Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

The Ascent is less than a month away.  After my training run to Barr Camp last week, I now have more confidence I can finish the race in the cutoff time.

I usually set three goals for big races:  one I should be able to meet, one that would stretch me a little, and one that is my BIG goal.  Here are my goals for the Ascent:

  1. Finish the race before the cutoff times (Barr Camp - 3 hrs, A Frame 4:15, Finish 6:30)
  2. Finish in 5:30
  3. Finish in under 5 hrs

It was interesting to see the statistics on SkyRunner.com on the average Ascent times in previous years.  The average time for females tends to be in the 4:40's.

However, I was reminding myself today that I simply need to finish.  I don't need to be "fast." 

I'm in probably the best shape of my life, but I'm still not fast.  I do have some toned legs from all my hill training though! :)

I have to admit, as part of the PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Team, I feel a little pressure.  I want to do my best, and yet on race day, I may be the last of my teammates to finish.  

One of my teammates, Bill Beagle, and I went to the top of Pikes Peak today and did a training run down to A-frame and back up to the Peak.  Well, it was mostly hiking, but it was good training for the Ascent.  

His PR for the Ascent is 5:04, so maybe he can pace me to my BIG goal of under 5 hours??  You up for it, Bill?  :)

It was a BEAUTIFUL day to be out in nature and enjoying Barr trail.  

And I made it to the infamous A-Frame!

As a side note, when I arrived at A-Frame and stopped to take this picture, I looked down the trail and just 20 feet away stood a beautiful deer with a big rack.  He slowly came toward me as I tried to get my phone to boot up quicker (I had turned it off to preserve the battery) and he came within about 10 feet of me - staring at me!  My phone didn't cooperate to get a picture, but I was reminded that some memories are best saved in our minds.  It was a moment to remember.  

One of the BEST benefits of training for the Ascent?  

Lots of time in God's creation.  Can't beat that!

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Comment by Shelley Hitz on July 22, 2014 at 5:12pm

Thanks Mary!  Wish you could have joined us!

Comment by Mary Baldwin on July 22, 2014 at 5:09pm
Awesome pictures! Nice work out there today!
Comment by Shelley Hitz on July 22, 2014 at 4:40pm

Thanks, Jill!  And yes, toned legs are another benefit of all this training ;)

Comment by Jill Gaebler on July 22, 2014 at 4:37pm
Beautiful photos. Yay for toned legs!

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