Posts Tagged ‘Pikes Peak’

The following below is from Fern (@sitbones).  She has run the Pikes Peak Marathon and the Ascent 3x.  I’ve welcomed her thoughts and I think from my race report you’ll see I did start to understand the mystique.

I really started following  @nycbklyngirl on Twitter, when she mentioned that she was coming to Colorado to run the Pikes Peak Marathon. She started using the hash tag #Voldemort which meant to me that she was going to come to Colorado to defeat Pikes Peak.  I knew she was using this as a motivating factor for herself to mentally and physically get ready for this huge challenge.  She came, she saw, she accomplished her goal.  Now, as Paul Harvey used to say….I want her to hear the rest of the story.

Dear E,

Pikes Peak is one of the 53 mountains in our state of Colorado that have an elevation of over 14,000 feet.  Pikes Peak is considered one of our state “crown jewels” rising above Colorado Springs in all of its beautiful splendor and glory. As you have written, Katharine Lee Bates stood on the mountain top in 1893 and got the inspiration to write the words for the song, America The Beautiful. Because of the mountain’s location on the “front range”, there are probably more runners and hikers on this mountain than any other 14er.  We in Colorado treat this mountain as a treasure, one that always deserves our respect.

As one ascends the mountain, the beauty of mother nature is breathtaking. She must have used a paint brush because you see every color imaginable. The air is clean and fresh.  But, as the locals know, Pikes Peak also can show her fury. The weather can change in an instant. You learn to be prepared for rain, snow, hail, lightning, wind.  In other words, you pay RESPECT to the mountain at all times.  Some times she is very playful with you, you are running down the mountain and she decides to trip you with a tree root.  Everyone who has been on Pikes Peak multiple times has left a little piece of themselves on the mountain as they took a tumble.  But all know, this is part of the privilege of getting to be on this beautiful mountain.

We treat Pikes Peak with reverence at all times.  If you run to the top and back down, you thank the mountain for the privilege of the attempt. Going up and down this mountain is a lifetime experience that one will never forget.

So E, I hope you now see that in my view, you did not come defeat Pikes Peak….you were privileged to come and pay your respect to this wonderful mountain.

Fern   @sitbones  on Twitter

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Well, we’ve reached the time that there are no more tomorrows.  No more oh it’s next week.  No more one more run.  This is it.  Tomorrow I will be tackling the trails to head up to 14,110 feet before descending back down to a measly 6,300 feet .  I kid.  Although coming back down gaining oxygen will be a welcome addition:)  Tomorrow I tackle America’s Ultimate Challenge: Pikes Peak Marathon.

Today I was able to take the cog train up to the top of Pikes Peak and experience true altitude.  I didn’t feel sick more of a “slow” feeling.  It was definitely helpful to know what type of feeling I may feel at the summit.  I definitely noticed coming back down the cog train I was gaining oxygen.  So, I suppose that will be nice? 🙂

Overall, I’m excited.  I’m ready to conquer.  The work is done.  This is my celebration.  I feel honored to be able to tackle this race tomorrow.  Thanks to everyone for your support – you’ll be in my head as I go through the highs, lows and everything in between.  This is what it’s all about – experiencing and living life to its fullest.  This is a part of it for me.

So with that I’ll see you at the finish line.

pikes ascent finish

and i thought the nj stairs were intense,...these are the colorado version (not part of race). 41 degree incline at one point!

Here she is all 14,110 feet of her! Pikes Peak - what helped inspire the song America the Beautiful!

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Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer; it also starts my travel insanity. I managed to be in 4 states this weekend with New York being a layover;) The first part was general family stuff – nothing to write about here but the second part took me up to Easton, CT. Thanks to Runnin’ Around Uptown I was introduced to her friend, NM. Apparently, she thought we would share some common interests, including Voldemort being her “dream” race. Haha! Sunday morning I set off for Connecticut knowing a tough couple of trail sessions lay ahead. I arrived and what do you know? She lives on a farm with a trail preserve in her backyard – over 1000 acres! How cool. I ended up making a friend – this is Jeepers the Donkey below. He’s kind of a jackass;)

So running. Oh yes. Some go into the shallow end of trails, I just dove into the deep end! It was exciting to know I had zero control over the paths ahead – and definitely a new challenge. I didn’t synch my garmin for the first run (shocking I know) but I’d guesstimate around 9 miles? But not your typical 9. We had to use our hands to climb up certain portions and some just plain old unrunnable. I used muscles I didn’t know existed but man was it fun! NM commented that trail running is like being a kid the way you pick your feet and bounce from foot to foot. I also learned that sometimes a power walk/hike is as effective as a jog if not more:). After that first run, we arrived back and her family had dinner ready! Mmm bbq!

I certainly was not going to waste a chance for a second day of trails so what do you think happened? Why we tackled round 2 of the trails. This time we picked up her neighbor – an amazing woman! You see she’s 51 years young and probably could cream NM and I on the roads! So cool! It should be mentioned there’s over 1000 acres of trails behind NM’s house! Can you say jealous??? Day 2 brought more climbs and descents – I broke a cardinal rule though: no energy replacement. I did not eat enough before the run and by the end I was bonking BAD. Naturally the last .3 mile was a 250ft climb. Ouch. Lesson learned.

Elevation of Day 2 run

Over 2 days I conquered between 17-18 miles of very technical trails. I made it and feel excited to continue on. Lots to learn along the way and look forward to getting any and all advice from those more experienced.

Ice cream! A great reward for all that running!

Before I end, today marks the beginning of year 8 in NYC.  Holy crap.  And more holy crap?  Year 2 of being a homeowner begins.  Yowzers.  It still amazes me to look back and see the road I’ve traveled – funny I wasn’t a runner at that point.  And now look what happened!

So I raise a glass of Pinot noir to my first homeversary and anniversary in NYC…here’s to many more!  Up next: Heading out to San Diego for the half and VACATION!

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