2014 Pikes Peak Marathon

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

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday, 05/05/10 Green Mountain

I was waffling whether or not I wanted to get out or take a rest day, but I am a sucker for nice, calm (relatively) Spring days, so Green Mountain it was.

Today was the same as yesterday, same route (up Gregory/Ranger and down NE Ridge), with Sierra, except there was no wind and I made it a point (as did Sierra) to just go super easy and make it an active "rest" day.  Today I was careful to keep close tabs on efficiency, HR, foot placement and just keeping HR low and not worry about time.  Made it to the cabin in 18, 4-way in 38, summit in 41:53 (avg. HR 141/max 153).  Took it easy on the down, again cleaning the trail of branches from the recent wind storm and really cleaning up a tree that fell next to the trail.  Down in 31:28 (avg HR 102).

Tuesday, 05/04/10 Green Mountain

The wind was hammering all day, 70+ in some spots, but the forecast indicated that it should die down in the afternoon.  As I leaned on the door to leave work, I knew this was not the case and could barely force the door open and when it slammed shut, I thought something might have broken.  Hmmm...  what to do?  Bail on the run and get some stuff done at home?  Alter my plans?  I thought I was going to be dog free and wanted to go hard today, but a mis-calculation looking at Allison's work schedule meant I was committed to a doggy friendly route.  I considered SoBo/Bear via Shadow, but knew the wind is typically bad on the approach on such days.  Fern Canyon?  No, gotta have the dog on leash and the upper ridge will suck in the wind.  There were really no great options, so I just stuck with the usual.

Heading up Gregory Canyon, the wind was in my face big time, so I just accepted it and pressed on.  It was warm at least and my energy level was much better than anticipated, as I felt like I was dragging all day at work.  I waited some for Sierra and slowed occasionally to call her name and make sure she was focused.

Despite the major wind, Sierra delays and the heavy klomper waterproof test shoes I was wearing, I made it to the Ranger Cabin in a very relaxed 16:33 (was only in the low 150's on the HRM to this point).  From the cabin, I upped the effort just a bit, as fast as I could go and not completely drop Sierra, though I still never really felt as though I was pushing beyond moderate.  Made the 4 way in 16:42 (33:15) and the summit at 36:32 (162 avg. HR/179 max).  Though having Sierra along requires a little waiting and some distracted focus, she did quite well and even rallyed at the end and was right on my heels the final ~2 minutes while I pushed somewhat hard.

Because of the wind, I decided to not backtrack, so we scurried down the front side (NE Ridge route) which, as expected, was much more sheltered and was the sane choice (22:54 for the down at 138 avg. HR).

Today was one of those days where I knew I just had it.  If it were not for the dog alone, I know I would have set a PR for sure.  Without the wind, dog and with light shoes, I would have killed it.  Hope to have another day like this soon with nothing holding me back.