Imogene, the update



Now that I can walk again, I’d like to share with you my final thoughts on this race. First, second, and third, I’m not doing it again! I’ve heard there is a hormone released during childbirth that makes women to forget about the agonizing pain of labor allowing them to go through the process again. While I can’t scientifically say why a similar phenomenon exists for runners, it does. I call it the “March Optimism.” It’s cold and dark in March. You’re sitting in a cubical feeling a little softer than you did in August. You look at a few pictures of beautiful mountain scenery and starting thinking, “that wasn’t that hard. I could do that run/ride/hike/bike/tri again.” Well, I’m here to tell you {and remind myself} that yes, Imogene was that hard.


Very thankful to see this cone

I burst into exhausted tears of relief upon hitting the summit. If I wasn’t so spent, I would have taken a reminder video of myself to save for the upcoming days of March Optimism . “This is stupid. It hurts. I don’t want to do this in 2017.”

It was beautifully scenic, the volunteers were heartwarming, and the post-race beers were delicious, but I’m done. I’ll return to cheer on others in the coming years but with a coffee and scone in hand.

On the drive back to Ouray, we stopped at the Colorado Boy Brewing Company in Ridgeway. Granted, I would have enjoyed a warm Natty Light at that point, the Colorado Boy beers are fantastic. It’s a great spot, worth a stop.

We made it back to Ouray in time for a soak in the Orvis Hot Springs. Turns out it’s not just clothing optional at night, but all day, every day. My legs ached all afternoon and only during the five minutes of shock from the sight of numerous naked, old, out of shape men, did I seem to forget the pain caused by this race.


Photos and accompanying emotional support courtesy of my super fan sister-in-law

Changing expectations, Imogene 2016



Imogene summit and Tomboy Mine from the top to Telluride Ski Resort – squint and you can see the course zigzagging across the mountain

A few curious friends asked me how long it took me to run {struggle} up and down Imogene Pass. Honestly, until I looked it up for the purpose of writing this I didn’t know. My rough estimate was “3ish hours up, 1 hour down, 20 minutes to drink chicken soup and chat with volunteers at the summit.” My actual time was 4:34 which put me squarely in the middle of the pack. I was elated with my performance especially since my goal was “don’t get kicked off the course for going too slow.” There are cut-offs at various stages to make sure that no one is standing at the top during an afternoon thunderstorm.


Straight up, straight down.

I loved the race last year. This year, I’m nearly dreading it. Year two, I have updated expectations. It’s no longer good enough to just not get kicked off the course, I feel the need to BEAT last year’s time. I hate this expectation and pressure that accompanies it, and yet I can’t make it go away. Ugh. I’m open to suggestions.

As a positive change for 2016, I expect this year’s race to hurt considerably less. In 2015, you can imagine my horror upon arriving in the sleepy, one-street town of Ouray, Colorado at 10pm realize that despite all my pre-race planning and checking, I forgot a sports bra. I had a better chance of winning the race the next day than I did of finding such a luxury item at that hour. While Shakira brags, “lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don’t confuse them with mountains,” mine aren’t.* They need support. I dug through my overstuffed bag: three dresses, two pairs of non-athletic shoes, two swimsuits, ZERO sports bras, and no girlfriends to borrow from. In a panic, I called my resident swimwear expert Kerry, my bestie from college and the “hold all the pieces together”/president extraordinaire at Faherty Brand, a fab swim wear company. Kerry assured me that running in a Faherty Brand swim top would not in fact kill me, and I should not skip the run the next day. “I do it all the time!” Kerry claimed. Damn, I would have taken the out.



Not me, Faherty Brand

Welp, Kerry was right. The race was so painful and challenging for the first 10 miles, I hardly noticed the unjust discomfort – no man on the course was feeling my pain. It wasn’t until the sharp turn downhill that was I quickly reminded of my packing blunder. Personally, I think I should have received a 20 minute time deduction for my tenacity. You try it, runner dude. As you know, I did in fact finish the race. I didn’t die. I doubt I did permanent damage and I now smile a little brighter every time I pack my suit for the beach.

So here’s to Imogene 2016 – hopefully a faster, more supported race. Also I’m hoping this year to have enough pep post race to make it to the famous Ouray Hot Springs.

*Side note, I’d like to get a 20-year old tutor/life intern to get me up to speed on pop culture of 2010+.

Hello, Imogene

I barely slept last night. I tossed and turned and watched the ceiling fan swoosh around for hours. With both dread and excitement, I set my alarm for 5:53, 5:57, and 6:00 for a last resort. I did laugh at myself knowing that I’ve never once slept through an alarm in my entire life.

6:00, June 1st: Imogene Pass Run registration. The registration process, while shorter in time, is equally as painful as the race itself. For safety reasons, the race is capped around 1,00 runners. Because the race is freakin’ awesome, more than 1,000 of us want to do it. And while the popularity has grown, the race’s roots remain old school and so does its online registration process.

I dragged myself out of bed at exactly 5:54 with no time for coffee and began staring at my computer. Staring at your computer at this hour is both frustrating and incredibly boring. At exactly 6:00, I began furiously entering my information and hit ‘submit’…swirling icon…’submit’….swirling icon…’submit’…damn swirling icon…ugh, I’ll try the PayPal button….’submit’….I’M IN!

Finally at 6:08, I could make some coffee and get on with my life. I paused. Wait, I could crawl back into bed for another hour and finally get some restful sleep. Hallelujah!

“DING,” group text from Friend A:  Are you guys in???  Friend B: Hell yes! So stoked!

“DING,” unrelated Friend C: Did it work for you?

I wasted my precious extra hour of euphoric sleep texting party hat emojis to my friends, and it was worth it. I feel like a really winner today! And my prize? I get to train for three months to run 10 miles up and 7 miles down a mountain! Yes, please! There better be beer at the end of this race.

Imogene Pass

Telluride on my left, Ouray on my right – from the top of Imogene Pass at 13,114 feet