28 April 2013

Cheyenne Mountain 50k

I run because it always takes me where I want to go.” 
-Dean Karnazes
Distance: 31 miles 
Elevation: 4,000 ft
Time: 7:01

The Cheyenne Mountain 50k is the only hometown race on the docket for this year. The 25k and 50k race has been held at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, in the shadow of NORAD, for the past three years. It's a groomed course with occasional technical sections and gradual, steady climbs and descents. Maybe not identical to the Quad Rock course, but a good place for a long training run two weeks before.

Upon arriving, I immediately saw the one person that I knew would be there, my friend Rebekka who I met back in January at the Ponderous Posterior. She's known for going out slow and finishing strong in the second half. I thought I'd stick with her and keep myself from pushing too hard. Little did I know she'd leave me in the dust and run her bad self to a 3rd place division title. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
One of us is faster than the other
The day promised to be a beautiful one, it started around 48 and was expected to rise to the upper 60's. With the abundance of aid stations (8 total), I didn't think I'd need much more than one water bottle and a few spare gels, in addition to the well supplied aid stations. Wrong. Temps rose to the mid-70's and I was fighting nausea from at least the half-way point. I kept my water bottle filled, sucked down two gels every hour and ate potato chips, but the ill feeling seemed to be crouched at my doorstep if I pushed too hard.

The best thing about running a local race however, was that the huz and kids were waiting for me at mile 22. My boy handed me a new bottle of energy drink and my girl gave me a gel. The aid station volunteers were kind enough to let them have snacks from the table, which kept them happy while waiting. I spent a few extra minutes with them as I ate and talked to the kids and watched about 8 people pass on through. 
My crew took good care of me
Quick family shot before taking off
I wasn't feeling great at that point, but seeing the fam definitely lifted my spirits. I was running solo for the most part except for leap-frogging with this couple between miles 8 through 20-ish, before she took off and I didn't see her until the end.
She had a better day than he did, poor guy. 
I ended up catching all of those that passed me back at the 22 mile aid station and a few more (mostly men, I might add). I suppose the heat may have gotten to them too. Felt good to move up a few more places among the overall finishers.

Ran across the finish line barely missing my goal of a sub-7, but that was due to the extra time spent with the fam, which was worth it. Rebekka hung around and congratulated me as I finished up.  Looky at her shiny metal for running fast!
In the company of greatness
My post-race massage from Caleb was the best I've had after a race and I can't forget to mention the meal from Carrabba's. Fabulous. 

All in all, it wasn't a bad run, I just didn't have the energy in the second half that I had back when I did my 55k in Moab. I kept the iPod going virtually the entire time to keep me either distracted or motivated to move at a steady clip. I hate running in anything hotter than about 60 and I was feeling the effects of the heat after such a long winter of two and three layer runs. Gotta get acclimated.

Thankfully, my knee wasn't giving me grief. I've been wearing my Hoka Stinson Evos the past week as I've been babying the sore knee after the beating it received at the Grand Canyon. They're not as steady on the techy sections, so I thought this a good course to try them out for a long run since there's very little of that. Only afterward when J-man massaged my feet did I realize that I needed insoles with arch support... ouch. I'll remember that next time. 

Now, I turn my sights towards the big one... Quad Rock 50. I'm recovering well after this race and have one more week of training before the taper. Deep breath and here goes!

Happy Trails,



  1. Sounds like you learned more great things! At 61 and running for 38 years, I still learn something in every race, but the biggest thing I am always reminded is that going out at a sane pace pays off big time later on....remember, 1 min too fast in the first half equals 2 min's slow down in the 2nd ;-)
    See you soon!

  2. So true, Steve. I'll be going even slower at Quad. Looking forward to reuniting at The Fort next week!