There are so many things I should have written about this past year — actually more like two years — and I’m super irritated at myself for not having done so. I finished the Dead Horse 50 miler last November. I’ve run tons of incredible new trails that deserved stories … including one where I almost tried to chase a bear. We bought a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon and are totally decking it out as an adventure vehicle. We’ve gone camping to Steamboat Springs, Leadville, Fruita, Zion and even took a road trip to Vegas. My first, and with any luck last time there (yup so surprise that I wasn’t a fan). There was a really shitty month. REALLY shitty. But we’re going to just leave that one in the past.
There really is no sense in crying over missed miles so I’m just going to suck it up and try again. I know I know I know … I decide I’m going to write again. I decide I’m going to train again. So I pick a race, I post on here a few times and then I fall right back into radio silence. You don’t have to believe me when I say this time is going to be different. Hell, I’m not sure I believe me but … this time IS going to be different.
There are some really cool upcoming adventures in the works. There are some really cool ones I’m going to write about even though they have come and gone. So let the Running Trail Tales begin again.
So here’s the high level summary of my Dead Horse training the last two and a half months:
Total planned mileage — 480 Total actual mileage — 316
Well crap. I knew I was a tad bit off but didn’t think the shortage was quite that big until I sat down and actually added up numbers. I suppose that’s why I made a plan that broke down mileage weekly that I could have, and should have, been looking at on a far more regular basis. Oh well. I suck at this set-in-stone training stuff.
Regardless, I’ve had some kick ass fun trail time! I summitted two 14ers; Pike’s Peak and Bierstadt. I ran two 50ks (race reports to come on those soon. No, really I promise. Soon). I climbed the Manitou Incline. And I explored a bunch of new state parks and trails. Yeah I know. I really wanted to take my Dead Horse training seriously but what’s the point if I don’t enjoy the miles along the way. At least that’s the lame excuse I’m making for myself because I should have enjoyed 164 more miles!
Race day is in just a little more than two weeks. So I guess that means I should be in taper. Which is probably a good thing because I’ve also got a cold and feel like total crap. I won’t lie … I’m kinda’ thinking this thing may turn into a DNF but I’m gonna give it all I got.
Two weeks of training done! Like actually done done. Miles hit. No cheating. Well sort of. I swapped Thursday and Friday and a couple miles here and there, but at the end of the week, I had run my planned total of 40. Probably the highest week milage I’ve done since Antelope Canyon 55k in March.
I’m settling into a little bit of a regular schedule already which is nice. Mondays are awesome to have as a rest day. Tuesdays are a super short run so I tend to do those solo. Wednesdays, my mid-week long, I run with a small group first thing in the morning. We usually do a 6.5 mile loop and I tack on after where needed. Thursdays … so far this is my struggle day (I’m even writing this on a Thursday evening and have yet to run today’s miles) but since rest-day Fridays tend to be less chaotic in my world, I keep it as backup. Saturday long I can usually find group run options and Sundays there’s always someone looking as well.
This past Saturday, however, I had no takers on company. Seemed most everyone around here was running Leadville, crewing Leadville, pacing Leadville or spectating Leadville. With 16 on my day, I decided to get creative and leave from my house in waves. Five miles with Quesa, our bulldog boxer mix. Four miles with Relic, my little man border collie and my daughter Sierra (yup. successfully getting her out there again). Five miles with Ellie, our border mix, and Sierra’s bf Kenzie. And the final two with Hendrix, our non-running, couch potato white swiss shepherd mix. I couldn’t have asked for a better hodge-podge mix of running partners.
Sunday I ventured to new-to-me Roxborough State Park with a couple running friends. There are so many trail options around here I seriously think I could do a different one every weekend. I can’t imagine ever not being in total awe of where I live and run.
This past week started my official training for the Dead Horse 50 mile. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked off an actual plan and I’ve got to give myself kudos for hitting it pretty damn close. I really wanted to get eight on Sunday but I ran with my kid’s boyfriend and he only wanted five so we compromised. It was either that or run alone and though I’m improving on the self-kicks-in-the-ass, I still prefer company.
Here’s the summary of mileage — planned and actual
And some basic stats: Tuesday — Evergreen Mountain, 778 feet of elevation gain, 14:52 pace Wednesday — Elk Meadow, 719 feet of elevation gain, 13:41 pace Thursday — Flying J, 922 feet of elevation gain, 13:21 pace Saturday — Lair O’ The Bear, 1,686 feet of elevation gain, 15:12 pace Sunday — Lair O’ The Bear, 896 feet of elevation gain, 14:12 pace
My pace is super slow these days. Granted I’m running trails that require a fair bit of uphill hiking and most of these runs include a variety of doggie stops (pausing for bikes, poop breaks, etc) but I would like to up the speed a bit. Dead Horse has 4,500 feet and, I think, a 12.5-hour time limit so though there’s no need to be speed racer, I don’t want to even risk not making any of the cut-off points.
And here are some pictures from the week:
And my absolute favorite pic.
This was at Lair O’ The Bear which is one of the many nearby parks. I’ve only run it a handful of times and there’s a side trail that I’ve always wanted to try and I’m so happy we did. We found such an incredible view at the top. Man I love where I live and run.
Guess what I did. I made a training plan for the Dead Horse 50 miler! Yes an actual plan. Like days and weeks and stuff that include how many miles I’m hoping to … I mean I’m planning to … I mean I’m GOING to run! I even registered for a 50k in September to use as a training run.
It’s funny how things change. I used to be ridiculously OCD when it came to training. I followed plans. I avoided certain foods and alcohol, and I certainly never ever shorted the Garmin. #parkinglotlaps But somewhere between road and trail I turned a little type B. I stopped picking clothes and pre-filling the hydration bladder the night before a long run. I drank beer the night before a race. Hell I drank beer mid-race in a few. And I kinda liked it. At least during the “training part”. But come race day I missed goals. I hurt. I failed. And it sucked. So this training stuff is going to be a challenge but I’m ready.
My plan officially started today and I stuck right to it! Good thing day one was a rest day.
Sixteen weeks until Dead Horse. Let the fun begin.
I wanted to write this post on my birthday but somehow I got distracted … for two weeks. I figured an annual milestone is always the perfect place to make life goals and adjustments. Actually the only thing I find more asinine and cliche is to do so on New Year’s Eve but at this point I’ll try anything to get my butt back in gear.
I need some accountability. Because apparently I’m not a good enough self-motivator these days. That said there are two things that typically get my ass in gear; sheer embarrassment and an over-achieving race. I know I just registered for the tri in a few weeks but I can fake my way through that one. So, that said, today I registered for a 50-mile race in November and this week I’m starting to actually track mileage. Thankfully my friend Miriam gave me super cute training journal for my birthday! Maybe, I’ll actually even make a training plan (WHAT?! Who am I?).
This past weekend I paced and crewed my friend Sandy at a 100-mile attempt. She ran this same race, Long Haul, last year as her first hundred and I was honored to be a part of that crew as well. She’s had a couple rough race attempts lately including a DNF on a hundred a few weeks ago so Long Haul was a last minute redemption decision for her and I cleared my calendar as soon as she told me. Given I’m not sure my body will ever allow me to finish a 100-mile race, crewing is the next best way for me to still be a part of them. Continue reading “Little Red Wagon: A Long Haul Recap”