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TransRockies Update: Day 4

This is what we ran today.

And here is the elevation chart.

And all the data you might want to know about today

And here’s how we did.

Wow…what a difference a day makes. Rachel and I were able to get some good rest yesterday and it showed this morning. I think knowing that it was a shorter day today helped mentally as well. 

I could tell Rachel was feeling better today when we started the run because she left me in the dust for a while. I stayed back and chatted with a couple teams that we’ve met along the way. Around mile two, when I couldn’t see Rachel anymore I decided I should probably run faster and catch her, which I did just before we started to make the long four mile climb. Today’s climb was crazy. I thought Hope Pass was hard on the second day, today felt worse. It’s not because of the elevation gain it was because this felt like it was straight up. At least on Hope there were switch backs. Not so here. I did my best to tow Rachel up the climbs but there were times where I had to let go and take a break because it was that steep. I was so happy when we finally made it to the top. I was actually humming the Rocky theme song when we crested the final rise.  A few people enjoyed it. 

The view from the top was spectacular today

The second half of the run was awesome as you can probably tell from our splits. It was almost all down hill and we were going pretty fast considering how far we’ve run so far. We actually got into a good rhythm and we passed several people. We were nearing the bottom when Rachel topped a rock and fell. Luckily she didn’t get too hurt, just a couple scrapes. She took a five minute breather and was able to continue on. It wasn’t long after the fall that we came to our first of four creek crossings. Not only did we have to cross the creek, but for about a mile the trail and the creek were the same thing. It was cold, wet, and my socks and shoes stayed squishy…I was not a fan.

After we got out of the creek trail we had 2.5 miles of dirt road to the finish.  I pushed, pulled and motivated Rachel all the way to the finish and we came in more than 20 minutes under our goal of four hours. It was a really awesome day and we feel really good. We didn’t podium today but we were fourth in our division which puts us in sixth for the four days. 

This leg of the run ended at the small town of Red Cliffs. Right at finish line is an amazing Mexican restaurant called Mango’s. I got some delicious fish tacos and beer. It was much needed.

Tomorrow is another long day. A little over 22 miles. Our goal is to finish before my watch dies which is around 5:45. Thanks again for all the encouragement and support! It has been a real motivator! 

Total milage: 72.6 miles

TransRockies Update: Day 5

This is what I ran today.

And here is the elevation chart.

And all the data you might want to know about today

And here’s how we did (watch died again)

Five days down, one more to go. 

I honestly don’t remember a time when I wasn’t doing this race…

Today was not my day. I’ve been fighting a pretty sick cold/cough for the last couple days. Today it moved into my lungs and when we got to the top of the mountain today it got really hard for me to breath. At one point I had to unclip my hydration pack and walk with my arms in the air just so I could inhale enough oxygen to feel like I wasn’t suffocating. Just after the second aid station/check point I started to feel like I might pass out. I kept telling myself to keep my eyes open so that I wouldn’t black out. Thank goodness for Rachel today. She really kept me motivated. I still pulled her up a good portion of the rise but she powered through a lot of it on her own today. She would pull ahead of my by several hundred yards and I would tell myself that I had to keep moving to stay with her. Without her there today I probably would have stopped for a while to try and catch my breath. On the plus side, the views from the top were spectacular once again. 

Once we started going down the hill things got better. I felt like I was able to breath better when we were running vice walking so having that downhill helped. The course was a little challenging on the downhill though, we essentially ran down the ski slope into Vail so there were parts of the course that were super grassy and hard to see trip hazards. Luckily neither of us died going down. Rachel had it in her head that the course was only 22 miles today. When we got to check point three at mile 20.5 and the volunteers told us we still had 3.5 miles to go she was not a happy camper. Right around mile 22.5 she started hating life. She was ready to be done. I tried motivating her by telling her we were close but that only made her more annoyed because she thought we should be done already. We made it to the finish though just under our goal time of six hours, 5:59.15 to be exact. And neither of us has killed the other yet so we will definitely make it to the finish of this adventure as a team. (Maybe) 

One cool thing to report is that we moved ahead in the over all standings. We were sixth going into today, five minutes behind fifth place and fifteen minutes behind fourth place. We gained ten minutes on the fourth place team and almost a full hour on the fifth place team. So now we are sitting in fifth place, five minutes out of fourth. I think if we have a good day tomorrow we can finish fourth overall. 

Tomorrow is a little over 21 miles the first 10 miles are going to suck climbing but then there is 7 miles of down hill after that which will be fun. I think that’s where we’ll put some distance between us and the current fourth place team. There’s a three mile rise leaving the town of Avon which will suck so late in the race but the down hill into Beaver Creek will be a great way to finish this race. I’m just hoping my lungs hold up. I think if we don’t spend too much time at the highest part of the course and get down quickly my lungs will get me to the finish. I should get to sleep now since we have a long day ahead of us. The goal is five and a half hours so wish us luck! I’ll fill you all in on the results tomorrow. 

Here’s a couple more pictures from the trail today…

We had to do a little bouldering today

There were some obstacles on the path as well

Billy Bison and I were happy to be finished with this stage

Billy Bison enjoyed tonights dinner as much as I did

TransRockies Update: Day 3

This is what I ran today.

And this is the elevation chart.

And all the data you might want to know about today

And here’s how we did today. Sorry it’s broken up. My watch died. Luckily I was able to get a GPS signal with my phone. 

If I were to use one word to describe today’s run it would be ROUGH. We started in the town of Leadville which pretty cool because it’s such a unique little town.

Also there is a ton of people here because not only because of the TransRockies run but the Leadville 100 is his weekend as well. 

About a two miles in Rachel started to have stomach issues. After the first climb around mile 5 she vomited. She dealt with stomach issues the rest of the way. She made it to mile 21 before she vomited once more. We’re not exactly sure why she had such a rough go of it today but we think it was the bacon she ate a breakfast. She wanted something salty but bacon may have not been the way to go for that. On top of those gastric issues we both had very sore muscles and it showed going up the first climb. I tried to pull her up like I did yesterday but my hamstrings were screaming at me so about halfway up I had to let her go. Things got a little better as my muscles started to loosen up and I was able to pull her up the second rise. It helped that it wasn’t as steep. The last 2.5 miles was on a fairly flat dirt road and surprisingly that hurt more than some of the hills did today. I think after spending five hours in the mountains my legs weren’t ready to handle flat. 

So as you may recall from yesterday’s recap we set a goal to finish in six hours. While we didn’t meet that goal today, we finished around 6:20, I think we did really well given how we felt and all the issues Rachel had to deal with today. 

It’s crazy to think that we’re half way done with this adventure. Tomorrow’s run is only 14.1 miles and it’s only one rise so hopefully things will go better for Rachel and I than today. 

On a side note, where we’re camping there is absolutely no internet service. I may not be able to post a recap tomorrow unless we come back up to Leadville which may or may not happen. Either way I just want to continue to thank all of you who are supporting we and sending me messages. I will try to respond to some of you soon. Thank you!

Here are the pics from the trail today. 

On the way to the trailhead. 

On top of the first climb

Of course Billy wanted to be in the pics today.

This is about halfway up the second climb. We were feeling pretty good at the time.

Rachel hoping for the sweet release of death by train…I saved her.

Mile 21.5 as we started on the dirt road to the finish