Well, I just haven't felt like talking about running much with all the fire's in Colorado, but it seems to be getting better. I was often asked if we were busy during the Waldo Fire and I am happy to say that we did not transport anyone from the fire, great Job to the all the people who helped put out the fires. It was incredible to see how the Springs came together and helped each other out.
With all the trail closures, didn't know if the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown would happen. Ron Ilgen did a great job AGAIN! Another excellent race put on by these guys, we are very lucky here in Colorado to have such a well organized series of races to help us get our minds of the fires and the heat. It was a nice cool, cloudy morning to run, but a little on the humid side. Well, before I get to my disappointing race report I will give you my two prior race meltdowns I had the prior weeks. I was able to do a couple more training runs up the Peak since I last blogged, I did another full ascent four days after my last one. I felt tired and wanted to quit and turn around numerous times but Thomas Dinwoodie was on the top doing 3-2-1's and said he would drink all the beer if I didn't make it up soon. So I kept grinding, but very slow, my splits were horrible. The one good thing that happened is that I started feeling better once I got past A-frame. I did get to run into my fellow PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Running Team, Bill Beagle. He was looking good and I took a moment to snap this action shot of him nearing A-frame. I eventually made it to the top......drank my beer.....ate my donut and ran into my other teammates Sharon and Katie. We all got together for a picture before we went down. Many of the Incline Club members were also finishing their training so we all posed for another shot.
Mr Beagle nearing A frame
Bill and Katie at Summit house
I actually rested a few days and the upcoming weekend Tom and I came up with a great plan to run Bobs Bash 20 miler and then do Hellacious Trail Race in Palmer Park the next day. Bobs Bash was a new race in Woodland Park at Aspen Valley Ranch put on by UpaDowna. Unfortunately this race started at 2pm on Saturday, just a couple hours after the Waldo Canyon Fire started. Thislinkshows their blog and some views of the fire we had all day. Due to the fire, there was only a small handful of runners that ran each distance. On most normal days I think a 2pm start in Woodland Park would be fine but that week was hottest week on record so you can probably guess what happened. BONK! Long story, short.....I started with two honey stinger gels, handheld bottle with two Nuuns tablets and only two salt tabs. I really don't know what I was thinking. The nice hole in my pocket got rid of one of my gels so now I am down to just one. Aid stations were every few miles and so hydration wasn't the issue for me, it was lack of fuel and salt that got me. It was a 4 lap clover leaf type course with some good climbs on each of the 3 leafs. I ran the first 3 laps and felt fine and was climbing the hills well, on the last lap I came to the first hill and it all of a sudden hit me, I was done. I was reduced to power hiking, then walking and then walking slower and finally standing with my hands on my knees so I wouldn't pass out. This would continue till the last aid station where I finally got some gatorade and a couple cookies that I could hardly choke down. This gave me a tiny boost to jog down the last hill to finally finish. We were all handed a beer at about the last quarter mile before the finish line but I was so depleted I couldn't even finish it.....thats sad!! Even with my pathetic performance, it was a great race! UpaDowna put on a great event, there was a BBQ, live music and FREE BEER for all the runners. John Garner who was out doing the timing for the race also took some pictures of us, thanks John! I slept the entire next day so I didn't make it to Hellacious, but Tom and a few fellow IC'ers made it out to Palmer Park and ran well.
You don't want to see the after pic!
