ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Our original Thanksgiving plans had us moving into our new house, but if you've been reading this journal, you know that our move-in has been delayed until sometime in January. This left us with both a hole in our schedule, and some frustration, since we've been putting off vacationing in order to keep an eye on the building process. Because of this, Britt suggested we - go on vacation. And I had the perfect idea. During last year's Thanksgiving trip to Arizona, during which Britt and a couple of our friends rode a hard point-to-point trail while I car shuttled for them and did easier day rides, a real highlight was my solo day at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. I had told Britt that someday we had to take a trip there together, so he could experience it as well - and so we decided to go to Scottsdale, Arizona, and stay in a hotel near the Preserve, and ride there and in other nearby areas. (Of which there are many. We rode and hiked in the two large connected areas on the east of this map, and also on the "Sonoran Loop" which is the furthest south part of the large area at the top-center of the map.) Spoiler alert: excellent decision.

I'd actually been up for camping, but Britt wanted to go full-vacation-mode and stay in a fancy resort. As it happens, Thanksgiving is still low season in Scottsdale - one of the waiters I spoke with said that it's really not that busy until Christmas - so we were able to get a decent deal at The Boulders. This is a lovely resort with two golf courses, but for us the main attraction was that it is only a few miles from a connector trail to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (Well, that and the hot tub. And the four restaurants!) Also, the name is not a lie:


Lots of photos! And me blathering on! )

In conclusion:

2018-11-25 14.54.44

(40 photos - and I might add more - and no blah blah blah at Flickr. I haven't put captions on the photos yet, though, and...I might not get to it, be warned.)
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
I'm beginning to think this house thing is a very expensive mirage :( Originally we were targeting late October, then it was pushed back to "around Thanksgiving", now it's going to be next year! Mid-January, at the earliest. I've stopped hoping for snow despite my desire for a decent ski season and an end to our drought; well, I still want it to snow, but not until after we move...

The thing that's slowing the process now is that the floorboards (an engineered hickory) were delivered from two batches, and the installer fought with them for days before he noticed the labels on the box saying that the batches were incompatible. The little bit that got done in the master bedroom and my office has to be torn up, and it all shipped back, and replaced with a single consistent batch - and that's probably going to take at least a month if not longer.

Stupid floorboards.

In better news, other stuff is looking good. We're having issues with the design of the kitchen backsplash area above the stove, and the pantry shelves were put in wrong and had to be fixed, but other than that things are progressing. The upper arched windows were delivered and installed (originally one was broken so we had to wait for a replacement), the wood stove has been installed, most doors and trim are on, and the flagstone work on the front steps and back patio is underway: Lotsa photos )

comb ridge

Sep. 6th, 2018 06:40 pm
ilanarama: profile of me backpacking.  Woo. (hiking)
The long Labor Day weekend is for us an excuse to get out of town, and this year we headed out to Utah in our Sportsmobile. It's still a little early for the desert, but rain was forecast for the mountains, and given the choice we opted for hot over cold and wet. Spoiler alert: excellent choice.

Because I'm still a bit injured, backpacking or mountain biking was off the table, so we went to Comb Ridge, where there are many relatively short dayhikes to ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and rock art panels. Comb Ridge is part of Bears Ears National Monument, and actually it's one of the few areas within it that is still protected as a national monument, which yay. It's about two and a half hours to the accesses to the dirt roads which run up each side of the dramatic rock ridge, so we left on Saturday morning to give us time to do some hiking that day.

Lots of photos and some text )

34 photos (more than are in this post) in my Flickr album
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
Last week I said:

I'm...less excited than I might be, because I seem to have pulled a muscle (?) in my groin; it started hurting while in Telluride (where I was doing biking only, no running!) and it hasn't stopped yet. At first I was nervous that I'd somehow re-injured my stress fracture, because it hurts in about the same place, but the pattern is different: it hurts most at night and in the morning, and when I start walking (or running), or stand up from a sitting position, but it eases up after some activity, and doesn't bother me much on runs after a mile or so. My body guy thinks it's a case of inner thigh muscles working when they shouldn't, and I'm doing exercises and have my second appointment tomorrow, but I'm really not pleased with the way things are feeling.

