Monday, June 4, 2012

A Not Really Quite Summer Yet Night's Dream

About mile 20 into the night... about to start up Long's Ranch Road.

One thing that I have learned in regards to ultra training is that you have to be flexible.  Long runs take time and sometimes life happens and you have to adjust.  For instance, the plan for this weekend was that I was on-call Friday night, and I had expected to get at least a little sleep that night then meet up with the CRUD runners the second half of the Ring The Peak run.   That was to be my long run of the week and then I'd pick up a few miles on Sunday.


Work had other ideas and after being up all night Friday night, Saturday morning, I was finally able to crash around 10:00 a.m.  After four hours of sleep Saturday morning/afternoon I was a walking mess.  Zombie's are more functional.  I scrapped any plans of doing any running on Saturday altogether.  Going to bed for a real night of sleep late Saturday night I told Melissa that I wasn't sure when I would wake up on Sunday morning but that I was going to sleep until I did.  As far as a run went on Sunday I told her also that I would figure it out the next day.  I knew that I had or wanted to get in a long run but I wasn't quite sure how to fit it in with the remaining time for the weekend.

Sunday morning I woke up and as I was being lazy and not wanting to get out of bed yet I came up with the plan... Melissa was to be on travel the following week and was leaving later on Sunday afternoon.  I could not in all good conscience take off for several hours and then miss hanging out with her for what little time she was going to be home so I decided my run would wait until she was ready to leave... So I hung out at home and did things around the house until later in the afternoon... also it gave me a few hours to hatch my plan... 30 miler... Park in Manitou, up Barr Trail to the .5 mile to Barr Camp sign, then back down to Bob's Road, Long's Ranch Road, Waldo Canyon, back up Longs Ranch Road to Bob's Road to Barr Trail then back to Manitou.  Lots of climbing and the way things were looking... a lot of time in the dark!

The elevation profile for my nocturnal wanderings.
 After caching water at the base of LRR, I drove to Manitou and started running about 5:30 in the afternoon.  It was warm out but not too bad.  The trip of Barr Trail for the most part was non-eventful except for the heavy rain which started about the time I reached the top of the W's and lasted till almost No Name Creek.  By the time was down to Highway 24 and about to crossover to go to Waldo, it was pretty much dark.  Headlamp time!

So far I had made my two splits... the first one to the .5 mile sign and the second one to the bottom of LRR but here is  where the drift occurred.  I was in Waldo a lot longer than I planned on being so my time was off almost 30 minutes by the time I was back across 24 and on my way up LRR.  I hadn't taken into account just how much more slowly I move in the dark especially on trails when I am being careful.  Running in Waldo though, alone at night and with it so quiet was a real treat.  The moon was not out from behind the clouds yet but there was still a lot of ambient light too.

But once I got back to Long's Ranch Road and was starting up I was at mile 20 of my little adventure and the options to bail or cut the course short started to run through my head... I could chop it down to 24-25 miles, 28???  Or do I stick to the plan.  Well, once I got past the Ute Pass Trail cutoff, I was at least committed to the top of Long's...  The trip up Long's took time but believe it or not the split up and well, all the way to Barr Trail via Bob's road was right on.  I had figured that at sometime on that climb I would have to put on a heavier shirt over my T shirt but I never got cold.  Even once hitting Barr Trail and starting to descend I was still warm.

My time down Barr Trail back to Manitou wasn't that great either... again I just wrote it off as running trail in the dark and the slowdown that I normally experience.  Even though it was slow I still felt strong even if it was the middle of the night. It even stayed warm all the way to the Jeep.

Running through Manitou some kid was standing outside The Keg, no shirt, no shoes and I swear just his boxer shorts talking to two young, dare I say ladies... He saw me running towards them and looked surprised.  He asked me what I was running from in kind of a smart ass tone.

I turned and looked at him as I was passing, I smiled and with a raised voice so that they could hear me, I answered, "Old age!"

It was a great run, in the middle of the night and except for the little bit of rain the weather was just perfect.   When most people would be sleeping and dreaming, I got to have one of the best trail runs ever and that's pretty cool.

87 miles last week... 16,968 feet of climbing in 18 hours and 30 minutes pretty much.  

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