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Mary Baldwin's Blog (54)

More Miles on the Mountain

I spent some more quality time on Barr Trail yesterday.  Since I had already done intervals on the Ws earlier in the week, the sensical thing to do was to climb the Incline before cutting over to Barr Trail.  From there - whilst my quads threw a tantrum - I continued onwards and upwards to Barr Camp.  Oh, Barr Camp, the beautiful beacon on a hill that allows you pee somewhere that is not in the middle of the woods.  The Barr Trail section took exactly an hour, which…


Added by Mary Baldwin on June 29, 2014 at 10:23pm — 1 Comment

The Highway to Hell is Paved with Intervals

It's just 15 minutes of your life.  Yet, the feeling that you're having a heart attack, about to barf, and pass out all at the same time makes it seem more like a calf-exploding eternity.  The relief that pulses through every muscle when Barr Trail Intervals are over is second to none.

Because I like to include you all in the pain and sweat of training, here's a breakdown - by interval - of the blog-appropriate things that came to mind while running.

1. Let's do this…


Added by Mary Baldwin on June 24, 2014 at 9:47pm — 1 Comment


Since I went it alone to the summit yesterday, I made a video to share my relief and excitement about my first journey to the peak.  I had never eve hiked a 14er before, yesterday I ran one.  So, next time I question whether the Ascent may actually kill me, feel free to comment as a reminder that I've made it to 14,115' before and lived to tell the tale.

So here's how the great Saturday adventure went down:

I started with two of the coolest…


Added by Mary Baldwin on June 22, 2014 at 10:30pm — 7 Comments

A Tale of Two 10Ks

Weekends have two purposes: homework and races.  Ok, fine, three purposes: Netflix (granted this comes after completing purposes one and two).  Saturday was the 36th Annual Sailin' Shoes 5/10K.  Per usual I stressed myself out and didn't push as hard as I could have, at the same time I ran a well calculated race which involved keeping my eyes peeled for possible age group competition.  It was strategy that proved effective - I won my age group by something like 6 minutes.  I started the race…


Added by Mary Baldwin on June 15, 2014 at 1:30pm — 4 Comments

1 Crown Down, 2 To Go: The race, the recovery, the purple and gold pride.

The Race: 1 crown down, 2 crowns to go

I went into the Garden 10-Miler this morning with only one expectation: to run like it was any other Sunday morning long run.  It paid off.  I ran 1:40:00, exactly 10:00 miles.  While my uncharacteristically relaxed mindset did not transform me into a crazy speed demon over night, it did allow me to run one of my most consistent races ever.  

As I've said before, I'm a distance girl, there's not a speedy muscle in this…


Added by Mary Baldwin on June 8, 2014 at 7:00pm — 3 Comments

Happy National Running Day!

I wrote this post a few days ago - when it was actually National Running Day, but life got in the way and I forgot to press "Publish"

As the Garden of the Gods 10-Miler gets closer my pre-race anxiety only increases.  That said, National Running Day crossed my calendar (and Facebook feed) at an ideal time.  I run for so many reasons, only one of them is to compete.  That's exactly what I need to bare in mind as Sunday gets closer...and closer...and the butterflies in my…


Added by Mary Baldwin on June 6, 2014 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

St. Mary's Falls, Stratton, Sunshine, and Blisters

This week's Saturday Morning Long Run took me - and my awesome running buddies - to St. Mary's Falls and Stratton Open Space for a total of 9.5 miles and 2 blisters. 

This was my first adventure to St. Mary's Falls but it certainly will not be my last.  That trail is amazing!  It has everything: hills, steps, shade, prickly-desert-plants, water, invisible rocks waiting to trip you, and views that make every uphill feel like a gift.

Round trip from parking lot to waterfall the…


Added by Mary Baldwin on June 1, 2014 at 9:21am — No Comments

Bolder Boulder

I Bolder Bouldered yesterday with 50,000 of my besties.  As a first-timer I was in awe much of the time.  It was an awesome event to behold - from the costumes (including a dude wearing nothing but shorts depicting Michelangelo's David and a girl dressed like a gnome) to the skydivers to the elite runners (I saw freaking Shalane Flanagan run!) to the Slip n Slide.

As you dear and loyal blog-readers know I'm pretty hard on myself.  I say this honestly though - yesterday I ran like…


Added by Mary Baldwin on May 27, 2014 at 9:21pm — No Comments

A Blood Offering to the Trail Gods

Like any rational first-time-Triple-Crowner, I'm a wee bit nervous about the upcoming Garden of the Gods 10-Miler.  So, I thought I'd make a sacrifice…


Added by Mary Baldwin on May 23, 2014 at 2:03pm — 1 Comment

There's a Bra in my Glove Compartment (and Other Indicators that You May be a Runner)

  ...your car serves as both a mode of transportation and a locker room.

... your car also serves as a sort of lost and found - shoes here, winter gear there, water bottles under the seats, bras in the glove compartment, etc.

...you have actually discussed peeing in the woods with your boss.

...entire seasons are planned around races.

...weekends are not meant for sleeping in, they're meant for long runs.

