Days 72-73 – Elevation and motivation

14 03 2010

Unlike our typical ski weekends, a fun weekend with friends and our families at a beautiful house in Grand Lake near Rocky Mountain National Forest does not require burning calories. It does include consuming calories as part of the agenda!

Jo-Anna encourages me and my blogging/exercising mission on a daily basis and was not going to let Saturday be my first day off in 2010 even if we were on a holiday. (She happens to be the same friend who has kept me triathlon-ing for five years…so I need to thank her.) We went for a walk and talked at 8,000+ feet before lounging on the cabin deck in the sunshine. That counts in my book for daily “moving” — at least while you’re on vacation — if not exercise.

Supportively, Jo-Anna knew there should be more and was willing to try the Exhale DVD I had dutifully packed. We changed into Pilates pants, cleared the kids’ toys from the living room and rearranged the couches. After technical difficulties — no batteries in the DVD remote, so we couldn’t get past the intro — we resorted to attempting to stretch on our own.

This, too, I count as better than nothing — even though I don’t do near as many repetitions or hold my body correctly without instructors. I tried to show Jo-Anna my new Exhale moves — only a great friend wouldn’t laugh!

Today, we headed home driving 75 miles through dry, then snowy, then icy (Berthoud Pass), then rainy and finally dry again conditions as we came back to the Denver prairie. To make up for yesterday’s almost-a-rest day, I stuck to my half-marathon plan’s 8-mile run — also in dry, snowy, icy, rainy conditions.

During an hour and 20 minutes, I have never seen such changing weather. The only thing that makes running in freezing rain welcomed is when you’ve just been pelted in the face by hard snowflakes in the wind.

What made the long, wet run bearable were the Born to Run chapters I read in the car. If you’ve haven’t read the book or heard of the Leadville Trail 100-Mile Run, check out the race website… 50 miles out and back on Colorado Rocky Mountain forest trails and mountain roads going from 9,200 to 12,600 feet — for 30 hours straight, through the night, in the cold and changing August weather!

If you complete the race in less than 30 hours, you get a silver belt buckle… that’s it…and to say you are a surviving ultra-endurance runner! Living here, I’ve heard a lot about this race and the amazingly impressive, crazy people who attempt it. Reading more about made me embarrassed to call my 8 miles a long run.

For 8 miles of changing weather in my neighborhood at only 5,200 feet I thought about how anyone could possibly get her mind and body to go 92 more miles — uphill — in the dark. I really could not let myself complain…or feel worthy of a special buckle just yet!

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