The Bender, Week 1
6 miles, 1:10, +800′ vert. perch #56. waited til the sun started settin’ to head-out. joined Kels and Maya for the way up and back down to the TH, then finished it off by runnin’ home. Kept it nice and light–want to slowly make my way into this weekend.
10 miles, 1:48, +800′ vert. “The Bacon Strip”. That. was. hard. rolling dirt country road northeast of town with sarah. we settled into a great 9-920/mile pace and chatted as we ascended and descended a few hills. the first 5 miles or so went great and it was fun to get the legs turnin’ over for more than a mile or two at a time. but after while the hills didn’t stop and the sun started baking us…like bacon (is that how the route got it’s name?). The last couple miles were a struggle, but the kind of struggle that was good and tells me we need to continue coming back to this route. Rolling hills = good. Bacon Strip, 1. Muck…well, maybe a 1/2. great company and fun to try a new route. Actually running 10 miles in a row is a strange feeling, but one I need to get used.
packed up the Soobs and drove to Leadville for a run/fun-filled weekend
10 miles, 4:00, +3500′ vert. hope pass (via Willis Gulch trail), the ‘crux’ of the LT100. great hike with kels, mack and sarah to the bowl below the saddle. steady and long. went on ahead and got up to the last switchbacks and turned around (dark clouds rollin’ in) before ascending again with the peeps. the climb itself only contains a half dozen or so really steep sections–mostly at the beginning and at the very top. the middle portion actually has ‘flatter’ portions that, while i wouldn’t run them during the race, will provide a nice reprieve and a chance to fast hike. overall a great day, great view, weather and friends–not much more you can ask for. enjoyed it.
20 miles, 7:13, +6000′ vert. Hope Pass double crossing. Started at willis gulch again, ascending up and over hope and down the (very) steep south side toward winfield. Enjoyed the morning and concentrated on a steady, “all day” pace. as the trail gets close to the road, it splits into a new section of the CDT/CT–a pretty rolling, yet posh trail. after swinging through winfield (great little historic, mining town) and meeting up with Kels, we re-ascended hope from the winfield side, then descended again back to the car, before I added a mile or so on to make it a full 20 miles. man, the ascent back up hope is gonna be killer–especially with 50+ miles on the legs. possibly the steepest trail i’ve ever been on. #unrelenting. unfortunately there really isn’t much that compares near ft collins but Towers Rd will have to do. overall a great day again–legs and body responded well and it was great ending the day hiking with Kels. finished just before the lightning and hail started!
20 miles, 4:59,+~2800′ vert. Twin Lakes to Loggers Trail and back on the LT100 course. recon, day three. started from twin lakes and headed north, only to go off course three times (even with the map in my pack), adding about 4-5 miles to the outing. enjoyable day though; glad I made errors today instead of later. energy and legs felt up-and-down most of the day but I suppose that’ll happen with three big days in a row. great to explore a new trail(s).
6 miles, 1:11, +800′ vert. perch #57. capped a big week off with an easy stroll up the hill after returning to town and unpacking the car. four days of camping and running–magnificent! knees were pretty creaky today and energy pretty low, but I enjoyed stretchin’ things out. I think I’ll take tomorrow off.
72 foot miles, 14,700′ vertical gain (204’/mile…perfect), ~20.5 hours.
Certainly the biggest week of running I’ve ever had. Almost 15k of climbing and 20 hours on the feet–that’s like having a part time job (…unpaid). Actually pretty happy with how the body handled the work load. Certainly tired and a bit creaky but satisfied with how well The Bender got started. Leadville, as always, did not disappoint with cooler temps, afternoon thunderstorms and snow still hangin’ on up in the higher parts. Great to get to know the course a bit and see what I have to look forward to in six weeks.