Aspen groves, single tracks, and 23 miles

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I haven’t been blogging much about running/training lately, so thanks for sticking with me through all this grad school/defense nonsense :P Only a few more days and I’ll be back to a relatively less chaotic lifestyle filled with going to bed before midnight, blogging about running, and a social life.

Okay that’s not fair. My social life isn’t entirely devoid. Some friends of mine convinced me to join their totally rad, insanely fun trail running relay this weekend:

5 teams of 5 runners
80ish miles total/team
2 days on the Colorado Trail

Aspen groves, single tracks, thousands of feet of elevation gain, several dirty Subarus, and 6 very happy dogs made for a wildly fun weekend.
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On day 1, I ran quite possibly the most difficult trails I’ve ever tackled: 2400′ elevation gain in 8.4 miles. Upupup. Ran when I could, power walked/hiked when I couldn’t. When I wasn’t gasping for oxygen, I may have been practicing my presentation in my head. Double tasking, FTW!

Mine was the last leg of the day, so when I came charging down the valley to the group campsite, I could hear the entire clan cheering me in. That was a highlight for sure.
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I met a lot of new friends around the campfire that night as we enjoyed Dan’s massive batch of veggie chili, lots of snacks, and sore legs.
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The sunset was pretty gorgeous, too.
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On day 2, my teammates let me run 2 legs back-to-back so I could get 15 miles in for the day (training for Silver Falls Marathon, Nov 2!). 2200′ elevation gain total. My legs were pretty cashed from the day before, but man those trails are gorgeous. I actually ran on a lot of the segment of the CT that I hiked a year ago. They looked like this:
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Heavenly.

I’m not going to lie: trail running those 23 total miles with 4600′ of gain, even broken up over two days, has me questioning a.) my sanity for registering for a trail marathon b.) if I can even complete 26.2 trail miles two months from now.

Trail running isn’t a joke, man! I got spoiled training for Boston on flat pavement. I’ve got mad respect for ultra runners who spend all their miles on trails with thousands of feet of elevation gain. Much less at Leadville elevations (10,000’+). Ya’ll are awesome.

Tell me about your most recent, favorite run!
Ever done a long distance running relay before?

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather says:

    FYI THIS is why I’m terrified to run with you. Just so you know.

    But way to go! You killed this weekend!

  2. misszippy1 says:

    Awesome job! I agree….trail running isn’t for wimps, and I do it at sea level, so can’t imagine it at elevation. Excited for your marathon.

    And best of luck with your defense. I’m sure you’re going to impress!

  3. sarah says:

    im starting to dabble in trails and im loving it! although i dont think maine trails are quite as bad ass or way the hell up there as colorado trails… but still, its a great chance of pace, literally! im attempting my 20 miler on the trails this weekend! yikes!

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