This week was a good reminder as to my priority shift these days. As James is spending more time awake duirng the day, which I'm thankful for at night, it has been getting harder to get in treadmill runs during the day. You realize getting in that extra 5 miles doesn't hold a torch to cuddling with your lil grommie and watching him smile at you. As this was my last week of maternity leave I got in hikes nearly everyday with my boys. I have no doubt hiking up Conifer Mountain pushing a stroller and dragging a dog along will help my climb up Hope Pass. I know I will spend most of those hours thinking about all the time I spent this summer hiking with my boys and smiling at the memories. Hopefully these memories will help push me up and over each mountain pass and back to 6th and Harrison!
I didn't get out to trails at all during the week and only managed one neighborhood run, so quite a few treadmill miles. I figure as long as I'm running them as quality miles its the best I can do right now. I was also planning on doing a pretty long run over the weekend so I didn't want to kill myself with miles during the week. Sunday was my day for a long run and from the start it just wasn't my day. I was already nervous about spending the whole day before I went back to work training, so my plan was to hit the trail by 6:00am so I would still have quite a bit of the afternoon to get ready for the week ahead. Well Saturday night Dan struggled getting James to bed which led to me getting up to help put him to bed. I finally got James to bed at 2:00am and knowing there was no way I could get in the run I wanted to on less than 3 hours of sleep I gave up on starting at 6:00. I slept until 6:30, but 4.5 hours of sleep is still rough for these kind of miles, but I fed James, got my gear together and hit the trail at 9:00 am, still plenty of time. Dan insisted I try a new trail that he had run the day before so I was planning to run up Ben Tyler trail to the Colorado Trail and head south to Kenosha Pass before turning around to go back over Ben Tyler. This should have given me some excellent elevation gain. Ben Tyler is a pretty runable uphill and is in a gorgeous forested area so I was enjoying being out there by myself. About 3 miles into the run I heard a russle just off the side of the trail. I stopped dead in my tracks as I saw a pretty good size black bear (300-400lbs) a couple feet away from me. I think I scared the bear as much as he scared me and he jumped up and charged across the trail just a few feet in front of me and then took off up the trail. With only my mini can of pepper spray for protection and my legs shaking uncontrollably I decided continuing up the trail was probably not in my best interest. I slowly walked backwards down the trail until I could no longer see or hear the bear, then turned and ran as fast as I could on the somewhat technical trail, there are quite a few loose rocks and roots to dodge, back to the car. At this point I knew I still needed to log more miles so I had to come up with a new game plan. Well I decided I was less likely to encounter a bear on a trail that was hot and exposed. So I headed back north to run segment 2 of the Colorado Trail from the Foxton side. This would give me another good climb, adding to the 2,500 ft of elevation gain I had already done. Of course starting this trail at 11:00 am meant I only had a few hours before the storms hit and I had decided on an exposed trail, not somewhere you want to be in a lightening storm. I charged up the initial hill or rather I should say it felt like I charged up the hill, but between the lack of sleep, temperatures near 100F and the lagging effects of the earlier adrenaline surge my quads were trashed. I pushed on as best I could but as I dropped into the woods after a few miles I began to get nervous about mountain lions. No real reason, but I had defninitely been spooked by the bear. After awhile I realized I was spending more time nervously looking around and fighting the fatigue in my legs than running. With storms rapidly approaching I decided it wasn't worth it and I should just head back down.
Needless to say Sunday's run did nothing to inspire confidence in me for Leadville. But I know next week is another week. I try to keep reminding myself that not every run is perfect and you don't always feel good on every run, but there will be another good day of running you just have to keep at it and not give up. So here's to better running next week!
Week July 15-21
Miles Running: 39.1
Hours Hiking and Running: 12