Thursday, July 13, 2006

Four miles an hour

Last Saturday, Andrea and I ran up to the top of Crow Pass - the first four miles of the 26 mile race that is quickly approaching. The race rules require you to reach the top of Crow Pass within an hour - the top being a mile past the forest service cabin, an often cloudy point at the apex of the pass with stunning views of the Raven Glacier on a clear day. Runners who don't make it to the check point within an hour are told they can continue the race but they will no longer be racing - they will be disqualified. We were there to test our legs and see how long it would take us to get to the top in a non-race setting.

We made it to the top in 48 minutes, leaving us a comfortable 12 minute window for mistakes, slower pace, or whatever the 7 am start time may serve up on race day. But we took the seemingly longer more gradual route to the top, rather than the steeper more direct climb. This makes me wonder if perhaps we should have tested ourselves on the steeper climb? Perhaps it is faster? Is 12 minutes enough of a buffer? These are the thoughts that fill my head now as my body starts to spaz out from too much built up energy - the progressing taper is putting my well worn muscles in a state of panic (why are we not running more? they seem to scream out).

In reality, I think it is probably irrelevant which route we take, we will make in under an hour. (anti-jinx, anti-jinx) But the multiple-possible-route scenario is another example of why this race is unlike so many others.


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