Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's All About the Hill

Today is the Pikes Peak Ascent. There are debates all over the place about who is likely to win and what times will be run. There are lesser debates about what kinds of runners are typically good mountain runners. There's even one discussion about whether or not Kenyans are good mountain runners, as if anyone can determine this as a legitimate rule. With proper training, I assume most people can become better mountain runners. If you take a runner who is trained for running flat road races, and plunk him or her down in front of Pikes, sure, I doubt they would run as well as if they did a few mountain runs before hand. I don't generally get involved in these kinds of debates though. I will say that in one thread, someone tried to suggest that female runners will never be as good ultra or mountain runners as men, but there are at least a few examples of women winning these kinds of races outright. My post some time ago on Ultra Grrlz points to some outstanding women in the field.

Shoot. Every time I hear or see the word Kenyans, this video pops into my head. hehe:

Maybe by the time I'm set to publish this post, the results of this year's race will be available. It shouldn't be long now.

Speaking of hills, I was able to run up Flagstaff Mountain on the road yesterday. I did a tempo pace to the very top, starting at Chautauqua and going toward Gross Reservoir. I did it in 58 minutes, which isn't too bad! My pelvis was a little bit off, but the new insoles that my Dr. gave me are great! I do like them.

I was debating about posting this next part, but I will go ahead and confess. I saw a photo of me yesterday, and I guess I'm not quite over the whole body image thing. My first response was, "OMG- I look so fat!" Not that it stopped me from finishing the mini chocolate bar I was eating, but it was my first response. On the other hand, I sort of let it go, and decided that I will probably always be a little too hard on myself. Plus, I'm used to seeing a way too skinny version of me in pictures, not a more normal looking one. I definitely have a fear of cameras. In nearly all pictures it's obvious that I am turning away, begging the person behind the camera to not shoot. In ones where I'm trapped and forced to face the camera, I generally look like someone is standing near me saying, "smile or I'll shoot." Um..not the camera, I mean. It's like I get all stiff and uncomfortable when faced with someone behind the camera wanting to snap a picture.

All this aside, the main thing is that the run, despite me being tired from the start, went well. I do think that I am limping less. It would be cool to pick out a hill climb before the summer is over. I'll see if I can find one. I'm going to go for an easy jog in a bit here. For some reason, it feels like it has been a LONG week. I kept thinking yesterday was Saturday!

I had something I wanted to write last night. It was one of those thoughts that made me all excited, because it was worded in just the right way and interesting. Unfortunately, I completely forgot what it was before I could get to a scrap piece of paper or a computer to jot it down. I hate it when that happens. Now it's buried somewhere in my brain, lost in the clutter probably forever. By the way, I grew up pronouncing buried bUrried, not berry'd. People always make fun of me when  I say it, and as much as I would like to say it the other way, it slips out my usual way ALL THE TIME. However, I was once told that pronunciation is arbitrary. I suppose this is only marginally true, but it sounds good. I'm totally off topic here and completely wandering around in my head with not a whole lot to say...

I want to add that I hope GZ does well in his race tomorrow! I bet he will have all the results of both the ascent and the round trip posted on his blog. I just found out too that at the end of this month, there will be a running race up Pikes on the ROAD! Oh man, I wish I were in better shape. That's a bit too long for me right now, but what a cool idea. With my foot, trails are still a bit sketchy because of the uneven surface. But that's a BIG hill! Maybe another time. I will wait to see how others like it.

And to end this disjointed post, here is a video a friend of mine pointed out that features a very, very inspirational lady. Wow. I get choked up every time I see it.


  1. Nice run. Too bad you don't have any pictures of yourself actually running up Flagstaff. Now those I would pay to see.

  2. Thank you. I'm guessing any pics of me running up that mountain are ones I would pay to keep from the public eye!

  3. Results are posted. No one came close to Matt Carpenter's record, but there was a new record set in the women's 25 to 29 age group.

  4. Thanks for the kind words.

    I am looking at the road race up Pikes as something that seems a bit nutty: it does not go to the top, it is a week after the Ascent. I think it is really just in place to deal with the costs of buying the road out for the bike race?

    That said - the views from the road are actually quite epic - better than the Barr Trail.

  5. The race does look interesting. I'm pretty sure I'm not quite ready for that kind of distance, but it's tempting. I would definitely like to find a hill climb soon!

    Good luck tomorrow! wooHoo!