Well, after another week, I'm even less pleased with the way things are feeling, and so I've decided to bail on the race.

Monday: 5.7 miles mountain biking. Felt pretty good, though I noticed my groin hurting when I was pushing up steep bits.
Tuesday: 6.3 miles easy with strides.
Wednesday: 8.4 miles with 5 miles tempo, and this time, it was a really good tempo! Average pace for tempo miles was 7:59, average HR 152. I thought this was a good indicator for, if not my nominal goal, at least for getting in the vicinity of 1:45.
Thursday: 4.6 mile slow and painful trail run. All the other runs this week, my groin felt a little sore for a while but then eased up. This one, it hurt the whole time.
Friday: 11.5 miles mountain biking with Britt. Felt pretty good for the first 3 miles (at which point we stopped at our usual "lunch log" for a picnic) and then the next few miles were mostly coasting downhill - but after that, I started hurting again. A lot. At about mile 7 my right foot accidentally kicked a tree root or rock, and the pain just shot up my leg right into my crotch (the right side of my crotch is where the sfx was, and where the pain is now). I bailed to pavement as soon as I could, because the bumps were all making my owie ache, but basically any uphill (i.e. requiring effort to pedal) hurt a lot. After a visit to our homebuilding site I coasted home by the most downhill route.
Saturday: The plan was a 10 mile run with some surges. The actuality was two blocks of miserable pain, so I turned around and went home.
Sunday: Britt and I decided to hike up Perin's Peak, which is one of the small peaks that surround town. It seemed like everybody in town was out there that day! Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those days when the smoke from the fires in western Colorado and in California was relatively thick, so our views were disappointing and depressing. As far as pain went, it was generally okay except for when I happened to land badly or step oddly on uneven ground. I used my hiking poles, and I think that helped somewhat. I was starting to hurt by the end of the 6-mile, 1500' round-trip, though.

Atop Perins Peak

(Those things that look like billboards are actually old radar reflectors. I wish they could be removed, though, they're visible from town and look weird, and they kind of ruin the "on a mountaintop" ambiance.)

Anyway, not running or biking any more for a while. Walking, and doing some core exercises. Needless to say, not doing the half marathon on Saturday. I probably could do it, but I'd like to heal up at this point, before doing anything more. I'm not as disappointed as I might be, as it's just a local race, and not really one of my favorites. I'd be much more upset if it was something I'd been planning to travel for. But I'm not looking forward to the inevitable loss of fitness and slowdown and weight gain that will result from yet another layoff.


Aug. 18th, 2018 11:30 am
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
The in-floor heating pipes have been covered with the sub-floor.
The wall framing has been covered with drywall (and the first coat of paint).
The rafters and insulation have been covered with a roof.
What a difference!

IMG_20180628_200536 IMG_20180814_145406

IMG_20180401_143856< IMG_20180817_141242

Okay, there have been many intermediate changes between these sets of pictures - the older interior one's from June and the exterior, from April - but still. It's turning into a house!
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
One great thing about living where we do is that we're close enough to a lot of spectacular places that we can make a long weekend (or a short week) into a minivacation, instead of it being so long to get there that it makes no sense to stay only a few days. (Of course, another great thing about living where we do is that it's a vacation destination in its own right; I am immensely grateful that I get to do hikes and rides right here from my house that most people have to be on vacation for!) Britt decided on impulse that he wanted to take a few days of mountain biking in Telluride over his birthday (August 1), and since I'm a total pushover for anything that sounds like fun, I happily agreed.

Read more and look at pictures )
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
A lot has happened since I posted about our house construction back in May!

The in-floor heating pipes have been laid (and are now covered up with the concrete subfloor):

IMG_20180628_200536 IMG_20180624_125742

Lights, internet, and other electronics have been wired:

IMG_20180624_130419 IMG_20180609_180816

We are going with as much home automation as we can, with lights, fans, window shades, sound system etc all controlled by our smartphones.

