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.
I didn’t feel so bad ’til the sun went down. ~ The White Stripes
Headed out to the Res around dusk to run with Chase during his 24-Hours of Boulder effort. I just missed him when I arrived so got to spend some time with his lovely wife, “Saralee” while we waited for him to come back around. It was a beautiful night without a cloud in the sky. Perfect weather for a run.
Chase’s other crew member, Duane, had headed out “just to the top of the hill” and ended up doing a full lap. Nice work off the couch, Duane! I took over pacing once they returned to base camp and we headed out across the dam for the first of two laps (for me).
The course is an out/back that starts on pavement by the main Res center, runs east past the boat dock, across the dam then back west across the spillway and up to the north-side trailhead where it turns around at the second aid station (adorned last night with many great jack-o-lanterns) and heads back. Pretty cool in that you get to see the front-runners hauling ass on what is really a very flat, fast course. Chase was spinning great splits during my stint as pacer and we alternated running/walking for 3.5 hours or so.
I hung up my shoes after 2 full laps (15+ miles), defrosted my thoroughly dysfunctional hands (why I didn’t wear my gloves is beyond me) and headed home. Chase had completed 9 laps (64+ miles) when I left. He was gunning for a full 100 miles and was still on track at midnight. Hoping to hear more later today and I’ll post information when I get it.
All in all, it was fun to get out for a nighttime run with a bunch of other lunatics. If you have never taken some part in a 24-hour, lap-style event, you should give it a whirl sometime: as spectator, crew, pacer, team member or solo runner. They are a lot more spectator-friendly than traditional ultra events for sure.
UPDATE: Just got word that Chase did 12 laps, 85.7 miles total. Hung it up at about 6:00 this morning after 21 hours. Had visible bruises on the soles of his feet – Yikes! Nice job, Chase. That is a proud effort, rolling all but about 22 miles of that solo.