I registered for the Pike's Peak Marathon today, because apparently I am crazy. You can't register for the Marathon unless you have a qualifying marathon time or you've run the Ascent in the last three years. Did I mention this is my first marathon, so I used last year's Ascent to qualify?
Over the winter, I was off running for quite an extended period of time because I managed to blow that slippery disc in my back out doing, of all noble things, dragging garbage cans up the driveway that had the rubble of some house project in them. Ugh.
Well, I'm back to it after rest, stretching, lots of PT and quite a bit of chiro. I'm up to 5 miles, and I have "a plan" if you can call it as such, for increasing mileage. However, I'm feeling rather behind the 8-ball for training, since 1) I've never run a marathon, 2) I haven't been on the Incline since Christmas and then I had to use the bail out for the first time EVER because of the pain, and 3) this isn't exactly a "normal" marathon.
So, I got back to the Incline this week. I went Tuesday after work, since I was able to get off work while it was still light out... since my day had begun at 5:45am in the office. As it turns out, when you are up at 4am, you burn a lot of energy by the time the day is over, and that meant that the first time back to the Incline was rough.
That being said, returning to the Incline and Barr Trail after time away is a bit like returning to a lover after a long absence. You know the territory, but it isn't familiar in the way that it used to be. You recognize the curves but there isn't the comfort of travelling them that there was six months ago. You have to relearn, and ultimately fall back in love.
I went back this morning after I confirmed my race registration. What a difference a couple of days and a decent night's sleep make. I was a solid 11 minutes faster up the stairs than Tuesday, and Barr felt slightly more familiar going back down.
So, only about 50 more climbs, long runs that add one mile each week every week from now until August, and add regular elevation training as soon as the snow on the peak clears... and maybe I'll be able to do this.
Who makes the Pikes Peak Marathon, the one you run from the bottom of a mountain to the top and back down again, their first marathon?
Maybe I should just start living on the Peak. Wait, I already do that.
Do you think they'd let me sleep in the Summit House until the race?