Most excitingly, we've got most of the windows now, and the exterior wood and stone has begun to be set in place! It's beginning to look like a real house instead of a skeleton house:

IMG_20180706_134426 IMG_20180721_121448

IMG_20180711_130325 IMG_20180714_121009

IMG_20180628_115928 IMG_20180628_193839

More house photos at Flickr
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Look, I'm actually getting a post in after only one week! The rains have indeed started to fall in the high country, so we no longer have smoky mornings and I can run before breakfast as I prefer in the summer.

This week I still had 35mpw on the plan, but I ended up running 40mpw (which I'm going to try to keep up), and it felt good.

Monday: 8.1 easy outside (yay!) with 6x10 sec hill sprints.
Tuesday: 7.9 with tempo. I'd penciled in 2x2.5 tempo as a treadmill workout, but since I could run outside I decided to do the same I did last week on the treadmill, 2x2 with 3 min jog. Tempo miles averaged 7:52, HR smack dab HMP HR.
Wednesday: biked to pick up CSA and run other errands, 5.7 miles mixed trail and road, 450' vertical.
Thursday: Easy 5.3 with strides, cut short from planned 6.3 because I got a call from my dentist's office (while running!) offering to move my afternoon appointment to get my permanent crown to the morning.
Friday: Easy 6.3, which came out at 9:20, a fast pace for me, probably because I started earlier than usual and it was nice and cool.
Saturday: 12.5 on a moderately hilly route (not as hilly as last week's) which I did as a progression since I wanted to make sure I had energy for the whole thing. Started super easy, last three full miles between 9:15-9:20, then an easy half-mile warm-down.
Sunday: 10-mile MTB ride consisting of about 1500' climb (with a lot of hike-a-bike) over an often-steep, often-rocky 4.5 miles of old forest service road and singletrack (and old forest service road that had deteriorated to singletrack) followed by a long downhill on a dirt road. The view from the top was worth the climb:

Overlook Point

Total 40 riding, about 16 of biking. It all looks very good on my training log program, especially when I looked back at my log from this time last year, just before I ran Kendall Mountain and gave myself a stress fracture - in fact my paces are quite similar, including my tempo runs. But I was running higher mileage then, and doing trail running (which I haven't started up again), and I still only ran 1:47 at the 2017 Steamworks Half last June despite thinking I was in 1:43 shape. In my post-race analysis, I attributed this to 1) a hot day, 2) being overly-optimistic about my fitness and going out too fast, 3) failing to recover from a race two weeks prior, and 4) tapering poorly.

At the end of my race report from that half, I wrote: Anyway, I think it comes down to this: Now that I'm an old lady, I can't just half-ass my training and still improve. I need to allow a lot of recovery after races, I need to get and keep my mileage (relatively) high, I need to be conservative with my taper, and I need to be realistic about my goals. I think it's good that I was inspired to revisit that report, because these are the things that I will need to keep in mind going into the Thirsty Thirteen in six weeks!
ilanarama: profile of me backpacking.  Woo. (hiking)
We decided to do a spontaneous micro-vacation last weekend and get out of our smoky town, driving our Sportsmobile east to Wolf Creek Pass to hike on the Continental Divide Trail. If you've got all summer, you can start at the Mexican border and hike all the way to Canada, but with only a weekend we just did out-and-backs, going south on Saturday and north on Sunday.


Photos and blah blah )

Our first day's hike was 13.6 miles long (roundtrip), our second day 11.8, and lots of elevation gain/loss both days. It was nice to get out, and we were tired and happy by the time we pulled back into Durango on Sunday night.

All the photos, none of the blah blah at Flickr


Jun. 11th, 2018 06:39 pm
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
If you know where I live - Durango, CO - you may know that we are currently on fire. I am not personally burning, at the moment, but the "416 Fire" ten miles north of town has grown from 50 acres on June 1st, when it was started by (presumably, and supported by eyewitness accounts, but not officially) cinders from our coal-fired historical tourist train, to over 22,000 acres as of today.

