Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 2015 Mileage: Exactly what I needed.

March.  Finally, a good month, running-wise.

The snow started to melt (although everyone tells me we will still get a few more snow storms).


FullSizeRender Cathy Fromme Natural Area

The muddy Pineridge Trails dried up enough so that they could be reopened, and I saw some deer again.


One morning just as the sun was rising, I heard a rush of hooves behind me, and all of a sudden there were 9 deer that seemed to be all around me.  They leapt up onto the rocky ridge and kept running, although every so often they would stop to look back at me, as if to wait for me to catch up and make sure I was still there.  This went on for several minutes before we turned our separate ways.  One of the coolest things ever. 

Most of the various injuries that had been nagging me throughout January and February felt a little bit better.  I decided to attempt a preview of the Horsetooth Half Marathon course (which I am running in April), even though I wasn’t sure my dodgy knee could take all the hills.

IMG 4831Horsetooth half marathon map

OMG, I loved it.  Loved it.  I’ve run up Centennial Drive before, but never beyond the second dam.  The course was, as the website contends, spectacular.

The following weekend, the running club was doing a group run up Redstone Canyon Road, and Rob suggested that this might be something I would like.  He said it was a dirt road, mostly uphill, (those are the two things I love) and that was all I needed to hear.  I’d never done a run with this group before, and in general, I have a great fear of running with other people since we moved to Colorado because I am so slow that, no joke, octogenarians have passed me on the trail.  But Rob encouraged me to try this, so I did.

It was pretty chill hanging out and meeting the other runners before we got started, and then a world-famous ultra runner pulled up.  I thought, I am waaaaaay out of my league.  I didn’t expect to be able to stay with the group as we ran up the canyon, but I was okay with that because I knew we were just running straight up the road and straight back down, so there was no way to get lost.  

We took off, and to my surprise, the run felt comfortable and everybody stayed together.  I had no trouble keeping up.  The aforementioned world-famous ultra runner had done a 38 mile training run the day before, so this was a taking-it-easy day for him.  Everybody chatted the whole time, and it was great.  It’s been so long since I’ve had a group to run with that I’d forgotten how much I love it.  I never felt like I was pushing it too hard on the run, but looking at my splits afterwards, I ran a lot faster than I would have on my own.  

IMG 4888IMG 4889

After putting in another decent week of mileage, I wanted to run the Horsetooth Half course again.  No better way to prepare myself for those monstrous hills than practice them, right?  

I took a few pictures this time:

FullSizeRender Horsetooth in the distance, and the reservoir


FullSizeRender After the 3rd dam on Centennial Drive, the course is mainly a descent to Bingham Road, and it is heart-achingly beautiful.


FullSizeRender Horses.


I had gotten a late start to my run that day because Rob took the morning shift for a group trail run somewhere in the mountains.  When I left, I hadn’t realized how hot it was, or how cloudless.  I had thankfully thought to put sunscreen on my tattoo, but nowhere else, and I could tell that I was starting to burn.  I knew I would pay for it later, but at the moment it just felt so good to be running in the heat again after my first Colorado winter.

Maybe it was because I was so hot, or the fact that I had not eaten properly before the run, or my general state of exhaustion, but it was around this time that I had the overwhelming sensation I was running near the isthmus on Ometepe.  I looked over my shoulder expecting to see Volcan Conception, but instead I saw this:



FullSizeRender What about for runners?


IMG 4922 Reposting this exquisite elevation profile. Love it.

March has shaped up to be a decent month, and I’ve finally started thinking about the future.  Very high on my radar is the Rocky Mountain Ultra, a 50K near Laramie on Memorial Day Weekend.  The website is kind of sketchy, but I know someone who’s run the event, so it’s real.  

It also occurred to me that I would like to run a marathon sometime this summer, as a training run for the Bear Chase 50M, which I hope to do again in September.  My top marathon choice would be Steamboat, but it is only 2 weeks after the Rocky Mountain Ultra, which isn't ideal.  Then I discovered the Bear Lake Endurance Challenge.  Three marathons, three days, three states (Idaho, Utah, Wyoming).  It falls at a good time for me (June 19-21) and doesn’t conflict with anything in Rob’s race schedule.  I thought maybe I could run the Idaho race (80% dirt road), and then we could continue on to the Tetons and Yellowstone for a little family camping trip.

But then I was thinking, what if I ran two of the races instead of just one.  What if I ran Utah the day after Idaho?  I’ve never done something like that before. The idea is becoming more and more intriguing.  I think the safe thing to do would be just run the one race in Idaho, but we’ll see.  I increased my mileage significantly in March and managed to keep the injuries at bay.  If I can continue to run like this in April and May, it might be possible.  At least, it’s something to consider.

Screen Shot 2015 04 01 at 6 52 48 PM

151.19 miles in March. 342.24 YTD.  I’m about 85 miles up from the awful place where I was at this time in 2014, and millions of light years away.

Thanks for reading. 


Anonymous said...

awesome pictures!! even if YOU can't have any apples!!! take a horse next time maybe! if you. decide to run 3 marathons back to back PUH LEEEEEEZE. dont tell me 😳. luv you mama

amypfan said...

You are amazing, woman.