Monday, May 21, 2007

Climbing Strong

Bike 4 miles (commute)
Run 8 miles

Got out for a great hill workout today after work. There still aren't many places here where you can gain much elevation and not get to snow pack. I got a tip from Jill the other day though that the Mt. Roberts trail was mostly clear of snow. This is a 1500 ft. climb in 2 miles. Not a huge amount of elevation but enough to know you're climbing and perfect for my first serious hill run since last fall. I ran 2 laps up and down for a total of 8 miles. 23:30 for the first uphill portion and 22:10 for the second one. Felt much stronger than I expected. I also felt really good running downhill. I think all of the biking that I've been doing has really helped my legs handle the impact of hard downhill running.

I thought a lot while running today about how much I will miss running in the Alaska Mountain Running Grand Prix races this summer. Last year I ran 5 of the 6 races and was lucky enough to lead the overall points standings at the end of the season. I didn't actually win any of the races but I was very consistent (5th, 9th, 5th, 2nd, and 2nd were my finishes) and was able to earn a few more points than several other stronger mountain runners who either ran fewer races or had one or two bad races that hurt their points totals. I'd love to run this series again this season. I feel like I'm much stronger than I was a year ago and I think I learned enough about mountain running last summer that I could stay with these stronger runners that I just couldn't really keep up with last year. The problem is that I now live in Juneau and it would cost me about $400 to travel to each of these races. I'm planning to run one of them (Crow Pass Crossing), but I just can't afford to fly to Anchorage and rent a car to go climb up a mountain for 45 minutes. Bummer. Maybe next year.