Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Imogene Pass Run

Cheezin' before the start.  

Imagine a 1 year old trying to walk.  Their big ass head is too heavy atop tooth pick legs.

Muscles not yet developed, their knees lock and buckle and wobble.  Their gait is barely manageable.
Did you imagine them with a happy drooling face?

Me too!!!

Sunday Sept 13, I did my best to mimic the one year old.  My left knee felt slightly off.  Calves ached. Upper back muscles spasmed.  Quads throbbed. Walking was strange.

My lungs burned.

Support crew.  

My mind felt good, though.  I, too, was probably drooling.

The day prior, I spent my morning jogging up the ever steepening Imogene pass road.  I was not alone, hundreds of others joined for the 49th annual slog.
Ten miles of agonizing alpine splendor departed from Ouray, Colorado at 730 am.  Upon reaching the 13,100 foot treeless pass, I paused for a picture. 

tired but stoked to go downhill

I snapped one at the top of the pass and another a half-assed breathless selfie.  I didn't even waste seconds...silly seconds.... to frame a photo or ask someone to take one.  In fact, I am not sure words would have formulated a sentence, I was so pooped.

A handstand crossed my mind.  To be honest, my arms hurt from pushing off my legs during the last mile of the ascent.  One guy did stop and do push-ups.  Gave me a chuckle.

During the ascent, internal dialogue kept my mind busy.  Chase the girl in purple, don't let the heavy breather behind you show himself.  Hike the steeps fast.  This shouldn't feel easy!

For the descent, I cued up a play list Max created....ACDC started things off with the tempo I needed.

 Highway to Hell!  

The way down included another knee pounding, calf twisting 7 miles of equally steep and cobbled road into Telluride, Colorado.   I thought music might be nice.  I counted the songs...14 should get me there, hopefully less.    

The dirt road dumped out quickly into the town of Telluride.   I had mentally prepared to turn the corner onto pavement and have to run another mile thru town.  Instead I was pleasantly greeted with thousands of people and a quick 200 yard dash across the finish line.

A 17.1 mile mountain pass run.  Something I have been wanting to tick off my list since moving to Colorado over ten years ago.

I finished.

Twenty minutes slower overall than I wanted, most of that time lost on the climb.  I ran the first 5 miles in 50 minutes.  My pace changed drastically on the last 5 miles, as the terrain steepened.

I shouldn't complain, I hadn't trained.  The last time I ran over 10 miles was with Max in June and before than was in Patagonia in January.

I had hoped that hiking Longs once a week would suffice.  It certainly helped but 6 miles hiking uphill with a backpack is different than running 10 miles uphill.

That last mile above tree line took me 20 minutes!
It hurt.  Mentally and physically.

I descended at a surprisingly descent pace, overall finishing in 3:17.  I placed 5th in my age group and my legs were still attached.

Afterward, I soaked them in the river and hung out with the girls.
Oh, we also went thrift store shopping and I picked up this killer onesy :)

We then drove to Bedrock, Colorado to visit the Peoples Land.  Nao and B-man have been growing food and building a shipping container home on the land.  The garden is off the hook!!!  Plenty of cabbage for everyone!