AM- 8 at around 7-ish pace, I think. My hips feel better than last week, which is part of the reason I did low mileage last week. This week I'm going to push Mon and Tue, then do a 3 day taper before the Grand Mesa 50 this Saturday, a first-time race all abover 10,000 ft. There are only 20 people in my race, but one is Zeke Tiernan, a former University of Colorado, 2 time NCAA All-American, plus 2008 Leadville 100 3rd place finisher. Should be fun.
PM- Trail run with Joe and Cody. Kind of. We drove to Right Hand Fork together and ran the Ricks Canyon to Steel Hollow loop, a very enjoyable 12 mile run with good climbing and descending and quite a bit of shade. I've really been in a slump recently, especially on my downhill running, so wanted to push the workout today to mentally prove to myself that I can still run fast. I haven't done this trail much recently, but seem to remember my fastest time previously being 1:35:30, though the trail used to have a 1/2 mile shortcut (4 min) that is now closed. I started off fast and Cody and Joe hung with me for a few minutes before deciding to relax a bit. I felt great on the 2300 ft climb up Ricks- everything was effortless and I did the 4.5 miles about 3 minutes faster than ever before. My stomach wasn't happy, so I had 2 potty breaks, which let the guys pass me. But I was moving very well at a tempo-like pace.
The rest of the run I would slowly catch up to them but then have to take another potty stop right before passing them- and they didn't know I was behind them. 5 potty breaks in all. I felt great other than the stops, though. I really pushed the downhill, staying aggressive, which I haven't been able to do for over a month. Even had a 5:55 mile on technical singletrack. Finished the 12 mile loop with 2300 ft climbing and 2300 ft descending in 1:32:21 running time- accounting for the longer course, that means this is 7 minutes faster than my old record. Wow. Good mental boost for my race on Sat. And I'll have to come back one cool morning to go even faster. Good to do this trail again- it's an old classic.