Catching Up…Wild West Relay and Pikes Peak Marathon

Work, training, races, house, wedding, travel, the list goes on.  I hardly have time to do my own laundry, let alone update the blog.  Thankfully I’m still in recovery mode this weekend and don’t have any plans on the docket, so here goes…

Wild West Relay

What a whirlwind.  There’s always so much planning and logistics development before the race that when the event finally happens, it’s over before you know it.

This year I took part in an all-female ultra relay time aptly named You Just Got Chicked.  With a talented team of ladies gearing up for the race, we received word that one of them would not be able to run because of a last-minute injury.  With little time to find a replacement, we decided to go for it with just five runners.

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I’m not going to lie, it was really, really hard.  Each of us took on 7 legs, except for the final runner – Christine – who took on 8.  We each ran about 35-40 miles over 29 hours.  It was crazy.  Little to no sleep and not much food (or beer!) was a difficult combination, to say the least.  I still remember a moment I had with Mur after my third leg: the sun had set, it was getting colder, and we weren’t even halfway done.  Mur and I looked at each other as we stood in line for the port-a-loos and had a mutual realization of how f*ing hard this was.  At least I wasn’t alone.

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The remainder of the race is kind of a blur – I think at one point I just went on autopilot and ran when you told me to run.  Thankfully we had an amazing team of encouraging and optimistic ladies – we finished up in just over 29 hours, taking the win for the women’s ultra category.

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After the race, I had about 2 weeks to recover and get ready for Pikes Peak.  The following weekend, Pete obliged my requests to run a local 5K where there were bottomless pancakes at the finish.

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Okay, first off, HUGE props to Pete for killing his first-ever 5K.  Secondly, I was super happy to find I still had a bit of speed left in my legs after so many long races.  I finished up third female and first in my age group.

Pikes Peak Marathon

Ahhhh, Pikes Peak, where to begin.  All cards on the table, I was not looking forward to this race, simply because I was tired.  It’s been quite a season for me – the biggest season I’ve ever had.  From the Leadville 50 Mile to the Wild West Relay and all the training in between (including the fact that those two previous races were within 5 weeks of PPM), I was just plain tired – more mentally than anything.  I knew I could finish the race physically, but it was definitely going to be a mental race.

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From the start, I set out with the goal of finishing.  Of course, like any runner that says that, I had unsaid goals of when I wanted to finish.  Let’s just say, I definitely didn’t meet those unsaid goals.  But hey, it was my first time running PPM; it was my first time even seeing the course or the top of Pikes Peak.

To make a long race report short: I did great – and actually enjoyed – the ascent, but completely bonked – and absolutely loathed – the descent.  I thought it would be the opposite, but looking back am just really happy I finished.  Not sure if I’ll ever return, but am really proud that I conquered that particular mountain race.

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I will say it’s been a tough recovery from PPM though – my knees and quads are still yelling at me, now almost a week afterwards.

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Ice Ice Baby

Thankfully I have about 5 weeks to prepare for the Bear Chase 100K on September 29th.  My plan is to take another week of recovery with some light training, and then throw down a 30+ miler on flatter trails next weekend.  I haven’t really been tapering this season, just keeping mileage and intensity at about the same level.  I’m extremely thankful that I’m (knock on wood) healthy and injury-free at this point in the season.

Here’s hoping that everyone else is having as good as a season as I am!  Happy trails everyone!

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