There is no bad weather, only soft people. This was the mantra last night during my second Falcon v1.0 of the last 3 days. It was a bit colder than Tuesday's trip, but bearable. Projected weather at the top was in the range of 15*-18* with light snow and fog.
We'd dealt with the fog during the last trip, but it wasn't too bad really, you could still see Denver through a diffused haze and it was really cool. Last night however, there were times when I couldn't even really see my own feet. It was really OK until about 1/2 a mile below the shelter, then the fun began. Luckily, there had been one hiker and a bike to this point so I was able to just stare at the ground and follow the tracks. The overlooks weren't tracked but at this point visibility was still a good 8ish feet so I was not concerned. What really got it going was the gate at the base of the meadow view trail and the fire road leading to parmalee, from here the entire upper loop was 3-6 feet of visibility with sections that I just "trusted" that I knew the trail well enough to keep going.
I was really tired, but the run gave me confidence that I can continue to push my body through rough patches. Coming down was the tricky part and a few times I came close to running completely off the side of the mountain, but I was going slow so it wasn't ever really much problem besides the lack of sight. All in all, it was a good training run, and though I was slower than Tuesday by about 10 minutes, most of that was on the downhill sections where I was simply making sure I was on trail and not on my face. The good thing is that I'm beginning to view Mt. Falcon as just a nice place to run rather than a place of suffering that I could only hit when I had a day to give for rest afterwards. I am more comfortable with the steepness, and I can run the whole thing even if I'm tired. In fact, both last night and on Tuesday were days that I had lifted and run earlier in the day.
Here are my thoughts: I'm stronger now than I was a month ago, a lot stronger. Hopefully that will help me in the last 20 miles of Hellgate. That's my focus right now. I'm not worried about the first 47, I've been there, and it's steep which will make it easier for me to chill out and let the race come to me. I've got some more work to do in order to know what is gonna be the right call in terms of clothing for the night section, right now I'm either too hot, or too cold. I have however figured out the glove situation which is one puzzle solved. I've got my fuel figured out (I think) and I am confident that I can learn from my prior mistakes. I'm ready.
I'll do some sort of odds/prediction contest for my finishing time for Hellgate, but right now I'm leaning to the 14.5 hour mark +/- 1 hour at the over/under so we'll see where the final line is. Also leaning towards Dogfish Head brews...
Like GZ, I'm considering throwing my name into the WS100 lottery just to see what happens. The race is actually become less desireable for me with it's rising cost (other factors too), but it comes at what could potentially be my best timeframe to run 100. Though there is a closer, perhaps more viable option in the Black Hills 100. I've got some thinking and some talking to do with the fam. We're definitely going to be taking a trip to CA sometime in the spring/early summer next year to hang with the folks, and my sister who will be moving back to Salinas with her hubs and doggy. That brings into play Miwok and or Way Too Cool as well as a host of PCTR runs. We'll have to see what shakes out, but it's time to start thinking about it with all the lottery crap happening soon.
Now give me some turkey and stuffing!