Oh, Salida. My favorite mountain town in the world, except during races.
I always sell myself on the need to get to town the night before a race. You know, it makes things less stressful on race morning. They have a fantastic hostel that's still pretty cheap. It's nice to get out of the big city for an extra night. I have all kinds of justifications, but as soon as my girlfriend hears any of them she just rolls her eyes, knowing that the fastest I'll run all weekend will be from the hostel to Moonlight Pizza (which now brews their beer, on top of having the best pizza on the planet). And then down to Benson's, to hang with the locals. And, of course, just one good luck drink at The Vic. Needless to say, I've never raced very well in Salida.
This weekend was no different. Arkansas River Bluegrass Marathon, a flat, scenic two loop run on dirt roads that starts and ends at a town park. Hit the first half in 1:44, then fell apart and finished in 3:50. Yuk. Good suffering practice though, which is what I tell myself after every bad race (bad races account for about 90% of my races, FYI). I pitied my performance for about ten seconds after I finished, then I remembered I had nothing to do the rest of the day except enjoy the bluegrass festival that was about to start. I can also report that I continued my tradition of trading my finisher medal to the bartender at The Vic for a PBR.
Training continues to go well. Made my first trip up Pikes today (Tuesday). Ran to Barr Camp, then hiked the rest of the way to the donut line. 3:47 up, 6:15 round trip, not counting the half hour I spent goofing off on the summit. Pretty happy with the ascent given the lack of effort. Struggled pretty heavily above 13,000 feet, so I'll be looking to visit the high country as much as possible over the next few weekends.