Sunday, July 19, 2009

Good Week

Well, overall it was a good week. When you are preparing for a race like Leadville, you never feel like you are really getting milage in, but I do feel good about what we did this week.

My big run this week was a near six hour run on Pikes Peak, here in Colorado Springs. I was out with Bill, who is running Leadville with me. We started out on what is known as "the Incline". This is an old Cograil line up Manitou Mountain in Manitou Springs, CO. They used to run a cog train up for tourists to get a view from the top. They have long since removed the rail lines, and now you just have the railroad ties going up the mountain, essentially a giant staircase. The total distance is 1.2 miles, in which you climb 2000 feet. If you do this math you will realize the severity of the climb. We thought this would be a good way to start our run, just to make sure we were tired by the end.

At the top of the Incline, you can access the Barr trail, which is the 13 mile trail to the summit of Pikes Peak. We ran the Barr trail the the "2 miles to summit" sign, which is at 12,700 feet above sea level, and about 500 feet above the treeline. Since we started our run at 6:45 pm, it was well past dark with no moon when we hit our turn around point. We ran with headlamps to see where we were going, which is still challenging to not trip or roll an ankle.

It was a great experience to be above treeline at night, so peaceful, you would have to be there to understand it.

The run down went well. This was a real training exercise, as it can be treacherous to run downhill by headlamp. So many rocks and roots, you cannot take your eye off the trail for a second or you will be down. Fortunately, we did not have any major accidents, just a few "near misses".

Here are a few pictures.


Mt Rosa (or Almagre) just South of Pikes Peak.

That would be me.

Colorado Springs from about 9500 feet above Sea Level.

Bill - my Leadville co-hort.

Barr Camp at 10,200 feet.

Hard to see, but this is Colorado Springs at night from about 12,500 feet.

This is Bill as we start our descent, 12,700 feet and heading down!!
If you look close you will notice the moths, they were everywhere.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Busy Week

It was a crazy week, did not get as much mid-week as I should, but feeling great, ran Friday - Saturday - Sunday 10,11,14, which is good to get those miles back to back. I am still at too light a load, so I will be at it in the morning before work. need to keep up the pace I am currently on. My 14 miles today were brutal, I ran for 2 hours between 10 and noon, it was about 90 degrees without any trace of clouds, a real scorcher.

I did get some pictures during my Saturday run through my favorite local park, just 1 mile from my house. Scenery is pretty good!!

For those not familiar with Colorado Springs, the mountain you see is Pikes Peak, another favorite running spot of mine.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crunch time

OK - officially 45 days to race day. I am a bit concerned as I had a real short week last week (31 miles) due to being under the weather. I am starting to feel much better, and I got out for a fast 5 mile run today and really felt strong. I could still feel a bit of congestion, but nothing even close to where it had been.

This will be a big week, as I need to post ~50 miles as I get back up to speed, and I have already lost 2 days with only 5 miles. If I can make the miles this week and be 100% by the weekend, I think I will be in good shape. Body don't fail me now!!

In the rest of the family athletic news, Jen's training for the Pikes Peak Ascent is really progressing, as she has been on the mountain a minimum of once a week for the last 3 weeks. Tomorrow morning Sam has a swim meet where he will be swimming 25 free, 25 breast, 25 back, and I think he is a part of the 100 free relay team. What a stud.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Down time...

I am not good at taking rest, never have been, and have no desire to get good at it. However, this weekend, I had to. I got in a nice 6 mile run Friday night, and just was still feeling off. My head cold had moved to my.... NOOOO.... Lungs!! When you are a distance runner, this is generally not good news. Oh well, it is not like I am on a deathbed, just real congested. I was scheduled to run between 26 and 30 miles today, and I had to scale it back to 10. I do think I am starting to get over the hump, so I will try to make up some lost ground this week.

We had a happy fourth none-the-less, and Mason enjoyed his first Independence Day as an American. Of course, he did sleep through the fireworks, but hey, it was a long hard day at the pool.

Happy Fourth to all!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer is Here!

It seemed like it would never come... Summer. Well, it has finally arrived. There is nothing better than being out the door for a 5:30 am run and being and to break a sweat. Sunny and warm, it's about time.

I did get out for an 8 miler this morning after a rest day yesterday, I was feeling ok but just a bit worn down. I have been struggling with a minor cold, and running while stuffed up is just not any fun. I think I am past the worst of it, and should be in gear for some big miles across the Holiday weekend.

Had some good wildlife spotting this morning, I ran across a group of mule deer bucks, 9 in all. Their racks were all in velvet, very cool. I also spotted my first fawn of the season, looked like he was just born last night, very wobbly legs and he kept bleating at me to go away.

Part of what has made this event so much fun is the people at LOOK. The lady's at the LOOK project are so excited about this, it makes it even more fun and worthwhile. Keep the $$ rolling in, 7 weeks to go!!