Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Six Mile Week

I'm wrapping up a recovery week, it's been nice to have the extra time to do things.

This week I did two easy bike rides of 10 and 20 miles, two runs totaling 6 miles, 5 of which were in this morning's run, went to the sauna once, finished Rocket (thanks to Dennis), and had a birthday party for Iris, who turns 11 today.
It was weird to be in the sauna again, it's been 10 months! But it was relaxing. I did 30 minutes this first time, which wasn't bad. I felt like staying longer, but I didn't need to. I want to get some heat training in before South Dakota, and it's probably a good idea because this year is looking to be a hot one everywhere. With my plans for Lean Horse in August, and just being out on the Badwater course in July, a little heat training will help. It's already been 110 in Death Valley and it's only mid-May. My stepmom said it was supposed to be 105 in Phoenix when I talked to her today. Last year I remember I went down to train in the heat and it didn't hit 100+ until June.

We had pupcakes from Arfy's for Iris and Isabelle, for Iris's birthday. The girls sang Happy Birthday, and Iris blew out her own candle, she's so talented. I was trying to take a video and forgot to snap a few pictures, but Isabelle's birthday is coming up in July and we'll have pupcakes again.

The other thing I did this weekend was go up to Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park to check out the Quad Rock 50 and 25 mile runs. This is Fort Collins' first real trail ultra race, unless you count the Blue Sky 50km race that is also a trail marathon, that has been going for a few years. Not to say that a 50Km isn't a legitimate ultra, but having a 50 mile race is a big deal for this area, we've never had one up here before. Nick Clark and Pete Stevenson were the main forces behind this event and it looked like they did a superb job. I heard lots of runners saying good things about it and that they'd want to come back and run it again, even those who struggled with it this year.

The weather was probably perfect running conditions for many of the runners. It was on the cool side, only hit a high of 49 degrees in Fort Collins all day, and the course is on terrain that is 1000-2000 feet higher than town. It was overcast and I heard there was some snow on the higher elevations of the course. If the weather was following it's recent pattern it would have been close to 40 degrees warmer and then it would have been a bit more difficult. The cold weather also kept the snakes away. May is unpredictable in Colorado, you can have any conditions from blizzards to extreme heat, so I think the weather gods were smiling on this race.

They had a 50 miler and a 25 miler. The 50 was two loops of the 25 mile course with the second one done in reverse. It took runners on a variety of trails throughout both parks, with 5500' elevation gain and descent on each loop. That's 11,000 feet gain and descent on the 50, which qualifies it as a very challenging 50 miler. The aid stations looked well-stocked, and while the cold weather seemed to take everyone by surprise, I saw the aid station on the south end providing hot drinks for the runners when they came through at 40 miles.

I think this event puts Fort Collins on the ultra map as a having a legitimate ultra destination run. We have so many great trails and scenic places to run, it's going to catch on fast as a popular race. While I was out there I wished I was up to running trails enough that I could have participated in the 25 miler. Maybe by next year. People seemed to be coming into the finish area happy and I didn't hear any griping. I hope Nick and Pete are happy about the result because putting on a race is such a huge effort, it's a commitment, and they did a fantastic job. Once you put on a first time event and it's successful, people want to come back. I think this one is going to be big.

I go back to work tomorrow, and I need to get my butt back in gear. Only 5 weeks to the Double Mick. Next weekend Ed and Dale and I are going to hook up for a planning session and a test run with Rocket. When I ran today I felt good, just a little soreness in that right knee after 4 1/2 miles, and I came home and iced it.

The weather is supposed to warm up this week again. Bring it on!

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