race Gives New Meaning to Rocky Mountain High

It's been over 36 hours, and I still have not come down from the high of successfully completing my first race!

 

As a first-time runner, I was skeptical of registering for the St. Patrick's Day 5K in the first place, especially since I've only been training for about 5 weeks.  But after I ran 4 miles at Monument Valley Park two days prior, I knew that…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on March 14, 2011 at 1:00am — No Comments

Treadmill or Outdoor Running? Pros and Cons

One of the biggest hurdles I've had to jump over with my running is deciding where to run.  There are many pros and cons to running outdoors versus running on an indoor treadmill, and over the last several weeks, I've had a healthy taste of both.  However, I haven't decided which is better, because there are benefits and drawbacks to each.

 

Running outdoors:

 

Cons:

The weather is always an…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on March 10, 2011 at 5:48pm — 4 Comments

I'm Feelin' Good!

A year ago, if you had told me that I would be running on a regular basis, I would've asked you what kind of drugs you were on.  Running, heck, walking, was furthest from my mind!  I had no interest whatsover in any form of exercise, let alone eating healthy. 

 

However, I had a change of heart in April.  Actually, my mom offered to pay for me and my…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on March 10, 2011 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Slow and Steady

The other women at Saturday’s training run quickly left me in the dust as we headed north on this week’s trail.  My short legs didn’t help my pace at all, but I had to keep reminding myself to take it slow to avoid injury.    

Doubt soon set in that I wasn’t going to reach my personal goal of jogging the entire distance, especially when my running partner from last…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on February 27, 2011 at 11:13pm — 1 Comment

Obey the Beep

Since joining the gym several weeks ago, I've been power-walking 3 miles on the treadmill 4-5 times a week.  After a personal training session with one of the gym's trainers, I added weight training for my "active recovery" days--days that I'm not training for the race, but still getting a workout.  So now, I power-walk three days a week, then lift weights the other three; on the 7th day I rest, a Fitness Sabbath, so to speak.

 

This past Saturday was our first training run…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on February 23, 2011 at 1:14pm — No Comments

10 Principles of Training

These were the notes I recorded during our Jump Start Meeting #1 as part of the Women’s FIT Team.  Regardless of who you are or your level of experience as a runner, these principles apply to all:…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on February 15, 2011 at 1:38am — No Comments

The Right Tools

Every artist, every mechanic, every carpenter, knows that the RIGHT tool is necessary to do the job right the first time. From the very beginning of my running journey, every runner with whom I’ve chatted has stressed the importance of wearing the right gear.  So the…

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Added by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on February 15, 2011 at 12:00am — No Comments

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