With no further ado...
- July 2014
- Hardrock Pacing: Having been humbled by the mountains on the HR100 course in 2010, it was with great trepidation that I agreed to pace Sharpie for 30-35 miles of the course last summer. At minimum it was a good motivator to up my mileage in hopes of being at least somewhat prepared for what laid ahead. At the end of the day, pacing ended up being a rewarding and inspiring experience... especially when Mr. Sharp ended up snagging a huge PR! (I'd like to think I had a little to do with it...). It was a physical and emotional roller coaster for 18 hours through rivers and rain and lightning and snow and heat, and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. At one point in the race (after going through the night, and facing certain death in a lightning storm at 12,000ft) I was so overwhelmed by the magnificence of my surroundings that tears began welling up. The only other time this happened was en route to my first Leadville finish in 2009! I can honestly say, my love for running and the mountains fully returned while on that course, and I will continue to have deep reverence for the San Juans and the Hardrock course until the day I am both fit enough and fortunate enough to toe the line of that race again.
- White River 50: Several weeks after the above mentioned experience, I returned to Washington for my first ultra-marathon since September 2012. As my last blog post indicated, my goal was primarily to finish, and I was thinking sub-10 was a reasonable goal. When all was said and done, I finished in 9:21.xx, no worse for wear, and was officially able to call myself an ultra-runner again!
- August 2014
- Pikes Peak Ascent/Leadville Pacing: August 16th was a full day. I finished my 5th Pikes Peak Ascent (1st time since 2009) on that day, and was there to see Holly finish her first! My time of 3:33.37 was my 2nd slowest ever, but a PR wasn't a concern as I was equally excited for my return to Leadville later that evening. Around 8:00pm my pacing duties for 100 mile rookie Tyson Nunn began. I was to take him through the final 24 miles of the course from the new Fish Hatchery aid station to the finish. Personally, I've never had a good experience from Mayqueen (13 miles to go) to the finish, but after my DNF at mile 97 in 2012, I needed to be there for Tyson and keep him going (and prove to myself that I can fight off the sleep deprivation, discomfort, and desire to quit) and finish strong! I'm happy to report both of us were able to successfully pull through and get Tyson a big buckle in 24:00 flat.
- High Altitude Beer Mile: Unofficially, Carson Rickey, Liz Sanchez and myself completed the inaugural Pikes Peak Beer Mile on the 14,110 ft summit of Pikes Peak. As usual, I vomited and it turned into a Beer 1.25 mile after the penalty lap, but the experience was awesome none-the-less. Somebody needs to call Guinness...
What this resulted in was a 100-degree suffer-fest and my slowest marathon time ever. Granted, it was on trails, it was hot, and the course had lots of climbing & descending, but regardless, it's never a good idea to run a marathon with a total of 7 runs under your belt in the 8 weeks leading up to it. Lesson learned.
The rest of 2014 was focused on moving and making our new house a home. By late December, the dust had settled enough in our lives to enable me to focus on exercise & running again...
- 2015 (so far)
- I have run every day since December 23rd, 2014 which will make my run after work this evening my 100th consecutive day!
- Due to this consistency, I'm beginning to get some speed back. While my endurance is still lacking, I've managed the following this month:
- 18:41 5k (35 seconds off my PR)
- 4:56 mile (PR, but downhill-aided)
- I'm signed up for the Desert Rats 50 Miler in Fruita, Colorado on April 18th. I ran this event in 2009 and 2010 with a personal best of 8:49 on the course. I honestly believe 8:30 is a reasonable goal this go-around.
- No Leadville in my future*. I'm pretty sure I'm the only individual who wasn't selected in this year's inaugural lottery. This is actually quite disappointing since I was hoping Pb 2015 would be my return to the 100 mile distance...
- (*If I run well at Fruita and continue building strength, I am wildly considering trying to win a spot in Leadville by placing high enough at the Silver Rush 50. I've never wanted to race this event before, but if it's my only "hail mary" last-ditch chance to get in, I'd consider giving it a shot. This will mostly depend on my conditioning... if things continue the way they're going, it might be a solid bet.)
Until next time...