I don't feel like I've been running particularly well, but, I've been able to pull off 4 wins in a row! I'm (of course) excited about that but trying to stay cautious and practical about each race, keeping in mind that the bigger picture right now is the Canyonlands Half Marathon, and then the Boulder Boulder.
The first win was the RRCA state 5 mile Championship at Frosty's Frozen Five & Ten Miler. After that came the Yeti Chase 10k. Luckily, I did this one last year and was well aware of how hilly it was... Ooof! I love how course descriptions say "rolling" and make it sound all pleasant, when in reality it's pretty gag-inducing. But, despite the hills and cold and slight wind, it was a great race! I was - suprisingly, as this is not my M.O. - able to stay nice and relaxed and keep my pace under control in the first 2 miles, so I dealt with the hills much better this time around. I fell apart a bit in the last quarter mile and could NOT get my legs to turn over any faster, but still managed a time 1:40 better than last year. The course was pretty challenging but the event staff made it so worth it - I learned afterward that only half of their volunteers showed up but I never would've guessed - everyone was still super nice and helpful and never missed a beat. And, of course, there was a yeti. Everyone loves a yeti!
The next race was the Super Bowl 5k. Two years in a row this race was in the middle of a snow storm, but this year the snow was over and the inner loop of Washington Park (every runner's saving grace for winter workouts) was fairly clear. Fairly, but not entirely. Icy patches were scattered throughout the race and it was kind of terrifying - I fall plenty without the aid of anything slippery on the ground - and as a result times were on the slow end. I had a pretty solid cap on the win (1:30, I think) which is a damn good thing because I had zero intention of throwing caution to the wind and throwing down on the ice. No. Thank you. My favorite part about this one was that a bunch of my teammates were at the park doing a workout and were cheering throughout the race - AW! Runners Roost love! I also kind of like that only 2 men got in front of me...
The last race was the Valentine's Day 5k... Another couple of loops at Wash Park! I had the idea in my head that the weather would be nice and warm for this one. It was not. It was 22. I've raced in tights a few times and it's just not comfortable so I braved it in the shorty shorts (not bun huggers yet but if you're interested... http://www.runcolo.com/content/benefits-bun-huggers-1064/) again (but with 3 layers on top!) and payed for it every inch of the way. The air hurt to breath and it felt like the blood was frozen in my legs but I (and everyone else) survived. It was my slowest 5k in a while but... Eh. I blame the cold. (this pic, with my teammate Todd Straka, 2nd overall finisher, cheering, is from the lovely Amanda Hodges from Colorado Runner Magazine... here's a link to her article http://www.coloradorunnermag.com/2012/02/13/williams-utrata-win-valentines-day-5k/)
Best part? Runners Roost ladies - with Leslie Hoffman and Janet Rooney - swept it! Love that!
The last win prompted something amazing and hilarious and touching and slightly disturbing. This guy, Mr. Serious Runner Face Justin Mock:
This guy shared a bit of his inner G and wrote a little rap song about my winning streak. Honestly, it's not exactly Tupac back from the dead, but, it's pretty impressive. I was really curious as to who actually performed the rap... Turns out it's the aforementioned G and his buddy Simon - this guy (he wants YOU!):
I know, they don't really strike me as rap stars either, but, technology can do wonders these days! So here it is, the Heather Utrata rap song: http://www.runcolo.com/content/utrata-stays-undefeated-runcolo-celebrates-first-rap-song-1063/ Pretty damn awesome if you ask me.
Justin has "something special for when the winning streak ends" which, to me, sounds like some serious motivation to keep it going! Next up is the last in the Winter Distance Series, the Snowman Stampede. The 10 miler is another RRCA state championship. I raced this last year and had kind of a rough time on the course. But the good news is, I'm more familiar with the course now and have a better plan of attack. Whether or not I can actually follow that plan? Well, we'll see in a few days!
In other news, I got called a slut after my workout on Tuesday. Ha ha what?? Really? I was heading to my car after my cool down and a high school girl from South just went "Uuuugh, slut". Um... Okay. I didn't respond because really what do you say to that? And, I mean, interval workouts are pretty whorish.
In other non running news, my photo a day for 2012 idea is actually pretty hard! I didnt' think it would be at all but there are some days I really struggle to find something interesting to photograph... I suppose it's teaching me to look more closely and appreciate everyday things. Or something. But overall I'm just being lame and taking pics of my cat and t-shirts that I like:
Although, I do really like that one...