Alarm at 3am. You decided to get up a half hour earlier than you needed to, to do some exercises. You’ve been reading more and more about fighters doing REALLY hard workouts a few hours b/f their fight. Then they have time to recover and when they get into the cage, they are not redlining for the first time that day. When the heart rate jacks up, they are more comfortable w/ it. So you go outside on the sidewalk at 3 am and do a hundred down and ups. You break a sweat, heart rate goes up really high. People are out walking home from various parties. You pack up the truck and make the 90 min drive w/ JMP. She is running the 25k. Her farthest distance race. You are excited as you always are on race morning. No caffeine.
You get there early enough to take a snooze and walk Roxy and warm up. You start just behind the lead pack, as always. You all run up a big climb right from go. It’s not long b/f you can’t see the leaders. Alex Nichols was on the start line and he came in 2nd at the Pikes Peak marathon right after Killian Jornet. There’s serious talent at today’s race.
You fall into your own pace and chat w/ a few folks. You hold back and try and conserve energy. The mountains down here in Cheyenne Mountain State Park and dry. Really dry. The temperature is warm right from the start. You drink as much as you can w/ only one water bottle. The course is broken up into four different loops. Well, two loops repeated twice for the 50k-ers. You enjoy the course, end up running by yourself for a while. When you are ¾ of the way done, you see JMP, done w/ her race, walking Roxy. You yell and wave and she yells back and cheers for you. It fills you w/ excitement and makes the day seem so much more sweet. You have so much to be thankful for. Four months ago, you weren’t able to run at all. But being fired up only lasts so long w/ 21 miles on your legs and the day just getting hotter and hotter. The last ten miles take forever. You’re hiking more than you’d like to admit. You run out of water w/ 5 miles to the next aid station. When you finally get there you drink down 3 cokes, 1 heed and a bottle of water. You fill up your bottle and head down for the last 3 miles home. It’s downhill. It hurts. The quads are blown up. But you did it. You can see the finish line. It sends a surge through you and you pick your pace up for the last mile. Over 4,000 ft of elevation gain. When you cross the finish line, you put your hands up and your head down. Your first 50k of the year. Longest distance so far this year. And all just a warm up for next weekend. In exactly one week, you’ll still have another 20 miles to go after the 50k mark. Collegiate Peaks 50 miler. Why you signed up for two big races on back to back weekends, you’ll never know…