Scatter my ashes here...

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

Friday, March 7, 2008

My Friend, The Rock

This week I didn't have a lot of time to run. I only had three days when I wasn't at work, and lots of errands to do.

I felt better after taking it easy last week and I went out Monday for 16 miles hard with some fast quarter miles on the bike path. Tried to get those around 7 minute per mile pace. That's my "speedwork" for the week.

Tuesday and Wednesday at work were stressful days and I felt completely exhausted Thursday morning. I planned to do about 20 each day, Thursday and Friday. First thing Thursday I took the dogs for a short run, then drove to the foothills.

My favorite place to park has glass all over the parking lot, someone has been breaking into cars up there. There was a sign posted "frequent break-ins" and the number for the Ft. Collins police dept. That morning I decided not to risk it, I didn't need to deal with someone breaking in to my car.

I drove to a different spot and could only motivate myself to walk 2 miles. All I could think about was the day before at work. I decided to go easy on myself. I went back to town and did errands for a while, and around 11:00 I felt like running. I ended up with 18 miles on the flats for the day and felt pretty good.

Thursday night I spoke with Steph on the phone and we did about an hour's worth of talking about Badwater. Time is flying by and we need to start our planning, getting equipment together, figuring out logistics, and working out the kinks when it comes to crewing from the vehicle. We're planning our first crewing trial at the end of March.

This morning I got out early and drove up to Horsetooth Mtn. park. I decided to try out my "Rock" workout for the first time this year. I do multiple repeats of the service road called the Southridge Trail. It climbs about 1000 feet and tops out a few hundred feet below Horsetooth Rock. I turn around at a saddle up there, after that the trail ascends the Rock and becomes non-runnable, which isn't a good use of my training time.

Today I only went as far as a trail junction at about 6600 feet, 2.2 miles each way. It was too snowy and the footing at the top made things too slow. I needed miles today, and in as short a time as possible. During my run the conditions varied from freezing gusts of wind and ground blizzards to heating up in the sun to about 40 degrees not counting the wind chill. Starting out there was shallow snow covering the road about half the way up, in the trees.

By my last Rock the road was a hill of mud. I powerwalked up and ran down but never pushed hard. I ended up with 22 miles and 4000 feet of vertical gain, and 4000 of descent, in 4 hours and 20 minutes. I didn't even feel tired until the last descent.

I wore my Hazmat suit on the last 2 Rocks and I got a strange look from a guy sitting in his car next to mine in the parking lot. He looked scared when I ran up, and looked perplexed when I left my car and started heading back up the trail. I should have told him not to worry, that he'd be okay if he rolled up his windows and that the crew was working as fast as they could.

I will be intimately familiar with the "Rock" by Badwater time, the Rock will be my best training buddy on all those long runs. It's a perfect workout, lots of vertical with no pavement, nice views, aid station in my car every 5 miles, no traffic, and few people to scare.

This week I joined 24 hour fitness, the newest local health club that just opened and gives a great deal to employees at the hospital. It has a younger crowd and they hang out in the weight room and on the machines. The sauna, steam room, and pool area were deserted. It's less than 10 minutes from my house and I can go any time and sit in the sauna after work, even on the weekends.

I checked out their sauna and it is HOT! I can't see spending a ton of money on a health club since I won't be using it for anything but the sauna. There's no time for cross training, and I already have all my weights at home.

I'm meeting with the Foundation on Tuesday to get fundraising started. I have to work this weekend. Next weekend is the Run Through Time marathon in Salida, it will be halfway through March and keep your fingers crossed, warmer weather!

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