Here's a photo from near our new house-in-progress on the afternoon after it started:

June 1 view from Rim Drive

And here's a photo from more or less the same place on June 9th:

June 9 view from Rim Drive

Yesterday (June 10th) we went up to Animas City Mountain at the north end of town (the long green mesa on the left side of the above photos; [personal profile] blnchflr, this is where we walked and you petted ALL THE DOGS; [personal profile] catbear, I believe we hiked there with you also, when you were in town oh so long ago) and hiked to the far northwest point where we took more pictures. A few days ago a second fire, called the Burro Fire, started about 13 miles west of the 416 fire as the crow flies, and that's the plume on the left side of the pano photo below. It's not nearly as big - as of today it's 1000 acres - but it's in very rugged terrain with a lot of fuels.

June 10 pano from Animas City Mountain

As I mentioned above, the fire's ten miles north of town, and my house(s) aren't in any immediate danger. The real problem is the air quality. As is typical in the springtime it's quite breezy during the day, blowing those magnificent plumes to the north and east (and incidentally making it tougher on the firefighters). But after dark, the wind dies off, and the smoke drifts down the valley into town. It's been really bad for the last four or five days. Normally we have the windows open at night; now we have installed our bedroom window air conditioner (that we usually don't put in until late June) and run it with the filters on so we can keep the house air a little cleaner. Unfortunately it's an old house, and not very tight, so smoke still seeps in, and both Britt and I have been waking up with headaches every morning.

How bad is it? Well, here's some photographic evidence from this morning at 6:30 am, looking east, south, and west:

June 11 east morning June 11 south morning June 11 west morning

Fortunately when the wind picks up in the afternoon the smoke blows out, as you can see from the same photos taken at 2:30pm:

June 11 east afternoon June 11 south afternoon June 11 west afternoon

The mountain you can see in the middle view of the second set (and can't see in the first), is just a little over a mile away; the one in the right view is a bit under two miles away. Here's a second set of photos taken from the campus webcam at the college, which is up on the mesa where our new house is. These are looking down into town; the white sky in the second one is, I think, an artifact of the position of the sun, but I think there still is a bit of smoke haze in the air.

June 11 college webcam morning June 11 college webcam afternoon

Needless to say, I'm not running in this! It's actually dangerous in the morning, and by the time the smoke clears enough that it would be reasonable to run, it's too hot. Fortunately I still have some entries left on my rec center pass that I bought when I was injured last fall, so I've been riding my bike up a little before noon and running on the treadmill. (Actually today I drove, as it was still smoky by 11:30 and I didn't want to breathe any more of that stuff than I had to.) The treadmill is SO BORING. But at least I'm getting some fake-running in.

We are all doing rain dances, though the earliest possible precipitation in the forecast is looking like this weekend, courtesy of Hurricane Bud. Nobody's surprised by this fire, I should point out - we had an unusually warm and dry winter and spring, with a fraction of our usual snowfall in the mountains - and the southwest monsoon, which brings afternoon rainstorms, doesn't kick in until early July. The county was under fire restrictions, and there had been a number of small fires that had flared and been put out, making us all nervous. With only 10% containment currently (and zero on the Burro fire) it's going to take more than a few rainstorms to make a difference.

I heard rumors it's been raining a lot over on the east coast. Can you guys pack that rain up and send it over, please? :-)
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
As some of you know, my husband Britt is running for re-election to the board of directors of our local electric co-op. It's a highly polarized and contentious election despite being nominally non-partisan, and he's got a lot of house parties and forums and events going on for it. We're also building a house, and he's got a lot of things going on with his company, so he's busy and stressed out. But Saturday was our anniversary, and so even though he had things going on Friday night and Sunday afternoon, I told him that he had to leave Saturday through Sunday morning open on his schedule for Seekrit Anniversary Getaway. )

Anyway, I have to say that considering all the wonderful things the Dunton staff did for us - the upgrade, the late departure, the food and wine and attentive, friendly service - it was worth the ridiculous amount of money. (Minus discount, plus taxes and service charge, it worked out to about $835.) I'd like to go again sometime! Just got to save up....
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
No, not pumpkin pie. That's desert with one 's', as in Arizona and New Mexico, where we spent our four-day weekend. Our friends Ryan and Steve wanted to ride the Black Canyon trail, a 70+ mile singletrack that is typically done over two days; Britt thought it sounded like fun, but I knew that I was in no shape to take on anything that epic, since I've only recently started riding my real bike again. But I was willing to run the car shuttle and go find something easier to ride while they tackled the BCT, so we enthusiastically signed on.

