TransRockies – Day 5
The last couple of days we have been at Camp Hale with no cell or internet access. It has been quite nice actually not having to move camp for a night left and it left us some extra “free time” that we needed…but somehow still filled. A lot changed over the last couple days and I will tap out a post about it but basically we had a solid run from Leadville on day 3 and I sat out the run yesterday and ended up going for a ride on the MTB.
Today we were back at the trails and firing on all cylinders. Chris and I pretty much ran stride for stride all day and push harder than we have all week. We were bused out of Camp Hale this morning and into Red Cliff (no link) this morning where Stage 5 stared with an 8 mile climb right up the back of Vail Ski Resort. We had just over 24 miles to rip up and we ran with the confidence that we could go harder today regardless of results. This is what we came here for.
Starting in the back, we moved up across the main pack of as we progressed up that 8 mile climb. We simply committed to running the sections that everyone else was walking. Again and again and again. Once we got into the back of Vail it was more climbing, climbing and climbing. Only we got out of the sun and into the single track covered by the tall trees. Everyday the trails and the views get better. Everyday we managed to push a little more and today we were on the rivet from the first step of the climb. This is the first time all week I was starting to take in any caffeine, fight through getting O2 and fight the dizzy of pushing the pace. The steep walking/hiking is what got to my calf and part of why I sat out yesterday so today I would either run or stand and stretch – only saving the have-to-hikes for the big steep nastiness. Chris and I were switching off in the lead as we slowly passed more teams throughout the day although it was not what was pushing our pace. 3-4hrs a day of running is starting to be the norm. Going longer, getting stronger!
We got along the top of Vail for a few more rollers and insane views. One more climb and three hours into the run we started the last 10K quad ripper down the front switchbacks of the resort to the finish. No doubt about it – hour plus long climbs and screaming descents will make us STRONG! Run camp is rad! I had that same feeling on day 3 in Tantauco. Fatigue and that gitty shitty grind that can only come after hours of running and days of racing. That is when the magic happens! Maybe it is when the body gives out and the mind and spirit take over? The irony is in the death fatigue and the beginning of true strength. Today we had some technical trails that we were bombing down (almost recklessly) and our feet could find no wrong in every foot step, my soreness had disappeared, bonking became a worry of the past. Game on! Our pace may not have gotten any faster but there was not doubt it, there was no slowing down or backing off.
We finished at our camp ground for the night which is just across the street from where the Tour of Colorado . . .where we saw Levi smashed the time trail today. Bonus! Following routine, we hit the finish line buffet with everyone, soaked in the river, setup camp, showered and got ready to do it all over again tomorrow. Chris and I ventured out to get dinner number one. . . or two of three (and I’m eating again right now at a cafe!). I am pretty sure this is called living the dream. One more 23.4 mile day tomorrow.