Leadville Trail Marathonwas the next week so I pretty much took it easy the whole week, due to my self destruction at Bobs. Leadville was a race I wanted to do well, I figured it was going to be a good test of where my fitness was at for Pikes. My goal for Leadville was to run between 4:30 to 4:40, I based these on times from past results from runners who have run Leadville and PPM. I thought I went into Leadville well rested, properly fueled before the race and did not drink too many beers the night before. My goal was to go out the first half at a steady pace to get a feel of the course, I was then hoping I would be able to push it on the second half. Well, after last week you would think that I learned something about fueling!! I got to the top of Mosquito pass at around 2:34, with most of the hard climbing behind me. The descent down Mosquito was coming up and then a nice steady climb up Ball Mountain followed by the descent to the finish. I was almost to the bottom of Mosquito when I could feel the wheels start to wobble. I got to the aid station at the bottom of Mosquito and refilled my bottle, but did not stop for any fuel. About a mile out of the aid station and the start of the next climb the wheels were now violently wobbling. I started to walk so I could try to recover and get some fuel onboard. I had a flask full of Honey Stinger Gel that I was trying to force down but now my stomach was upset and it was hard to get any of it down. I tried to run again but shortly after, I was walking and then the wheels came off. When I finally started my downhill toward the finish I could only muster a zombie like jog down the hill. I could swear I was passed by almost 25 runners on this section, they would pass me in groups of three and four running by me like I was standing still. At this time, my goal was shot and all I wanted to do was get this mess over with. I finally came in at 5:01:22, again just happy it was over. My mom who lives in Phoenix came up with us so it was nice to see her at the finish line despite my performance. I have only been running for a few years but this is the most disappointed I have been after a race. I had to go lay in the car afterward because I was getting lightheaded and I missed Tom finish in 5:27:59, he hit his goal of 5:30. Felicity ran the heavy half and came in at 4:37. We finished the night with some beer and pizza! I ate a large pizza myself..............MAN WINS!! It wasn't till 2days after that I noticed how much gel I had for whole race. My flask holds 5 gels and I had only taken a little bit over one gel for whole race. When I use the flask I always think I am getting more gel than I actually do. I drank to small cups of coke, 2 cookies, 2 pretzels and about 6 Nuun's tabs with water. Anyway you add that up, it wasn't even close to the amount of calories I needed to finish that race. I had these problems when I first started doing marathons and I thought I had I was over this but apparently not. Leadville Marathon is a first class event that I highly recommend to anyone! Volunteers, aid stations, course markings, after party, shirts, finishers medals and even the results page was well organized. We met a nice couple the night before who were also racing. Her name was Amanda Baker and she took some cool pics of the course. Just to throw this in and this is just my opinion but I think Pikes Peak Marathonis tougher but not by much!!
Pre race hydration
Photo by Amanda Baker
Photo by Amanda Baker
Photo by Amanda
Photo by Amanda
I again tried to take it easy the week leading up to the Summer Roundupwith only a couple of short runs. I have to admit I went into the Roundup just not feeling very motivated after my last few weeks of running. I ran 56 minutes here last year and the way things were going, I pretty much knew I would not repeat that performance. It was nice seeing all my friends who are running the Triple Crown and talking some prerace strategy. The morning was cloudy, cool but very humid. I think most people were just glad to be running on some trails since the fire. The Summer Roundup start is always interesting, the mad dash to jockey for position. I started off running with Dan Cockrell for about the first mile and Tim Bergsten snapped a pic of me trying to slow him down.....busted!! My legs felt heavy the whole way up and I knew from the beginning I wasn't gonna do well. However, one positive note, I did feel I ran better downhill than I have been recently. Probably still not as fast as last year but I felt good about the descent. I caught a few runners at the end and was trying to sneak up on Thomas Moore who I know is in my age group but I think he heard me and turned it on. Had a great time talking to everybody after the race and it was nice not feeling like I was gonna pass out so I could watch some friends finish. Bill Bennett again finished better than he expected, he came in at a little bit over 1:16. My fellow PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Running Team all did great and it was fun seeing them all out on the course. I got a picture of JT collecting some hardware, he is having a great year. Ron Ilgen again put on a great race and thanks to all the volunteers who helped out. Thanks again to John Garner for working on timing and still managed to take some pics of us all. How about Ryan Hafer? Man that dude is fast and he is off to a great year and will definitely be a favorite in the Ascent. I saw the competitive entries are starting to come in for the Ascent and Marathon. This year is gonna be super competitive for both races. Gonna be exciting seeing Killian Jornet running the Marathon for the first time hopefully against Matt Carpenter. There are a bunch of guys that could compete for the top spot this year and it will be fun to see how that all plays out.
Trying to slow Dan Cockrelldown...and is Louise chewing??
