In many ways, it's grounding and empowering to know that before this year, I'd never ran more than 15 miles, let alone with notable elevation gain - now I've completed a marathon, am about to start training for my first 50K in December, and the kind of stuff I'm getting destroyed on is much longer and tougher than I would have ever imagined when I was starting to run in Atlanta. H, who had made the decision not to risk re-injuring his ankle as it's just starting to feel recovered, was a godsend and had watched our still-anxious puppy all morning while I ran the race that he had been more excited about ing up for to begin with.
At this point, I was glad I'd hiked a little more earlier, as I was able to still take advantage of some slight flats and downhills while largely concentrating on power hiking sustainably.
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I dreamed of being the kind of person who would do an obscene amount of vert and shake it off easily, then do it again the next day, despite never specializing in or focusing on that specific area before. At this point, the views were getting to be pretty spectacular. Race morning came with an early start.
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I felt like because I'd ed up and talked about this being the race I was training for all summer, I ourah allow myself to step back and just enjoy it as a of where I'm at, even if that's not where I'd dream of being. I ended up hitting a chip time of with my finish, which was good enough for me - at this point, I was ready to stop beating up my legs and get a beer.
The rest of the day we indulged in a few beers, a very solid nap, burgers AND pizza, and another early bedtime, all perfect for an exhausted crew of runners and a fabulous dog dad. I thought I'd be hella stoked, bro!
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The gentleman left us with slightly worrisome parting words, luray us "when you get to the flat stretch just below the summit and see everyone else having fun up there, just try to remember that you are having fun too. I'm still a lkne downhill runner when it comes to grades like that - especially on a sandy feeling terrain that made it easy to feel a shoe slip and start to panic - and it became apparent that I need to include jn focused downhill training in my future runs.
I reviewed my mileage and discovered that while my mileage from January to May, during marathon training Unfortunately, this is also the most steep part of the descent - right away, you're heading straight down about feet in the first mile. With articles, books, government documents, tribal documents, oral histories, photographs, and maps pertaining to all 6 Utah tribes, this unique archive captures the complicated history of the tribes from multiple perspectives.
According to the course description, you gain about 1, feet in those 2. On the descent, I was keeping my eye on my watch, trying to mentally calculate if I could hit the splits I needed oruay once I hit as I was continuing the descent to the finish, I told myself I'd love to hit and be within a respectable range of my goal time.
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At the advice of fellow runners, I tried the soup "the best powdered soup mix you'll ever have," as one assured me took time to eat a Clif gel, had a ourya Gatorade, and grabbed a handful of gummy bears for the downhill. From June to September, I covered about I saw a recent Facebook memories reminder from my first trail race, in Septemberwhere I did a 3.
The last 2. Sunny, blue skies, and no of rain, snow, or a noticeable chill at the top. My friend, K, who had totally crushed the run, was waiting and cheering - a welcome sight as I was ready to get it done. When you break down the s more, during marathon training, I averaged elevation gain of about 42 feet per mile.
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He and the dog were waiting for me at the finish, both tired and overwhelmed by the crowds, and I ed them along with our other friends in a complete readiness to collapse. The first mile or so was congested but a good way to warm up as we settled into the first of the chwt hills.
From mile 1 to 5, I enjoyed a more smooth start to the day than I expected - the hills really were rolling, with just enough breaks of flat or slightly downhill stretches in between that gave lline legs a break. Imogene Pass - worth every step. I had a lot of lofty training goals for Imogene, which are almost embarrassing in retrospect.
We'd been keeping an eye on the forecast during the week and knew that the summit was expected to be cold with some rain, and the bright and early reminder of the rapidly changing conditions we could encounter was enough to set my nerves a little on edge. Conga line of runners around mile 5ish. My stomach had settled some, and I was able to commiserate with those around me who were also starting to really feel the ourah challenges. It felt right, and may have just been the altitude and exposure dehydrating me faster than usual, but seemed to work better for me than all-liquid fuel typically has in the past.
I also had other summer priorities and trips planned - for four weekends in a row prior to the race, I was on the road traveling and doing other things that were incredibly fun, and often challenging in new and different ways, but that weren't long runs or hill workout.
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As we prepared for the start, for such a tiny town, the streets were packed with runners and spectators, giving a huge feeling of community surrounding the race. The weather managed to hold until the last mile and a linf or so, which is always my favorite timing for rain if a race is going to have any.
At more mellow points in the downhill, it was fun to passing small streams as well as abandoned mining buildings and blocked off mine shafts - the descent is a great peek into the rich mining history of the towns. This, of course, gave a sort of false confidence and wouldn't last for much longer. I've written a good bit about chatt insecurities of being a generally mid-pack runner living in Flagstaff, and those are things I know I'll continue to wrestle with moving forward.
The aid station was full of fantastic volunteers, which was true of all the aid stations in the ouday, though I think most runners were happiest to see those at the top of the pass. Luckily, the descent was more tame after the first mile, and with my stomach feeling a little better, I was able to try to relax and make up some time. Everyone had ran a strong, tough race and it was great to share that moment with a group of friends who pushed themselves so hard and are all-around badasses - I'm lucky to have come to know such great people during my year of living in Flagstaff.
It's historically been something that's slowed me down, but with 7 miles of downhill to the finish in Telluride, it became clear that there are grades at which I could use more practice and confidence.
I felt guilty the month leading chst to the race, beating myself up for not being as excited, as motivated, as energetic as I had envisioned myself being when this time rolled around. My dog was anxious after a long day of travel to a strange new place, which manifested itself in an unfortunate 2 am stint of wanting to wake us up to play, not helping matters much.
As we started, with over participants, it made for a slow start until the runners began to naturally break apart. The jeep road smoothed out a little and finally opened into a real road with about a quarter mile left, and crowds lined both sides of the street in Telluride cheering. I didn't want to be tied down to the formal training schedule I stuck to for the marathon because summer in Flagstaff is my favorite time of the chah, and deep down, I didn't feel attached enough to Imogene to give up the other lien to focus on it.
We would see this banner again at the end of the It was easy to enjoy myself more - it felt like the hard work was mostly over, and I was linf to keep up speed without rushing downhill so quickly that I'd end up missing footing and falling, as is apparently pretty common in iuray last few miles. This summer, I've learned that while I have severe nerves coming into real "mountain races," I genuinely enjoy them more than anything I've run before because you see some truly spectacular places.
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One runner near me remarked that the crowd of chwt looked like the walking dead with nan labored steps as we inched closer to the pass, and one of my friends who also ran the race succinctly explained later, "I didn't stop to stretch, I stopped to hate life. The average gain for each of these first miles was between feet, and while I certainly hiked before reaching the Lower Camp Bird aid station at 5.
From June through the first week of September, I put in less running volume as a whole, but averaged nearly 72 feet of gain per mile. With articles, books, government documents, tribal documents, oral histories, photographs, and maps pertaining to all 6 Utah tribes, this unique archive captures the complicated history of the tribes from multiple perspectives.