|Action pose when I came up on Shaun during the descent. That thin line to my right is the road way below - it's switches back and forth like that for about the last 4 miles to the top.|
We arrived at the base of the mountain and got started around 7:40am. I left while he was still adjusting his hydration pack, since we weren't planning on running together anyway. The climb was relaxed and easy. I only broke into a walk when eating or taking in a particularly nice view and reached the summit in around 2:40. I stopped just long enough to eat some clif bloks and chat with a couple people who were surprized I ran up and planned to run down (we were the only two running on the mountain amidst a parade of cyclists) and I was on my way.
After descending about 3.5 miles, I bumped into Shaun and he decided to head back at that point. Gravity pulled me on much of the run down but there are many sections of flat and even incline, so there was still work to be done. I was out of water just after starting the descent and only ate about 300 cals total, so I was sort of loping and groggy for portions of the descent. I was happy to be done, for sure.
My goals for this last longer effort before Hardrock were:
Run at higher elevation (14,270 feet with A LOT of running with all the switchbacks between 13k-14k)
Get in a long, sustained climb (15 miles to the summit)
Beat up my quads a bit on a long descent (15 miles down, all on pavement)
Accomplished them all. Elevation has never seemed to phase me, for which I'm grateful. The maintained slight drop in weight since San Diego 100 two weeks ago helped with the climbing; I felt light and energetic. Quads feel good this morning even after the sustained pounding descent. Shaun and I then nearly put Bojeau's Pizza out of business with a couple of stacked pizzas and relay laps of the salad bar. Great way to spend the day.
Wore the prototype Cross-Compression shorts by McDavid, along with my MD calf sleeves. These really helped stabilize the muscle shaking and vibration on the descent and probably, at least partially, why my legs feel just fine this morning. Finishing the week with:
64 miles running (11,000+ feet climb)
16 miles speed walking
22 miles road ride at 20mph
By the time I got home, the Western States leaders were just past the half way point. I followed the race the rest of the day, barely able to stay awake for Kilian's finish in 15:34.
There'll be enough digestion of the race on blogs, both amateur and knowledgeable over the next few days but my initial standout thoughts are:
- 14 guys under 17 hrs
- Ellie Greenwood's monster surge and win
- AJW running probably the best race of his life
- Just 1 American in the top 5
What thoughts do you (the 3 readers of this site) have?