In May I ran fear the deer trail half marathon. It's an awesome race mainly because I love the deer creek trails and run up there on the ref. It's a fairly technical trail with a few sections you can open it up..it's a solid trail race of climbing and bombing downhills. For 13 miles you end up climbing around 2500ft so there is lots of slow steep running and some power hiking, the key here is letting it rip on the downhills. Last year I got second and this time really wanted to run fast and see if I could win. I knew the CR was just a hair under 1:35:00 but didn't know the exact time and in Colorado you never know who will show up. My goal was to hang in the top 2-3 if some guys went out fast. Once we hit dirt I was already on the front and felt comfortable with pace knowing we had a 20min grind of a climb. One younger guy was only 10-15 seconds behind me and I could see he was right on my tail when we got up top. I hammered the downhills and once we got next climb I could see him...I kept the pressure on and was pretty maxed out but moving really..once we hit the first out and back I saw him and had about a 45 sec gap. He was moving good. I absolutely slammed the downhills and next out and back I was suffering pretty good but had over a minute on him. We had about 3-4 miles left mostly downhill. I felt ok and pushed hard to the finish. At the start I had started my stopwatch late so I wasn't exact sure on time...but finished in 1:35:08. I was told later the CR is 1:34:48 so I was super close. It's fun and really tough running maxed out for 90min but good speed training.
Ran our local Roxborough 10k a couple weeks later. It's called the rox trot. We all went up the park and Becca and boys all were running the 5k. It's all paved but lots of short ups and down...not a flat or fast course but good training/speed work. I was a little tired from training but pushed well and won with a 37:15..felt good i still have a little speed despite all the ultra jogging. The boys did awesome and actually got 1st and 3rd for 11 and under. Not bad since they are 6 and 8! Ryder has a great pace and knows how to push himself and ran a 25min 5k on a tough course ...it's so awesome to see them both running.
Next up in June was the big Dirty 30 race up in golden gate canyon. It's a classic Colorado trail ultra and always has a stacked and competing field. 50k is a challenging distance cause to be in the mix you gotta be running fast and racing but it's still also a 5hr race so pacing and nutrition still play a roll. The pace was fast from the gun and 15 or so guys quickly separated from the rest of the 300 or so runners. I felt really comfortable and was sitting in our near the top 10. We had a train of guys basically 4th through 15th all together. Chris Vargo was off the front from the gun and a couple poor souls tried to hang with him (he won by over 20min and got course record) Every mile it seemed someone was dropping off the pace and the group def kept the pace and pressure on. This race is technical and tons of climbing with 7200ft over the 31-32 miles. My buddy and teammate James was running well and we were in the same group for a bit with 5-6 other guys including Joel Hamilton, Josh Arthur, Jason Schlarb...I may have been the only one without a J first name. Such a cool course with a couple sections was full on scrambling up and over these little rocky peaks. Around mile 20 came a pretty solid climb and I was feeling it a bit but still ended up dropping 2 of the guys but Jason and josh dropped me super fast...over the next couple miles I reeled in two more guys. It was hot by now and rolled into mile 26 feeling OK, not terrible but not great. My calves kept cramping off and on and that was really slowing me down. I got passed once and then around mile 28 James caught me on the last grind of a climb...it's brutal. He ran super steady and I couldn't stay with him. I had to stop and stretch a couple times and just gut it out the last few miles...I felt like I was barely moving and expected to get passed by more people but didn't and actually passed one more guy in last 2 miles. I finished in 5:15 for 8th overall...my goal was top 10 so I was good with it. James finished a couple minutes in front of me for 7th. Great race on challenging terrain. I am fully convinced racing a 50k is hard...really hard, hard like running fast for 5hrs...that's hard stuff.
A short week later I ran the GoPro games trail 10k . They call it the "10kish" cause it's more like 7 miles with 1800ft of vert all on some amazing trails above vail. The boys and Becca ran the 5k on Friday evening. Becca crushed and got 2nd overall female. The course was a huge challenge for the boys but they both did great and pushed through some serious side aches (haha) My race was on tired legs for sure and I was just hoping to hang top 10 since it's a super competitive race. All the really fast guys are there since there is prize money. I felt pretty decent and some of the downhills we were absolutely ripping. On one steep road I looked at watch and saw or pace was 4:30miles. 52 minutes of suffering I finished and was 10th place...funny. Was also glad to see I only lost 3-4 minutes to the "pro dudes".
|we took the boys up a 13er (Sniktau)|
Building up for Leadville my goal is to be faster on the flats and have better turnover for all the downhill running. I'm on a good build right know thanks to coach Patrick's help and plan. A bit more speed on the 1:30-3:00hr runs and adding a few longer days 6-7 hrs as we build towards the Leadville 100 on Aug 20th. Ive really been pushing some downhill running to get the legs ready as they can be. I don't have any races planned for July just quality training and some cool training challenges like the longs peak duathlon. ..I also want to be really hungry and super motivated when race day rolls around. Running 100 is so mental and being the right headspace is more important than any training session.
"If you think you CAN, you're right"
"If you think you can't, you're right"