The summit of La Plata, my third fourteen thousand foot mountain for the day, still seemed impossibly far away. The storm system that had surprisingly reappeared just over my shoulder was now again not so quietly building up force. Thunder boomed. On any other day I would have called it.
Shortly after finishing up 34 days of bagging some high peaks, self-powered.
Since completing my own Tour 14er, where I rode to, then summited the 58 (by my count) Colorado mountain peaks over 14,000 feet, I’ve started to get a fair bit of correspondence from people telling me that they’re inspired by what I’ve (and others) have done. They think to themselves: Boy howdy: I own a bike and there’s a group of mountains nearby that have that siren-like song attracting me to climb them – why not use my bike to ride to all of those mountains, then summit: fair means and self-supported?
Then they ask me, “So well: what are the details? How do you pull this off?”
After crossing the finish line, letting out a long slow exhale, a big smile – and then a little cry to myself in the corner of the parking lot: my 2015 Dirty 30 was in the bag @ 5:50:33. Relief.
The days leading up to the race were a little less than ideal: I caught a cold! Right when the weather relented from the weeks of rain, rain, rain. I missed a few runs I wanted to do, and exchanged them for very easy sessions of spinning on the bike indoors, or doing nothing at all. Better to let the cold pass, than to potentially make things worse. A bit too sheer of a drop off for tapering for my tastes, but it’s what I was given. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that I have years of base building, I’ve been relatively injury free all year – save a small hamstring strain I’ve consciously worked to prevent in the future, and I’ve been PR’ing all over the place. Time to line up!
The morning of the race started for me at 3:00am. Awake, I rode my bike to C’s, and she drove us to the fairgrounds parking lot, where I caught the shuttle to the start, while she slumbered in the back of the Sub for a few more hours before her own 12 mile race. Waking up four hours before the race seemed less than ideal, but it gave me plenty of time to drink coffee and graze the food I brought: raw cashews, dates, oranges and bananas; without being overly caffeinated or giving myself cramps during the race itself.
I was asked by UD to attend the Runners High Fun Run.
But. There’s… things about me you don’t understand. I Am A Loner Dottie, (A Rebel!), so getting me to do something in a group of people is tricky. UD do a lot for me – essentially they’re a huge fan of awesome things in the mountains, of which I tend to do a lot of, so going to this fun run is No Big Deal for me to accept. And the running community is accepting to weird people like me, since it’s just full of weird people already.
Along with the fun run, which was fun, since my sweetie ran with me, was the Elite Panel afterwards, which included Andrew Skurka.
He’s an interested character, with pretty firm opinions on technique and gear, but he also backs up his opinions with research and data. Love it. One of his articles, Pace charts for TNF 50. And how everyone starts too fast, seemed like a good one to put to the test, using my gps data from the recon run.
South Boulder Peak
Monday, May 4, 2015 – Rest
The deluge of last week finally hit me.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 – Green Mountain (S)
This was a pretty difficult week to get through, as I needed to move to a new house, I had a rehearsal, then to play a show in Estes Park. My Brother was also in town for a few days, and I wanted to hang out with him, giving me another variable in an already busy week. I knew all this going into the week and adjusted my expectations accordingly.
Somewhat puzzling, I haven’t mentioned on this site officially that I’m now an Ultimate Direction Ambassador! I utilized the UD Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest on my little 14er Mountain Bike/Run shindig last year and it filled out the exact niche I needed: a pack that I could ride and run in, without being too bulky or heavy – and still make it to the end of the month+ adventure somewhat intact.