[caption id="attachment_85" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A short section of the run was through the "burn area" - a fire from years ago. Nature doesn't rebound from stupid humans as quickly as we'd like to think."][/caption]
I've always been sensitive and observant of stark contrasts in my life, cold/hot, bright/dark, quiet/loud. This week was almost a complete contrast with last week, in terms of running anyway. Last week was a series of group and friend runs, in which I ran once alone. This week I ran solo for all but today.
Today, I met my favorite running couple at Buffalo Creek (Pine CO). After a little snafu of where we were supposed to meet, we finally got together and started at 11am. This run served a couple of purposes: I wanted to run with Steve and Kathleen (happytrails) and I wanted to do the first of several reconnaissance runs on the North Fork 50 mile race course. I succeeded on both fronts.
The weather was perfect, warm, sunny, no wind. We rolled out and maintained a comfortable pace for 11 miles at which point I ran a bit off the front at an aggressive pace, mostly to shake the aches in my hips and to get a feel for the course at race pace. I picked a good spot because it was an almost constant rolling, winding single track that dropped about 1,300 feet in around 6 miles. Other than having been out of water for quite a while, I was in a groove and enjoying the run tremendously.
[caption id="attachment_86" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mile 10.53. I look like a blind, autistic child."][/caption]
A leg soak in a cold mountain stream put pain into perspective, but it was so worthwhile. We finished the run with a nice little tailgate picnic of black forest ham, salami, two kinds of cheese, sub rolls, chips, pretzels, and fruit (thanks so much, Steve and Kathleen!!!). What a great day!
So, with today, the week was solid:
81 miles in 5 runs in a bit over 11 hours
Mon: 7 miles
Wed: 27 miles, steady and easy
Fri: 17 miles with a few 3-5 min fartleks
Sat: 11 miles, steady and easy recovery
Sun: 19 miles, 2:55, good rollers and steady, longer climbs, between 6,500 ft and 8,100 ft
Feeling solid and looking forward to a good season of racing and running.