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Half and Half

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While the main purpose of the Tulsa trip was to visit my dad, I still managed to find a fun race to add on to the trip. The format of the event is what intrigued me - half marathon on trails or a half marathon on road or combine the two together for a full marathon. Of course, I had to do the full marathon. Might as well! And I wanted the two medals for the complete yin-yang of road and trail...

I'd been watching the weather for the entire week before the race. While Sunday - race day - always stayed consistent - sunny and cold, the temperature varied form a high of 45 and low of 28 to a high of 32 and low of 19. It was the days before the race that had me worried. That was ranging from cold and raining for both days to freezing rain to freezing rain followed by up to 7 inches of snow. Rain would make the trail portion interestingly muddy, but have no affect on the road half. Freezing rain or freezing rain and snow was a different matter. Since I was flying, I wouldn't be able…

Leaving on a jet plane

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Eventually! As I sit in the COS airport, I’m reminded exactly why I don’t like flying for races. But this is an exception. It’s a short little solo jaunt to Tulsa, hopefully running the RunnersWorld Tulsa Half and Half Marathon, then heading home. So at least running clothes - even if I have to pack all the layers for the pending weather - don’t take up that much room! The race isn’t the primary goal of this trip however. It’s a nice side part to the timing of the trip. I think. I haven’t run a formal marathon in low 30s* in a while! Add in the fact that I know nothing about the first half of the race - the trail half and it’s definitely going to be an adventure. The half and half refers to the type of race - first half of the course is on trails and the second half is on roads. I think I’m going to be happy that the first half is trail - it will still be frozen when we start!

No, the race isn’t the goal. The goal is to completely, utterly surprise my dad. The last time I saw him was …

Transcendence

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Most people do crazy stuff when they turn 40 - the classic midlife crisis type affair. There's buying a snazzy new car (does a 4WD Mercedes Sprinter count? I see one of those in our future!) There's getting new toys (that 2019 Stumpjumper ST is calling my name...) Some people get tattoos to celebrate things (not ruling a new one out!) But us? We do things a little differently in the Thelen household. For Nick's 40th, it was getting discharged from the hospital with a brand new scar and a new lease on life - literally.


I've hinted a few times on FB about my 40th trip around the sun celebration. Not a huge party - not my style. Instead, the search for the limits of my potential - going beyond the limits of ordinary experience. It's going to be a full year's journey, each step leading to the next challenge. And it started out as a dream - a goal I didn't ever dare talk about. After the Sheep Mountain 50 in 2016, I was wrecked. It was the hardest thing I'd d…

Dead Horse Ultra

My first experience with ultra running in Moab. I'll admit, I love short runs in Moab - the thinking running that the technical singletrack provides just makes me happy. I knew when I signed up for this race that it would be different then any other ultra I've run. It might have the fastest course with the least elevation gain, but that would be offset by the nature of the trails. I've ridden every part of the course except for the road into and out of the trail system - the stem of the lollipop. So I knew when I started really focusing my training for Dead Horse that I had to do a lot of concrete running with plenty of excursions into Palmer Park and Ute Valley. I had to be ready for the hard surfaces and the whole body effort that that kind of running entails. Too bad I kept getting distracted from focused training....

As I mentioned before, this trip to Moab was originally a get-away for Mom and I. She was doing the 30k, I was doing the 50k. We'd ride and run and ha…

Moab Musings

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It seems there’s always a early to mid November Moab trip for us. It’s a good time to be out there - between busy season and holiday season, but still warm enough to do most of the big rides. The last few years have been after the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow, so the focus has been riding bikes and having fun. This year, the trip was a little different. Having fun was still the focus, but with a higher emphasis on foot vs wheels. We also had a third party along, which meant no camping and 100% in the condo. More accurately, Nick joined Mom and I on a running trip with bikes. After his surgery at the beginning of the year messed with all our great plans, this Moab trip was the only chance he would get for a fun riding vacation. So when Mom said she didn’t mind him coming, he decided to join us.

Join us being a relative term of course. It was more just being along for the ride, but having to do some of the driving to get there! As such, he got to ride a lot of his favorite trails at his pace…

Of Costumes and Snowstorms

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At the end of the second Fall Series race, I was in second place in the series and looking forward to the last two races. I love running at both Ute Valley and Palmer Park - the tricky trails and challenging courses are really my favorites. I knew that it would be a challenge to try to make up the time between me and Kaylen, but was hoping with the technical running I would be able to make it happen. After all, 10 years ago, I won not only the series overall, but three of the races overall.

The Sunday of the third race dawned bright and warm for the end of October. As it was the Sunday before Halloween, tradition dictated that runners wear costumes. I wasn't one to turn down the chance to wear a costume - but needed to make sure it was something I could easily run in. Hippy dress seemed to be the best option and I knew right where to get one!


At the start, there weren't as many costumes as in years past. Granted, back in 2008, you got a time bonus for wearing a costume, but st…

A question of careers

ca·reer
/kəˈrir/Submit
noun
1. an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress.
synonyms: profession, occupation, job, vocation, calling, employment, line, line of work, walk of life, métier
"a business career"

I was asked the other day why people used the term “career” to describe their running. The question took me aback - I’m as guilty as the next runner in regards to calling it a running career. It’s not my job - never has been and I never fell into trap of thinking if I pushed hard enough I’d be able to support myself running. Like most questions though, after I fumbled through an answer, I had to think about it more. And break out my dictionary!

In the colloquial use of career, there’s many similarities between runners and employees. When you are young, the focus is on advancement. As a runner, I took advancement to mean getting faster. As such, there was a singular focus when approaching races and I’m sure I misse…