(Heading up Hagerman Pass into an impending storm, for the final time this summer. Photo: Rob O'dea Photography)
This morning, on the heavily traveled Boulder Creek Path, a person called out to me, "Dude, you need to eat more!" I was mostly happy to get a more creative comment than the typical "Run Forrest, Run!" (my head and facial hair choices don't help much), but I'll also take it as an indelible signifier of peak fitness.
I've made it unscathed. I'm prepared; all that is left to do is rest. The last ten weeks of training have been remarkably consistent and (historically uncharacteristically) reasonable in their volume, starting with the second week of June: 106 miles (first week really back after two months of very little running due to knee issues), 154, 150, 156, 151, 183, 113 (White River 50 taper), 155, 180, 142 (half taper week). This comes out to 22-28 hours per week of running all above 10,000' and with a heavy emphasis on vertical gain. Because running up and down mountains is what I prefer.
I have done runs of 40 miles or more five times this summer, including the final 50 miles of the Leadville 100 course in 6:58 ten days ago. Two years ago I did that exact training run two weeks out from Leadville in 7:26 and ran 16:14 during the race. I am excited to see what Saturday reveals.
Last Thursday I finally made it down to Grays (14,270') and Torreys (14,267') for a go on those peaks. I was in a hurry and thus didn't have time for any sort of warm-up from the Bakerville parking lot (the road climbs steeply right from the start), and consequently ended up putting in a quite casual effort to the summit of Grays in 1:28:27.
Jeff V informed me over the weekend that that is a Fastest Known Time for an ascent from Bakerville, so I thought I would mention it mostly to just get the splits and time in a public venue for record-keeping purposes. I am pretty confident that right now I am in shape to go probably two minutes faster to the trailhead and another two or three minutes faster from the trailhead to the summit if I put forth a focused effort, so if I don't get the time to get back up there this fall with fresh legs someone else should certainly go improve upon this roughly 4500' climb.
Splits: Trailhead Bridge/Kiosk, 32:20;
Big Sign after the long flattish section, 50:40 (this first 50min of the run I was never pressing);
Big Rock Cairn before right turn onto long rocky traverse, 1:01:35;
Trail split for Grays or Torreys, 1:11:40;
Grays Summit, 1:28:27 (for a 56:07 from the trailhead; I believe Jeff has hit this fresh in 54:38).
Of course, I did the extra 500' of vertical descent and ascent for the obligatory summit of Torreys Peak as well.