Is this Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”? Whyyyy? ~ Rach
Some days, you just need to bail on the planned training and go have an adventure. Fortunately for me, I don’t have anything on the horizon in terms of “A” races so abandoning my plans for a solo tempo/repeat run to join a couple of Twitter acquaintances (George Zack and Tim Waggoner) for a very early long run was a fairly easy ditch. Certainly, had this opportunity arisen in the course of a specific training cycle, I would have had to think about it a bit more.
The plan: Meet at 4:00am, run for 3-4 hours on snowpacked dirt roads around Wondervu, enjoy the celestial show of the lunar eclipse.
My alarm went off at 3:00 and I hopped out of bed, ready to get my run on. It was about 18° with only a slight breeze when I slipped out into the night for a short drive to Tim Waggoner’s house in Wondervu. Tim is a coach and all-around kickass athlete who is gunning for the Leadman competition this year. A burly goal but if anyone is capable of accomplishing this feat, I am confident Tim can rock it. He finished 6th in the ’10 LT100 (about 5 hours in front of me) and has a strong Tri background which will help him immeasurably when it comes to the grueling Leadman competition.
After some confusion regarding the exact location of Tim’s house (I spazzed and didn’t store his info in my phone, stupidly relying on the expectation of a cell signal in the mountains), I managed to pull up an old email to get his house number and pulled up just as George arrived from the valley. We quickly donned our gear and started running just after 4:00.
George’s summer racing revolves around the Pike’s Peak Marathon where he has finished as high as 6th place as well as other races at a variety of distances (up to 100 miles). So needless to say, I was in fast company on this early morning adventure.
Tim had a 21-mile loop mapped out and we managed to make pretty good time during the early miles. The moon was bright enough that back-up lighting was only necessary on occasion and we were treated to an eclipse that won’t be visible again in the Western U.S. until April of 2014. Overall, we kept a conversational pace and just enjoyed the early morning running. Tim planned our route to top-out with a fantastic view of the Indian Peaks hoping to coincide with the full eclipse and sunrise. We were a bit early to get the full effect and winds had picked up to the point where standing around for 20-30 minutes would have been ill-advised so we stopped briefly for a peek then continued on our way.
In the end, we cut the overall distance down to 17 miles and then George added some bonus mileage. I needed to get home to get ready to see Gounod’s Faust on the Met Opera HD broadcast with Rach but it was fantastic to get in a solid run before most people are even waking up. Seeing the eclipse was a treat as well. Sometimes the best plans are those that have been abandoned.
Snow flurries and light wind traced patterns in the glow of my headlamp as I made my way through Mountain Meadows for my first night run in a long time. It was good to be back, honestly. I hope to make night runs a more regular part of my training since a) they mix things up a bit, providing some variety when moving along familiar terrain and b) to train myself to run in these conditions as night running is part of any longer ultra event.
I commented to Rach after my run how nice it is to be able to find a fixed average pace and keep that consistent along a variety of terrain. I ended up averaging just over 10-minute miles and kept my heartrate down to 140 bpm average. Not too shabby given that there are a couple of climbs along the route. Finished the run strongly and was treated to another in a long string of amazing meals prepared by my sweetie. Her ability to provide tasty treats is unparalleled. It’s like living with a master chef, only with less yelling, no goofy hats and 7 times the cute.
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. ~ Albus Dumbledore
Yesterday: Night run – West Mag, 1.25 hours Today: Hike – Neighborhood, 30 minutes Tomorrow: Singlespeed ride – 1 hour
Feeling fit and coming down to the final days of preparation for the big event. Last night’s run was a blast. Bob and Brad were kind enough to come up the hill to join me for the nighttime woods adventure. We didn’t die once.
We started on the far west end of Magnolia and basically ran the Habitrail backwards. There were a few people out violating the fire ban but what else is new? Once, during a particularly evil drought, a friend and I were riding in the west Mag area only to come across some dumbass with TWO fires burning in the middle of the day. Sometimes I am surprised we have lasted this long. In any event, just because you are “camping” does not mean you must burn every item made of wood within a stone’s throw of your tent. But I digress…
I am now just getting final preparations set. I think I have everything I need aside from food and whatnot. Just need to organize, pack it up in a nice way so that Megan and Nichole won’t hate me and jam up the hill to the event. It sounds like most of the Crüe is going to head to Leadville next Friday so we should be able to take the afternoon to get everything together. Good stuff.