..."splits" have very little to do with…


Added by Mary Baldwin on May 21, 2014 at 9:50pm — 2 Comments

Why are You Soaking Wet?

This is a story of awesome runs and classic mishaps.

I joined two other badass runners for 7.5 miles in the Garden this morning at 7am.  It was one of those runs that restores your faith in yourself as a runner – pure joy backed by a willingness to push hard and throw in extra hills just because they’re there, waiting to be climbed.

By 8:30 I was on my way to the Girls on the Run 5K at North Monument Valley Park.  The important part of that last sentence was the word “North.” …


Added by Mary Baldwin on May 17, 2014 at 9:20pm — 2 Comments

Back at It

I took a four day hiatus after my graceful fall on Barr Trail (it was actually more like a fall off of Barr Trail) on Saturday.  It was four days of mind games: am I the only runner on the planet who believes that if I take a few consecutive days off I'll lose everything I've worked toward (altitude training, hard won strength on the hills, etc)?  These were my legitimate concerns for the past 96 hours (four days off sounds like a pretty measly accomplishment when I put it into hours). I…


Added by Mary Baldwin on May 15, 2014 at 8:39pm — 5 Comments

Beaten Up by Barr: Another Trail Running Rite-of-Passage

I have a love-hate relationship with mile markers.  It's great to know where I am, but when I'm running up a mountain it's also disheartening to see just how long I've been at it and how far I've yet to go.

Here's a story about my first run to Barr Camp, mile marker by mile marker:

½. My calves are screaming for mercy. I'm the only person going up Barr Trail, my legs would like to add "with good reason."

 1: Who knew the human calf muscles could do this? Let's not find…


Added by Mary Baldwin on May 10, 2014 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

Girls on the Run Really is So Much Fun!

Since the beginning of March I've been lucky enough to coach a Girls on the Run group at Deerfield Hills Community Center.  Ok, full disclosure: "lucky" isn't always the first word that has come to mind, but as the season wraps up it the verbiage I'm choosing. Today my group of 3-5th graders ran their "practice 5K," which gives them a chance to cover the distance before having to do so on race day.  Some practices…


Added by Mary Baldwin on May 5, 2014 at 9:04pm — No Comments

Take 5 in the Garden - May 3, 2014

I took 5 miles in the Garden yesterday on a hilly course that would have had me near tears only six weeks ago.  For me a 5 miler is far better than the 5K, but I'm certainly looking forward to the longer races to come.  I am a distance girl, not a speed girl (except for when I'm driving - my family has referred to me as "speed bat baby").  I didn't end the race feeling like I was going to barf or swearing I would never run again - instead I finished happy, only wishing I had pushed harder…


Added by Mary Baldwin on May 4, 2014 at 5:04pm — 3 Comments

PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Runners

I'm excited to officially announce that I'll be donning the purple and gold of the PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Runners race team this summer! This year's team of bloggers/runners includes the following founts of fabulousness: Shelley Hitz, Bill Beagle, Brianne Pierson, Jill Gaebler, Sean O'Day, and Gene Chavez.  I am incredibly pumped for this opportunity to write and run, and then run some more, as part of such a fun group!

 Keep following my blog for training updates, random…


Added by Mary Baldwin on May 1, 2014 at 8:28am — 5 Comments

Note to Self

Now that I've gotten over my self-depricating break down after Sunday's run I've regained my sense of humor and perspective about running.  

For one, I have reminded myself that running is not a life or death sport, unless of course you're being chased by wildlife, in which case - don't think about it, just run!

Secondly, no matter how sucky a run feels in the moment, a few hours later my brain unfailingly snaps back into runner-nerd mode wherein it thinks in terms of mile…


Added by Mary Baldwin on April 29, 2014 at 9:21pm — No Comments

Grooming a Rational Runner

My goal for this summer is moderation.  After running five hilly workouts in the past week this morning's long run felt like running through quickly-drying concrete.  Nothing hurt, but my legs would simply not turn over with their usual quick response.  It was frustrating - I'm a self-conscious person to begin with, and when I totally drag on a workout I feel like some sort of fraud.  Beyond that, it's always frustrating when your body refuses to function in the manner your mind…


Added by Mary Baldwin on April 27, 2014 at 1:37pm — 2 Comments

Sunday Morning Long Run

Consider it a sunrise service at Garden of the Gods or the "Church of the Sunday Morning Long Run" to use Shalane Flanagan's term.  Whatever you call it, Sunday mornings, I'm convinced, hold a special meaning to runners.  There is no other day of the week that you can abandon everything for two solid hours on a trail.  For me and two other runners this morning that chunk of time was spent winding up and down and around the Garden.  We did 7.75 miles together and I put in another 2.26 at the…


Added by Mary Baldwin on April 20, 2014 at 2:42pm — No Comments

Incline Take 3

I've been trying to get to the Incline every other week beginning shortly after I moved to the Springs and today was one of those days.  I've been told it's a great torture training tool and I can't argue.  It demands more of an athlete than any other 0.88 miles I've ever encountered - from lung power, to quad strength, to the mental toughness that keeps you going step after step after step.  Most other terrain sounds like a walk in the…


Added by Mary Baldwin on April 18, 2014 at 10:40pm — 2 Comments

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