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2019 Triple Crown of Running - Training - Day 2

August 19, 2018 - I lined up to run the Pikes Peak Marathon, a bucket list item of mine. I'd spent the last couple of years running road marathons and spent the entire summer of 2018 diligently trekking up and down Barr trail in the 100 degree heat. I was nervous, but I felt pretty good. I knew I wasn't going to break any records, but, figured I'd finish and finishing was all I wanted. Gunshot marked the start of my wave; we started running. I went slow. Somewhere about halfway up Manitou Avenue it occurred to me; despite logging hours and hours on Barr Trail, I hadn't really actually done any "running" per se the entire summer. I ran portions of Barr Trail and I had run down the trail, but, this stretch of road was feeling much more difficult than it should have. It also occurred to me that, again, despite hours on Barr Trail, I hadn't ever actually started my training run/hikes from Memorial Park...Realization #2, the Pikes Peak Marathon does not start at the start of Barr Trail. Instead, you go up a back way and the "back way" is steep. It's steep after a run I wasn't ready for and a trek up Ruxton that I hadn't done either. In the stretch of relatively flat trail beyond the Incline and before Barr Camp, I remarked that I felt an awful lot more fatigued than I should be at this point on the trail. I went slow. I scarfed electrolyte tabs and ate some dried fruit and nuts. I figured I'd fuel up and I'd get that second wind. Made it to Barr Camp with time to spare. Stopped for a restroom break. The stretch between Barr Camp and the A-Frame has always been a struggle. It seems so much longer than it is. As I watched the minutes tick by, I watched as the cut off time I had scrawled on the inside of my wrist got closer and closer and I still had so much trail to go. I hit the A-frame 2 minutes past cut off. The volunteers at the checkpoint asked me if I wanted to keep going "though your time won't count toward a finish." "No" I said, and I thanked them for the water, I ripped off the tag on my bib and watched as they drew a line through my bib number. I listened as they radioed ahead that bib #894 was turning back. El Paso County Rescue gave me a wooden coin that said "they wouldn't let me finish", and I walked back down the trail. No jacket for me. No medal. In all honestly, the first ever DNF I had ever experienced. I wasn't exactly sad. I was tired. I was worn out. I just wanted to get down, get home and rest. On the way down, I made up my mind that I was just going to stop for awhile. I was tired. My body was tired. I needed a break. So, I took a break...

Fast forward 9 months - I took too much of a break. I gained 30 lbs, and basically didn't move off of my sofa until the most random thing happened - I was selected as a member of the Mighty Marmots team for 2019! I submitted a video because, hey, free shoes! and I thought maybe it would give me a kick in the pants to get running again if I made the team, but I never "win" anything. I never ever in a million years expected to be picked to be part of this team. My first reaction was sheer panic - I have literally NOT run a single mile in 9 months and I have way more fluff now than I did then. The Triple Crown is no joke. I have run the Garden of the Gods 10 mile. It's brutal. I've seen seasoned athletes throwing up on the sidelines of that thing. The Summer Round Up is hot and beastly! The Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon? I swore that trail off entirely. But, here I am. So without further ado, the training blog:

Training day 1 was 5/19/2019 - I did a walk/run. One minute run, one minute walk. It was hard. I was sore by evening. I ate reese's peanut butter cups as a "reward," probably not helping that 30 lbs...

Training day 2, today - It's cold and rainy, so dreadmill it was. 5 minutes run, 5 minutes walk. Remarkable how there was a time that I could run 5 hours straight without flinching, but today? 5 minutes straight left me wanting to be sick. I'm disappointed. I know it takes time, I'm still disappointed. I feel daunted by all that I now have to do. I have got to get my nutrition straight. I have to get back into running. These are sobering facts. Overwhelming facts. Must remember, one can only eat the elephant, one bite at a time...

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