Monday, August 23, 2010

Pikes Peak Ascent

Julie has alluded to it a few times, but I deemed this the Summer of Mikey (closely following the Summer of George from Seinfeld), and it all lead up to the Pikes Peak Ascent.  For those that don't know (and for me, because I like saying it), the Pikes Peak Ascent is 13.32 miles up the East side of Pikes Peak, with 7,815 feet of elevation gain!  The start is in front of City Hall in Manitou Springs, and the finish is just a few feet below the summit.  Most of the races and training I have done this year has been for this event, and as it turned out, I would need each of those miles during this race.

There was a large group of us going to run this race, Jim, Hoff, Andy, Chris, Jack and I found our way to the start at about 645 AM, to see Jack off in Wave 1, which left at 7.   The rest of us had to wait for 730 to roll around before we got our chance at the peak.  Just before the start, we were treated to a great rendition of America the Beautiful, which was written at the top of the mountain many years ago!

I'll spare you the boring details of the race itself.  But what follows is a quick snap shot.

The first 3 miles or so is spent switching back up a section called the W's (because the switchbacks look like W's on their side, should have been Z's or something), then a few relatively flat miles to Barr Camp, then another steep section past the Bottomless Pit (1500 feet down!), up to timberline and the A-Frame shelter, then what has been called the worst three miles in running, from timberline to the summit.

Right after the start, the W's was a mass of humanity, with people running two abreast, all the way up the trail.  Passing was ill advised (although I did a lot of it) and your speed had to match the speed of those around you.  The next few miles were nicer, as the trail became wider and the people thinned out.  Andy and I decided to run most of it together, which is great to have someone with you, and we made it to Barr Camp 1 minute ahead of our goal time.  Unfortunately the good news ends there.

Up to the Bottomless Pit we lost 4 minutes on our goal, and then to the A-Frame shelter at timberline, we had dropped about 18 minutes behind our goal.  Our backs hurt, and my calf muscles were cramping up quite frequently at this point, despite refilling my water bottle at each aid station.  From there, Andy called it the 'zombie shuffle' until about 2 miles to go, where we took a long sit break.  That seemed to help out a great deal, I found some more energy, and had left poor Andy behind.  I tried to wait for him with about 1/2  a mile to go, but my legs cramped up immediately upon sitting down, so that was the end of that.

My goal was 4:30, but I finished at 5 hours and 7 minutes.  A little disappointing, but we all made it without major injury and made it off the peak in relatively good spirits, which is a success by any measure.  The best part of the day (besides the grapes at the aid stations!) was having everyone up at top waiting for all of us.  I was sooooo happy to see them!!!

With that, the Summer of Mikey comes to a close, thanks for reading about the race, and hopefully I'll write some more entries on blog now!

Jim finishing the race, notice the bloody knee

Jim near the finish

Me finishing the race

Mikey near the end

My mom and I at the finish

Mom and I

Julie and I at the finish

Julie and I

Jack and I at the end

Jack and I

Chris and Andy after the run

Chris and Andy

Family Camping Trip

Julie has taken a bulk of the blog writing duties recently, but I will step in for a few now, to give her fingers a rest!  Typically this time of year, around the second week of August, the Lamb family will congregate somewhere near Buena Vista, CO for a family camping trip.  This year, Julie's Uncle Bob came up from Texas to come camping, and to mix things up, we went camping around Salida, CO, in the Angel of Shavano campground.  Despite Julie's fancy pants new camera, neither of us thought to take pictures of the camp site, or get a group photo, but we did get a picture of the the Angel of Shavano (a formation on the mountain).  We are new at this fancy camera thing (don't mind the Jeep antenna).

The Angel

Fortunately we did take the opportunity to go on a very lovely hike, which we did document very well in pictures!  Julie found the hike in a book we bought at Costco, called 100 Classic Hikes in Colorado.  Much like the title suggests, it shows 100 hikes in Colorado, unfortunately only one of those hikes was anywhere near our camp site.  With little option, we took the 'Strenuous' hike to Waterdog Lakes.  The start of the hike said to find a pull out on the side of the road, across from some signs that you can't see from the road.  That was all Julie's internal compass needed, and not 15 minutes outside of the campground, we found it!

Trailhead sign

The hike was around 7 miles, 3 miles were pretty straight up, 1 mile oooohhh-ing and aaaahhh-ing at the lakes, and 3 miles back down.  Uncle Bob, Julie and I took our time, gazed at the incredibly blue sky (seriously, I stopped three or four times just to look at how blue it was) and arrived at the lakes in no time!

The first lake

Bob enjoys gadgets and comparing GPS accuracy, so I showed him our progress on my GPS!

Showing off the GPS

Mikey and the upper lake

The lower lake again

The next day, tired from our excursion, Debbie had the great idea to go to a local winery for a wine tasting!!  The Mountain Spirit Winery has a great gig going, they get the grapes from Grand Junction, CO, make some great wine, have tourists come taste a glass or two, and then sell them all sorts of wine.  Being smart and savvy consumers who would never fall for such a ploy, we managed to leave the place with only 3 bottles of very excellent wine!

The grounds of the 'farm' were full of old buildings and equipment, and even had a few apple trees!

The winery!


Julie and wine

Finally, the day for Julie and I to leave came, but not before we took the Jeep for a 4 wheel drive excursion to an old mining town long abandoned and a great waterfall.  We had a great time camping, and were sad to see it end so soon!

Old house

Creek crossing

The Waterfall

Monday, August 9, 2010

An update

Well, not a ton has been going on out here, but we somehow seem to be busy all the time!  Mikey is still training hard for the Pikes Peak Ascent which is on August 21st!   We have just been working and spending time with friends and family.  I did run a 10k for the first time in many years, and it went okay, but I think I will just stick to 5k's from now on!   Mikey got to play with the new camera, so here is a race picture!

Julie running her 10k

We did get to celebrate Breckin turning 1 a few weeks ago, he is going to be running around before long!  Here are few pictures from the birthday party!

Breckin and Reagan

Breckin enjoying his birthday cake!  And then Breckin got some ballons and he was having a blast with them until he got a little tangled up!

Breckin in the ballons

Breckin and Grandpa!

Grandpa and Breckin

We did go camping last weekend with some friends, but after the first night of rain and four hours of rain the following afternoon we decided to pack up and head home.  We did get a great 7 mile hike in on Saturday morning before the rain rolled back in.  We hiked to Lizard Rock by our campsite and got a great view of the valley below.  Here are a few pictures!

The rain clouds

Us on Lizard rock

This coming weekend we are supposed to go camping again, but this time with Mom and Dad and Uncle Bob.  We haven't had a chance to go with the RV yet this summer, so to have a couch to lie down on should be nice, especially when it is raining for hours outside!  And maybe we will be able to make it up to Hancock Lake this time since the road was rained out when we went out there in June.