Blah blah and photos )

Just the photos, no blah blah
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Well, I tried to make this scan to "You're So Vain" but "Casper, Wyoming" just doesn't have the same rhythm as "Nova Scotia", darn it, and "Sportsmobile" sounds nothing like "Learjet". Anyway...

Taking a picture

Don't expect any eclipse photos from me - the one I was taking with my smartphone in the photo above turned out terrible - but there are great ones all over the web, so go enjoy those. I do have a few photos of our trip, though, and some rambling about the awesomeness (literally, awe-some) of seeing a total eclipse. )

Now we're thinking about the next moderately-local total solar eclipse, in 2024. It actually goes through Durango! Durango, Mexico, that is. Maybe we'll take a trip south of the border for this one. But we're definitely going to do our best to see it.
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
In case you're wondering why I haven't been posting, it's because I'm not doing anything worthy of posting about. Yeah, I had great plans after the Kendall Mountain Run, but maybe I shouldn't have posted, at the end of my race report:
Now, my legs hurt like you wouldn't believe, though I don't think I actually injured anything, just overused the muscles of my quads and glutes. Hopefully everything will feel good by next Saturday, when we head out into the wilderness for a week of backpacking. Then it will be time to turn my exercise attention to mountain biking in preparation for the Telluride-to-Moab ride in September. But I'll still be running 3-4 days a week, including attending the club track workouts, and hopefully by the time October comes around, I'll be ready to run a decent half marathon, and maybe even sign up for a late fall/early winter marathon.
Because in fact I did injure something. Gory details. )

Anyway, that's why I've been boring lately. :-( But in happier news, we'll be driving our camper van to Wyoming to see the eclipse, heading out this weekend! Originally we were going to combine it with some mtb'ing, but obviously if we do any, I'm just going to ride around on a dirt road as I'm not yet ready to switch to the real bike. This will be my second total eclipse, as I saw the March 1970 eclipse with my family:

March 1970 eclipse March 1970 eclipse

Er, I'm the six-year-old moppet wrapped in a blanket. The reason all the telescopes are there is that my father worked for NASA Goddard, and so this was a group of his co-workers and their families, who had all driven to just over the VA-NC line to get to totality.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
I haven't been posting in a while, bad me, so you're forgiven if you've forgotten that I'm doing the Kendall Mountain Run tomorrow. I'm a little less prepared than I'd like to be, mostly because I fell really hard while trail running twice in successive weeks, then also fell hard mountain biking, and so I've been more cautious and doing less trail running than I really should have been. But I have been hiking and biking and running!

On top of Graham Peak

Read more and see more photos )

So, tomorrow I am getting up way too early and going up to Silverton (it's about an hour's drive) with a friend who is also running. Now that I've seen what the course is like (we drove the first three miles to get to the trailhead of our late-June overnight backpack) I don't think I can make sub-3; I'm hoping to come in somewhere around 3:30. But my main goal is to NOT FALL.
ilanarama: profile of me backpacking.  Woo. (hiking)
I was looking through my journal for one of our backpacking trips last year, and realized that I somehow never got around to posting photos/stories about quite a few of our great excursions. I'm determined not to repeat this error, in part because it's so dang fun re-reading my past adventures, so even though our backpacking trip this weekend was just a short overnight you get to read about it and see a ridiculous number of photos. ;-)

Verde basin and Elk Creek

I mean, if you want to. But don't you want to? )

23 photos [these and more] at Flickr, none of the rambling
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
The title of this entry is a reference to this race report from 2009, when I ran the Steamworks Half Marathon for the third time, but the first time having actually trained for it (and by training I mean running more than twice a week and 15mpw). That race, I had hoped to get under 1:50 - all my tempo running had been at around 8:20 pace - and shocked myself by clocking a 1:44:19, which is slightly better than an 8 minute pace. I ran this race two more times before this year, in 2012 (1:38) and 2014 (1:36).

