Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' - Muhammad Ali

While everyone is used to seeing photos, and hearing stories about my mountain adventures, I figured it might be a good time to explain why there haven't been any updates lately. Snow continues to fall in the mountains, and rain is filling our city trails, streets, and streams. The snow is great. Coulior season will be around longer, skiing is still happening, and plenty of time to work on glissading and rope travel for my 2016 goals.

Instead, I've been booking it around Denver/Boulder in my new running shoes. You see, it's training time. Normally, I sign up for races, and forget about them until a few weeks prior. I get in a couple of 3-5 mile runs beforehand, and call it good. I just enjoy the thrill of race day, but my next race is different. When you sign up for something like the Leadville Heavy Half, you begin to realize training is part of actually finishing.

I'm not sure if "heavy" is meant to include the extra miles, the elevation gain, or the fact that this race weighs heavy on your mind for months prior, but to say the least, it's adequately named. So, for the first time, I'm actually training for something. I will force myself to run 5 miles at 6am, or in the pouring rain and/or muddy mess of a trail. It really isn't easy to stay motivated to keep up the miles, and to be honest I'm behind schedule right now.

First up, the Run Regardless of Conditions Race. The Cherry Creek Sneak was 5 miles in low 40 degree temps, with pouring rain. My running partner and I tried to signup for a free Ragnar raffle at the after run expo, at this point we realized our bodies were so cold, we were not capable of holding a pen to write with.

Drenched everything. My shoes took several days to dry.

9 minute flat pace - Personal Record (PR) at the time.

Next up, Intro to Trail Running. I started out by Red Rocks, but have been favoring Boulder/Eldorado Springs more. I woke up on a Saturday morning after a week of rain, and knew that regardless of it all, I needed 8 miles that day. If my running partner hadn't been there, it would have been maybe 3 miles.

One of the things I hate the most. Wet shoes. Add mud, and I really, really don't like it.

But, you have to do it because you don't want to not finish in Leadville

Followed by Multitasking on weekdays. Thursdays have become non-stop schedule days. Work, climbing gym, run club, softball game, and end it all with a sound nights sleep. Last week I needed a longer run during the week, so I ran 3 miles before run club. Then, I joined everyone else and ran another 3. Yep, 6 miles on a Thursday before scarfing down some random item from the food truck, and heading off to softball. I was regrettably 5 minutes late to softball.

Thankfully, one of the other run clubbers is also training, so I hit a new PR last week.

Catch a few In Between Races, this gets your mind set on race day mode. You can try out different meals before and after, to see what produces the best results. Unfortunately, I did not hit the 8:30 something race pace I was hoping for, but I did hi-five a lot of kids at the Bolder Boulder 10K. This is probably one of the funnest races I have experienced. This was my third year.

Gosh darnit! I really wanted that 8:30 something pace.
This really is an awesome race to run. You should join me next year.
I guess I was more into hi-fiving kids, and eating bacon or marshmallows on mile 3.
The fun times were worth it though.

They say Colorado has 310 sunny days a year, but very few of them were in May. With weeks of continuous rain, today's sunshine feels foreign and unusual. When you have this view right out of the elevator, you just want to run back to the car and head for mountains. Adventures await. The mountains are calling, and I must go.

Oh wait, I can't. I have to train. 25 Days to go: Leadville Heavy Half.