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Mary Baldwin's Blog (54)

Seeing Results

Hard work really does pay off, I thought to myself as I finished the workout with the Attack Pack at Garden of the Gods this morning.  Last Tuesday I was the last of the group to make it to the top of Ridge Rd.  Today, I was in the middle the pack.  It's not the number of people ahead or behind me as we finish a hill that matters, and I know that.  What really made me realize the progress I've made over the past few weeks of hill repeats, boring cross-training, and long runs in rain, wind,…


Added by Mary Baldwin on April 15, 2014 at 9:42pm — No Comments

Morning Training Runs = Starting My Day Off Right

This is the second week I've managed to drag myself out of bed at 5am to get to training runs at Garden of the Gods by 6am.  While it sounds awful as I hit the snooze button and nudge my dog to wake up (she doesn't; she's still curled up on my bed when I get home) as soon as I pull on my running tights I'm looking forward to putting in a few miles (and hills) before my body is really awake enough to grasp what's going on.  Perhaps best of all, by the time I'm driving home, Starbucks in hand,…


Added by Mary Baldwin on April 11, 2014 at 8:56am — 2 Comments

Newflash: cross-training is hard work

A die-hard dedication to training, I'm coming to realize, must be accompanied by an equal dedication to rest and other factors that sane, non-runners take for granted.  A prime example: there was a time (ok...like most of my running career) when I considered cross-training days to be days "off."  You see the rationale I'm sure, since these days did not include a run they were a waste and counted for nothing.  To me, like to any logical human being, a 4000 yard swim takes no effort and…


Added by Mary Baldwin on April 2, 2014 at 8:35pm — No Comments

I think I can, I think I can...

For the first time since moving to the Springs - and beginning my trail running education in ernest - I think I might actually be making progress.  On Thursday I put in 10 miles, cross-trained yesterday, and then did (almost) 7 this morning bringing the week's mileage to somewhere around the 40 mile mark.  That's low for me, but these have been hard won, high-quality miles.  None of those flat-as-a-pancake-and-boring-as-heck-road-miles.  The hills may not be the highlight of my run, but they…


Added by Mary Baldwin on March 29, 2014 at 10:07pm — 1 Comment

Muscle Melting Yoga

10 mile trail run yesterday, hot yoga this morning.  Can you guess which one I considered miserable?  Like many dedicated runners, I ended up loving the sport because I'm not coordinated enough to do much else. Plunk a very klutzy me into a 105 degree room and it's a recipe for dread.  While the sheer volume of sweat produced while doing this particular sort of yoga is astonishing and the heat is almost sickening, I left feeling like a million bucks.  While unfamiliar and somewhat unpleasant…


Added by Mary Baldwin on March 28, 2014 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Social Running

Being a transplant from the great, flat, expanse of the Northern Midwest I am no stranger to lonely runs.  That doesn't mean I enjoy them.  Moving to the Springs feels like I've found my tribe.  There's some sort of social running group meeting almost every night of the week.  Last night, because I didn't want to go it alone in the wind/occasional rain, I joined the Colorado Running Company's social running group.  It was fun - I met people who are training for a variety of different events…


Added by Mary Baldwin on March 27, 2014 at 2:19pm — No Comments

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” - Margaret Atwood

I've succeeded in that!  I ran a different combination of trails in Red Rocks today than any I've done before and it was among the most peaceful hours of my running life.  The bright red earth with fresh snow, the cool, still, morning, and the view of the park through the fog were otherworldly.  Really, where else in the world can you stand in one place and see snow covered cactuses, mountains, lakes, and colorful canyons.  It was just me and the dog and the views for a good three miles…


Added by Mary Baldwin on March 23, 2014 at 8:04pm — No Comments

You Know You're a Runner When:

you check the weather very few minutes to see if it's gotten any warmer.  So far we're up to 23 degree, already better than what we braved yesterday morning (19 degrees with wind).  By noon it should be near 50, so I'll practice patience for a few more hours.  

Added by Mary Baldwin on March 23, 2014 at 9:38am — No Comments

Running Buddies of the Four-legged Variety

Cliche as it may be, dogs make awesome companions.  When you hit the trails with a dog you have someone to talk to, when the hills get long you're not actually going it alone, and dogs don't have a training plan of their own so the run has one purpose - fun. I'm dog-sitting for my boss at the moment and this particular dog is a blast to run with.  While she's more than capable of out-running me, she's doesn't seem to be interested in pushing the pace or running off like a maniac. She just…


Added by Mary Baldwin on March 21, 2014 at 8:57pm — No Comments

Red Rocks on the First Day of Spring

Yesterday marked the first day of Spring and the weather was magnificent: 65 degrees and sunny made for a perfect Red Rocks run.  Since I'm a trail newbie without any sense of direction to speak of, I never seem to be able to find the same trail twice.  I started off on a trail that I was sure I recognized, needless to say I was wrong.  The loop started with a climb up to Ring the Peak trail (with some hill repeats added in just for kicks :).  By the time I reached 3.5 miles I felt like I…


Added by Mary Baldwin on March 21, 2014 at 10:34am — 1 Comment

Day 1 Post-Incline: A Runner's Gotta Run

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on the trail.  That's my mentality in gearing up for the Triple Crown and other summer races.  I was surprisingly "unsore" this morning, despite the miles and ridiculous hills (...or, more accurately, mountains) that I put in yesterday.  As the day wore on though, I began to feel like I would have fit in well with a group of geriatrics around a bridge table!  It's not the uphill that killed my legs; my quads are screaming about the downhill…


Added by Mary Baldwin on March 17, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments

The Incline: A Trail Runner's Rite-of-Passage

I did the incline today!  In my mind, that means I've officially joined the world of trail runners.  A friend and I started our run with that infamous beast and then continued up Barr Trail to about 10,000 feet.  That's where my lungs (and pretty much every other system vital to human existence) decided to call it quits.  So, we turned around and ran back down Barr Trail, which was a blast.  That downhill is a hard-earned reward!  We had planned to get a bit further up the trail than we did,…


Added by Mary Baldwin on March 16, 2014 at 5:06pm — 1 Comment

5,524 ft above "normal"

I finished the St. Patrick's Day 5K this morning in 25:02.  Not my best, but I'll take it happily!  

This week rounds out my first month in the Springs and I'm proud to report that on my training runs I no longer notice the altitude as acutely as I did a few weeks ago.  Today, however, with nerves and the "race factor" that makes us runners push ourselves a little harder, I noticed the extra 5,524 feet above the flatlands of Illinois.  I usually run negative splits, especially in…


Added by Mary Baldwin on March 15, 2014 at 10:07pm — 3 Comments

Let the Race Season Begin

I am one happy runner - tomorrow marks my first race in the Springs! I am exhilarated to begin my first season at altitude (I'm a transplant from the flatlands of the Midwest). As the Ascent get closer  I'm sure I'll rethink my present excitement about altitude!

Added by Mary Baldwin on March 14, 2014 at 10:08pm — No Comments

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