Thursday, September 1, 2011


It's been a while since I've written anything on here. I've been pretty busy getting ready for this race. It was decided a year ago that I would do the Leadville 100.

We left Michigan on August 6th to begin our journey to Colorado and we were very excited! Our first stop was to Manitou Springs or better known as the home of Pikes Peak. I just love this area! There are people running, biking, hiking and doing various activities all the time!We were constantly on the move while we were in Manitou Springs. I was finally able to cross a few things off my bucket list while here that I have been wanting to do. If you know Brian and I our trips always have more than enough excitement.


One of the things that happened was we decided to visit the REI store in Colorado Springs not knowing that there were three fugitives that had robbed a bank in Florida and were shopping for a tent in that store we were in! We discovered this while watching the news that evening!! We laughed saying they were probably camping right next to us! They were caught a few days later just south of us.


After Brian and I hike or run we always leave or trail shoes outside by the camper door since they can be dirty and smelly! This is a habit that we practice often. The next day I took Scout for a walk noticing that the shoes have been put away since they are no where in sight. I didn't think twice about this and continued on for the day. Early in the evening Brian asked where I had put his trail shoes. I replied, "I thought you put them away." we started looking everywhere throughout the camper and around the outside. I started to panic saying this can't be happening! My shoes were brand new! I need these shoes for my race! Who would want neon green trail shoes AND Brian's big boats! I assumed it was kids messing around. After looking around I looked up to see both pair neatly placed by the main building door of the campground. I picked them up and put them away but not without noticing that my laces had been cut! REALLY? Still blaming kids I went in to tell the office and I was telling them my dilemma. The owner of the campground put his hand up and said wait, you need to hear this! It was not kids that took your shoes! Oh? I just looked at him while he told me that our shoes were all over the campground early that morning. It was raccoons that had stolen our shoes and one of my green shoes were headed for the highway with the raccoon. Luckily they were able to find both complete pairs of shoes. Now, we can laugh about it but it wasn't funny at the time! Whew!


The first day we were here we got up and ran in Waldo Canyon. I love running here. Brian and Scout set out for a walk while I went for a nice long run! Brian is always looking for Waldo when we do this canyon!


Early Thursday morning I met up with Paul, Judy and Darwin (their dog) to climb the incline. Brian did the Barr trail and we met up with him after we finished the Incline. The incline is crazy, but so much fun! Its really illegal to do the incline but everyone seems to ignore the signs posted that say no trespassing. It's kinda funny! It's only a mile long but it's by far the toughest mile hike I've ever done. Paul, Judy, Darwin and I set out as Paul starts his watch to keep track of how long it takes me to make it to the top. Darwin is amazing as he is bounding up but waits patiently occasionally for Judy and I to catch up. I will say I was dripping in sweat by the time we made it halfway up. I tried not to look up as we went along and focus on the task. I remember saying "Holy Crap!" alot and Paul and Judy laughing at me! As I think I have almost made it to the top Paul proceeds to let me know that what I see is NOT the top! It's a false summit! You gotta be kidding me! We crest it and yeah, more climbing to do! Wow, I'm sweating and breathing like a freight train. I will say occasionally Paul or Judy would pause and tell me to turn around and admire the view! The View was incredible but also to see the climbing I did was cool! After we crest the false summit Paul says he's going to finish going to the top and trots off like its not that tough. Judy and I continue on, I finish in 48 mins We hiked over to the Barr trail to meet up with Brian. Once we found him, Brian and I continued up to Barr camp while Paul and Judy went back home. The hike to Barr camp was nice and a big challenge for Brian. There were a few times he wanted to turn around and go back down but I wouldn't let him. I knew if he didn't make it to Barr camp he would be disappointed with himself!! I got him up there, we hung out at Barr camp for a while feeding the chipmunks and then made the trek back down to the car. Brian was totally worn out by the time we reached the car.


Since I totally wore Brian out the day before I was able to go for a hike to the top of Pikes Peak with Judy and Dana. This was the first time I had met Dana and what a hoot! I had so much fun with both of these ladies and felt as if I had known both for a very long time. They had me laughing the entire time. This trail is not the easy way to the top of Pikes Peak! There are alot of steep long climbs. As we climbed up I told them that this was my first 14'er, they were surprised and I was excited! When we got to Devil's playground we had to start following cairns which are piles of rocks to mark where the trail is. But, the biggest challenge was when we were bouldering to get to the top. The were many times we had to stop and look carefully for the cairns. Poor Dana was terrified of the climb and Judy and I tried taking her mind off what we were doing. Woo Hoo!!! We made it to the top!!!! Wow! What a feeling! At the top there is a building where you can go inside, get warm, buy souvenirs and also buy food! We all were starving! We all ordered food and I will say that was the best tasting hot dog I ever had! As we sat there eating someone approached us and asked if anyone needed a ride down. Dana immediately said yes, but we understood. So it was Judy and I making the trek down to the bottom. It doesn't count unless you go up and back down. Judy and I made our way down and the boulders didn't seem that bad. I felt as if I was hopping from rock to rock and before I knew it we were down and back to Devils Playground. We were a bit confused as we seemed to have lost the cairns, but eventually finding them and getting back on the trail headed down! I didn't realize we had such a steep climb going up! The wind picked up and we couldn't even talk!!! But also the trail was steep enough that it was much easier to run! Before I knew it we were back to the car and my first 14'er was complete and in the books!


Saturday we are up early and heading to the top of Pikes Peak for the classic pre leadville trail 100 workout. This workout starts at the summit of Pikes Peak and we run down 3 miles, turn around power hike back up to the summit 3 miles, turn around run down 2 miles, turn around power hike back up to the summit 2 miles, turn around run down 1 mile, turn around power hike back up to the summit 1 mile! Whew! It's tougher than it sounds! We met up with a group of others doing the same workout and they all were headed to the same race. It was really nice getting to meet all these wonderful people. Brian even got in on the fun and did a portion of the workout!!! We had so much fun and when we were finished it was nice to hang out at the top in the building enjoying fresh doughnuts with everyone and just chatting.

Time to head over to Leadville!!!! We said goodbye to Manitou Springs and Pikes Peak and looked forward to getting over to Leadville to prepare for the race.

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