Twenty Six Point Two

run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Leadville Trip Report Part 1: Hope Pass

The Coors Brewery.
Not in Leadville. In Golden.

Thanks to a direct flight from Nashville to Denver we got into Denver at 7:45am local time. We picked up our rental car (without a hiccup for the first time in Denver in 3 years. Yay for Alamo!) and headed out of town. We purposely didn't really plan much for this trip in general. It's a vacation, I like to have ample time to do whatever the fuck we want. 
So, we decided... what the hell, let's check out the Coors Brewery and I am really glad we did. It was a nice little tour and being a Regular Coors drinker, I was quite happy to enjoy the 3 free drinks you get to enjoy on the free tour.

After the Coors tour, we started to make our way into Leadville and stopped at a beautiful lake outside of town, that I had always eyed on our trips in and out of town.

Too bad it wasn't fucking scenic or anything.

 Colorado: Where every picture looks like a postcard.

We hung out at the lake for a little bit, enjoying the early moments of slowing down for a week and enjoying our vacation.
And like the basic bitch I am, I took a selfie.

We got into Leadville, changed clothes and headed to the Mineral Belt Trail for some walking/panting/jogging/running/walking/panting. Fun times.

There were two things that we had kind of planned on doing during this trip. One was hike up to Hope Pass from Twin Lakes (a route that is apart of the Leadville 100 trail race) and the other was to hike 4 14ers. Doesn't that sound impressive as hell? And it would have been, if we had done it. Even though, all 4 would have been done in one day. Oh well, best laid plans, right?

We DID hike up to Hope Pass though.

Folks, all these photos of hiking up to Hope Pass are part of the

Leadville 100 course.

 Seriously, WTF?

We started at the Willis Gulch Trailhead and after about a mile of hiking straight up, we got to the part of the route where the race course meets up and then we went up 3.5 more miles. Straight up.
And keep going up...

The roundtrip trail is 9 miles. And it tops out at over 12,000 feet. I loved it. It was a hard hike, for sure, but, I felt like at 12,000 feet, I was able to keep moving ahead (albeit slowly) without having to stop and catch my breath like I did when hiking to 14,000 feet. It was so enjoyably hard. But, I was out there on fresh legs and I cannot imagine hiking up that beast after running 40 miles and then going all the way down the other side and then back up and over the whole damn thing again. Seriously, WTF Ultra Runners? You guys be cray.

It took me 2 hours to hike up to the top. 
A time that I was VERY proud of.
That lake behind John is one of the Twin Lakes, and essentially,
where we started the hike (and exactly where the race starts up Hope Pass). 

 Obligatory photo from Hope Pass.

Since it took 2 hours to go up 4.5 miles, I figured, ohhhh, we'll be down in 1:15. 

 Nope. It took me 1:40 minutes to get down.

But it was an amazing hike and I really enjoyed it. Next year, I want to hike up it from the opposite side!
After that hike, we went back to Leadville and got wasted at Periodic Brewing. Helluva time. But, probably not the best idea at elevation.

Oh wells...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tips for Enjoying a Vacation at Elevation

 Drinking high gravity beer is a "Don't" not a "Do".
(Ollllld Chub!)

So, for the 3rd year in a row now, The KoB and I have traveled to the absolutely beautiful and charming town of Leadville, CO.
Home of the Leadville 100 and the National Mining Museum.
Also the place in the US where climbing up a
set of stairs will leave you panting and doubled over for 3 minutes.
HELLO life at 10,200 feet!

So, for some, 10,200 feet of elevation might not be anything. But, for a Nashville/Sea-Level girl, it is a huge deal. The obvious thing is that the lack of oxygen renders you panting and gasping at the most ridiculous of things. Like... taking off a sports bra. It's sad. 

It's exhausting.

But, after my 3rd year in a row, I've come up with a few tips on making the elevation a little less troublesome and less noticeable.

Running/Endurance stuff: So, every year, I get out to the Mineral Belt Trail (an awesome 11+ mile loop around the city) and think, okay, I'm just going to run slow and it will be fine. And then I start running and I have to stop to catch my breath after about 90 seconds. SERIOUSLY. It's humbling and annoying. But, I've found, that if I just give myself those breaks and start and stop and walk, after about 25-30 minutes, I find my pace and I'm able to keep running (even on the uphills). I think it just takes my body more time to understand what the hell is happening and adjust. So, give yourself a break and some time, and you'll be fine.

Headaches: The lack of oxygen can give me a wicked headache. So, from the moment the plane touches down in Denver, until I get on the plane going home, I take a dose of Excedrin every 8 hours. It keeps the headaches away.

Bloat: Along with the Excedrin, I take Gas-X pills the same way. It is crazy how bloated I get and I'm not entirely sure how elevation=bloat. But, it's seriously painful and none of my pants fit unless I'm keeping it all under control with the Gas-X. Trust me, it's a life saver. 

Hydrate: So, I try to make sure I'm staying extra hydrated (this is probably more because Colorado is so much drier than I'm used to). And by the same token, I think it's best to stay away from alcohol as much as possible. Did I do that? Nope. But, the elevation definitely makes a hangover about 13X worse.
Highly recommend this local brewery.
Probably should only have one or two if you want to 
feel your best. Do as I say, not as I do.
Because drinking 4 Brown Ales in one sitting wasn't smart.

 Sleep: I haven't quite mastered this one yet. And I find that the mornings are extra hard for me at elevation. Normally, I pop up and am ready to go in the mornings, but I'm always more groggy and still feel tired when I wake up in Leadville. Probably because I don't sleep as well there. But, if anyone has any good sleeping at elevation tips, I'd love to hear them!

