I don't know if I would have run this run today - if I was doing a "normal" training for the Pikes Peak Ascent. Mind you, I'm not sure if there is a consensus as to what "normal" training is.
This is my first Pikes Peak Ascent, it's a race I have thought about for 2 or 3 years and commited in my mind to do a year ago. I'm repeating myself from earlier posts, but never have been so unprepared physically for such a "goal" race. I have not had much of a choice, knee surgery 5 weeks ago, started running 11 days ago. Training has indeed been limited.
And yet, I couldn't be more excited about this Saturday. I will probably post later this week a goal time. At this stage, I am still quite clueless as to what to expect for a finish time. But this afternoon I went up to the Summit to get a run in - to both train and to see what I could do.
I got to the Summit about 4pm, skies were looking a little precarious but I hoped for the best and trotted down the Barr Trail. I saw a 1/2 dozen hikers coming up between the Summit and Cirque - then no-one til I was on the way back, 5 minutes from the top.
So, I basically had the trail to myself. I'm okay with that - although on race day I expect that to be very very different - not sure what to expect above treeline. Able to pass people? Being passed by people? People passing out?
I went down 3 miles - took it easy as the knee still doesn't like downhills - but kind of surprised myself that I was down 3 miles in just under 40 minutes. The Garmin put me at 3 miles about halfway between the "3 miles to go" sign and the little turn off trail to A-Frame. Yet on the return trip it gave me 3.06 miles. Could be an altitude thing or the multitude of switchbacks.
Took a few minutes at my turnaround to empty the shoes, drink some water and look up - way up. I told myself to try not to do that on Saturday.
2 Sundays ago my son and I had done the top 3 miles in 70 minutes, today I wanted to beat that. I did. Total time up was 1 hour on the button.
Saw a few Mountain Goats on the way down - got quite close especially on the way up, just above treeline - those things are huge. At the very top a couple of guys were just starting their way down. I'm certain they are running this weekend, thinking about it they looked very similar and I know there are brothers running one of the races. (I just checked race website: Marc and Oscar Casal Mir - from Andorra). Quite possibly could of been them.
As I passed them one of them asked me (phonetically speaking) "did you come from Maan ee toe?" - "no" I managed to say - "just 3 miles down". The other one responded "Ow, that is goot"
I thought it was too. And I wasn't even struck by lightning.