Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

So much for a race report after Summer Roundup.  My weekend (I'm off weird days) got cut short because of the Hayden Pass Fire, and it's been a hectic couple of weeks since of long days at work, working extra days, the usual this time of year.  Such is the life of a journalist!

But I'm back!

The Ascent is looming, and with each passing day I'm getting more nervous.  I'm really starting to have a nagging feeling that I'm training for next year's race...meaning I'm setting an awesome foundation that will yield desired results, but wrong year! :-P  I'm loving the training, so no matter what happens in (less than four weeks *gulp* I think I've got the mountain running bug!  I'm also excited about finally learning to love the treadmill (see last post) because I feel like my winter training is going to go really well.  Being a native South Texan with a knee surgery under my belt, I haven't quite gotten the winter running thing down.  I love snowshoe running and running in spikes, but our snow total here doesn't quite cooperate on the regular, and ever since my surgery I have a paranoia of slipping on ice and having to have surgery again. So finding workouts on the treadmill I actually LIKE will be super helpful for getting into/staying in race shape.

But enough about winter, lol!  Summer Roundup.

I liked the race WAY more than I expected!  When I found out it was a multi-loop race, my enthusiasm plummeted because I normally don't like running a loop over and over.  My preference is either one long loop or an out and back.  Like Garden of the Gods, it was yet another PW (personal worst)...each one was right around 17 minutes off my best!  I think my number one goal for next year's Triple Crown series: actually train for the first two legs of the Crown so I can actually try to race.  Fun running was a nice change of pace, but I think I'm over it!  I'm too competitive and too much of a perfectionist to not try to race.

But it was a good thing I wasn't planning to race that particular day, because some stupid decisions that morning led me to lining up way in the back as the gun was going off.  I live super close too Bear Creek Park, so I thought I could warm up and stretch at home, give myself sample access to the restroom, etc.  But I underestimated how long it would take to get there, park, etc, so I got there with just a few minutes too spare.  Then I had to get a blister doctored because for some reason I don't seem to have any bandaids at home.  I just chilled out in the back of the pack because there was no room to move up for the first quarter to half mile.  Once I had some room to breathe, I started gradually passing people each loop.  

Thought process per loop:

Loop 1: Really, I have to run this exact same route THREE times?  This run is going to feel like an eternity.  Oh no, a set of hills?  I have to do it three times?  My legs are so dead! 

Loop 2: Hey, that lap actually flew by!  I think I kind of like repeating this course.  It went by so fast, those hills weren't that bad, nice downhill for the last half-mile or so.  My legs feel pretty good now! (It took unusually long to warm up that day, so I will definitely be showing up at the Ascent super early in case I have that same issue!)

Loop 3: Crap, I have to do those hills one more time?  Why did I think it was all downhill for the last half-mile!  There is definitely a baby incline in there somewhere!

But all in all, I really liked the course!  I had never actually run on that side of Bear Creek Park before, and I will go back.  It might make for a good hill repeat session.  The multiple loops were far less painful than I thought, and I just loved the cross country environment.  I always preferred cross country to track in high school and college, and it was fun running that type of course and having that kind of vibe!  

But now the chilling out is over.  It was fun "not trying" for a change, but Summer Roundup was the grand finale.  I'm racing the Ascent for real, ready or not!  

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