The difference between running in the mountains and everywhere else? April 21st - to run I wore shoes, socks, shorts and a long sleeve tee. April 23rd - I wore waterproof running shoes, two pairs of socks, gaiters, waterproof pants, long sleeve tee, waterproof wind jacket, gloves, beanie and a headlamp. Mountain running is the shit.
I ran in a wet blizzard today. Snowing sideways, at times, I ran from the house to Tree Haus and down River Road, back to Hwy 40 and home for the six mile loop at an easy pace. Finished running after 1:04. Ten minute miles or so. My legs are still somewhat thrashed after running Howelsen Hill the other day, so I didn't run yesterday and just hiked with the dogs. Tomorrow or Sunday should be my last long run before CPTR but I think I'm going to opt for easy, middle distance running and begin my taper. I think I've been ramping up fairly hard and I could use a little more recovery before next Saturday. I just looked at the race course on Google Earth and it looks pretty legit. Better to err on the side of being too rested than overtrained and injury prone.
The more I think about HOW I want to run the race, my line of thought goes something like this: I want to FINISH running but I don't really care if I run the entire race. I'm sure I will hike any of the steep hills. Primarily, though, I want to limit any walking to the first half of the race. I'm going to run very easy to the first Aid Station and gauge my pace at each subsequent Aid Station. Downhills I will probably run fast because I always do. (I can never contain myself. It's fun!) I don't have a concrete goal time-wise. My last two marathons were over 15 years ago and I was about a 3:40 marathoner back then. This is my first trail 25-miler, it's at an average elevation of 9000' and has 4,700' of elevation change, so I think between 4 and 5 hours is realistic. If it looks like I can break 4 hours, though, I will race hard to try to accomplish that. It's hard to know how I'll run those last 10 miles. By comparison, I finished my first 50 miler in 11:48 but that race had close to 11,000' of elevation change. The NF Endurance Challenge had 10 climbs of 1000'. Collegiate Peaks has only 1 climb that big. How will I do? Idon't know, but it's going to be fun finding out!
After this race, I have two months of fastpacking/free running on my weekends before I race again (Tahoe Rim Trail 50K, July 17th!). I have three runs in particular that I hope to accomplish in those 10 weeks. First, in Silverthorne, I want to summit Ptarmigan Peak and back to the trailhead (8 miles and +3500')and then, in the same day, go circumnavigate Buffalo Mountain (about 13 miles of rolling treed wilderness). Next, I want to do an epic 2 day, 40+ miler in the Mt. of the Holy Cross Wilderness near Vail. Finally, outside Aspen, I'm going to run the Conundrum Trail up and over Triangle Pass and down to the Gothic Wilderness Area on the Crested Butte side, and back, in a single day. That's a cool marathon distance that goes over 12,000' with natural hot springs to soak in along the way. Right now, I expect to do these trips solo, but I'm down for anyone to join me! If you want to hike and meet at designated points to camp or run along, let me know and we can make some plans. The scenery is guaranteed to be off the chain.