I admit it. I’ve been getting a bit psyched out about my run with Dean K. It’s two weeks from today. Here’s what’s causing the nerves:
- I’ve never done a trail race
- I’ve never done 20.4 miles on trails, racing or otherwise
- I’ve never climbed 2,721 feet on trails running from 8,000 feet to 9,400 feet. I can hardly breathe just typing it. Would it be wrong to run with on oxygen tank?
- I’ve never run/pooped alongside a celebrity runner
- I’ve never done 1-4 above all at the same time
You’d be nervous too.
Dean and I shared emails yesterday. I do love to say that. I told him I might cry if it gets too hard. He told me crying is good because it adds to the drama. At least I am being up front and he can’t say I didn’t warn him.
My interview with the big man is by phone on Tuesday. Thanks so much for your interview question ideas. They were a great help. I’ve compiled a list of some good ones, so stay tuned later this week to be the first to read the interview Q & A!
In preparation for the upcoming race, I told you I wanted to run the famed Magnolia Road west of Boulder. Ken and I did it today. This run has quite a reputation. She’s hard. She’s tough. She’s not for the faint of heart. She takes you up into the clouds. She chews you up and spits you out. This is what the bitch looks like on my Garmin (spoiler: yes, I did make it):
I stole this from someone:
The alarm went off way too early at 5:45 a.m. I lay awake in those pre-dawn moments when you snuggle down into your sheets, face planted against the drool-drenched-mattress, knowing that you are way too tired to even think about getting out of bed let alone running 15 miles.
Ignoring each other because that’s what we do in the early morning, Ken and I filled up water bottles and my bladder with Accelerade and water. I grabbed a cup of steaming coffee for the 45 minute drive to the start and tried to choke down a piece of cinnamon raisin bread (whopping 32 carbs per slice!).
I loaded up my new hydration pack with the bladder and two 20 oz bottles of liquid. I had two GUs and my camera. Oh, and some Wet Ones should I need them during a roadside squat.
We got to the start at 8,100 feet by 7:00 a.m. The road had just changed from paved to dirt, which was fine with me. 50 degrees. Perfect.
Here’s where I look like I’m doing a l’il Irish jig:
By mile one, I knew the pack was not going to work for me. It just didn’t fit right and kept swinging dramatically from side to side with each step I took. Since I would be taking about 30,000 steps that might be an issue. I had the straps as tight as they would go. Don’t get me wrong. I think the pack itself is comfortable, light weight and practical. I just think it’s too big for puny self. I will say that once I removed the bottles, I still had some jostling of the bladder, but it felt much better and served me well during the run.
Since I follow everything that is told to me on the internet, I had cleaned out the bladder with Polident denture cleaner. Spearmint. Probably not the best move, but my water was minty fresh for the run and so was my breath.
As we headed up the first huge hill, we hit mile one huffing and puffing like we had just finished 15 freaking miles. Only 14 more to go. I hid the water bottles knowing they were causing the pack to move so drastically. I would have to survive on the 1 liter of liquid in the bladder. It’s kind of neat how I would transfer from the bladder in the pack to my bladder. Anyone else find that fascinating?
The hills seemed endless. Just as you’d crest one and have a bit of a downhill respite, you’d be greeted by another incline shouting, “Oh, yeah? Try this one, you pussy!” At about the two mile point a herd of runners flew by us going the opposite direction. Damn University of Colorado cross country team. I know they love this run, as it was made famous by the CU x-country team in the book “Running with the Buffaloes.” Humbling to say the least watching these guys fly by, effortless.
Here come some of those damn buffaloes. They need to slow the eff down:
We trudged on and up.
At mile seven, we hit the Peak to Peak Highway, crossed over and ran another half mile on a rocky dirt road. At the turn around, we had our GUs, stretched and headed back. We both felt pretty strong at this point.
If I haven’t said so already, this road afforded amazing views of the foothills and the Rockies. Wildflowers grew everywhere. Occasionally the route would open up to a high altitude pasture with grazing cows and horses. The air in Colorado is so crisp, cool and bright with no humidity, especially up that high. Kind of like Florida. Or Texas.
Here is where we crossed over the Peak to Peak Highway:
Ken runs by a pasture:
And up a hill:
I did not have to stop to crap on this run. Miracles never cease to happen. So I did a fake out for you. If only I could poop with shorts on. Well, I can but it’s not pretty.
Here’s where I tell you about my studly husband. He has run several half marathons this year, and is training for another in October. He has never run more than 13.1 miles at a time. Today, he ran the whole flippin’ 15 miles with me. He wants you to know he has his first blister on his tender toe. Ever. Cue the violins. I smell a marathon in his future even if he doesn’t.
Nearing the end, some dude passed us on the last gargantuan hill leading to the car. I picked up the pace and kept a steady 20 feet behind him. He was letting out the most ungodly sounds – like he was either yakking or dumping or both. But, I think it was just an “I’m going up a big hill and I’m tired” GRUNT like none I’d ever heard. Think I’ll try that one with Dean.
2 hours, 28 minutes
1,650 feet elevation gain
1,650 feet elevation loss
9:44 average pace (okay speedies, you try to run this bitch fast)
I do feel pretty good after the run with the exception of an aching ass. I’m glad we took it kind of slow.
Don’t forget my giveaway! Ends Friday.