Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mt. Lemmon Marathon Training Run #1

"Can we climb this mountain? I don't know
Higher now than ever before,
I know we can make it if we take it slow..."
~The Killers
Well, I did it.
Distance: 26.4 miles

This isn't the official marathon course, but we were looking to get elevation gain and distance. Well, we got it.  I know, most people don't do the whole marathon distance this early in training. We caught a lot of hell about planning this run, even from the ultrarunners in our group! But, hey, let's face it, we are ultrarunners! Marathon, no problem! I really wanted to get a sense of what I was up against.

Total time: 6:21
I predicted 7.5 to 8 hours. Better than I thought!
Over 6,500 feet elevation gain.

9 of us started at milepost 'Zero' on Catalina Highway at 5am, with Raoul catching up to us later.
No, Dallas and I didn't plan that color coordination. Matchy, matchy!

One hilly mile down, 25 more to go!

Pam went to Windy Point and back down a few miles for a total of 16 miles. David ran 9 miles before showing up at Zero and ran 14 more to Windy Point. Mike ran to Windy Point and back down for a total of 28 miles. Chris ran to Palisades for about 19.5 miles and got picked up by Denise who ran 10+ miles. The rest of us...

we ran the course of THE WORLD'S TOUGHEST ROAD MARATHON! 6 of us made it to Ski Valley from MP 0. That's awesome!
Thank you Dallas for being my #1 cheerleader, even though you were having some physical stuff going on that day. Dallas stayed with me the whole way! He'll be running the marathon with me on October 17th, too! (Happy Birthday to me! My birthday is October 20th.)

I was proud of myself and feeling very good at the end. My goal was to finish, and I did! Next time, I'll pick up the pace a bit, now that I know I can do it!

Order of finish at the top: Tom, Raoul, Dallas, me, Gene, and Steve. Dallas took a pic of the motley crew that we were:

Thank you to Ross' Prius for being our aid station at mile 12 and for Denise and Chris for providing aid at around mile 19.5. Without that, our run could not have happened.

The scoop:
I walked about 6-8 miles total; the rest, I ran slowly. I took walk breaks early on, walked the mile or so leading up to Windy Point, walked more between miles 15-19, and walked the last 1.5 miles into Ski Valley. There is a downhill portion after mile 20 for a few miles and I ran pretty well on that section.
Steve stopped at mile 18 and sat down - he was toast from the heat and humidity and we thought he was done. We went on, but he managed to get some aid from Chris and Denise, and he forged on with Gene and surprised us all by showing up at the top! You impressed the hell out of me, my friend. Here is he finishing the marathon in about 6:45, I think...?
Steve, who I am proud to have as a friend

After living in Tucson for 24 years, it was a joy to see the mountain up close on foot, instead of from the car on the way up. Very cool.
At the top - we are happy we are done!
Do we look like we just ran the World's Toughest Road Marathon course?
We'll be doing the entire marathon distance again on August 29th. It is believed that the actual marathon course will start around Agua Caliente Park and end in Summerhaven.
We'll also be doing multiple Mt. Wrightson ascents on August 15th (I'm going for 3 round trip ascents, which is 33 miles!) Anyone is welcome to join in! Just email me so we can plan ahead.

"But now I`ve found the velvet sun
That shines on me and you..."
~ The Killers


HappyTrails said...

OK, I am LOVING your new header!!!
So fun! :-)

nrmrvrk said...

So it was all uphill then? Sounds like a fun run actually. I'd love to do a marathon that was all (or almost all) uphill. I'd love to ride a bike up the hill and back down as well.