Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

What’s not to love about The Garden of the Gods?

I enjoy sleep; I’m just not very good at it.  Lucky for me, my running buds either humor the early starts or find that it is their only window to get out of the house before the daily chaos ensues, so as a result our gaggle is typically moving before the sun comes up.  It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to get anywhere from one to eight ++ others to join in the fun.  A couple weeks ago marked the transition from marathon training to trails and hills.  A welcomed change for sure.  Seeing as though there is just a couple of weeks before the Garden of the Gods 10 mile run, it seemed fitting to dedicate at least one day to these challenging hills.  Last year was my first attempt at this race and I found it to be quite difficult.  I really didn’t know how to train for any of the Triple Crown races.  You can find 100 different training plans for a 5K all the way up to a marathon but nowhere can you find a plan that gets you ready for these three very unique courses.  So I began a new method of training that I have grown quite fond of called “winging it”.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still have a beautifully decorated calendar with my races and my weekly events (now being dictated mostly by Susie and Dave as they are training for the most challenging races of the group) but I don’t have the meticulously detailed excel spreadsheet that will tell me what to do when I wake up in the morning and hope my running friends join in on the fun.  I won’t lie…it does bug me a bit.  In fact, I just asked my friend Paula to help me make one as she is quite gifted at beating me in every race….handily.  But regardless the training is different than what you would do for a flat marathon.  Hill repeats become a part of my week where before I viewed them as a suggestion, an option of a workout, one surely people don’t actually pick.  I can’t believe I am about to say this but I now look forward to them.  I know that a repeat is a do over of sorts…do it again…and again…but when you are done you ALWAYS have to go back down the hill…which is fun and I’m good at it, and in my crew of usual suspects is the ONLY thing I am good at compared to them.  Susie’s catching on to the fact that I will rarely agree to another when we are actively running up the hill but with time permitting will always agree to another when we are cruising down the hill. 


At this point you may be wondering what sleep and hill repeats and excel spreadsheets all have to do with the Garden of the Gods.  Well, I will be the first to admit that if I am going to run up hills I would much prefer a dirty, rocky trail to pavement but how many other places in this state (or even in the US) can you catch a breathtaking sunrise around every single turn or a well-earned glimpse of the bright red glow of the rocks at the top of every hill?  Perhaps this is the reason I screamed like a little girl after the climb by balanced rock when I came across “Petunia” the mouse (we love her now)….I must have been distracted by the sunrise as Petunia isn’t real and really doesn’t even look real.  Regardless, I screamed and jumped towards Kyle (he was going to save Susie and I from the vicious stuffed animal).  After realizing my error and feeling a little silly I saved Petunia from the day’s traffic and she currently lives in my car as a constant reminder of the race that is QUICKLY approaching. 


If you haven’t ever run this race, register today.  You won’t regret it.  If you are thinking about running the Triple Crown, register SOON…time is running out and if you miss the Garden 10 mile…well, you’re out.  Obviously.  There isn’t a double crown.  :) 


I will continue to enjoy the sunrises for a couple of weeks before our training (or winging it) is tested on race day (JUNE 12th @ 7am in case you are wondering).  Triple Crown Registration Information


Follow the entire race team here:  Pikes Peak Sports Triple Crown Team


*GoG photo courtesy of some very talented human on the internet who aparantly wishes to remain anonymous.  I have no idea why, this picture is awesome! 

**If Petunia belongs to someone you know and you would like this little lady back please do let me know.  

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Comment by Amy (Arcuri) Perez on June 5, 2011 at 6:13pm
I love my Garmin...just hope I put down the camera.   Danielle, we are counting down the days! Petunia is awesome and travels around in my car awaiting the next adventure.
Comment by Brandon Stapanowich on June 3, 2011 at 7:55pm
Petunia the stuffed mouse-what a great running find!
Comment by Danielle Spivey on June 3, 2011 at 7:17am
I am writing while icing my ankle from an unfortunate ankle twist and fall which occured May 3rd 5:10 a.m. in the Garden.  I have no ill feelings towards the Garden.  In fact I'm plotting my running return everyday which will start again at 5 a.m. in the Garden where I will start with jumping jacks to Dancing Queen, my great friends and Come on Eilleen heading up that love fest of a hill.  I know you'll be with me Amy SCC.
Comment by David Mulligan on June 3, 2011 at 7:16am
Hey, wait a minute....we have a training "plan".  It just doesn't necessarily involve a spreadsheet.  I say, put down your Garmin!!!  I do love the early morning trail runs, but nothing better than a sunrise in GofG with great friends!  Good luck in the Triple Crown Amy!
Comment by Craig Spivey on June 2, 2011 at 7:27pm
I love the Garden, as it is always ready to give me a great work out, via a bike ride, or when I choose the various trails, or yes, even via the loop running on the pavement. You go girl, Run Amy, Run! (I agree, nothing beats a sunrise workout.)
Comment by Alexis Smith on June 2, 2011 at 5:34pm
Love Petunia!

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