Thanks to Dave Clifford for the great photo
The last race on my schedule this summer was the Golden Leaf Half Marathon in Aspen this past Saturday. Only a week after the MTB marathon nationals, I had no idea how I’d feel come race morning. What I did know is that last year’s winner, Stevie Kremer, would be missing but that many other strong ladies were registered including Lindsay Krause. As a sure sign that this race season is over (at least for a few weeks), the battery in my heart rate monitor strap died as I was warming up. I was a little bummed because the first climb up Snowmass always produces a high heart rate, but I was also secretly relieved to run free of the numbers and data.
With fast men in the group like Rickey Gates, Karl Remson and Lance Armstrong, the field quickly spread apart in the two miles of steep dirt road climbing before we hit the singletrack. I started on the yellow brick road, aka The Government Trail, right where I wanted to be– in first for the women. I took a quick glance behind me and didn’t see any women coming, but I knew I needed to push the pace the entire race. I think Lindsay Krause is probably faster than I am on the flats so I needed to have a lead coming into the last few miles of bike path into Aspen.
I caught myself enjoying the beautiful scenery and changing leaves a few times, and my feet felt great in my La Sportiva Vertical K’s. But I tried to keep pushing myself and ended up finishing in 1 hour 42 minutes 45 seconds. Good enough to cut just over five minutes off my time from last year and over three minutes ahead of Lindsay Krause. It was really nice to finish the summer knowing that my hard training sessions thanks to Lindsay Hyman at Carmichael Training Systems had paid off. And since my heart rate monitor strap battery is taking a break, I figure it’s time to enjoy a small off season, especially since I have not had one since Axel was born two and a half years ago. But, I have the feeling I will find another race soon.
Lindsay Krause and I winning some dough
Full results can be found here.
Ian leading up the first climb.
We had a weekend of racing and training. In the typical Anderson style, we packed as many miles and fun in as possible. Ian was able to race in the Mountain States Cup at Snowmass on Saturday. Having not raced much this season, Ian had to race in Cat 2 since he did not have a US Cycling license. I had lots of confidence that Ian could win his age group as he has been very strong this year.
As I predicted, Ian won his category and received a Colorado State Champions jersey but the big news of the day was Lance Armstrong. Lance has been in town often this summer training for both the Tour de France and the Leadville 100. This was one last hard effort before racing Leadville next weekend.
Juniper and I had fun snapping photos of Lance while passing 3rd place finisher Len Zanni Honey Stinger gels in his attempt to close the gap. Although Len didn’t catch Jay Henry (2nd) or Lance, he had an amazing race and represented the valley very well.
Len Zani leading Lance Armstrong & Jay Henry up the first climb.
The crowd surrounding Lance was impressive and it was amazing to watch the people follow and hound him. Ian was lucky enough to warm up with him for a few minutes so we moved on so I could get out on the trail. I ran the Golden Leaf half-marathon course along the Government Trail for some great training for the TransRockies.
Jay Henry, Lance Armstrong & Len Zanni
This morning I ran a great 25 or 26 mile loop out of Carbondale below Mt. Sopris. It was surprisingly quiet and peaceful for the first half as most people must have been still relaxing. Ian and Juniper met me towards the end of the run with some fresh water. Very sweet of them! Not sure if all the miles I’ve put in have worked or if I just had a good day, but I finished a lot faster than I thought I would in 3 hour 15 minutes.
I have a few more days to put in some big miles and then it’s already time to taper. I hope I have a few days in the TransRockies where I feel as good as I did today.