It's here. It creeped up on me BIG TIME, but I think I'm ready. Or as ready as one can get as one approaches the start line of their first 50-mile race. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions and they've been busy with a ton of little errands but I've somehow managed to keep running.
Last weekend I hit the trails with Sam over at Indian Peaks Wilderness. We had thought of doing a loop that included Devil's Thumb Pass but we were both attempting it on pretty tired legs and the weather was slowly creeping up on us, so we decided to turn around a half a mile (or so) away from the top of the pass. It's days like today that I'm reminded I'm only human though... I felt tired from training so hard for months, for running long and mostly from life. And it's runs like that, that get me totally freaked out about a 50-mile race. I wanted to die in this 14-mile trail run and yet, I'm supposed to run 50 miles in two weeks. BLEH. Sam did say something that is very true: you need a crappy run two weeks before your big day to realize that YOU NEED TO TAPER and that TAPER IS GOOD. And while "slowing down" my training freaks me out too, it was good to feel that my legs needed to slow down if I wanted them to be fresh for the race.
|Indian Peaks Wilderness never disappoints|
The scenery was gorgeous though, so I won't dwell on the difficulty of this run, but I was remembered that if you want to run trails in Colorado you have to either go up or down and Indian Peaks is steep and very rocky. I had a pretty fun day with Sam followed by a big barbecue meal in Ned.
|So tired... taking a break.|
|Sam and I at the top of Missouri Pass|
We then put on our running clothes back on and went on to the top of Missouri Pass. The views from the top of the pass were absolutely amazing... and I'm constantly reminded of why I now trail run vs road run. Once we took a million and one photos we ran back down to the car and drove straight to Mango's in Red Cliff. I know, not your typical chain restaurant in a big City. Red Cliff is this pretty awesome small town between Minturn and Leadville on US24. It's a pretty cute mountain town and after driving through it we found our amazing lunch spot. One of the best bloody mary's I've had was there. I housed two with some appetizers and a quesadilla that had no chicken (thank goodness to actual mexican quesadillas), but had mushrooms and jalapenos and avocado... yum.
On my drive back home from Vail, I got NAILED with hail. It was actually funny, how it started raining, then in a heartbeat it changed to downpour and all of a sudden I felt something hitting my head hard: HAIL. It hurt. I managed to pull over at Vail Pass rest area, let the storm pass and keep on driving. It all happened in 10mins... the sun, the rain, hail, rainbows and getting back in my car to drive home. It was like Colorado is pregnant and is going through pretty insane mood swings.
I laughed HARD for a bit... who cares? It's just a bit of water and it was fun. I was pretty chilly most the way home, mostly cause I was soaked.
|10mins later - bad idea|
With this kind of weekend, who has time to actually THINK about my race coming up in 5 days? Hmm... I guess I did think about it. I read 4 or 5 race reports from random blogs of people that ran it in previous years and chatted with my ultra-runner boss for a bit. He gave me good pointers and I learned a bit more about the trail.