Saturday, August 11, 2007

HOPE!...Hope Pass that is, not so tempo run, Mt. Sherman summit

We have been busy! I had to do a tempo run on flat road so I chose a section of the course that is fairly level but it didn't seem to help my pace. Bob dropped me off at the Fish Hatchery aid station and I ran my warm-up on the inward bound portion heading to Powerline Pass. I turned around and started my tempo at the Fish Hatchery and Beast was the pace car. I was supposed to run 7:46 pace and the best I could do was 8:17's. My breathing mirrored more of an AT workout. He would park the car at every mile mark and wait for me, I could see the car in the what seemed to be the near distance but as hard as tried it didn't seem to get any closer. The good news is my legs felt great but I couldn't get enough air to my muscles to make them go any faster. We got a good laugh at how hard I was working and going no-where!

Prior to my tempo run we did the section from Twin Lakes aid station inbound. There is a pretty good climb out of that aid station all on single track trail and after coming off Hope Pass I suspect this climb will be pretty tough as will be getting dark as well. That run was only 70 minutes long and was an out and back. Along the way we ran past a teepee made out of logs with a live tree growing out of the center.

The day after the tempo run we headed to Hope Pass and did the outbound section. My family dropped us off and picked us up at Winfield but Beast decided to go back over to Twin Lakes. My legs could feel the tempo run so I gladly jumped in the car and we drove over to pick him up. The climb on the outbound section reminded me of the easier side of Dog Mountain only with less air. I was pretty tired from the tempo effort but we still made good time. The pass was very windy and cold and required gloves at the saddle and beyond. The views were awesome and we could see all the way into Leadville. I struggled for air at the 11,500 mark and above but surprisingly my heart rate was low but the uptake of oxygen was not good. I am definately feeling much better than a week ago when at that time this would have been a dizzy climb. The backside of Hope down towords Winfield was a rocky techincal trail and very steep in sections. I ran/walked most of this decsent and suspect I will do the same on race day. The rocky trail was hard for me to negotiate at a fast pace.

On Friday we climbed Mt. Sherman, my second 14'er ever. Beast, Alex and I started the climb early to avoid the clouds that were building over Mt. Massive. This is a 4.5 mile trip and you start at 10,500 and climb to 14,036. The trail is a scree field and winds around the slide of Sherman then heads straight up. Alex had a tough time at about 12,500 and we took many rest breaks. The wind picked up as we got near the first hump at about 13,000 and we had to pull out jackets, hats, and gloves. We had originally planned on hanging out at the top for about an hour enjoying lunch but the wind was so fierce we could hardly hear each other. The temperatures with the wind was super cold and I didn't want to hang out. At the very top of the mountain the winds were calm almost sureal but because the gusts were so bad Beast and I took turns climbing the jagged edge to the summit while one of us stayed with Alex. The last bit of climb was on a jagged rocky edge and I didn't feel it was safe with the winds for Alex. I did some running on the top.....just kidding, it was flat.....but I can say I ran at 14K. :). It was a really fun experience and I wish I could climb more of the surrounding mountains. There's always another time! :)

Today was the bike race and we headed out to watch them. Beast and I did the inbound section of Hope Pass and we climbed the steep side vigorously and it wasn't bad. We got to the top in 1:08 and it was easy compared to the other day. The acclimating is working! Scott said it would take about 10 days before I would start to feel better and by day 14 I can officially say I felt feel much better. The pass was awesome today, clear and beautiful with no wind. The temperatures were really nice for the bike race. When we were done my family gave us the update on the leaders and when we got home we cleaned up and all went downtown to see the finish just as the course record was being broken by 6 minutes. The leader had a two minute lead over Floyd Landis who looked like he had taken a bad fall. The bike race was pretty exciting to watch.

1 comment:

olga said...

All of it sounds very exciting and solid! I can feel the oxigen-less air making it hard to push, but you know it's precieved effort that counts:) Now that LT100 is this week, I am wishing you what you do every time anyway - be smart and patient, be strong and happy, and have a grand (no pan intended:)) race for that buckle! You can do it, Ronda, if anybody, you can.