Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting ready for TransRockies

It's been a while since I posted... and while TransRockies is now a memory, there were a few big weekends that helped me prep for this one big week. I won't spoil the story just yet though, so first, I will tell you all about my biggest training week pre-TransRockies Run (TRR).

Machine Courtney and I had been planning this for months! As she was prepping for Ouray 100 and I was prepping for TRR we decided to have a big "training camp" and head up to the mountains, just the two of us, and run... and then run some more.

Chuck and I headed up to the condo in Avon on Thursday July 3rd in the evening. We caught the 4th of July firework show in Avon (which was on the 3rd) and still went to bed fairly early. Court arrived Friday morning. Without further ado, we started out run #1 of the weekend:

Summer Training Camp Run #1: 
Since Court arrived on Friday, we decided to stay "in town" and not drive anywhere to save time. Per Chuck's advice, we went straight up "the rock" behind the condo and along the ridge until the trail dumped us in Beaver Creek... yeah, that was pretty hard! It was a gain of 1,000ft over the first mile. It was basically a climb on all 4's.

Regardless, once at the ridge, the views were outstanding...

Views of Avon from the top of "The Rock" 
The run on the ridge was no walk in the park. I was hoping it'd be a little more rolling, and a little less uphill. It was mostly uphill. We eventually dropped into Beaver Creek where we decided to continue to go up a service road. I turned around sooner while Court went a little longer. In the end, my run was 10 miles (the first 3 miles were so hard, I figured I'd save the legs a bit for day 2.

Summer Training Camp Run #2: 
On Saturday, we left the condo early and drove all the way to Leadville. I had suggested we did the marathon course all over again. Not sure why I thought MAYBE Courtney would say no, but the thing is... she NEVER says no. The course was too fresh in my mind and I was scared. We went for it anyway. We cut off the road part of it (3/4 of a mile) and were aiming for a 25 mile run. It started pretty good and I was taking it WAY easier than on race day. As we went on, it was time to go up towards Mosquito, I  told Court to tag the summit and turn around and I'd turn around when she got to me. She wasn't far ahead of me so I ended up dragging her back up so I could tag it again. It was chilly up top but as we started going down, it started getting hot.

At the top of Mosquito Pass
We were out of water and I was doing everything I could to try and get water from random tourists. In the end, after 7 hours and no more water, we decided to turn around and cut our run short. Instead of the 25 miles we'd planned, we ended up running 23. Not bad. We were exhausted and extremely dehydrated. The rest of the evening consisted in lots of beers including a trip to Eagle, CO to check out Bonfire Brewery.

Summer Training Camp Run #3: 
Our last day, we decided to go after the Vail Uphill half marathon course. It starts at Golden Peak runs straight up to the top of the mountain (Top of Chair 4) and then traverses out back to finish at the top of the Gondola (the old one). I was surprised to still have the legs to do a decent run/walk the whole way up. Once at the top, I was sketched out by the clouds which looked stormy. I convinced Courtney to just run down as opposed to staying on the ridge. We did... Once again, the views coming down (when you're not facing the mountain) were amazing. The wildflowers were going off with all the rain we've gotten over the past few months!

Views from the top of Vail
Our run ended up being 15 miles which added up to a good 50 miles over the 3 days. Not bad at all if you add it to the 20 I had done earlier in the week. The rest of the day, we spent chilling at the condo after a big big breakfast with bloody mary's.

I started the weekend trying to focus on "hot spots" or potential blisters. I tried to focus on nutrition both during and after the run as I prepped for a run the following day. I focused on potential aches and pains that would trigger after long back-to-back runs... aside from one hot spot, nothing huge happened. After this weekend, I felt slightly more confident that TransRockies was within reach for me.

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