Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 7 and Western Colorado Adventures

I got an e-mail today explaining that the Colorado Fall Classic Marathon had to change its name because the Colorado Marathon folks got all worked up about it. (The e-mail was worded more professionally than that, don’t worry.) I think that’s a little petty on the Colorado Marathon’s part, but whatever. Either way, I’m still training for the same race, and Week 7 of training was a much-needed recovery week. Here’s how things went:

AM: 6.1 easy miles

PM: An hour-ish of full-body strength training

AM: 7 easy miles

PM: Core, stretching, and foam rolling. My right hip is finally loosening up, so I guess all this foam rolling is paying off.

AM: Tempo intervals for the week’s only real workout (besides a long run). I did 5 x 2000 meters with 400m recoveries. It was unusually humid for Colorado (96%…ew), so I was a sweaty mess when I finished. 10.5 miles total, including warm-up and cool-down.
photoPM: Core, etc.

AM: 6 recovery miles

Later AM: An hour of strength training. We were heading out of town to visit my family, so I did my strength work right after my class ended at 10 instead of waiting until later in the day. I had no idea the gym would be so busy at 10 a.m.!

I started the day with an easy 4.3-mile run, enjoying the sunrise over the mountains.
photo 1After breakfast, we took off for Telluride. It’s not quite two hours from my parents’ house, and Jordan had never been there, so we thought it’d be a fun adventure. We took the Last Dollar Road on the way there. It was really ugly.
photo 2We had to look at horrible scenery like that for the entire drive. It was really hard on us.

When we got to Telluride, we planned to hike to Bridal Veil Falls. Turns out, it’s not a great hike — the “trail” is a road, so hikers have to dodge (and get dusted by) four-wheel-drive vehicles. But the views on the hike more than made up for that:
photo 4And the fall itself was well worth it.
photo 5After the waterfall hike, we had a picnic in the town park, rode the gondola, and went into several shops whose merchandise cost more than my monthly paycheck.

I had mentioned to my folks that I was hoping to get in a 20-mile downhill run while I was there, and Dad had determined which route would be best for me. He offered to drive me up to the start, and Mom and J tagged along because they love me. (As Dad put it, though, spending an early morning in the mountains is really no sacrifice).

This was my favorite run in a long, long time. For reasons that the pictures make obvious, this is one of my favorite places in the whole world. We spent a lot of time here growing up, so this run was full of memories and overall nature-loving. We saw several deer on the way up, as well as an elk who was too swift for me to get her picture.
photo 2 (1)This is where my run started:
photo 4 (1)This was on the way down:
photo 3 photo 5 (1)And this was where I finished:
photo 1 (1)Not too shabby, right? And my family was leap-frogging me along the road, so I had my own mobile aid station. That was awesome, because I only had to carry my handheld bottle instead of a big Camelbak.

This run was not only beautiful, but  also terrific downhill training. Check out this elevation chart:
elevationI was still sore today (I’m sure the seven-hour car ride yesterday wasn’t helpful), so I take that as a good sign that I’m getting prepared for the race.

Rest. I stretched a bit when we finally got home (I-70 traffic is the worst), but that was it.

Totals: 54 miles running, 3ish hours strength, a couple of hours hiking, and a whole lot of family time and outdoors enjoyment.

How was your weekend?

Ever been to Telluride?


18 thoughts on “Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 7 and Western Colorado Adventures”

  1. I LOVE Telluride and I am so jealous you got to take the gondola! I was voting hard to go there over teh 4th of July, but somehow I lost and we ended up at the Sand Dunes instead. It was a shorter drive so I was OK with it, but I absolutely adore Ouray, Telluride and the San Juans. That sounds like a perfect 20 mile run! I am sure all of your downhill running is going to pay off on marathon day. And, yes, a bit petty on the CO Marathon people’s part but a race is still a race, no matter the name, I suppose.

  2. Now that’s the type of long run I’d like to try! awesome 😀 And not to mention how gorgeous the views were! I’m wondering how you run such high mileage. What is your rest day pattern usually? If I tend to run close to your distance, I wind up injured, lol.

    1. I think a lot of it is luck, honestly… I somehow ended up with a body that can handle high mileage. I take one rest day a week (usually Sunday, the day after my long run), and I make sure to keep my easy runs easy (which took me a long time to get used to. No ego allowed!).

  3. I have never been to Telluride, but I can see how it would be torture. Those views are killer! SOunds like you had a great run and I bet that was so nice to have a mobile aid station!
    Funny about the name change thing with the marathon, people get so worked up over things!

  4. Something worse would be if they changed the race course like they had to for Badwater. How great to run a 20 miler with mobile aid stations through beauty like that! Hope your legs weren’t too sore with so much down hill.

  5. Love the scenery and the falls are gorgeous! I have secret hopes of living in Colorado one day… I have only visited once, and fell in love! My weekend was full of training… 9 hours total! This included biking, running and swimming… a lot:)

  6. I can’t believe how humid it is there! That is crazy. What’s the average humidity level during the summer? That is awesome that your family is so supportive and provided multiple aid and cheering stations along your long run. Was there much different in your pace – faster, slower, same? I have never been to Telluride, but it’s just another place in Colorado I would love to venture.

    1. I think on average, here the humidity is in the 20s or so, so 90+ was quite a shock! My pace was a little quicker than a normal long run, but not by much. I really focused on slowing down so I didn’t get too sore.

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