Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cheyenne Mountain 50K

Races hurt! I don't care if it's a 5K, 50K, or 100-miler.  The Cheyenne Mountain 50K was actually my first time racing this distance.  So at least it was a PR.  Some pretty nice trails there in Cheyenne Mountain State Park, but it took a double figure eight course to come up with an ultra distance.  It's never easy to pass by the finish line multiple times before actually getting to stop.  Anyway, I did slip into the top 20 with a 5:33 but far from what I was hoping for.  At least I beat the future Leadman by over an hour.  I hate the term "training race".  I was there to race, not to train. However, on a day that I never really felt good, endured some good pain, and pushed through to the finish, I will chalk it up as a good training race.

I did make a fun weekend of it down in the Springs, getting out on the big mountain (Pikes Peak) the next day.  Kristel and I took on the Incline and then a pleasant, easy run up to Barr Camp in some fresh snow.  I think I have got her convinced to take on a Pikes Peak Marathon some day soon.  A beautiful morning on the mountain and an official start to my altitude training for a couple of fun races in the San Juans that will be here before I know it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rim to Rim to Rim

The classic double-crossing of the Grand Canyon is now checked off from my list of "runs to do".  Kristel and I welcomed the first full day of Spring taking off from the Bright Angel Trailhead on the South Rim on a crisp, cool morning.  After jogging along the crowded Rim Trail to the South Kaibab Trailhead, we made our descent to the Colorado River where the temps quickly hit 80 degrees.  After crossing the Colorado and eating lunch at Phantom Ranch, we made the long 14 mile climb to the North Rim on the North Kaibab Trail, hardly seeing anyone all the way up.  It was hard to leave the cool air, beauty, and solitude of the North Rim, which was still closed to the public, but we eventually made our way back to the river before grinding our way back up to the South Rim via the Bright Angel Trail in the dark.  A total of 49.5 miles according to the trail maps.

Leaving the South Rim on South Kaibab

Colorado River coming into view

River crossing

A warm Phantom Ranch

Another water stop and trying to beat the heat

Views on North Kaibab Trail

The South Rim looks so far away with the San Francisco Peaks of Flagstaff in the distant

A cool and quiet North Kaibab Trailhead