2014 Pikes Peak Marathon

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

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Monday-Wednesday 3/29 - 3/31/10 and March Summary

I’m starting to feel a bit burdened by feeling that I have to blog daily, as I am sure is obvious with my posts. In my mind, they have morphed into a “just the facts” training log to help me to remember what to plug into my excel spreadsheet and to satisfy my legions of fans (3 or 4 regular readers i.e. sympathetic friends). I’ve considered just stopping all together, who really cares that I ran up Green, yet again in X amount of minutes. Some things are just more important, like reading how many times my friends ran up Green Mountain and how long it took them. I might just start posting every few days, or each week unless something really exciting comes up.

Monday 3/29/10 Green Mountain

Up Gregory/Ranger in 49
Down Greenman/Saddle/Amphi in 32

Started off with Aron and just went easy pace with him through Gregory Canyon to the cabin (24 minutes/avg. HR ~115). From the cabin, I went ahead, a little quicker, but not too fast as conditions sucked and I was not feeling too snappy or motivated (25 from the cabin to the summit, avg HR 147). After tagging the top, I gingerly picked my way down the trail and met Aron about halfway down the switchbacks. I just hiked back to the top with him and we headed down Greenman/Saddle/Amphi route. The snow was super soft because of the warm temps and was super slippery even with the Microspikes, not to mention you never knew whether or not you were going to stay on top, or sink into the snow up to your knee. The descent was a very slow and cautious 32 minutes with an avg. HR of 95. Bumped into Tony as he was heading up Amphitheater for his second lap of the day.

Tuesday 3/30/10 Green Mountain/Flagstaff

Felt great today, in part aided by the ~80 degree temperatures. I first intended to do a few laps on Sanitas as I was sick of the snow, but some last minute change in plans saw me at Green again, as I just can’t help myself and I knew Sierra would appreciate the snow on a warm day. It was the first day I felt as though I could confidently leave behind gloves, arm warmers, wind breaker or things of the like.

I ran a decent pace through Gregory Canyon, pushing at times, holding back some at other times to wait on Sierra or at least make sure she was still on pace. Passed the cabin in 16:20 and knew the upper half would not be comparable, so I kept up a steady pace, but didn’t really knock myself out as the snow was a bit of a governor.

Made the top in 39:55 (165 avg. HR), spent a moment or two drinking in the beautiful day and then cautiously made my way down through the soft and sometimes trap door snow.

The descent took 28 minutes (avg. 132 HR) and I still did not feel at all satiated. I contemplated a second lap, but due to time concerns, I decided to go with Flagstaff instead. The trail was in excellent condition, dry all the way to the last ~2 minutes. Made the top in 19:59 (avg. 165 HR) Back down in 13:36 (avg. 142).

Wednesday 3/31/10 Green Mountain

I was to meet my good friend Nate for a trip up Green, to kick off his training for his first Pikes Peak Ascent this coming August. A last minute meeting at work had me getting out the door 30 minutes late, so I called Nate and told him to get started (did not get on the trail until 5pm). Not sure how far ahead he was, I pushed a little at first hoping to catch him, but my legs did not feel all that springy, so I just backed off a bit and went a comfortable pace. The day was 20+ degrees below the predicted high which was a bit of a disappointment after the near 80 degrees on Tuesday, but the sun came out on the upper half to bolster spirits a bit. I found Nate a minute or two below the summit basking on a rock, as he had been waiting up there for quite some time. I tagged the top in 41:52 (avg. HR 155) and we then picked our way down through the trap door snow past the 4-way (still knee deep or more in spots if you punch through). The descent was a casual 30:08 (avg HR 124).

Despite the copious amounts of snow blanketing the trails, March was a pretty good month for me. I have been particularly motivated to get myself into reasonable fitness for the upcoming RRR on April 17th and was able to get out for a run all but a few days where life got in the way, or I felt as though I needed a rest day.

Though sometimes I feel like a bit of a slacker comparing my speed/numbers to Tony (I can’t forget that he is one of the handful of the most elite at this stuff), this was my biggest March ever and 3 biggest month ever. I am in the best shape I have ever been in leading up to the Grand Canyon and certainly the most fit I have been in March. I feel as though the snow is now my most significant limiting factor at this point and my enthusiasm is as high as can be. It also helps to have great partners to share the journey with, Brandon, Tony, Homie, Wayne, Aron, Mike O, Nate, Allison, Sierra (wish Dave M. was still here).

By the numbers:

80,350 vertical feet
212 miles (seems like double that though as most of that was in/on snow or mud)
24 Green Mountain Ascents
1 Bear
1 S. Boulder
1 Sanitas
2 Flagstaff
1 14er (Antero)
1 Skyline Traverse
2 trips out to Walker Ranch from Eldo