Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week in Review 10/16 to 10/22 Climbing the Mountain

First of all - New Zealand wins the Rugby World Cup!!!  Didn't get to see any of it.  Was 2 am in the Mtn Time Zone when they played it in New Zealand.  I was more interested in sleeping.  I think it was replayed on TV this afternoon but I was at a kids soccer game (3 - 0 winners!).

This past week was looking for a while like a little to maybe even no running week.  The past weekend I got ill, which left me unable to eat much of anything at all - resulting in very little energy.  Finally started to feel better on Wednesday and was able to eat more.

Thursday rolled around and I was feeling better - as well as having a desire to still try to get 30 miles in for the week.  Maybe 3 days in a row of 10 milers?  Or maybe a long run, then 2 smaller runs?  Or maybe just run and see what happens?

The (Pikes) Peak was calling my name and just before noon I answered - stopped at Safeway for a couple of Energy bars, which are like bagel loaves.  Ate one of those, along with a snickers, grabbed a gatorade and drove over to Manitou.

Didn't get started till after 12:30.  From the start (at the Cog Depot) I first wanted to get up to Barr Camp, maybe even try to go to A-Frame.  I started out fairly easy and walked probably too much during the W's.  Was mid 60's so I did work up a good sweat and was actually feeling quite tired.  Finally started to get my energy back after about an hour or so.  Continued to eat another energy bar and hydrate - stopping briefly to take photos along the way.

As I got to the "flat section" - about 5 miles into my journey, the Summit looks so far away.
Finally made it to Barr Camp, about 6 1/2 miles - running time was 1:51.  Actual time was longer due to photo and fueling stops.  Checked in there and ate some more.  Decided I had time and desire to go for A-Frame.  Was still in the 50's, no snow yet.  I did put on my gloves though as I could feel the temperature was naturally going to be cooler as I got higher up the trail.

I had only once gone higher than Barr Camp (from Manitou) - and that was during the Ascent Race.  This day I paid attention more to what was around me.  I also noticed that the altitude really started to get me for the next couple of miles.  On one stop, I found a new friend.
Cute little guy came within 2 feet of me as he was enjoying the sun radiating off the rocks. 

Started to get into snow, packed and icy in spots about a 1/2 mile from A-Frame.  Resulted in lots more walking, which in turn helped with breathing better.  Got to A-Frame and the total distance I had travelled was just under 9 miles.  Looking up and knowing on a decent day it would take at least another hour to Summit, with the sun getting closer to going behind the Peak / Summit, yet still wanting more - I decided to go for 10 total miles.

Above tree line the snow was thicker (up to 8" or so) in many spots.  Some places the trail was hard to find.  But it was fun.  Hard work, but fun.
At about 9 1/2 miles I lost the Sun, still in just a T-Shirt, shorts and gloves - it got cold.  I had warmer gear in a bag I had brought with me - but didn't put it on (probably should of, still sniffing from a cold now). 

Finally got up to the sign: "....elev 12,700'....Summit 2 miles. 
I had really slowed down - the last mile took me about 40 minutes due to snow and fatigue, mixed with altitude.  3 hours 20 minutes for 10 miles - just over 6100 feet of climbing.

I did some math as I turned and started down - had a pipe dream to get back down for a round trip time of 5 hours.  Getting back to tree line was slow going with the snow and I was out of food, almost out of water, nearly out of gas.  But I plugged along, slip sliding away at times - still having fun.  I knew I was in for a long day.  Had already been long, but was really worth it.

As I was getting closer to Barr Camp I managed to get into a better rhythm - not fast, but out of the snow and ice, past most of the rocky, root sections - trying to do math in my head as I was moving to figure out what I needed to be doing to beat 5 hours - then I bit the dust. 
Fortunately when I went down I still had my gloves on.  The left knee took the worst of it, scraped up my forearm some also and got a couple of scratches on the garmin which is a bummer.  If anything it made me mentally focus more and after I pulled myself together for a few moments I got back at it.

The closer I got to the bottom the more I realized I need to go faster - the last 3 miles I had to go 7 minutes per mile - which is nice that it is all downhill but not nice that it is not a smooth, straight trail.  I did it, with 14 seconds to spare.  Just under 5 hours for the 20 mile round trip.  5 hours of moving time.  Almost 6 hours of actual time.  A few nice war wounds, lots of pictures - and a really enjoyable afternoon.

Briefly: I got my 30 miles in for the week.  The next day (Friday) a 2 1/2 mile shake out - quite sore - run.  Then Saturday morning before kids Soccer games a slow 7 1/2 miles. 

So, what started out what looked like a week of futility - ended well.  Still sore after taking Sunday to rest the legs more.  The muscles hurt some, the blood from the tumble was more blood than anything really.  I'm more ticked off that I scratched the watch.  Still works though.  Looking forward to another week of running.


  1. You salvaged a good week after all - nice job! Bummer about the GPS - unfortunately those don't heal like flesh wounds do! I have a feeling the snow will be much farther down Barr after Wednesday....

  2. Helluva way to bank the mileage.