Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mt. Falcon Run

This Saturday I planned an early morning run up Mt. Falcon in Morrison. I woke up at 4:00 a.m (about 15 minutes before my alarm was set to go off) and just listened in bed to the wind rattle the house. The forecast had called for strong "afternoon" winds, so I was caught off guard by the pre-dawn ruckus outside.

But like most other times in training, you get up and go and hope that it won't be as bad as it really is. For me days like this are all about building mental and physical toughness, confidence, and not letting excuses rule the day. Once they win, I'm amazed at how their win streak multiplies rapidly.

I got to the trailhead at 5:05 and was on the trail by about 5:15. There was plenty of light as the sun was about 20-30 minutes from rising. My hope for the winds to diminish wasn't to be. I'm sure they were in the 40-50 mph range depending on the gust and at times sustained at those speeds.

Mt. Falcon rises quickly above Red Rocks and then sends you back to a beautiful meadow and then on to views of the Continental Divide. If you hit up all the trails in the park, you can cover about 12 miles with 2400' of elevation gain.

On the ascent I bumped into Pam, the ultrarunner. She's run everything including Silver Rush. We hiked a bit while I took in all the advice she could give me to complete a 50 miler. Anyone who has hung around runners know that even perfect strangers can talk about the minutiae of running for hours. After about 20 minutes of walking and talking we parted ways.

I made it back to the parking lot in about 2.75 hrs, which was longer than I had anticipated. I needed to consult my map a couple of times, took a few short breaks, and my walking with Pam added an extra 30 minutes or so. Since I wanted a longer run, I loaded up my water supply and headed out for a faster round two (2.25 hrs). I skipped one short out & back trail on my second outing, so my total mileage was 23.5.

I'm pleased with my progress on training for Silver Rush. Despite feeling strong on the trails, I'm not that close to being ready to go 50 miles. The next 4-5 weeks should take care of that.

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