Sunday morning I woke up to 35 ° temps at 6:00 a.m., which is balmy as hell for Colorado this time of year. Time to hit the trails before a retreat I had scheduled for 11 a.m. in Boulder.
I love getting in my workouts first thing in the morning. Honestly, if I don't do them then, they are not going to happen. As the day progresses I will be sidetracked by anything from rearranging my sock door to finding a cure for cancer. I am very multi-facetted. Or scattered. You decide.
We tried a new trail at Hall Ranch called the Nighthawk Trail. Because of trail conditions, elevation gain, rocks, roots and animal shit, you never know what you will find on the trail. It is like trail roulette. As we started climbing, I quickly realized I wasn’t having that much fun because I couldn’t breathe and my heart rate was 350 bpm or something like that.
You can see the trail etched into the mountain. It may not look like much. Shut up. It is.
The climbing was relentless and the wind had kicked up. As we started to come into completely snow-packed trails at about 4 miles, we turned around. We did 8 miles in about 1 ½ hours. I felt a bit better about sucking wind when I got home and loaded my Garmin info. The climb was 1,437 feet over 4 miles, which means it was uphill. I’m funny.
I got home in enough time to throw dinner in the crockpot (pork carnitas – really good recipe), shower and head out for my retreat, which focused on meditation, slowing down and being present. I was hoping I would come away enlightened, but I have a long way to go.
I love Boulder for many reasons, but reason #152 is that you are surrounded by ridiculous athletes who make you feel humbled, in awe and/or really inadequate. At the retreat it took me about 2 hours to realize I was sitting by this girl:
Darcy Africa. Ultra runner extraordinaire. She’s done about a million ultras and has won some of the most famous ultra races. I wanted to tell her I was tired from running 8 miles that morning, because I knew she would be very impressed. If you need some motivation this morning, go read this article about Darcy from Outside Magazine HERE.
Some things I find fascinating about Darcy:
- She doesn’t run with a Garmin. She doesn’t focus on pace or distance, just time on the trails.
- She does her speed work on a treadmill.
- She trains alone for the most part and does not use pacers
- She does not put in high mileage weeks. In fact, she says she’s never done a 100 mile week.
- In training for the Hardrock 100, she ran up and down Mt. Sanitas in Boulder for 12 hours (it is a 3.3 mile up and down run with 1,500 foot gain in the first 1.5 miles).
- She’s never done a road marathon
Darcy and I chatted a bit over lunch. I was glad to hear she has some butt pain too. She calls it “cranky butt.” We actually go to the same PT so I think (hope) I am on the right track.
Well, I’m off to get on the the trainer for an hour, shower, then head to a home visit in Denver. But before I go, check out this picture sent to me from a reader, Lindsey. She saw it at a gas station on her way to New Orleans for the marathon this weekend. If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know why this struck a chord with me (only he isn’t missing a right ear. Maybe I will remove that later today.).
What time of day do you prefer to workout? For me, it’s always morning.
What athlete inspires you the most? I have so many of them. I have the most respect for athletes like Darcy who have jobs and kids and marriage and still find the time to train and reach their goals.