Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mount Evans Echo Lake to Summit Lake - 9

We did a group training run today. Mount Evans from Echo Lake to Summit Lake about 9 miles on road with 2600 elevation gain from 10,000 feet up to 12,600.

It was a really nice day for it, it was sunny most of the run with some clouds, no wind and temps in the 40's. Wore 2 shirts, 1 short, 1 long, gloves and shorts and I was fine. Got a little hot a couple of times but not enough to take off the shirt. No wind makes a big difference.

Runners were,

Andre, Dennis, Jill, Diane (wave 1)

Pete M, Craig M, Jeff (wave 2)

Things went pretty much as planned meeting at echo lake at 7, except Jeff forgot to get gas, so he didn't have enough gas to do the car drop off. Luckily Andre came along and had gas. Wave 2 guys also dropped water at mile 6 which was good. Diane was a lady we met in the parking lot who started with us, but turned back around 6 miles or so and ran back down. She was really nice and might join us for another training run in 2 weeks and is signed up for the race.

We had 2 groups this year, the wave 2 guys did the car drop while wave 1 started running, this was to save time and worked well.

Andre and I started together, he had a nice pace at the start that I fell into and felt good. I remembered my start last year was horrible (overdressed too much water, pack). Jill and Diane started behind us and we could hear them chatting as Andre and I slowly pulled away. About a half mile I pulled ahead a bit and still felt good. I wanted to get to the 3 mile mark before I started my usual run/walk up the mountain. I cannot maintain my uphill pace more than a half mile or so without a walk break. Training in the mountains and on evans helps, but I don't think I could ever make it all the way up without walk breaks.

At the 3 mile mark my legs were tight, breathing hard and my hip from yesterday was in pain. I stopped and walked a minute, recovered and ran. I decided to do 5 minutes running, 1 1/2 walking as long as I could hold it. Just past mile 4, Andre caught up to me, going the same steady 11 minute pace we started with at the bottom. With my walk breaks I was doing about 12 minute miles. Sometimes I would recover good and feel like running and sometimes it felt bad and didn't feel like running. He pulled away from me. At mile 6 he stopped for a water break and walked slowly till I caught up. I had a GU we talked and ran for a bit. I ran for about 2/3 of a mile and took a walk break, he pulled away and I said see you at the finish. Mile 7-8 1/2 were a hard stretched. I experimented with run/walking by taking shorter running and walking breaks, this sped up my pace a bit and felt much easier. I might try this during the actual race for brief periods where it is really steep.

The last mile is downhill to echo lake. In the past I picked it up here, but not today, just took it easy. Andre was pulling ahead on the downhill. He ended up finishing 1:36, I was 1:42. We got to summit lake and I opened my suv and we had snacks and gatorade in the sun while we waited for the others to finish. Jill was about 10 minutes after me, she had separated from Diane. Jill and I both improved from our training run time from last year. I took about 5 minutes off and felt much better.

We took some pictures which I will post later and hung out discussing the run and talking about running in general. Andre and Jill both told me I run too much and don't listen to them.

Pete M came in about 15 minutes after Jill, he did like 1:29, then Craig M was about 5 minutes later. Jeff about 10 minutes after that. It got cold as Jeff was finished, we chatted a bit, but then everyone started getting cold (especially Jill who had 5 layers on and waited in the car and maxed out the heater on the way back).

We drove back down, picking up our water bottles like responsible runners we are. We got to the bottom about 10:30 and dropped everyone off. Jill and I went back through Idaho Springs and stopped there and had a sandwhich at a cool deli, we also walked around a bit before the hour drive home.

All in all it was a great day and a lot of fun with some good running friends.

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