This year, I had hoped to come in at maybe something like 1:43, but instead I couldn't muster any speed at all. After three sub-8 miles, my pace was mostly around 8:20, and toward the end of the race I was just hoping, you guessed it, to get in under 1:50. I managed 1:47:21, my slowest half time since those first two undertrained races. Still, that was fast enough to give me first in the F50-59 age group (out of 17), and 13th overall woman, 38th overall human being out of 260 finishers. Also, to my surprise, looking through the results I just discovered I was also the female Masters winner, that is, first woman over 40. These placings are more due to the fast old ladies staying home than due to any speed of mine, though!

It was a hot day (for a race), and the sky was cloudless, which made for a beautiful but sweaty experience. I took two cups of water at every aid station (they were two miles apart) and dumped one on my body, except at the mile 10 aid station where a guy with a SuperSoaker offered to squirt runners, and I said "Yes, please!"

Steamworks Half 2017

I'm #286; the other woman in a turquoise top and I leapfrogged each other for much of the race. She passed me for good around mile 8, saying she was going after a woman ahead of us in red shorts, and finished at just under 1:46, about a minute and a half before me. I eventually also passed Red Shorts, though she was waiting in line for a porta-potty and so maybe that shouldn't really count. :-)

It was 70F by the time I hit the unshaded uphill section just past the 11-mile marker, and it was unsurprisingly brutal. (The course climbs 70 feet in half a mile, dips slightly, and then climbs 80 more feet to the finish.) It's also brutal to hit the end of the course because the quiet country road with little traffic ends, and the course turns onto a busy road with cars parked along both sides, making it feel quite narrow and dangerous. Fortunately the course marshals are there to guide runners and drivers - I did this job one year when I couldn't run due to injury - and so I pushed along to the crossing where the policeman stopped traffic for me, hooray, and did a pathetic sprint to the finish line, where members of the Durango Roller Girls encouraged finishers.

Steamworks Half 2017

The usual navel-gazing )
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Our friends Ryan and Steve organized a White Rim trip again this year, and this time we were the only other people on it. (We did it with them last year, and also in 2013. We also did it twice in the 1990s with friends from Boulder, where we lived then.)

Ilana at top of Mineral Bottom switchbacks

Read more! See more pictures! And there's even a linked map! )

Or just look at the Flickr album.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
Me cresting a hill in The Other HalfThe last time I ran The Other Half I was light, strong, had just turned fifty; and not only did I set a PR, I was the first female Masters (40+) finisher. That was three years ago, and a lot has happened since then. After herniating a disc in late 2014, I had to stop running for a while, and though I've been clawing my way back to fitness I'm a lot slower and running much lower volume than I was then. Also - and I'm beginning to think this is more of a factor than I originally expected - I've hit menopause head-on, though it's not strictly official yet (the medical definition is one year without periods; I'm now at six months). By contrast, in 2013 I still had a more or less monthly cycle, though not long after I started getting hot flashes and ever more widely-spaced periods.

In my previous post I said "While I'd like to run under 1:40 again...I'm okay with not hitting that goal, which is arbitrary anyway. I mostly want to improve on my last half time of 1:43:46, and if possible, beat the time of 1:41:44 which I ran my first time on this course." Well, I managed those last goals by the skin of my teeth!

I drove out to Moab on Saturday afternoon, stopping in Cortez (about an hour from here) to ride a quick loop at Phil's World on my mountain bike. I met my friends Kevin and Nora for dinner at Miguel's, which is a venerable pre-Moab-race tradition, and then went back to my motel to lay out my clothes, take a soak in the hot tub, and then get to bed early to rest up before my 5:50am alarm. It was a great plan, but alas my sleep has been terrible lately (another consequence of menopause) and I did not get nearly as much sleep as I really would have liked.

I walked the few blocks to the Moab Valley Inn to catch the 6:30 shuttle to the start. A tall young man with a shaved head slid in next to me, and as the bus turned up the canyon and the predawn darkness began to lighten, he commented on how beautiful it was, with a distinctly non-US accent. His name was Kees ("Case"), and he was from the Netherlands. He had just finished the first week of a three-week vacation around the US southwest with his wife, at the end of which he would run the New York City Marathon. "My wife saw there was this race while we were here, so I signed up for it," he told me. We ended up chatting the rest of the way up the canyon, and also hanging out together in the starting area. He would be taking it relatively easy since he'd be running the NYCM, though as a much faster runner his "relatively easy" was still faster than my "all-out"!

