15 February 2014

Taking it to the Streets

Love is not an affectionate feeling, 
but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good 
as far as it can be obtained.”
-C.S. Lewis
My nemesis
Today, I got to revisit my 85 mile journey at The Bear 100 last fall. Meaning, the conditions that I encountered that effectively slowed me to a crawl came back to haunt me on today’s long run. After getting hit with several storms that dumped quite a bit of snow of our trails and having them partially melted, the conditions were awful. Primarily, I dealt with shoe-sucking, gooey mud in the first 90 min, then packed snow that was iced over during the next 30 min, then mostly runnable trails for the next 30 min and finished off with about 30 min of road running as I rerouted myself back around the mud to return to my car.

I was hoping to do a 4 hour run, but with conditions as they were, my actual running time was 3:07. With the mud sticking in large clumps to my shoes, I had to take several breaks to de-clump them so I could “run” normally (losing several screws in the process). The snowy sections were a welcome relief, even if they had an icy layer on top. My screws seemed to work ok on them and fortunately, I made it through without falling.

I was thankful that I got to open up my stride and do some real running in the last hour. Between the 2,200 ft of climbing and the faster downhill running , I felt like I got a decent workout.  But I’m getting tired of dealing with these conditions and with the looks of things, it may be a week or more before things improve.
Nightmares of The "Snow" Bear
Pikes Peak was shrouded in fog
This was a welcomed sight after the mud

Section 16 beauty
Time to run!
Ran down this too!
My paved trail led me through the graveyard
I’m going to look at taking my long runs and hill climbs to the road for now. I do have several long dirt/paved hills which would be good training for Salida and the R2R2R run I have coming up in March and April. It’ll bore me to tears, but at least I won’t feel like I’m wasting time on my workout dealing with 4-6 inches of mud or picking my way up an icy slope.

Sounds like conditions are perfect for the Red Hot 55k tomorrow. Can’t believe it’s been a year since I ran my first ultra there. I was thinking about it on my run today and what a great day it was on the trails and how many amazing adventures I’ve had on the trails since then. I wish I could be there tomorrow, but alas, finances prohibit. Can’t justify paying over $100 for a 34 mile race when my 50 milers cost less than that. I need as much bang for my buck right now, so it will have to wait.
Enjoyed a nice, quiet Valentines celebration with the family tonight. Everyone got chocolate and we enjoyed chocolate cupcakes while watching “Chicken Run”. I love my family and feel incredibly blessed to have them in my life. As much as I love ultrarunning, I love them more. I look forward to having them join me on a couple of my races this year and making them even more special.

When Harry Met Sally is my feel-good, laugh-out-loud favorite romantic comedy. My favorite line is uttered here, by the incomparable Billy Crystal. Enjoy!

Happy Trails,



  1. Good post, Shelby...and roads will help make you a faster runner. I drag Deb out on my road runs and although she doesn't enjoy them, they're making her a faster, stronger runner.
    Due to the ever increasing entry fees, we're cutting back on races, too. After Zane Grey we might just go camping and do some hiking over the summer....our possible last in the West.
    I'm amazed how much snow you have, just 5 hours north of us. We're bone dry down here, which doesn't bode well for the fire season. Hope you get to run Jemez!

    1. Yes, I hope Jemez isn't going to be affected by fires...again! I'll do the roads if it makes me faster and stronger, at least until our trails dry out. Need to start incorporating more long steady hills to get ready for Salida!