Yesterday: Singlespeed ride – Casa del Critters, 1.5 hours Today: Night run – West Mag trails, 1.5 hours Tomorrow: Ride – Ned trails, 1.5 hours
So the iPhone and Blogger don’t play well. Interesting. I am guessing a fix for this has to be in the works but for now, no mobile blogging from my phone. Which is actually probably a blessing.
So 10 days out (or so) and I am feeling great. Getting a little antsy to start but really just feeling excited. I go to sleep most nights visualizing the course (rarely make it past Fish Hatchery before I drift off and have to start over). The Crüe is all jazzed. We are full steam ahead.
Last night I went for a glorious post-rain singlespeed ride. Just dinked around the forest and explored some trails in the area on which I had not ridden for quite some time. I didn’t feel as well as the previous day’s adventure but I had just whacked down another amazing meal and was a bit stuffed. I really am enjoying the one-speeder… looking forward to exploring some more this fall post-race.
Tonight (in about a half an hour), I am meeting Bob and Brad for a night run in Ned. I am really itching to run at this point which I can’t imagine being a bad thing. Better to go into a hundred-miler excited to run than sick of it. At least that is the theory on which I am working.
We got the new Simpsons DVD set today and are rocking that as we speak. Season 10 was the last for which we actually had tapes so we’ll be entering new territory once season 11 comes out. Good stuff.
Movie review: At some point I saw the trailer for Alpha Dog and I guess it looked not bad enough to warrant a peek. Though it wasn’t awful, it definitely wasn’t great. It was watchable for the most part but I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to rent it or anything. So there you have a mediocre review to match.
Oh, why does everything I whip leave me? ~ Homer Simpson
Friday: Night Run – Neighborhood, 30 minutes Yesterday: Singlespeed Ride – Casa del Critters, 1 hour 30 mintues Today: Ride – Ned area?, 2 hours Tomorrow: Off
Ladies and gentlemen… we have broken the 2-week barrier. Despite my recent setbacks, I am feeling strong. Tested the shin on Friday night and it felt great (though, a 30-minute run is really not a hardcore test). I’ll take anything I can get at this point.
I am feeling strong. Tonight’s singlespeed ride was a blast and I hammered up hills that previously I had to push. I went to the chiropractor on Friday and he gave me the thumbs up to start testing out the leg so away I go.
It is pouring down rain here right now (Saturday night post… delayed push due to internet outage) and in two weeks I’ll be approaching Half Moon, roughly 70 miles into the race. Hoping the weather is different then but I plan to move forward whatever gets thrown at me. That is how this past year has been. Roll with the punches and come back swingin’.
I’ll be staying fairly active over the next couple of weeks but with shorter durations and levels of intensity. I had planned to do one more super-long effort but this week was a bitch work-wise. Brad, my first pacer, would like to go up and do Hope Pass so I may go do that one day this week but that would be the toughest effort I would toss in the mix for the remainder of the time until the race. Have to consult my experts on that one.
Movies: We went to see The Simpsons on Friday and it was a lot of fun. Very funny. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was the best movie I have seen but it was certainly a great adaptation from the TV show and it kept things fresh after 20-years of laughs. The team that puts that show together is incredibly talented and I was happy to hear earlier this year that they are planning to bring back Futurama. Great news.
I also watched Lucky Number Slevin. This film started out a bit slowly but then actually became fairly interesting. I had pretty low expectations and, though no masterpiece, was entertained. It had a bit of a Boondock Saints kind of vibe – some decent writing and an ok idea but just not quite as polished as it might have been. Probably worth the watch though.
Ok. My shoes are getting soaked so I guess I’ll be back on the singlespeed tomorrow. Give a shout if you want to join in the fun and/or games.