LooseCrew-JeffO: Silent Trails 2008


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

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Silent Trails 2008

This was an experience! WHAT a completely necessary FANTASTIC time!

I drove up straight from work. The weather was nice, the traffic bad, but no auto accidents.

I made it to Cheyenne for dinner, then onwards. Not far out of Cheyenne, in the dark, I drove into a cloud. The next 30 miles were treacherous limited-visibility. Then it started freezing on my windshield. So not only could I not drive the speed limit due to visibility, I had to slow even more for ice. The cloud was only hanging around the ridges.
I took Happy Jack exit to find a place to camp. In the freezing cloud, the mist was billowing across the ground in constant waves. Visibility off the highway was even worse. I don't know what was legal camping and what wasn't, but with visibility sometimes down to 20 feet, I didn't think I'd see another soul - nor would a ranger think of looking for any violators. I don't know where I was - I just drove off into the mist on a dirt road and stopped somewhere.

In the morning, the weather wasn't even a tiny bit better. My car, and my bike outside, were coated in rime-ice.

Alec Muthig and wife Kathy were there, as usual. So was Gail Leedy and Patrick Eastman, people I've met before. Patrick got married this summer.

Things were actually tolerable at the start, but I spent half an hour on the side of the road with a cardboard sign warning people to slow down. In spite of that, several vehicles slid past the turn, but overall, I think I helped keep people out of the ditches. What irony if someone had a car accident at a race in memory of 8 runners who died in an accident.

I felt pretty good at the start of the race. The trail was icy and there were plenty of rocks and tree roots and two streams to leap across. If you add it up, there was maybe 1-2 miles of road, 1-2 miles of double- or wide-track, and the rest was winding single-track through rime-coated aspen and pine. It was MAGICAL! But watch the footing. The few times I had to step on a smooth rock,my foot slid sideways on the ice. My Pearl Izumi's just don't have tread.

Last year, I had a minor asthma attack going up the steepest last part of the major climb. This year, with Albuterol, I had no troubles. I pushed hard, but not 100% because i didn't want to get injured one week before the Boulder 100. It didn't matter - I PR'd anyways. 1:32 (I checked last year's stats - I'm completely missing. So i checked my race report from last year. I neglected to state the finish time, but said I had taken two minutes off my time. So that would mean I took another five minutes off. So, still getting older and faster.
I was 5th in my division. I'm very satisfied, especially since it wasn't a 100% effort.

The post-race is always fantastic. All you can stand to eat. Lots of awards and prizes.


At 3:50 PM, Blogger Justin Mock said...

no pics?

At 3:55 PM, Blogger JeffO said...

I do have pics, actually. Check back. Gotta find my iPhone interface cable.

At 9:04 PM, Blogger mnodurft said...

that sounds like a race worth traveling for, even if it's just a quick 10. good job on the pr.

i live in the cherry creek area and thought that you may want to carpool from time to time to the hills. i regularly try to hit the jefco parks and am spending some time on the co trail. i don't usually run with folks, but the loneliness of the long distance runner is starting to kick in on my city runs, so if you're looking for the occasional training partner in town let me know.

i too have witnessed the woman in black and red.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger mnodurft said...

forgot one thing. i am registered for the 24 hours of boulder but won't be running due to the rookie mistake of overtraining following my first 50miler. i would be interested in pacing however. my mileage is building back up fairly quickly and my legs are fast for once (overload and recovery - amazing). need some company on the 18th and 19th?

At 10:15 PM, Blogger wyowoman said...

I'm sure you saved lives today with your, "Slow, Ice" sign. It was so slick and didn't look it. Thanks for you help, Lisa from Laramie

At 5:50 PM, Blogger JeffO said...

Michael - I'm not in great need of a pacer. If you show up without anyone, let me know. Wouldn't mind meeting you. You're pretty fast.
I'll just be shooting for 24hr hundred. That's a really slow pace with plenty of walking breaks.

Lisa - It was great to be there and great to help! Since I camped out there, I already knew it was ciy, but coming back from breakfast in Laramie, I still slid a little bit. So I was pretty worried about late arrivals getting in a hurry.
What a great time, huh?


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