Monday, June 8, 2009
Weekend Trail Run and a Loooong Climb.
Saturday was supposed to be an easy run day or 45 minutes of easy running in zones 1 and 2. Rick was in the mood for a trail run, so he suggested that we take the dog out to Lair of the Bear open space park and get a run in (he would run with the dog). Those of you who know me, know that I absolutely love trail running, so I jumped at the chance. I also knew that my nice easy run had just turned into a hard one, mainly due to all of the climbing that you have to do at the beginning.
It felt good to get out to the woods again, but I could definitely tell that my legs were not used to trail running anymore. They are most definitely stronger then they were when I first starting mountain trail running, but I still have a long way to go. The 2.50 mile climb was hard, especially since I had to try and keep my heart rate down in zones 1 and 2. I had to keep an 11 to 12 minute mile pace for my 15 minute warm up and then an 10-11 minute per mile pace to keep my heart rate in zone 2. When I finally reached the top, it was a great feeling to know that it was all downhill from there! It felt awesome to get out and build up some endurance in my legs and you couldn't beat the weather for this time of year. I can't believe that it's June and we are still having 70 degree weather days. I love it! I finished my run and ran down to the parking lot to find Rick and the dog playing in the stream (the dog, not Rick). He had done a 35 minute trail run all the way to the top of a very steep trail. His goal of the day was to not stop on the trail and he did it! This particular section of the trail is extremely steep; I opted out because I knew that my heart rate would be in zone 5c if I took it. I am glad that he seems to be taking such an interest in running. Maybe one of these days I'll have a marathon partner.
Sunday, I had a bike ride on my schedule. I was supposed to get in at least 2.15 to 2.50 hours on the bike. Rick and I decided to go out and bike Squaw pass. This is about an 18 mile climb to the top to Echo Lake. Once at the top, you can then continue on up Mt. Evans road to over 14,000 ft. We would not be doing Mt. Evans road. Squaw Pass is a very steady, but totally do-able ride, that won't break you if you are used to riding in the mountains. The first couple of times that I have done it, the ride itself seemed very daunting, but I am used to the climbing now and I love it. It hurts, but it is a good hurt. We took our time and averaged about 9 MPH on the way up. Not great time, but not bad either for an 18 mile climb. This was my first climb of the season. The ride down was fun, but cold! Colorado had storms brewing in the afternoon. There were 5 tornados that touched down and lots of hail. We later found out that it had started to snow at Echo Lake. I'm glad we made it down before that.
Tonight is ab work and stretching. Legs off day. My legs feel great though, even after all of that climbing.