Photo by Tim Bergsten
I meant to post this blog before last weekend but due to my slow typing and having a great time with all my family who have been visiting the last two weeks, I kept putting it off. In the meanwhile I have done more stuff that I wanted to blog about and it keeps stacking up. This last weekend was suppose to be the Barr Trail Mountain Race but as we all know that was cancelled due to the fire. However, Michael Eversonwho every year donates a nice Gps watch to be given away at the conclusion of the BTMR came up with a cool idea to give his watch away. Via Facebook he came up with the Barr Camp Mountain Run/Race, an informal run up to Barr Camp. All you had to do is start from Memorial Park and time yourself to Barr Camp and then email Mike your result. Your name will be then put in a drawing for the watch, he draws the name on Wed. This sounded fun so instead of my plan to go to the top and do some 3-2-1's, I would plan on doing another full ascent and give Mike my Barr Camp split. It was a little bit more than I wanted to do but hey I could always use another Gps watch. A friend of mine Brian Rawlings messaged me to say he was in for the Barr Camp run and wanted to run it with me. I met Brian last year during the Thursday night workouts for the Incline club, he was preparing for his first Barr Trail Mountain Race. He got 6th place last year in the highly competitive BTMR with limited training on the trail. Anyway, this guy is fast and I knew a run at my pace that he probably wouldn't break a sweat. I was hoping that maybe running with Brian to Barr Camp would push me to pick up my pace and then after he turned around at Barr Camp I could push myself up to the Summit by myself for a good Ascent time. Well, besides the great conversation I had with Brian on the way to Barr Camp this was a very disappointing run yet again. Our time to Barr Camp was my second slowest time of the year, came in a bit over 1:40. The worst part is that I have run this so many times this year that I thought that the effort I was running I should have been there in the low 1:30's. I am getting slower with the same efforts and it's getting worse as the weeks roll bye. I was doing 1:35's in the winter time with in the snow! I carried two bottles with the plan to just run through Barr Camp for a true Ascent time but when I saw the time I was pretty discouraged so I stopped at Barr for a visit with Neil. I took a gel and filled up with some water and took off shortly for the summit. The Barr Camp to BP sign split was about two minutes over my goal for race day, and this was with 10 minute rest at Barr Camp. Slow grind up to A frame and I looked at my watch at it was 2:23, this is my slowest time I have ever had to A-frame. My first training run that I did two years ago I did a 2:20. I have to say I was at a low point and pretty disgusted with myself. I was done and I did not want to run anymore, it wasn't that I couldn't go on but it was that I didn't want to climb anymore. I have had good training runs on the top 3 miles this year and I just could not take anymore disappointment that I knew would come. I found a rock to sit on and just sat there for awhile. I have trained very hard this year and I am getting slower. The last year running has gotten me through a very tough time in my life, the more I ran the better I felt. Now with the result I am producing, the more I run the worse I feel. I have tried to figure out was is going wrong.....overtraining, nutrition, weight, lack of speed work, old age or life issues. So after sitting there feeling sorry for myself I decided I just wanted to run back down and try to clear the head. I started down and ran into Bill and Lisa Dinwoodie...they were looking good and it was Bill's first run above treeline. I took a picture of them both and told them I was going down, I felt bad I was not going to the top to see Bill first summit but I honestly say I just didn't want to go up. I ran into more IC'ers on the way down, Larry Bennett and Jenny Ansay who were looking strong on their ascent from Barr Camp. The both of them drive from near Denver every week to do the Incline Club and have both greatly improved. I got back to Barr and had a good conversation with Neil, Randy Triplett and Rick H. After talking to Neil and a few other people I have decided that I am gonna take a full week off and see if that helps. I googled signs of overtraining in running and saw that I have a lot of the symptoms they describe. So this week no running with the exception of maybe a few intervals with the Incline Club on Thurday. Im gonna do some yoga for sure and maybe some light swimming. I think I will also just go hike somewhere and not worry about running. I feel like a wimp when JT just finished Hardrock and seems to run a hard race every weekend! I should switch to PBR....maybe thats the problem. Hope everyone's training is going well...stay vertical.
Last night at work while returning from a cancelled call I got my first look at the Waldo burn scar from the air. We reported small amount of smoke. This was mostly near Blodgett Peak. Smoke can be seen at 1:42 and 5:00 mark.