Sunday, July 11, 2010

Higher Than Hope

Since the Leadville training camp two weeks ago I have kept training hard and have put in about 130 miles. Not only that but I was introduced to a route that takes off from the Santa Fe ski area and works as a fair approximation of Leadville's famous double crossing of Hope Pass. The main difference in the Santa Fe route and the double crossing of Hope is that the Santa Fe route is actually harder, well, except for the fact that the first crossing of Hope comes at about mile 42 and the second crossing comes at about mile 52.

I have run this route twice in the past two weekends, last weekend ended up being about a 33 mile run with the heavy climbing up front. The run begins at the ski area elevation 10,300 and heads out on the Windsor trail. The first major climb takes place about ¾ of a mile into the run and goes up to Lake Peak elevation 12,404 and then descends a bit and jumps over Penitente Peak elevation 12, 249. This is followed by a 2.5 mile descent down to 10, 925 before the 2.6 mile climb to the highest point in the run, Santa Fe Baldy at 12, 622, about 300 feet higher in elevation than Hope Pass.

The remainder of the long run that I did a week ago then continued along the Skyline trail and ran past Lake Katheryn then Stewart Lake and the turn around point was Johnson Lake, it was a beautiful run but it was probably the hardest 33 miles I have ever run. This weekend I only had to get about 22 miles so took the same route but just went about a mile and a half past Lake Katheryn.

With my training being so heavy now and the runs so difficult it is hard to feel strong but I know this is just a phase and once I taper everything should come together. Next weekend I've decided to break the routine a bit and head for Colorado to run a 50K just outside Pagosa Springs. The race is called the Devil Mountain 50K and while it only goes to about 9,800 feet it will be a good run for my recovery week. It's also supposed to be an exceptionally beautiful run so it will be nice to get out of town with the GeekGrl and see somewhere new. The GeekGrl will be running the half-marathon at the same race and then we will turn right around and return to Albuquerque to run the Chunky Monkey 10K on Sunday. That race will be topped off with some free Chunky Monkey ice cream...mmmmmm!

For now, enjoy the pictures of my epic run.


  1. Awesome run!

    You are knocking em down!

    Way to go and it looks beautiful.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! Wow. I would not make 15 miles in those elevations, but it does look like an epically beautiful run!

    You are so ready for Leadville. I hope you plan to take you camera to Colorado for the 50k... (hint, hint) because that one looks like a beauty too!

    Have fun!