The countdown is on for the Wild West Relay which runs from Ft. Collins to Steamboat Springs starting at the butt-crack of dawn (actually, before that) tomorrow. I'm proud to be running with the Schriever Striders which is coordinated by the one and only Pikes Peak Sports Triple Crown of Running alum, Vanessa Shawver. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to run with this fun group. The total mileage for my 3 legs is around 20 miles but I may jump in on some other legs to get a 50k in since I have an ultra in my race schedule in September. After this relay, I will begin to taper a little. The Wild West Relay doesn't have near the vertical gain of the Pikes Peak Ascent (7,815 feet vertical gain) or The Rut (10,000 feet of gain approx.) but running a few extra legs may help me get used to running for a long time, with some breaks thrown in.
Ascent training has definitely prepared me for the Wild West Relay and I'm looking forward to see what I can do August 16th. Although I haven't been doing as much "running" as I typically do in the summer, my power hiking has improved which is what much of the Pikes Peak Ascent will be for me this year. In years past I've tried to grandma-jog the majority of it but splits at the top have confirmed that power hiking for me is faster and more efficient. I did do a quick speed session of 6x800 last Tuesday prior to my car flooding and my splits were satisfactory, all things considered.
Finally, some last-minute wisdom for those of us running downhill (my middle leg includes about 2000 feet of elevation loss):
"Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce." -unknown
Keep the rubber side down!