The work is done and the training is in the books! All that remains now is to get a lot of rest over the next seven days. Recently I have had quite a few people asking me, “What’s next?” What’s “next” is something I am super excited about. On Sunday I will be flying to Colorado to run the Trans-Rockies Run, a six-day stage race across 120 miles of the Rocky Mountains. The event is known as “summer camp for trail runners” and I am really looking forward to it!
Here is how the race works. I am participating in the six-day team event (there is also a three-day option) which means that I will run with my running partner and race against other teams of two. Team mates cannot be separated by more than two minutes when checking in at aid stations or finishing, otherwise they will be penalized. I will be running this race with my friend Amber. Since our combined ages are over 80 years (well over 80…yikes!) we are in the Women’s 80 Division. Each day is its own race with awards given out to top finishers that evening. At the end of the week the times of all six days are combined with grand prizes going to the overall winners. Not that we are planning on winning anything. Our goal is finishing and enjoying the experience. The race organizers set up and tear down camp for us each night, cook breakfast and dinner and provide a shower truck. The mileage each day varies from about 14 miles to 24 miles but the entire week is at high elevation–8,000 to 12,500 feet! Over the course of the six days we will climb about 20,000 feet. Here is a look at a screen shot of the organizers website of the daily elevation chart:
We begin the race in Buena Vista on Tuesday, August 12 and finish in Beaver Creek on Sunday, August 17. The scenery is going to be fantastic! Special thanks to Kelly and Carrie DuPee who sent me the picture at the top of this post. They vacationed in Colorado last week and the pic is close to the area we will be running through–so beautiful!
I have never done a race like this before so training for it has been interesting. Since returning from Boston in April I have spent almost every weekend running (ok, some walking too) at elevation. While I have not run a lot of miles I have logged a lot of elevation gain. I recently went through my Garmin and added up my elevation gain over the fifteen weeks leading up to the Boston marathon and it came out to just under 17,000 feet. That would be an average of just over 1,000 feet a week which is good for running a road marathon. Last Saturday I completed week fifteen leading up to Trans-Rockies and the elevation gain was 90,000 feet! That is an average of 6,000 feet a week and my legs are feeling every one of those feet. Of course that elevation gain includes Cactus to the Clouds and Mt Whitney which were epic training adventures you can read about by clicking these links:
The last five weeks have included three-day in a row trail runs which were an entirely new experience as I usually only run three days a week with cycling and swimming on the in-between days to recover. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well my body has adapted to running multiple days in a row, however three days at lower mileage does not really simulate six days at higher mileage. Here is the website for the event if anyone would like to read more about it. I will definitely post about the race in my blog. For now I am off for an easy Bonelli ride. Happy Monday!