This weekend we headed to Steamboat Springs CO to get away from home and volunteer for the Run Rabbit Run 50 miler. I had free lodging from last year, and at the Torian Plum! I love this place! I had quite a bit of training to get in today so I left Troy and Annie to volunteer and I headed out to get in my workouts. For my ride I headed up Elk River Road. I was very lucky that all the aspen trees are changing right now and I was treated to a dazzling display of autumn in Colorado.
Chuckie sent me an email outlining my need for heat training. So from here on out until Kona I am to dress like a puritan who lives in Alaska. Yup, warm hats for me, long sleeves, tights. Well, I got the email on the way to Steamboat, so I had to buy a warm hat, and make do with the long sleeves I brought. I also forgot my cycling shorts so I was treated to a padding-free ride in my running capris. I guess that's kona training too!
I had all sorts of details to my workout and I got busy getting it done. Between the focus and the work I would look around and just marvel at where I was. The wind even picked up. I now consider wind a good luck charm. I want to make sure I train in lots of wind for Kona, but it's not like you can turn on the Wind Switch. So when the wind picks up, I consider it a blessing.
Along with beautiful scenery comes wildlife and this ride did not disappoint! I caught sight of a poor sheep that seemed to have gotten lost. He/she had tagging on him/her, but was totally in the middle of NOWHERE. He/she seemed a bit disturbed by it as well. I'm just hoping he/she stays out of the road and doesn't get hit.
I also had to stop for some cows. They were getting herded. The guy was on a 4-wheeler. I guess that's the new horse. His cows were all over the place and they didn't seem to be heading the right direction. Maybe he would have been better off with a horse? Note how there is a sign on the right of the road warning people (i think) that there is herding going on...but it's of a horse...it should be a 4-wheeler, but I bet that would just confuse people even more.
This ride was hard, the work to be done was hard, being solo was hard, being dressed in lots of layers was hard (it was pretty hot today in Steamboat), but I went through the motions and I nailed what I was supposed to. I got it done and I'm glad to put a check mark next to it. Good training is motivated training, and while I really didn't want to leave my bed this morning I used the scenery to motivate me to get it done. That and Hawaiian music...LOTS of Hawaiian music!
Off the bike I was supposed to run. I had 5 miles at IM race pace, and then another 4 or so at an easier pace. I was worried. It felt hot. Later I found out it was 84, and this was at 6,700 feet in elevation. I could not put my tights on. I just couldn't' do it. I switched to shorts but kept on my compression socks, a long shirt, and my warm hat. But the tights I could not do.
I got into the run, and sure enough, just like most of my running has been going recently I slipped into the pace I had been told to run. I knocked out the miles but I was more thirsty than usual. I actually had to stop by a car wash at mile 6.5 and purchase some water and Gatorade. I was really happy when I finished today, like actually HAPPY to have made it all happen.
When I got back to the car there was a little baby snake there to greet me. It was really cute.
I was so glad to be done. I called Troy and he said he was hanging out with our good friends Keith and Nancy. We headed to dinner with them, we all went in our running clothes so I didn't even shower. Ewww, but who cares! Keith has been to Kona several times so it was great to talk with him. Keith always make me feel great, he just has a way about him that makes me feel ready to race.
Another great day in the books. It was really nice to get out of town for the weekend. Training on different terrain is really nice sometimes. I think Steamboat would be a great place to come back to for some extended swim/bike/run in the future as well.
Congratulations to all of those who raced Run Rabbit Run! I loved meeting many of you Friday night and was very jazzed to hear that so many of you had watched my last years video and that some of you keep up with my blog. I am humbly thankful!