2014 Pikes Peak Marathon

2014 Pikes Peak Marathon
2014 Pikes Peak Marathon, Ready to Rock (or be rocked)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday, 11/04/09 Sanitas

After yesterday's hack and wheeze sufferfest, I decided to take it a bit easier today and promised myself that if I saw any competition at the start, I was going to ignore them and go my own pace. Luckily, I saw nobody and started up the trail very casual compared to yesterday, going on the low end of moderate until I got past the first steep section. I then slowly eased up the pace to moderate, then flirted with the high side of moderate over middle and upper section and felt like I was moving pretty well considering the comparable lack of hard effort. My throat felt a world better than yesterday and I never hacked, coughed or spit once. I was surprised to make the top in 18:23, a full 23 seconds faster at a much lower percieved effort. I felt like I could have held conversation most of the way today, whereas the day before, I could hardly remember my name. What a difference a day (and a reasonable start) makes. Went down the East side at a quick, but not too pressed tempo.

Up S. Ridge: 18:23
Down E. Side: 14:51

Tuesday, 11/03/09 Sanitas

Ascent: 18:43
Descent: 14:00

My plan was to warm up on the first section of trail and then go moderate, but as I got to the first trail junction just below the 2nd bridge, my timing could not have been more (less) perfect as I arrived there at the same time as a fit looking runner, going at a decent pace. If at work, I might have paused and said “no, you first”, but I decided to speed my stride and edge onto the now merged trail ahead of him.

Now I have committed myself and I up the pace a bit. I am going too hard for my planned “warm up” and feel as though I am really sucking wind. To make matters worse, this guy is matching me stride for stride. I almost said screw it and let him pass, but my ego would not allow it. We hit the steepest initial steps and I transition from running to long hiking strides, as is normal for about 10 steps in this section and he is now 10 feet behind and falling back a foot or two with every step I take. It is not long before I have him completely out of site, but I keep up the pace as to take no chances. Once I am sure my gap is in minutes, a fade a bit, semi deliberate, but mostly because I started off too fast and I don’t think my body was up for a real push today.

I make the summit in a disappointing 18:43, which seemed outlandish for the effort I was putting into it. My throat was also trashed, there was something about the air quality, dryness, temperature or something that has me hacking up a lung. It felt as though I was sucking on a metallic lozenge and it only got worse through the night, earning me a spot in the guest bedroom (it felt as though I was drowning when I laid down and I would panic myself awake gasping for air).

On the way down, I passed the guy who initially kicked me into gear after I had been descending for 2:30, so I am guessing he ended up being 5-6 minutes back.