LooseCrew-JeffO: Training Camp: Night Run

LooseCrew-JeffO

Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Training Camp: Night Run

Terri found Cody!
She parked at the bottom of the gulch and hiked up to the last place she saw him. When she got back to her car, Cody was there waiting.
Unlikely happy ending.







Loading up for Saturday's 26-mile run.







Turquoise Lake From Hagerman Road.




I went back to Saturday night's car-camping spot to straighten out the mess in my car and look for bear sign. It sure sounded like the bear growl that night came from directly behind my car, but apparently it came from about 100 degrees to the left, and less than 20 feet away. Several feet away, I found part of a tent (no rips), and some trash at the bottom of the hill. Not sure if these items had anything to do with the scavenging of a bear.

The Colorado Trail on the flanks of Mt. Elbert.

The night run was lots of fun. We were dropped off at Twin Lakes by bus and started running just before dark.
During the LT100, I plan to have baggies and two small stuff-sacks. I don't want to stand around one second more than absolutely necessary. When I blow through aid stations, I'll stuff food into my pouches, like the squirrel I am, and eat while I walk. I'll walk very slowly as I eat, but at least it'll be forward!
They told us there will be 11 opportunities to stop at aid stations. If you stop for 5 minutes at each, then you've just added an hour to your race time. If you finish 20 minutes late, you can blame your lagging at aid stations.

For some reason, I couldn't even feel the previous two day's mileage. I was ready to go!
Mimicking what I expect race-day, I walked and ate while we climbed up out of Twin Lakes. That is one of the steepest climbs on the course, and the worst 30 feet are next to the Twin Lakes aid station. It's vertical and loose. Not the thing tired legs want to tackle.

Once you're up, it's a very awesome single-track run for many miles on rolling terrain. This is the section where you can get your shit together and assess what you've done, where you're at in the race, and what you need to do. This is the section where you decide your race. Do you go for sub-25 hours? Are you in danger - imbalanced electrolytes, hydration, food? Time to make sure your feet are under you.
Also time, if you find yourself alone, to turn all your lights off for several seconds and look straight up at the stars. Wow! And at that point, it can get a bit emotional as you realize how lucky you are to be healthy, to live in this country where we worry about whether or not we'll DNF instead of whether or not someone will blow you up or shoot you, how awesome humans CAN be, and how you're helping to destroy the imagined limits of humankind, ...

I certainly ran harder the last half of the night run than I plan to run at Leadville, but it was a fantastic feeling. I could see someone's light ahead of me occasionally, and behind me occasionally, but very often there was no sign of anyone else on the trail. When we got down to Halfmoon Road, I could see them ahead. Their headlamp kept swinging around to look back, so I know I was pushing whoever it was. And I could tell the guy behind me was trying to catch me. But none of us were actually racing. It was all a sort of spiritual feeling - kind of a way to touch each other in the night in a distant but camaraderie sort of way. If we'd actually wanted to race, I suppose there would have been some passing.

At the finish, there was more beer. The burritos were VERY good! I had two beers and two burritos, plus hot cocoa while we watched runners come in and the mostly-full moon rise.

Then I caught a shuttle back to Leadville to clean up and sleep.

I'm lounging at the Proving Grounds, now. I actually have to do some computer/networking chores in Granby for Denver Water, but then it's back to being on vacation. By coincidence, the woman I'm doing work for is good friends with Ken Klouber of LT100 fame. They're both very much a part of Colorado's political history. Personally, they're good friends, but politically they've been mostly adversaries. I'm just the tech-guy.

2 Comments:

At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Meghan said...

JeffO,

Happy to hear about the dog! Pardon my ranting earlier in your blog. ;)

The description of your night run sounds awesome, what with the spiritual aspect that you experienced. Camraderie, yet aloneness. Not racing, yet driving foward together.

No one should spend 5 minutes in any aid station out there, unless you have to do major feet problems to fix or something. Everything else can be done while moving forward. It sounds like that's in your game plan!

By the way, my missing skin is healing. My hip is all but healed and my knee probably has another few days to go. All the bruising has faded, too! Thanks for asking!

Meghan
www.running-blogs.com/meghan

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger JeffO said...

Good to hear you're doing okay.

It's always a fear that we'll fall head-first down a rocky trail. I've seen two guys with broken face bones and some ugly blood.

I've fallen quite a few times. None of them quite bad enough to make me slow down - but if I ever break my face, I'll definitely be ruined mentally.

Glad your crash wasn't more severe.

I actually have two 5 minute stops planned for the LT100. Each are at Twin Lakes, outbound and inbound for total reassessment, shoe, sock, & equipment changes. The other stops are quickies. Still, there's about 20-30 minutes that will be wasted at aid stations overall, but I think necessary.

 

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