Two weekend's ago, you might recall I did a little 4000' uphill race (it's here, in case you missed it and can't go to sleep until you do).
|Don't be fooled...those little uphill "peaks" really were miserable when your|
quads were programmed to go extreme downhill
But this race is anything but easy; as my quivering quads can attest 3 days post race - I'm still walking like a 90-year old geriatric who just ran an 100 mile ultra marathon. For a race I didn't actually want to "race" for fear of not being able to move for many days after, I seem to have accomplished exactly what I didn't want to - sheer post race pain. Running where you rapidly lose elevation and you're having to put on the brakes with that large quadricep muscle in the front of your leg will do this I guess - no matter what pathetic pace you run. .
Though Mt. Evan's race didn't really leave me sore, it left me really tired. Add that I have a really tough high altitude trail race next weekend, I did not want to run this race hard and destroy my body; I just wanted to run the first 5-6 at tempo pace and then use the remaining mileage as recovery and enjoy the miles along some gorgeous (and so far un-burnt!) scenery. I had a goal of 2:00 - 2:05....and though I came in exactly where I planned (2:03:somethingoranother), I did anything BUT enjoy this thing.
We can mostly thank Mother Nature's desire to burn down half of Colorado for most of this:
Ryan was running the race also. He started pre-season summer training last week so his coach told him to just tempo run it, nothing really hard. Ryan's dad drove us both up, he was going to bike while we raced...this was actually a godsend because we didn't have to ride the bus to the start line. I did the bus thing one other year and queasy-stomach me got a little motion sickness before the start. I texted fellow bloggers Cynthia and Kathy to see if they wanted rides up to the start, but Cynthia wasn't there yet so Kathy and her crew all piled in my car and we had some fun girl chats along the way.
The race started at the base of Loveland Ski area. Not a spec of snow in sight on the slopes (see weather forecast above).
One of the highlights of the day was sporting pink port-a-janes at the startline. Let me tell you ladies, these puppies were awesome.....there was no urinal with pee splattered everywhere like male-infested regular port-a-johns. How refreshing....as far as port-a-potties goes.
We line up for the start and it's hot! At 8am at 10,836' high. I knew it was going to be a rough day for me as the sun rose up over the mountains and started baking the valley quickly. Me and heat are not good friends.
Mile 1: Total dust ball run. It was a narrow path and on a dirt trail and dust is flying everywhere from runners in front (in addition to being a hundred billion degrees, Colorado also has not seen rain since about 1993). Ugh. So gross. I was worried about Ryan and his asthma - which is exacerbated by dust - but hoped he was well ahead of the thick pack I seemed to be stuck in.
Miles 2-5ish: This section used to be a continuation of the dirt path from mile one but now is a paved bike path. (I've run it many times for training...the pic you see in the upper right corner "about me" - and the one that shows up as my profile in comments - is taken on this once dirt section). It's narrow but the crowds are thining some and I could quickly get a decent pace going. It's also very shaded with all the tall pine trees so I didn't really feel the heat. Yet. But I felt fairly awful. I had a horrible headache and my stomach was bothering me some and my over-zealous 8:40 pace felt miserable. I think mile 4-5 I felt pretty decent, but I knew it wasn't going to last... I just had one of those feelings where you can tell early on it was going to end poorly. You know what I mean, I'm sure.
Mile 5: The paved bike path ends and you now hop on a paved service road. Totally exposed to the blazing sun. And a climb up what feels like Mt. Evans last week. I decided 5 miles at faster-than-tempo pace was more than enough and I walked through the water station up the hill and poured massive amounts of water on me.
Miles 6-12.5: Somewhere around mile 6 I mentally checked out of this race. I didn't feel good - at all - and my head was screaming. I swore if I saw someone drive by I was going to thumb a ride. But the road was close to traffic and no cars were coming to save me. I decided about mile 8ish that I just needed to let go how bad I felt and just slow the hell down and start taking in the views...drowning in sweat or not.
|Thank you whomever I stole this off the Internet from|
|Railroad bridge in the distance....see it?|
Miles 12.5 - 13.1: The heat's beating the crap out of me and I'm really sick of this race by now. I've run 2000' downhill and my quads are screaming they really hated me, then you hit the last section of town which is either flat or uphill - pick your poison. I'm sure I was pretty dehydrated, even drinking 6 billion cups of water and Gatorade (badly dehydrated, actually - indicative by some issues later in the day that you really don't want to know about - trust me!). I glanced at my watch and knew I could run a sub-2 hour if I wanted to kick it in. And probably I should have - but I didn't really give a damn right now. In fact, I cared so little that I just walked in the rest of the race and was perfectly okay with my 2:03.
I saw Kathy and her group of friends after I crossed and chatted with them a bit, then Cynthia came up and we talked some, too. Good to hear about everyone's races....many of them placed in their age groups and raced well (aka: everyone but me!). I needed to find Ryan in the sea of 2000 sweaty finishers so I wandered off from the group and found him sitting on the benches down the road.
He had hoped to run about a 1:35 but ended with a 1:38 (thanks again, Mother Nature)....but excitedly, placed 2nd in his age group.
After I ate a Popsicle and some grapes, I felt a little better but as we stood around waiting for Ryan's award, I realized I hadn't been re-hydrating and I suddenly felt really sick again and light headed....I had to sit down instantly and once Ryan got his award,we high-tailed it out of town. It would have been fun to stick around some and talk to the girls and see if we won any of the numerous drawings they were giving away...but at that point, I'd have gladly PAID 10x the price tag of the free giveaways just to go home.
We piled into the car and I begged for a some cold Gatorade so we stopped at a gas station before hitting the highway home. I was having more stomach issues (yay!) and so while I was taking care of that matter, Ryan suddenly felt nauseous and the second I got back to the car, he barfed all over the gas station's sidewalk. On his running shoes. Awesome. He actually had the audacity to try to get back in the car - puke infested shoes still on feet. I really came close to losing it and told him the shoes go in the trash (thankfully, they were on their last treads anyway) and socks, too, if he wanted to ride in my car on the way home. Really...do 16-year old boys have many brain cells? It was so nasty. I still own him, so he thankfully chose the trash can for the shoes and socks!
I curled up in the back of my car, grateful for the ride home, and slept the whole way home and felt a heck of a lot better after a nice cold shower! Ahhhhh!
It was actually a good day, despite my fate. I got in a great tempo run. I got to meet up with some fun ladies. I got to run along some beautiful Colorado roads. Ryan got an awesome AG placement and medal. I was reminded I must hydrated like a madwoman in the heat. And my quads got a killer workout. Sometimes races teach us more about ourselves than a displayed clock time....this race was definitely about the experience and I am so grateful for it.
|Yes, a dog tag for a medal. I'm not going to complain...it was a free race and|
I obviously got in a good workout, indicative how sore I was after :)
Ahhhhh, well, there IS a big purpose behind doing these two races....this weekend I'll be attacking this little trail gem in Leadville:
The Leadville Heavy Half race. It should be interesting to see how this race unfolds in the next few days. You may have heard that our entire state is practically one big fireball; and though Leadville is essentially in the clear, there is a fire not too far and I heard they may re-route us so we don't go to that tippy-top peak in the center of the profile. Oh darn!!!! I'll let you know next week how it goes....either way, I've done the work - I'm ready (sort of!).