The disappointment over not being picked for the Kenyan Olympic marathon team (it was political!) has been eased a bit by my selection to the PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Running Team. This will be my first time running the full series, although I've done each race in the past so I know what I'm in for.
The Triple Crown races are a huge challenge for me in a different way. I'm currently training for my fourth Hardrock. Within the past month I've run a 100K in Kansas, a road marathon in New Jersey, and two mountain 50 milers - Quad Rock in Fort Collins and Jemez Mountain in Los Alamos, NM. Sounds impressive, but at the Triple Crown folks expect me to average under 15 minutes a mile. That's some crazy track speed compared to the glorified hiking I spend most of my time doing. I once passed out for four hours at a Hardrock aid station. I don't think that would go over too well at the Garden.
It might sound like I race a lot. While I do go to a lot of races, rarely do I throw down an actual race effort. I don't have the discipline to do the long runs I need for the ultra stuff, but after I've paid big bucks for an event I can usually count on showing up and finishing. "Time on your feet," as they say, and for me all the garbage miles eventually pay off. The plan this year is to race three times - Hardrock, Pikes Peak, and the New York City Marathon. I'll give a decent effort at the other Triple Crown races so Tim doesn't yell at me, but other than that it's all about being outside and having fun and adding to my huge collection of running t-shirts.
The training I'm currently doing should set me up for a good Ascent. I've been shooting for a sub three on that mountain since 2005, when I dropped a 3:29 while living at sea level in Austin, TX. I figured 2:59 would be cake once I moved to Old Colorado City in 2006, but things haven't quite worked out that way. I've run well at the Garden and Roundup in the past, but for some reason Pikes continues to put me in my place.
Big running weekend coming up. Good luck to everyone headed to the Boulder Bolder, one of my favorite races. I once finished that 10K on the wrong side of two hours and later got a post card saying, "congratulations, only 38,000+ runners beat you!" I'll be with a group down in Salida for the Arkansas River Bluegrass Marathon. Sounds rough, but when your #1 goal is to conserve yourself for the post-race bluegrass festival the day gets a little less scary.