The Imogene Pass Run is this weekend. I declined when Rob first asked me to run this race early in the year. It didn’t seem like something within my physical capabilities. But then a second friend Mike said let’s do it and I signed up. Registering was good for me. I would never have reached this level of fitness without such a fear of impending altitude induced pain.
Hopefully I won’t kill myself before the race gun fires. I stumbled on my mountain trail run yesterday. With less than a mile remaining on an 11 mile trail, my right shoe toed a rock and I fell forward on a downhill section of single track. I was able to roll left while falling to keep my face from smashing into a rock the size of my head. But the roll resulted in my left hip colliding hard with the craggy trail. My roll continued spinning me left into another large rock and giant prickly bush – which spared my now bloody carcass from tumbling down a steep hill.
I laid there for a minute, contemplating how I might have just injured myself to where I couldn’t run this Saturday. But the bush wasn’t comfortable enough to lay in for long so I extracted my body with a counter roll back onto the trail. Because of strong pain in my left hip, launching that exit roll took more mental will than I could ever accurately describe. I thought about waiting for help to come by before moving. The exit roll and a tad bit of sideways scooting to the main trail was of course uphill. It was a fair amount more strenuous and painful than standing myself back up. Upon standing, a lone biker reached me and asked how I was. He didn’t see me fall but did witness me crawling out of the bush. He hung around while I collected myself. He told me stories of his bike crashes on this treacherous trail. I don’t remember any of them because I was in a fairly myopic self-centered state of mind at the time. He left after he was satisfied I could walk. Soon I began running again for the last quarter mile before reaching the trail head. The injuries were largely superficial and the pain from my bruised hip gradually subsided – until this morning. I recall laughing at some pain medicine commercial (Tylenol, Bufferin – not sure) that played during the Boise St. vs Virginia Tech game last night that pitched the concept of aspirin for breakfast. I thought it was ridiculous last night but I could have been a use case this morning. I ran a 4 mile recovery run later today and I don’t expect my injuries to worry me on Saturday.
Like I need more worries. Did you click on the graphic to review the altitude and rate of incline? The cutoff time to reach Upper Camp Bird is 2.5 hours. 4.5 hours for the summit. That might seem like walking pace – actually it might be – but not at altitude man! My biggest concern and as well as goal for this race is to make those cutoff times. I’m less concerned about the 7 hour cutoff time for the complete course. Assuming I shuffle up to Imogene Pass in under 4.5 hours, I can likely roll down to Telluride in 2.5 hours – now that I’ve had practice rolling. Honestly, I hope to complete this race in under 5 hours, start to finish, although I have no idea what to expect in terms of time. I know it will hurt. I hit the wall at the 18 mile point in my first marathon. I figure much of the 10 miles uphill will feel just like that – which is a nightmare. Hence the loathing. But I’m also extremely excited. And for a bonus, this is my first trip to Ouray and Telluride. Karen and I intend to visit our sister-in-law’s sister Janet and her husband for drinks on Thursday. They’ve lived in Ouray for several years. And I’ll be running with my buddy Rob. Well, “with” being a relative term. I hope to see him if he waits for me at the finish.