27 May 2013

Jemez Half Marathon

We wrapped up our training in Breckenridge on Tuesday - the rest of the week were short runs with Hudson

Headed to Santa Fe Wednesday. The view coming into the Arkansas Headwaters area on US-285

Sunset in warm, sunny and snow-free Santa Fe

On Thursday we headed up to Los Alamos to get our race packets

This must be where the elites run the 50K and 50M races - no lovely open fields on our little sadistic course

Our haul - including free t-shirts from prior years and a nice headlamp that Maureen won in a raffle

The week was perfect - we were rested and injury-free. We had been sleeping and eating well. The night before we were all packed and ready to go. Only one thing left could cause havoc - insomnia

4 years of playing pro hockey and sleep was never once an issue. It's not as if I am worried about winning (hahaha). Yet it is an issue for me running non-local half marathons. Best guess is it's not the race but having to wake up early and a mind that doesn't shut up - I end up doing math and can't stop it ("if I fall asleep in the next 30 minutes I'll get 6 hours sleep and...")

I did fall asleep 3 times and as early as 9:15 but woke each time within a few minutes. By 2:30am I had grabbed a beer to go with my cigarette - stolen from our post-race celebratory stash. Next thing I knew it was 5:15am. Breakfast was not terribly enjoyable but got about 500 calories and off we went

My goal going into the race was to beat 2:30. I hadn't really worked as hard this year running "fast" for much longer than 7 miles. Which was OK - I had fun lolly-gagging in the wilderness. It just meant I had no expectations of beating last year's 2:18:23

The race is so mellow and the volunteers so cool that it was easy to get into the spirit. The half-marathoners are a mix of some serious runners but mostly locals and others in it for the challenge. It was already warm when we lined up and just after 8am someone said something like "OK, go" and off we went

Last year I went out fast and did the first section (4.2 miles with 721' of gain and 555' of descent) at a 7:58 pace. This year I kept it mellow and was in a good group going at a fine pace. I would guess we did something like an 8:30 pace

The second section is brutal. 2.2 miles with 1,540' of gain in the exposed sun. I got to the top and asked what time it was. It was either 9:11 or 9:13, can't remember. At the the time I thought I was about 6 minutes behind last year but was actually only 3-5 minutes behind. Woo-hoo! The crux of the race was done

The third section is 5.3 miles with 1,792' of descent. Last year I did this section at an 8:29 pace. I would guess I met or beat this pace. I ran with one guy for about half a mile. It was his first Jemez. We talked about our goals. He said his was now 2:20. I told him mine was 2:30 and he said how that was no problem. I didn't break his spirit - we were 1:40 into the race with about 4 miles to go, including two sadistic hills, and he was not going to make 2:20

About a half mile from the final aid station I started to fade and was aware that I was dehydrated. I was a mess at the aid station. I filled up with water although my bottle was mostly full and grabbed a strawberry that I spit up

The final section is 2 miles with 426' of gain - with a 200' hill leaving the aid station and a 100' rock waterfall (dry) at the very end. Last year I did this section at a 12:26 pace - was definitely slower this year. I was in such horrible shape by the end that once I reached the top of the waterfall I thought I heard a runner coming up behind and moved aside. But it wasn't a runner. It was a 70-year old woman walking who said "Oh I'm not a runner dear, I'm just a spectator"

The final tally was 2:26:45 for 42/229 - 8:22 or 37 seconds per mile slower. I'm totally satisfied and left it all out there

Maureen beat last year's time by 6:24. It was 80F when she finished. More importantly she went from announcing her retirement from racing to committing to the 2014 Jemez within 30 hours

Our self-purchased finisher trophies: mine (Huichol beaded donkey)

Maureen's (from Madrid, NM)

18 May 2013

Fun at 10,000'

Conditions weren't very good for running & hiking but we still played quite a bit around the Quandary TH area. Mostly early when it was below freezing to avoid post-holing

We did a number of runs on Park County Road 8, a mellow and mostly dry dirt road that goes from Alma to Kite Lake TH

The final long run before next weekend's race - the final mile was through occasionally deep snow but did end at 12,000'

The Alma Cemetery

Views from a short road trip to Leadville

10 May 2013


One last Sugarloaf with Hudson

View from just off Rattlesnake Gulch Trail in Eldorado State Park

We came up to Breckenridge Tuesday. I shouldn't have complained about the snow in Boulder. Had thought we could train by running up Quandary Peak. HAHAHAHA!

McCullough Gulch Road. Not many people have been up lately.

Boreas Pass. Had hoped to make it to the water tank but began post-holing after 2.5 miles

Went up to Frisco today to run part of the 29-mile bike path that goes from Breckenridge to Vail

Tonight we were able to watch the CBC feed of the Toronto-Boston Game 5. Lost a beer-and-shot during Game 4 to my old goaltending partner who's now a successful doctor in Boston. Did get an invite to Toronto if they make it to the finals from a couple of old teammates. Hockey is great...

4 May 2013

Jesus Is Messing With Me

Last Sunday morning The Santa Fe Sweet Leafs were in 5th place with one game to go. Ottawa at Boston. The boys came through and we moved up to 2nd place - good for $110 and some well deserved pride. Celebration of the $110 goal

Then Jesus took my happiness away by sending the 5th snowstorm of at least 12" during our 30-day spring stay in Boulder - days after it was 75F and sunny

Even more confusing - the Vancouver Canucks are down 2-0 while the Toronto Maple Leafs just tied their series with Boston 1-1. It seems so long ago that Vancouver were awesome - but it was only two years ago we were in Vancouver celebrating (before the riots)

We head to Breckenridge Tuesday for a few weeks before back to Santa Fe for the Jemez Half. After that - no plan. Hopefully a Canadian team will be in the Finals and we will head there

A few shots from the past few weeks. Red Rocks

Bummers Rock at Betasso

Bobolink Trail

Today Hudson did his 11th summit of Green Mountain - and is now snoring on the couch