ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
[personal profile] ilanarama
I had all sorts of grand plans for dominating my new age group at the Imogene Pass Run this year, but it was not to be. I did not get the consistent mileage, nor the long runs, nor the trail hill repeats I'd planned. My stupid blisters had kept me from trail-running on our layover day on our July 4th weekend backpack, but I had managed to at least get out hiking at high elevation fairly often, including much of the previous week, and so I clung to my unrealistic hopes until they were cruelly dashed.

Getting ready to start

Bad weather had been predicted all week - rain and possibly snow - but race morning dawned sunny and almost too hot. I discarded my capris and long sleeves for Icebreaker t-shirt and skirt with compression socks, but I ended up taking my shirt off around mile 5 and didn't put it back on until the summit. My gloves and fleece hat never came out of my pack, and I regretted having chosen a cap rather than my visor.

Getting ready to start And they're off!

I felt pretty strong (though warm) in the first several miles, and YAY I did not feel the need to go to the bathroom, though my stomach considered throwing up the small amount of oatmeal I'd eaten for breakfast. At Lower Camp Bird I took three or four gummi bears, and other than the chicken broth at the summit, that was all I ate during the run.

I didn't feel too bad by Upper Camp Bird, either. However, comparing my splits with my PR in 2012, I can see that I was running much more slowly, averaging ~11:10 over the first three miles as compared with ~10:40; 16 minute pace over the next four, as compared to 14:50. I had reached Upper Camp Bird around mile 7.5 in 1:45, two minutes slower than in 2012 (but I'd had a 3-minute potty stop then, so I was clearly well off my pace!). That was still faster than my 1:48/1:50 in 2009/2010, so I figured I still had a chance at sub-3:50, if not the 3:45 I was initially hoping for.

Selfie above Lower Camp Bird Above Lower Camp Bird

But then I got slower. A lot slower. I walk slowly, and usually people (also walking) pass me, but I pass them while we're running - and in the last few miles before the summit. But this time I could not muster any speed at all. I ran when the terrain let me, but then I usually had to slow to such a crawl on the next walking portion that I lost ground relative to everyone around me. Looking at the timing mat numbers, perhaps 100 people passed me in the last 2.5 miles to the summit. :-( I felt a little dizzy and more than a little nauseous as I reached the aid station at the top, but yay, now it was downhill all the way, time to bomb down the descent!

Up the last stretch to the summit Summit

Except I couldn't. I'd reached the summit at a disappointing 2:49 elapsed, the slowest of all but my first race, though not by much, fortunately. I attributed a lot of my improvement in 2012 to increased downhill trail skills, and I hoped they would help me run a faster downhill and therefore a faster time than in 2009 and 2010. But I think my lack of long runs and overall mileage meant I just didn't have the endurance to push the downhill. I ran steadily and more or less comfortably, but slowly; I passed more people than passed me, but mostly I just maintained position, watching the sub-3:50 slip away...then the chance of beating my 2009/2010 3:54...and then I was just hoping I could come in sub-4, for heaven's sake!

Coming in to Telluride.

I hit the pavement in Telluride, rounded the corner, and saw the clock. 3:59 and the seconds were ticking by. I accelerated, squeezing the last bit of oomph out of my tired legs, and crossed the line at a heart-stopping 3:59:53 on the clock. (My chip time was 3:59:28, but I had started my Garmin on the gun, so I didn't know how much leeway I had!)

This was enough for 6th in AG, which is my highest placement ever despite me clocking my second-worst time, but that's mostly attributable to me being over 50 now. Interestingly, among my friends running this race, about half of them had bad races, and half of them had huge PRs.

I had to sit down right after finishing, and then I made my way on wobbly legs and the shoulder of a friend to a shady spot in the grass, where I just kind of collapsed for a while. My quads hurt pretty bad for the next several days; I think the downhill pounding, with poor form due to fatigue, really took its toll.

But I am running again now, and focused on the Durango Double. Hopefully I will be able to get myself back into better shape for that!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-13 12:51 am (UTC)
thistlechaser: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistlechaser
Even if your time wasn't where you'd have liked it to be, I wanted you to know how impressed I am with you! That's a whole lot of running! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-13 02:00 am (UTC)
thistlechaser: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistlechaser
It's not at all, it's amazing! I have a hard time imagining anyone going that far on foot, walking or running.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-13 01:37 am (UTC)
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] zulu
Ouch, that's tough! But good on you for making it through. And good luck with the next one!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-13 03:40 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That looks like a beautiful and very hard run. Beautiful pictures too. Take those AG placements when you get them - I am in denial about this personally but I suspect there might be some slow down as we gain "experience" and move to different AGs. SMax...

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-13 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Beautiful pictures, but it sounds like a VERY hard four hours. As someone said above, it's very impressive that you can do it at all!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-13 09:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry you didn't do as well as you wanted, but new age groups to conquer is exciting, because, hey, not everyone keeps going on. (And especially as well as you, this race excepting, but there were reasons!)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-13 06:51 pm (UTC)
traveller42: (Default)
From: [personal profile] traveller42
I need to make it out for that race one of these years.

Of course, this flatlander will only be looking to finish.

Glad to hear you are running again. I need to do the same.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-15 12:49 pm (UTC)
blnchflr: Sue Storm Civil War (Sue Storm Civil War)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
Sorry you had a bad race, but still an incredible achievement to me - sub-4 hours for that distance and elevation O__O

I wanna be in Colorado again, it's so beautiful ;__; ! Though actually PA is, too - they're each their own brand of pretty <3

Hang tough

Date: 2014-09-16 12:35 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm sorry your time wasn't what you wanted. It appears to be a veery tough course, though; so maybe you should go easy on yourself. can't wait to see you in Boston! onward & upward!

:) Rebecca


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

131415 16171819
20212223 242526

My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @


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