El running in from Hope Pass to the Twin Lakes aid station at mile 60.
Let’s see, it has been awhile since my last post and that’s not due to a lack of things I wanted to say. It has mostly been due to a lack of computer and a little bit from being too busy to borrow another computer.
Anyway, a few weekends ago I paced a very dear friend of mine in her first attempt at a 100 miler. Elinor has been training all winter, spring and summer for the Leadville 100 and was ready to give it a go. Elinor’s training partner Joy, had already raced and finished her first 100 miler earlier this summer at the Tahoe Rim Trail 100. Unfortunately Joy could not pace Elinor as planned so I opted for a slightly longer section of the race to make sure that El had someone with her every mile from mile 50 to the finish (no pacers allowed until mile 50).
Moving slightly faster than her projected times, El’s husband Rob called me letting me know I needed to get on the road and over to Twin Lakes for the drive into Winfield. Rob had an amazing aid station set up for El when she arrived at mile 50 hurting a little more than expected. I was extremely thankful I had made it in time as I think it would have been very difficult for Elinor to turn around and go over Hope Pass alone at that point. As difficult as it was to witness my friend suffering, I continued to encourage her to keep moving despite being a bit overwhelmed at the time. We made it over Hope Pass (which was absolutely beautiful for me) and into Twin Lakes at mile 60 to have a quick visit with Rob, Reed (their one year old), El’s parents (in from Canada) and Todd (a Leadville veteran and pacer for later in the race).
Despite stressing Elinor out at the time, Reed’s crying was a blessing in disguise as she was too overwhelmed to deal with him so she got up and kept going. We continued on together into the night, me attempting to keep her eating (one Honey Stinger chew at a time) and not falling asleep and El just concentrating on moving her feet forward. As with all races, there are good and bad times and Elinor made it out of a slump and had some great miles of running (and running fast) between Twin Lakes and Fish Hatchery. Even though I have been through these cycles in races as well, it was really interesting to witness them from this perspective.
After about 27 miles, I left Elinor at Fish Hatchery where she continued on with Todd and up the Powerline climb passing people the whole way. I know she had a few more low points before she made it to the finish line but she pushed through and showed some amazing will power. One of my motivating speeches for El was to finish this one so she would never have to go through this again but of course it sounds like she’s already considering another 100 miler.
Elinor will have a full recap of her race experience in the November issue of Trail Runner magazine.
As for me, I have been working on my running threshold thanks to Lindsay Hyman at CTS. Intervals with some great trail runs and mountain bike rides mixed in have gotten me back to a point where I’m starting to feel fit again. I have a little further to go but am looking forward to testing my fitness at a few races in September and October.
Packing, moving, unpacking…and a little parenting, training and work mixed in. Although moving is stressful and very time consuming, it has been great to be living in town. I can go for a run with both kids in the Chariot right from my front door – saves me about 45 minutes of driving to and from. I have enjoyed road rides from the house, trail runs on Red Hill with a mile of pavement warm-up and mountain biking at Prince Creek from the driveway. Not to mention walking or riding my bike to the grocery store and not getting in the car for days at a time.I’ll miss a few things about the old house but there are so many great things about being in town that I’ll get past those things.
Before the move, I raced in the Mountain States Cup Blast the Mass race in Snowmass. I rode better than I thought and enjoyed pushing my limits with some fast and fun women. Although I was riding strong for me right now, I’m just not quite back to top race fitness yet. Despite holding onto third place for much of the race, I fell back to fifth in the last few miles. No complaints though as I felt strong and know I raced as well as I could three months after having Axel.
Now it’s time for more unpacking and hopefully some more races in the next month or so.
Start of the Vail Pass Hill Climb Time Trial. The last of four events.
I’m really looking forward to the next four days but they’re also going to be super busy. Tomorrow Ian and Juniper leave for Vail for the Teva Mountain Games and Axel and I head to Aspen to meet with the Polartec Athlete Advisory Board.
Sometime in the midst of packing for Juniper, driving to Aspen to pick up truck parts, going to the grocery store, nursing, parenting, etc. today, I’m hoping to get out for an hour ride and some hill intervals. It’s at these times that I’m thankful for the 1,490 feet of climbing in three miles up to our house – perfect for hill repeats.
Tomorrow I’m looking forward to a day with Axel and then dinner in Aspen with the Polartec group. Friday we’ll be brainstorming new product before I head to Vail as well. For the past few years I have competed in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge, racing four events in two days. As amazing and fun as that is, this year I’m looking forward to enjoying the other aspects of the mountain games including the kids areas and cheering my friends on. I hope to run the 10k trail race Sunday morning to see just how slow I am in comparison to last year.
I better get on with my large list of to dos so I can enjoy the hill repeats this evening.
Thanks to my extremely supportive husband, I was able to get out for a great two-and-a-half hour mountain bike ride this morning. I had to do some hill repeats so I headed out to Prince Creek to take advantage of the dirt road then got to enjoy some great singletrack.
I finally put cleats on my new shoes and absolutely loved the BOA lacing system in the Specialized shoe. I received the shoes through the Honey Stinger team and was totally surprised by the comfort and adjustability of the shoe.
Normally long weekends mean that I get an extra day of training without pushing the kiddos but this weekend is Ian’s turn to race. He left after my ride for the Gunnison Growler which sounds like an amazing race. I wish we could be there to cheer him on but it doesn’t make much sense. Instead, I’ll enjoy a nice long run with the kids in the Chariot and hopefully some pool time.
We have been plodding along as a family for the last few weeks. Axel is doing well – still very noisy while breathing but he is still happy which helps us get through it. The oxygen and the floppy airway are definitely harder for Ian and I than it is for him which is comforting.
Despite the oxygen and the extra steps it takes to do everything, Axel, Juniper and I have been enjoying Chariot runs in between snow storms. Juniper has been asking to go running so she can hang in the Chariot with Axel. This has really helped me to get out the door and motivate. By the way, here are more things to make an active mother’s life way much easier – babyiDesign.com.
Having my mother-in-law in town allowed Ian and I to get out for another road ride together this weekend. I still don’t seem to have any climbing legs but am not sure I’m ready for hill repeats to get them back. It has been almost five weeks since Axel was born and I’m starting to feel like I can really put a good hard effort in including a two hour trail run and some intervals on the trainer (we’ve had lots of snow recently). Although it’s not happening as fast as I would like, my fitness is starting to improve as well as my patience and coping skills from lugging the oxygen around.