After writing out my survival plan for Quad Rock 50 I dug up a legal pad and wrote out the dates of all the weeks leading up to the race. They all fit on one side of the paper. Uh oh. That is not very many weeks, for the record. I am well past the point of freaking out about my barely there training plan. It’s been decided that I am going to make the most of the time I have left, which requires a little creativity.
I have befriended two-a-day runs and even taken on a few three-a-days just for fun. It has become rather “normal” to get up early for a country road jaunt, pack up running clothes for some Wyoming runching and then stop by a trailhead on my way home for a few extra miles. It’s not perfect but it is getting me miles on tired legs so I’ll take it!
Early Bird Running
My morning runs are the hardest to get going with – it always looks so dark and my bed is so cozy. – boring, overused excuses. I’ve talked myself back under the covers a few times because I know I will be able to run on my lunch and after work…so a few intended three-a-days became whiney two-a-days.
But when I do get myself outside to run in the morning it is always worth it. I run a long a gravel road in the country with chirping birds and barking dogs. The sun is rising ahead of me, the mountains are lighting up behind me. You really could not ask for a better setting for an early run, I should probably get myself out of bed more often!
If I’m feeling ambitious at work [or lazy in the morning] I’ll swap out an annoying underwire for comfy spandex and head outside to run along flat Wyoming roads. During my first lunch run it took approximately 0.34 miles for me to decide that any run in Wyoming wind counts toward hill work. Good grief.
Wyoming is kind of known for being windy and a steady wind is bearable but the random gusts of wind that nearly knock you off your feet are demoralizing! Over the last month I have acclimated and get excited when the forecast calls for *only* 20mph winds. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped whining about the wind, but I’ve at least figured out how to run through the gusts without tripping myself!
Sunsets + Dark Trails
The even runs are kind of a gamble. I am on a mission to explore all the trails Fort Collins has to offer but have struck out more than once – a lot of the trails are closed due to mud or flood maintenance. But not all of them…I took the advice of a few co-workers and have been playing around in Poudre Canyon, namely on the Gray Rock trails.
They are exactly what my training needs – steep and technical. However, they are also a bit of a drive up the canyon so a headlamp is required. I’m figuring out how to run down technical descents in the dark, without dying. Or even face planting. Yet. *knockonwood*
I have even managed to get a few miles in at Horsetooth Reservoir…one of the parks the Quad Rock 50M goes through. That counts as legitimate training, right? I met up with a new friend and after our trail run she drove me up the road into the park on a rather steep paved road…then told me there is a race that goes up said road. I may or may not have Google’ed the Horsetooth Half immediately after that drive.
Much to the dismay of the cats – who are still living among many unpacked moving boxes – my weekends back in Denver have been eaten up by miles on the trails. Chris is ramping up his CPTR 25M training so one day is dedicated to his long run. The other weekend day involves more miles on my part, hopefully. Some weekends I succeed, other weekends I pretend to succeed.
This past weekend I semi-succeeded on a 12 mile jaunt turned 6 mile hike at Staunton State Park courtesy of a flattened bike tire [Chris was riding, I was running] but made up for it with an 18 mile run around Buffalo Creek [where North Fork, my 2nd 50M, will be].
To add a little extra fun to my weekend running I somehow talked Paula into the Lake Palmer 24 Hour Fun Run…then I talked myself out of it only to have Paula talk me back into it. We are dangerous #runablers who live in a vicious cycle of crazy. We’re only hanging out for 6 hours because of other weekend plans but I am hoping for at least 30 miles of circles. At least. And if that doesn’t work I’ll just sit down and eat all my “fuel” [aka, candy] while watching other people get dizzy!