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By Jen Shotwell
PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Runners

Lacing up my favorite road running shoes on a cool Saturday morning and head west at an easy jog about five blocks to Monument Valley Park.
I’m always amazed at the number of runners and events in our community.  The Neilson 2 mile race is just about ready to start.  The MS walk is under way . A group of runners from the Colorado Running Company are all sharing the path and trails.
I am running in a pair of top-of-the-line Asics purchased last September when I vistied my hometown in Maine. I’ve logged many miles in these shoes. My Nike+ watch indicates 400K, since the watch was purchased about the same time as the shoes.   
I only began running on a regular basis a year and a half ago. I’ve always considered myself a walker, a very brisk walker.  Even being petite in size I’ve been able to out pace even my tallest companions.  I’ve participated in walking events, even tried racewalking for awhile, so I really surprised myself  and friends when I began  running in earnest.
It began with the Jack Quinn’s run, as a fun after-work activity to do with my friend Sheila.  The JackQuinn’s T-shirt incentive helped to keep us motivated to plod along on Tuesday nights. Now, almost 50 runs on the roster and the 100-run shirt seems rather enticing.  Then I got a wild idea to sign up for my first sprint triathlon, since my 45th birthday was looming and thought it was high time to challenge my fitness level.  Signing up for the multisport event I realized I needed  to dedicate additional time to cycling and swimming as part of the repertoire.
Maybe it takes an upcoming benchmark birthday to encourage one to pick up the pace - so be it. I want to continue to explore this running thing especially trail running, to keep me strong and aging well into the next decades to come.  These shoes helped me train and compete in several events  over the year, since that “landmark” birthday.  They’ve pulled me through a trail half-marathon, Jingle Bell 5K, Rescue Run 5K and Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series.
It’s time to retire this pair and welcome in a new pair for the next training miles ahead as I prepare to face a new challenge. With challenges comes support, so many thanks to my friend Nancy for the guidance, encouragement and sweet trail shoes. her enthusiasm for trail running is contagious.
See you at the races!

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