Anyway, it's not groundbreaking stuff, but, it's not something I ever considered before my first trip out there, so, maybe it will help someone!

Trip pics and re-caps to come!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This Cracked Me Up...

On the Clearance Rack at TJ Maxx.
$25 bucks for a 2015 Boston Marathon Jacket. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Olympic Trials Favorite Moments

Sorry I've been so quiet over here lately. I'm hoping to get things cranked back up in the blog world in the next few weeks, so, don't give up on me just yet!

Just a quick note on two of my favorite things from the Trials. (And to be fair, I didn't watch anywhere near ALL of the events, so, my favorite moments are ones that I did actually see).

Hillary Bor in the 3000 Men's Steeplechase.

Whoa. The steeplechase is one of my favorite races to watch, because, I honestly just think that it's such a ridiculous and yet awesome race. YOU HAVE TO JUMP OVER A HURDLE AND INTO/OVER A HOLE FULL OF WATER. What the fuck? How is that even a real thing?

Fox Hunt Scene from Mary Poppins

It always makes me think of a scene from my favorite childhood movie: Mary Poppins. I just love the weirdness of it and I can't ever imagine attempting it myself. 

Anyway, the finals turned into an amazing race and I loved watching Bor surge at the end and wind up with a ticket to Rio AND a personal best. Not a bad day.

And my other favorite:
Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix qualifying in the 400m. I can't really pinpoint why I like her so much, but I do. Always have. So, I was thrilled that she will be competing in Rio, as well.

Go Team USA!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


I will never ever in a million years be a fan of the University of Tennessee (go cocks!), BUT, I am a huge Pat Summitt Fan.

Here's how I'm going to beat you, I'm going to outwork you.
That's it. That's all there is to it.     Pat Summitt

The world has lost a legend and a helluva competitor and athlete. If you want to read a compelling book about a pioneer in women's sports, I highly recommend her book, Sum it Up.

What a life she led and a legacy she leaves. RIP, Coach.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Stay Hydrated

So, it's been hot, ya know? It's summer and it's going to be hot and humid and your pace is going to slow down by 15-30 seconds per mile and you just deal with it, right?

We've had some hot mornings and for the most part, I've done okay with them. I've been actually doing well with drinking water during the day and most of my runs have manageable.

Until today.

Steve and I were running along and it was hot and sticky and humid and gross. But, that's all typical. By amount mile 3, I was starting to feel... not normal. And of course, we had ran 3 miles out and turned around, but, initially, I was like... yeah, okay, I can make it 3 more miles. No big deal.

Until I couldn't. It was ridiculous. I had to stop and take walk breaks, I got that dizzy, black out-ish feeling and I felt like I wanted to throw up. By the end, I had gotten the cold chills, so, I knew I was just dehydrated as fuck.

I ran yesterday morning, too, and sweated a ton, and I just don't think I rehydrated enough to make up for that AND get me ready for today's run.

Anyway, when I got home, I checked out the dew point. The temperature outside was 80 degrees and the dew point was 71. GOOD LORD. With a dew point that high, I'm not sure if completely water logging myself the day before would have helped. That is just ridiculous.

Running is stupid. Be careful out there folks... drink enough water and carry water with you (something I need to do more).

And now, because I promised yesterday... Recent adorable dog pics:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Still here and Ranting...

I'm still here. Just in that weird spot of not a whole lot going on.. so, not a whole lot to blog about, ya know?

I did get an AMAZING raise at work this week, so, that's something I'm really excited about. It was a huge leap of faith for me to leave my comfortable job in public accounting- job where my dad was my mentor and my boss and gave me so many opportunities and taught me so much. But, it was definitely the right move for me, at the right time. I am doing a job now that I love with a great team and I am so grateful for the opportunity. I miss working with my dad and my brother, but, I'm having a great time at my current job and learning new things and making an impact here. YAY for change!

 Celebrating needed!
Warning: Slightly political rant ahead... tread lightly or ignore if you could give a fuck what I think and are only here for the gifs and cute dog pics. Come back tomorrow, I'll have some cute dog pics.

I have been incredibly angry of late about the Orlando mass shooting. I was angry that it felt like... ohhh... ANOTHER Mass Shooting. I was angry that I wasn't just unbearably shocked and saddened. I am fucking mad. I mean, of course, it is an absolute tragedy, and I am sad, but, HOW HAS THIS BECOME OKAY? HOW HAS THIS BECOME THE NORM? How was I able to read the news and watch the coverage without bawling my eyes out? I am an empathetic person, I AM! There are a lot of great things about this country, but my god, there are a LOT of fucked up things. And, I have no problems with people owning a gun for hunting (although... I'd prefer they didn't) and while I'm not thrilled about it, I'm OKAY with people being allowed to own a handgun. But for fuckssake, why do people need to able to legally purchase a semi-automatic weapon?

And don't give me that bullshit answer of... "oh, well if they were illegal, there'd be more of a market for them." We make things illegal because they are WRONG and/or Dangerous. For instance, it's illegal to drive drunk because you can fucking kill people. Do people still do it? Of course, but that doesn't mean we should just make it legal. All this to say... I'm so sorry that this has happened. And I am so embarrassed for our country that we continually allow this to happen- in part, because a lobbying group has our politicians by the balls. It's fucked up.

I am sorry Orlando, I can't even imagine how horrifying that was/is.

If you're interested in a better rant than I can write, check out Samantha Bee's rant.