At the start, I drank some coffee and attempted to eat the Clif bar that had been in my packet. (Usually I have something with me for breakfast but I didn't manage to get anything this year!) Unfortunately, it tasted terrible to me - it was the new "nut butter filled" and I am not a fan, as it turns out. So I only ate a few bites and then threw it out, but I wasn't really that hungry, and there would be Clif shots at mile 6.

I started just in front of the 1:40 pacer, which was more an accident than anything else. I have noticed that the pace team the Moab races use seem to be fairly bad more often than not - once I was on pace for 1:35 when the 1:40 pacer passed me - so I wasn't planning on running with him. But as it happened I ran pretty much alongside him (either in front of - I could hear him talking - or next to him) until just after the big hill at mile 8, at which point he seemingly accelerated away from me.

What really happened, of course, is that I slowed way down. It wasn't a horrible fade or anything, just that the hills took it out of me, which has certainly happened before. Also, it was a very hot day, or at least, hot for me. I overheat very easily, which is why I'd made the last-minute decision to wear only a sportsbra and shorts. I drank at every aid station, but I still felt as though I wasn't getting enough fluids. I took a Clif shot as planned from the people handing them out at mile 6, but I only managed a little squeeze of it because I was just too thirsty. In retrospect I should have stopped taking water and gone for the sports drink instead.


Here are the splits. I set my Garmin to manual split, as I almost always do in races, but for some reason my watch was misbehaving and frequently when I poked the button as I passed the mile marker, nothing happened, and I had to re-poke it a few times before it actually registered. I also missed the mile 7 marker somehow. So instead of reporting the actual splits I'm reporting the pace per split, which might be .99 miles or might be 1.01 (or 2.01).

mile  pace  Average HR      Max HR    Elev chg
 1   07:37.36	139 (68%)	151 (78%)	65
 2   07:28.61	151 (78%)	155 (81%)	-52
 3   07:27.11	152 (78%)	155 (81%)	57
 4   07:34.76	154 (80%)	157 (83%)	-54
 5   07:33.63	154 (80%)	156 (82%)	-4
 6   07:41.24	156 (82%)	159 (84%)	-20
7-8  08:20.85	156 (82%)	165 (89%)	210
 9   07:27.91	157 (83%)	165 (89%)	-107
10   07:57.92	157 (83%)	165 (89%)	5
11   07:34.99	157 (83%)	160 (85%)	-60
12   08:01.73	156 (82%)	160 (86%)	-9
13   07:18.58	158 (84%)	162 (87%)	-82
13.1 06:56.10	161 (86%)	162 (87%)	-1

A couple of things. First, the elevation change is just the difference between the start and finish, and can mask a lot of up-and-down in between. (Here is a map and elevation chart.) Second, the HR is given in both beats per minute (bpm) and % of HR reserve, which is the difference between resting and max HR. However, I'm pretty sure that what I'm using for my max is wrong and should be lower. This is supported by my max readings being only 165, when in previous Moab half marathons they have been in the lower 170s, and my average reading has been in the lower 160s. Finally, as usual my Garmin read more than 13.1 at the end, though with a Garmin distance of only 13.17 this was one of my shorter half marathons - I guess I'm getting better at running tangents!


My final chip time was 1:41:32, just 12 seconds faster than my first time on this course and my nominal goal. This was good enough for first in my age group (50-54F) out of 42 as well as placing me 16th woman (out of 526) and 57th person (out of 845). Though also, I came in 6 seconds behind the 55-59 winner - and both of us beat all the 40-44 and 45-59 women except for two, one of who came in second overall, the other who came in first Master's female (with a slower time than my win 3 years ago la la la!)

I ran in the Saucony Fastwitch, a shoe I bought at a fairly large discount not too long ago. Good thing it was cheap:


I have a terrible footstrike with my left foot. :-(


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

April 2019

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @



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