Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 Colorado Relay

Over the weekend I ran with 9 others from my work in a relay race. The race started in Breckenridge and finished near Aspen. Our team finished the 195 miles in 32:10:34. I had a lot of laughs and a lot of great stories to tell, I won’t bore you with all of those non running stories. Here is a description of each on my runs. (kind of long but you should at least read about the last run)

Leg 10 – Frisco to Copper mountain Friday 5:35pm, 6.5 mi @ 8:22 Pace, Avg HR 177, Elevation Gain 690’
I left my house at 5:30 am and basically sat in the car for 12 hrs straight. I ran a 1 mile warm-up to try and loosen up my muscles but my quads felt terrible. I start off at a sub 8:00/mi pace which was fine for the first mile. Miles 2, 3, 4 @ 5 were all up hill, about 2%-3% grade. It was also hot and during these miles my heart rate averaged in the 180’s! The last 1.5 mi flattened out and I was able to resume a pace near 8:00/mi to the end.

Leg 18 – Eagle to Gypsum Saturday 2:40 am, 6.5 mi @ 7:36 Pace , Avg HR 160, Downhill Course
I was unable to sleep between this run and the last one. My quads felt bad before the last run and then I ran a hard uphill, my quads were now really hurting before this run. This leg was mostly downhill and I planned on taking it easy and saving some energy for the last run which was going to be my hardest. Right off the bat I started with a pace in the 7:30’s. I ran very even splits within 10 seconds faster or slower than the average. This run had my lowest average heart rate so I guess I did take it easy.

Leg 30 – Snowmass Golf Course to Snowmass Ski Area (trail run) Saturday 2:40 pm, 8.4 mi @ 10:58 Pace, Avg HR 163, Elevation Gain 1,540’
Since my last run I was able to nap about 30 min and my quads were really sore. I started on the golf course but in less than 5 minutes I was on the side of the mountain. I ran most of the first mile but then I had to walk some and run some the next 2 miles to the peak of the climb. The view at the top was amazing and the tail descended along some cliffs. There were times when I was only a few feet away from a really steep cliff it was really neat. But the fun was short live as I soon start ascending the second peak of the run. I really had a tough time on this climb, one mile was over 14:00. I came over the peak and again ran along some cool cliffs. Then I started my final decent to the finish line. At the very top I could see way at the bottom the finish (1.5 miles to run and 600’ decent). Also at the bottom I could see and hear my team cheering me on and making a ton of noise with some cow bells. I can’t describe what happened but it felt like I grew wings. I sprinted down the side of that mountain like a madman. It seemed like every switch back I could hear them get louder. I was going so fast that I almost didn’t make on a few turns. I ran that last mile in 7:29 on some pretty sketchy terrain. I met up with my team and we all ran the last 0.1 into the finish line together.

This will go down as one of my best running experiences ever especially that epic trail run. In the future I am going to imagine my teammates cheering me in whenever I need a boost.

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