2014 Pikes Peak Marathon

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, 10/17/11 Green Mountain via Bear Canyon

From the Bear Mountain Dr. TH

8.69 miles/2,456 vert./1:19:16 (47:59 up/31:16 down)/9:07 pace (11:04 up/7:10 down)/166 avg HR
Garmin Data

After hiking Bear Canyon with the family on Saturday (and understandably getting passed by a handful of runners while we were at), I was itching to go run the route and make it all the way to the summit, as we ran out of time and had to turn.  Not that it matters, but I hate leaving things incomplete.

This was probably the best I have felt on a run all year and I am almost certain was a PR for the up and down (especially considering the "new" switchbacks they added in Bear Canyon last year, thus increasing the distance a bit).  The most amazing thing though was that the run almost felt easy and I am sure I could have maintained that pace for twice as long without dropping the intensity back one bit (if I had the time, I would have done so for sure).

I started off with no particular intentions, aside from being in my normal bit of a rush in order to not get home too late.  I went out quick, but not really pushing and before I knew it, I was moving what I felt to be fast, with little effort.  My mind was focused on my immidiate surroundings and the trail underfoot, but never much on how I felt, or what was to come and I was shocked several times, to anticipate an upcoming steep section for instance and then realize that I had already passed it by without notice.

I tagged the summit, wishing for more, but needed to get back, so I cranked it back down the way I came, feet feeling very accurate and precise, like I could do no wrong (but tried not to think that at the time, as I would almost certainly trip).  I contemplated hitting up Bear/SoBo, but knew that would get me in trouble at home, so I reluctantly passed by the W. Ridge Trail.

Interestingly, my avg. HR for the descent was identical to the ascent, 166 for each.

This run was encouraging, as I have had so many runs this year where I have tried MUCH harder and yielded lesser performances and I have only felt good on a handful of runs,  but this run I felt great and it was a total surprise. 

In the grand scheme of things, it does not really matter, as I rarely race and do not have anything on the radar until next August at this point, but it just feels damn good to feel damn good.  I think it also helped that it was 54 degrees and overcast when I started and the trail was a bit tacky at times from the morning rain.  In my mind, these are absolutely ideal conditions and is almost like an added freebie level of fitness.