Sunday, October 3, 2010

Grays & Torreys Time-Trial

I have been running Grays & Torreys from the chimney near I-70 for several years now. I've been putting forth an extra effort to get training above treeline, so it made sense for me to run this before the snow flies to see how bad I still suck, and to see how much further I need to go to get back to my 2008 fitness level.

My doctor gave me some Advair samples, and I've used it for a whole week. My asthma has been dogging me for years, and it's the biggest limiter of my performance. In addition to Advair, I took a snort of Astelin, which is a long-acting nasal dilator, like hot mustard, but not painfully intense, and not wearing off after a few minutes. Astelin lasts half a day. Last, I took a hit on my Albuterol.

Thursday, I chugged a whole quart of Gatorade before the DTR run, and because of that, I ran like a banshee. Since that worked so well, I did the same this morning.

I love my sleep, so I didn't bother to wake up early. I didn't get started until 9:46am.
There wasn't any chance of breaking my 2008 record of 3:56, so I started out walking, but not wasting any time - I wanted an honest assessment of my current conditioning, but without tearing up my lungs.

I was surprised when I reached the summit of Torreys in 2:10. I was pretty sure my previous time was 2:12. I wasn't even wasted/hypoxic! That's when I realized I could actually set a PR. So I hustled over to summit Grays and then down.

As I left the upper cirque and was getting into the flatter section above treeline, my right toe caught a rock. I spun around so fast, slammed my left shoulder (boy, I really am trying to break it again, huh?) into the trail, but it ended up being a glancing, hard blow that left me staring at the sky. I'm slower than I used to be downhill because I'm paranoid I'm going to fall, yet in spite of being extra careful, I still keep falling. Luckily, no harm done.

I finished in 3:45, taking 11 minutes of my best time!
How the hell is this possible? I really am in worse shape than I was in 2008. I can only guess that the Gatorade and asthma meds did the trick.

The chimney in the parking lot is my Start/Finish

So now I'm looking at the Rim Rock Marathon. What if I guzzle another quart of Gatorade before the race, and do the same asthma-med ritual? And what about the Boulder 100? Yeah, boring course, but it's a great course for experimenting. Is it possible that at mile 80 I won't have lungs topped-off with gunk? Will I be able to finish an hour or two faster?
I used to train nearly every day. I haven't been doing that recently. I'm afraid I've been slacking off - only running a couple of times a week. No more Tuesday runs, no more running every day, just the DTR Thursday run and a weekend mountain run. Yet somehow I'm performing as good as I did in 2008?

Fingers crossed. Awesome news. I'm elated.


  1. You're in shape! Yip! Can I come train with you, because I am decidedly not. :) Happy PRs!

  2. How often you train is not an indication of what shape you are in. I used to run 100 mile weeks. Now I am happy when I touch 70. I am not saying I am as fast or as endured as I used to be. I am also a few years older. I am saying that PR's are still possible. I know I am looking forward setting a couple at some point still:)

  3. Man I would love to be able to run above the treeline like that. Nothing that grand here unfortunately

  4. Just think of how much faster you can go if you try the BLUE gatorade. It's like, like, ROCKET-FUEL!! Good for you JeffO, I'm stoked for you.

  5. Meghan, name the place!
    Olga, happy birthday! I don't know exactly when it is but it's about this time of year, isn't it?
    Chris, you can run more than me, right now.
    Leslie - WINDEX! That's what I call blue Gatorade. Good stuff.


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