A happy 4th of July spent training on the Peak! We started at Memorial Park in Manitou Springs so we could get that extra mile up Ruxton Avenue and avoid the traffic and parking craziness. There was definitely a crowd also thinking the 4th of July is a perfect time to be on Pikes Peak. I’d say most of the folks went up the Incline and down the trail, as we didn’t see many folks after the incline cut off.
I’ll tell you this mountain is hard. I don’t run with music for several reasons, but the first is I don’t want to be rude when people are trying to pass me, which is a common occurrence. Without music it definitely can make you focus on the pain of it and all the reasons why tackling the Peak is a good idea – or not.
I spend a good deal of energy trying to run as much as possible and trying to decide if walking/hiking fast would use more or less energy and if in the end I’d get there sooner. Then when the goings get tough I think about the 4th of July and all the people in our military who keep our great country free. I think about how training on the peak is really nothing in terms of difficulty as compared to the sacrifices they and their families have made for our country. When I hit a patch where I am feeling strong (kinda) I think about all my patient’s that can’t do the Peak, that can’t walk to the mailbox or even to the kitchen on their own. They are often at the forefront of my thoughts when running and racing. I think about them and what they would give for the pain and struggle I am so fortunate to be able to experience. I also think about my Marmot teammates and how Anna’s blogs seem like all her running experiencing are blissful and full of floating up the mountain. I am a positive person, who loves to run, but in the moments when the terrain is so tough I need a lot of self-talk to get me through it.
Finally I started to think about Forrest Gump…… Not the part where he could run forever (That feeling hits me usually at mile 3 in the Garden or even Santa Fe Trail or Rampart Reservoir or Bear Creek Park)..…The part where he just stops and walks home…..
Thank goodness the Summer Round up is Sunday, July 10th – I need that feeling where I could run forever and ever J