Monday, August 5, 2013

The cooling of the heels

So as hot as August is I am cooling the jets for a bit.

I'll still be training - just not with as much intensity as I have for the majority of the year.

12 days from right now I will be about 50 minutes into the biggest running race of my 2+ year endurance journey. The Pike's Peak Ascent. Yeah, I know I have written about it all year. It's a big deal. It's a big deal physically as running uphill at altitude is about as challenging of an endurance endeavor as you will find. It's a big deal mentally. It's a big deal metaphorically. It's a big deal spiritually. After the race, I am sure I will have to write some lengthy mile-by-mile account that will only be for my therapy.

Some PPA Basics

13.32 miles.

Elevation gain (start to summit) is 7,815' (2,382 meters); the start is at 6,300' (1,920m) and the summit is 14,115' (4,302m). The Ascent finish/Marathon turnaround is at approximately 14,050'. The Ascent (and ascent leg of the Marathon) has very few stretches which are not going uphill with the average percent grade being 11%.  (You know those signs on the Interstate that warn you about 6% grade ... yeah, double that steepness.)

The footing, or surface, of the trail does vary. In the forested sections it is primarily decomposed rock with a mixture of dirt and loose gravel on the surface with the occasional root or rock protrusion. Above treeline (that is, above the A-frame shelter) the trail is primarily loose gravel with one short section of broken rock (generally referred to as rubble) and the section known as the 16 Golden Stairs being gravel with frequent step-ups of some 10 to 15 inches (the Golden Stairs refers to the 32 switch-backs remaining to the summit). In general, the condition of Barr Trail is excellent thanks primarily to the Friends of the Peak and the Pikes Peak Trail Dogs led by Gail Allen.

Running tally for the year for me:

1090 running miles - with a mix of Stairmaster, Trail Running & Treadmill. I have done very little "flat" or "street" running this year.

I have run these 1090 miles with about 125,000 vertical feet of gain. I believe that calculates out to a 6 or 7 percent incline average on my runs. Is it enough? I hope it is.

Okay. I am done talking about it until I finish it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You're doing the Pikes Peak Ascent?! Good luck! That mountain is sure something, we can see it from every hill around us.