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.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tough training runs for Pikes Peak Marathon training

Going into the 4th of July weekend it was 6 weeks to race day and my longest run to date had been 13 miles.  I had run that distance 4 times in June - that being a base building month - but for whatever reason I was not able to expand my long run distance beyond 13 miles.  Now, July is here and even though I think I have a fairly smart training plan mapped out - it is ambitious for me.

So, the opportunity to go longer happened on Thursday - 2 laps of the 13 mile loop of Falcon Trail on the Air Force Academy - nothing like doubling your longest distance to (recent) date.  My goal was simple: finish.  I knew I would have difficulty on lap 2 - and I did, taking 40 minutes longer than the first.  More on that in a moment or two.

Lap one was comfortable and I was joined by Steve (Happy Trails), we took it nice and conversational the whole way.  As I started on lap 2, Steve continued with me for another mile plus before he had to turn back for his rest of the day plans.  After saying goodbye, my slog began and I quickly ran out of water in the next 4 miles - with 8 to 9 miles to go I knew I needed to be careful - so I dialed it way back and tried to not overheat. 

I eventually made it to the Stanley Canyon parking lot and a family graciously gave me 20 ounces of water.  For the next 2 to 3 miles the trail went mostly downhill and I continued to take it easy, mixing in a bunch of long walking breaks.  I quickly ran out of water again and walked very slowly for another approx. 2 miles before staggering into a fire station alongside the trail.  I must have been a mess as I entered, the firefighters allowed me to sit and stay for 10 - 15 minutes and I drank close to 40 ounces of water and ate their food.

Finally, feeling a little better I left, walked up the last of the steep hills and was then able to run the last 3 miles - slowly, but effectively.  26.25 miles on the day, with that bit extra added on for the 2 small detours off the trail, just under 3000' gain and almost 5 1/2 hours on my feet.

Friday was a running rest day - but that and the 2 weekend days involved some numbing cross training: that being painting the exterior of my house, roller and brush style.  Up and down the ladder several hundred times for 4 to 6 hours each day.

My two weekend runs are usually light runs - Saturday was a 3 mile jaunt on the treadmill at 15% grade - doing minute intervals.  Not exactly easy, in fact I was a sweaty mess long before I was done.  Then on Sunday I did an easy 10 miler - out and back on Santa Fe Trail.  This run was longer than my usual Sunday run too.

And then there was today..... another ambitious run.  The highest I have been up Barr Trail in the past many months was the "1/2 mile to Barr Camp" sign.  Today - like last Thursday - I was looking to about double it.  With an early start I planned on going up the entire trail and doing the Ascent.  This time I carried a water pack and more food - I was not going to run out today.  But with the extra weight, not to mention 7900' elevation gain over the 13 miles - my goal today was simple too: finish.

It wasn't pretty - well the trail was, but I wasn't - and I walked most of the top 4 miles, finally summiting in 4:11.  No problems with running out of food or water though.

So, in 5 days I have run 52+ miles, gained about 12,000', been on my feet running or walking (not including ladder / painting time) for about 11 1/2 hours - plus I had a rest day in there.  For me, that is a tough training block that I am glad I am done with.  Hopefully it will bank well for race day.  I still have a lot more work to do though.  But next up: a nap.


  1. Good Job Craig! That's a heck of a week of training. I'm sure it will pay off on race day.
    2 loops at the academy sounds painful. I did a loop the other day there and was glad when I finished one loop.

  2. I would calculate the elevation for the ladder trips, and then get a new sum for that period ;-) Good running with you Thursday and glad that there was no S.O.S. from the summit this morning!