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Normally I would probably start tapering at about this point.  This year, however, hasn’t been a “normal” training year and I don't feel like I've put in the work as in years past.  Two weeks to go until the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon (yes, the Double) and I have yet to get above Barr Camp.  It's probably too little too late, but decided to drive up to the summit to get in a 3-2-1 today.  We knew the Peak did get some snow yesterday evening, but much to our surprise we found an ice rink on top of the summit.

The sun was shining bright and the temperature was a balmy 46 degrees so figured the ice/snow wouldn’t hang around too long.  We headed down the 16 Golden Stairs and the trail was covered with slushy snow.  The melting snow created a running stream of water down the trail so it was pretty sloppy for about the top 1 ½ miles.  Because of the conditions, we decided to alter our 3-2-1 plans and just go down the trail further.  We descended down to the cut-off for the Bottomless Pit and then headed back up for a final ascent through the slush.

As we crested the summit, Dave Sorenson and the great Pikes Peak Road Runner’s timing crew and Pikes Peak Marathon course marshals were up top checking things out and getting ready for race day so you couldn’t help to break a smile.  These races wouldn’t be possible without all the great volunteers that help put them on.  In case I don’t get a chance to thank you on race day because of oxygen deprivation, a BIG thank you to all the race staff, timing crew, aid station workers, El Paso Search & Rescue, and all the volunteers for all you do!

Trail conditions weren’t the best for our planned workout today, but the weather turned out to be beautiful so it was still a good day, got a pretty good workout in anyway and spent some time up at altitude.  It’s not the summit without the Cog and of course the smell of the donuts!  What a beautiful blue sky!

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Comment by Kristy Milligan on August 10, 2013 at 9:05am

Beautiful pics! You're going to slay this mountain, full taper or no!!

Comment by Ann Labosky on August 9, 2013 at 11:32am

Good read, Dave! Ken mentioned he saw you on top and it was a total slopfest up there. Good none of you slipped/fell/turned ankles in that stuff!

We're in the same "conundrum" ... don't feel we've done quite enough, especially after having spent 3 wks at sea level.  We figure we'll cut back after this wkend. One year we started tapering 2 wks out and didn't do more than 3 miles up/down during that time. Guess where my ITband/patellar tendons started barking at me during the marathon descent? Yep, right past A-frame ... and made for a tough 8-9 miles to go. They'd gotten used to 3 miles down and figured they should be done by then. Always a learning curve tho... I don't think I've ever "not learned" something new with every race. Maybe by the time I'm 95, I'll have it all down pat. ;) Good luck with this last week of training/tapering :)

Comment by Troy Rogula on August 9, 2013 at 8:17am

Saw you guys up there Sunday...turned out to be a great day!  Good luck on the Double.

Comment by Tim Bergsten on August 9, 2013 at 7:42am

The donuts are the taper food of choice, right?

Comment by Melvin Watson on August 5, 2013 at 8:20pm

Nah.....I've seen your results and how you blaze down Barr!

Comment by David Mulligan on August 5, 2013 at 10:06am

Yeah Mel, one of my buddies says it's never too early to start tapering.....problem is I've been tapering since last year!  Oh well, it's all good.

Comment by Melvin Watson on August 4, 2013 at 5:33pm

Good to hear Dave! You know what your body needs. I will began my tapper next Wednesday....oh wait I began my tapering a while a go. :-)

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