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Showing posts from July, 2018

Re-learning Ultra

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This has been a process in the making since July 2016. Why so far back? Because that's when I ran my first 50 mile race - rediscovering my love of long distances and trail running. I'd had plans for more running races in 2017 - not as long as 50 miles, but eyeing a 50k or two in addition to my mountain bike races. But that was not to happen. My running in 2017 was severely curtailed by the eye flares throughout March and April. I ran some, but kept it short so not to irritate my eye any more then the mountain biking already did. The management strategies I have in place to keep my eye happy seemed to be working. Time to start looking at some long races! Based on timing, my desire to do Vapor Trail 125 for a fifth time, and my hesitancy to do another 50 mile race, I choose a local event on my backyard trails. The Pikes Peak Ultra 50k.

I've been keeping this one quiet - just because I haven't really felt much like a runner the last few months. It's been a roller coas…

a sense of loss

It's a strange feeling when something that's been part of your life for the last 4 years is suddenly ripped away. Even though I've been focusing mostly on running the last few months in prep for my Pikes Peak Ultra 50k, I was still preparing for a fifth run at the Vapor Trail 125. I wasn't 100% committed, but was 95% sure that I would be toeing the line come 10:00 PM on Sept 8th. After four consecutive finishes with one first and three second place finishes, I couldn't imagine anywhere else I would want to be.

I saw some posts and photos on Facebook that indicated there was something up. A photo with a road closure sign at the bottom of the north side of Tomichi pass. One of the race organizers asking questions about routes that connected up to the top of Granite Mountain. I didn't connect the two together - thinking Tom was just out exploring. Besides, it's only the beginning of July - September is a long way away and I had closer events to think about. I …

Almagre - Almost

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I'd made it one of my goals this year - ride up to the summit of Almagre. I've been eyeing the road that cuts across the lower slopes for the last few years, thinking it would be a great training day for Vapor. It had everything - long grinding climbs, jeep road descents and then singletrack to finish it out. And it would provide the hours in the saddle that I need for Vapor. I'm not a fan of doing a new route by myself though, so after all those years of eyeing the road, I still hadn't made it to the summit.

Finally, it was time. Nick was willing to ride up there with me and then show me the singletrack descent off the summit. We didn't get as early a start as I wanted, but the weather was supposed to be decent for most of the day. It was also a few degrees cooler then the last few days, so we packed light on water. We both brought our filters with us, with the plan to stop in a few places and treat water. The less we had to carry, the easier the ride would be for…