Sunday, June 26, 2011

Leadville Weekend

View from Camp at Winfield

This weekend Rebekka Hannula, Steve Bremner, and I headed to the Leadville area to do a little Leadville Trail 100 running and scouting. Rebekka is going to run the Leadville Trail 100 this year. Steve is going to be the crew chief, and I will help with crewing as well as pace/mule for her 25 or so of the last 50 miles.

Our original plan was to do a double crossing of Hope Pass; Twin Lakes – Winfield – Twin Lakes, about 20 miles, then a night run on the Colorado Trail. However, the north side of Hope Pass is still snowed in and not passable, at least not in running shoes. So we had to change our plans slightly.

We camped Friday night near the ghost town of Winfield, which is at the 50 mile turnaround point in the LT 100. At 6 AM we left camp and ran to the top of Hope pass and back for total 10 miles. Absolutely stunning scenery and stunning weather. The run went really well, we all felt good and got to the top relatively quickly, even though we had some icy snow fields to deal with.

Top of Hope Pass
Once finished we packed up camp headed to Leadville for some food and relaxation, then set up camp near the pipeline. At about 7:30 PM we left Twin Lakes for the 11+ mile run to our camp at pipeline. The course has changed somewhat over the last couple years and is a little bit more complicated to navigate, especially at night. Luckily, the LT100 organization was conducting an LT100 training camp this weekend and had put course markers up. We never made a single wrong turn! We arrived at camp feeling great and Rebekka has a little better idea what she is getting in to. Great day!

Steve and Rebekka end of Night Run
Sunday we said our goodbyes as Steve and Rebekka headed back to Colorado Springs. I decided to stay and ride my road bike to the top of Independence Pass and back; a 40 mile round trip from Twin Lakes. 20 miles up and 20 miles down! When I arrived at the top, there was a group of Vietnam Veteran Bikers. They were impressed that I could ride a bicycle up there. I was impressed with them for being who they are. All in all a great weekend!

Two Veterans, Two Bikers

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ring the Peak & Sailin Shoes

4 AM - 9 of the 11 Starters (2 were stopped by the Manitou  Police) Photo Steve Bremner

Last Saturday, a group of CRUDers embarked on the “2nd Annual CRUD Ring the Peak Fun Run”. This is an informal approximately 65 mile run around Pikes Peak with over 14,000 feet of climbing. The 1st annual CRUD Ring the Peak Run last year, as far as I know, was the first time anyone ran around Pikes Peak in one day. This year 11 CRUDers embarked on the journey leaving Manitou Springs at 4:00 am for a 14 plus hour adventure. Manitou Springs, at just under 7,000 ft, is probably the lowest point on the entire route, so the run starts right off with a climb. Most of the run is between 9,000 & 11,000 feet. Of the 11 starters, 3 actually ran the entire loop; Nick Starkey, Rick Hessek, and Steve Bremner!

The 3 Ringateers at ~ 55 miles

Some had planned to only run a portion of the course. We had two informal aid stations set up in remote areas along the route so anyone not wanting to do the whole run caught a ride back to Manitou Springs. I had the joy and honor, along with Rebekka Hannula to join the “Three Ringateers” for the last 20 miles – Crags Campground to Manitou Springs. I figured they would arrive at the Crags with 45 miles & 12 hours in their legs, so I would be able to keep up. It was incredibly fun. Rebecca pushed the pace,  I was able to keep up, and the “Ringateers” were strong to the finish. The "2nd Annual CRUD Ring the Peak Fun Run" (that’s a mouth full!) is in the books.

Nick, Rick & Steve - The Last "Ring the Peak" Trail Marker
65 Miles, 14,000 ft vertical, 16 hrs 48 minutes

Slide shows of the Ring the Peak Run: Steve's Start to Finish  & Larry's Last 20 Miles

Today I ran the Colorado Springs Sailin Shoes 10k race with Roswitha and surprised myself by being much faster than expected: 43 + minutes, avg 7 min a mile. I was very surprised considering this is only the third weekend after completing treatment. A 20 mile run last week, and a faster than expected 10k this week. I'm back and getting stronger every day!

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

Memorial Day Weekend; Back on the trails, back in my beloved mountains. My first weekend back, ran with CRUD knowing it was going to be painful - and it was. Started out with the group and as soon as we turned up Buckhorn I was off the back, walking more than running. Steve hung back until we got to Bear Creek then I headed down alone (Trail 666 of all trails) to High Drive, then walked and jogged up high drive to Helen Hunt Falls. Ten miles, lots of climbing and back in the mountains!

Ute Park

Sunday, first Mountain Bike ride since early December. Ute Park with Kevin. I was a little apprehensive about the technical aspect after being off the bike for so long. While walking with Max over the last six months, I wondered how we ever rode this stuff before, and if I would ever be able to ride these trails again. Well as Kevin said “it’s just like riding a bike”. No problems, seems like (technically) I picked up right where I left off. Definitely got to work on fitness though.

John, Wes, Steve, Max, & Chewey at Lake Morain

Ran & rode all week. Back to getting up early, getting a run or ride in before work and getting stronger every day. Did hill workouts both running and biking during the week. There is only one way to get good at climbing – and that is to climb, climb, and then climb some more. Today (Saturday, June 04) was a huge test. Up Barr Trail and over to Lake Morain (About 10, 300 ft) and back, just a little over 17 miles with 4 – 5,000 feet of climbing. It went better than I could possibly hope. I didn’t get totally dropped, felt good the whole way, and was able to breathe while going uphill… and the scenery was spectacular.

Max is glad to be back too!

I’m feeling pretty sore after such an incredible week. And it feels great!

And here is a little "Back in the Saddle Again" for your intertainment,  courtesy of Aerosmith!