Lake Isabelle

Lake Isabelle

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday, 08/18/11 Davidson Mesa and Pikes Thoughts

Davidson Mesa

4 miles/31:38

Easy 4 miles with the girls in the jogger this morning while it was cool.

Have been thinking about Pikes a little bit lately (OK, a lot!) and am feeling quite ready and enthusiastic for race day.  It is really exciting to being running what is such a completely different race on such a familiar course.  I have some race goals in mind which I am reluctant to voice here, but what the heck, it can only help motivate me to stay true to these goals and perhaps reach higher.

Of course the primary goal is to finish, but this seems to be a given.  'Barr'ing some sort of unforseen catastrophe, I'll for sure get to the top, start back down and then I will have no choice but to finish.

I have set 5 hours as a round number to shoot for dipping below.  I think that number is a given based on my past ascent times and what I think I can do on the downhill, but I would still consider 5 hours a lackluster performance for me.

I think 4:45 is a realistic, middle of the road estimate and anything within 5 minutes of this I would be pretty happy with.

My ultimate goal is to be somewhere closer to 4:30.  I think physically I have it in me, but my consistent underachievment on Pikes Peak (and racing in general) indicates otherwise.  I'll have to have a perfect day and not let my head get in the way.

Placement goals:  Of course a great run will facilitate these goals and much of it will depend on what others do, but I hope to place top 20, perhaps even top 15.  I am also looking for a Masters or age group prize to take home.

I have also been waffling over shoe choice and have it narrowed down to six pairs.  Ultimately, having a good day and running my own race will play a much larger role than shoe choice, but any advice/input would be greatly appreciated.

Montrail Streaks.  This to me is the safest choice.  I wore them at the Grand Canyon and they were very comfortable, have great traction, great protection, great stability and I had no foot issues (no blisters or even a hotspot).  My only reservation is the advertised 11.7 oz. weight.

Montrail Rogue Racer.  These feel so light on my feet, I feel really fast in them, have good traction, are comfortable, stable, great ventalation, but, my forefoot gets a bit sore and tired in them after 2 hours and the upper support is minimal, which becomes most evident when running downhill fast on technical terrain.  I have only used them on local trails that are rougher and rockier than the Barr Trail though, so I debate if they would work or not.  I see it as taking a chance.

Hoka Bondi B.  I have probably put most miles on these shoes lately and like everything about them.  They fit great, are light, have great cushioning which I think will help tremendously on a 13 mile downhill, but I am hesitant about their stability on the down and maybe traction on the lower section through the Ws.  I could probably flip a coin between this one and the Streak.

Brooks ST5 Racer.  All the same thoughts as the Rogue Racer, except it is a road shoe and has a bit better forefoot protection and upper stability.  Traction is minimal, but still pretty good for a road flat.  I also feel pretty sporty and fast in these shoes as you would have to given the loud color.

Keen A86.  See Rogue Racer and Brooks ST5 Racer, except these have the best traction of the lot and just an overall great feel.  I don't think there is even a forefoot plate though and I feel that after 2 hours.

Pearlizumi Peak II.  Could easily go with this shoe, as it is light, feels fast, has good fit, traction, stability, protection comfort etc...  My only reservation though is that my heel pad can get a little hot under certain conditions, which could really be a disaster on a 13 mile downhill.