Something new for me was heading down to Manitou Springs on Saturday (left the house at 3:40 am) to run with Rick Hessek, Dan Vega, and Scott (the other Scott) from CRUD. Having not done much vertical this year due to my crazy schedule and my dislike for treadmills I was in for it. I had no idea what kind of work I was about to get into except that I was going to do the Incline after 3 hours of running. We started promptly at 5am and ran up the start of the Barr Trail Race and then took a left onto "no name trail" which actually is called "water pipe trail" according to the CRUD guys.
That was aptly justified as we hopped the first of many no trespassing signs and ran across a water pipe bridge just seconds after Scott declared he was scared of heights. That ended up leading us to the Cog Railway which we ran up for a few miles and then over to Barr Camp. So, first 7 miles +4500' and I was toasted on the climbing. The nice thing is that what goes up also comes down and I was finally able to show that I'm a fairly talented downhill runner (minus the falling :) which I did again at the bottom on the easy part!)
The Incline was ridiculous and I made Rick and Dan wait about 20 minutes for me to finish (sorry guys). I made it and we continued up a short bit on single track which I thought was mean, but it made up for itself as we got to run more downhill. It was nice to have such talented and friendly tour guides to take me around, and I was especially impressed with Dan's fluent stride. I swear the whole time we were running it looked like he was getting a massage; I must have looked like someone was giving my a giant wedgie ;)
At the bottom it was 4:06 of running and just under 20 miles (that's basically a moderately slow pace with a giant 1 mile asterisk) and a total of +7000'. Hardrock stuff, certainly the pace. It was good time on the feet and my run today was nice and easy 10 flat and the legs responded just fine.
Now, I'll take it easy this week and try to stay tuned up for Sageburner this weekend. I'm getting excited to finally see where this training has taken me. Stay tuned...