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Pikes Peak Marathon: Training Update #4

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It’s a good thing that my Pikes Peak Marathon training does not mirror my blog entry writing! Although my blogging has been admittedly infrequent lately I have still been diligently plugging away at training, don’t worry. I must say that I am enjoying training for a trail marathon much more than I enjoyed training for a road marathon (the Chicago Marathon) in 2011. I have definitely been having way more fun going for long trail runs for time in the mountains as opposed to grinding out incredibly boring miles around Wash Park and the Cherry Creek bike path in Denver! Sorry Wash Park geese, I don’t miss you.

I’m a couple weeks behind on blogging about training so I apologize in advance for all of the running details. I’ll try to make it more fun with lots of pictures, deal?


Overall, I felt solid in Week 4. I had zero rest days, two cross training days (one day of CrossFit and one day of rock climbing at Movement in Boulder) and also hit a current training cycle high long run of 2:20 (~10 miles +/-) on the Colorado Trail down by Pine, CO and Buffalo Creek. It was a big week! Actually it was maybe too big of a week. It ended up taking me most of Week 5 to recover from Week 4.

photo-7Boulder on a Thursday evening.


 Long trail run on the CO Trail.


I totally bonked on most of my runs early on in Week 5 and was finally forced to take a solid rest day on Thursday. I had Friday off of work so I headed down to Manitou Springs to get some time in on the Incline/Barr Trail. Some marathon training plans incorporate rest weeks into the plan, usually in a 3 weeks on, 1 week off format. I listened to my body and decided I needed to just make Week 5 a rest week, so my goals for the Incline were only to: a) get as much trail time in as possible and b) beat my previous Incline time from Week 2. I got a new Incline PR of 38:40 and ended up running a total of 90 minutes (including the Incline) on Barr Trail. I felt stronger on the Incline overall and it was exciting to see my training start to work! I spent the weekend in Grand Lake at my boyfriend’s family’s cabin and got in ~40 minute fun runs on both Saturday and Sunday at 8,500 feet. Saturday was really just a recovery day but I made my Sunday run into a mini-hill workout and was rewarded with some bomb views.

photo-1Could shave off a few more seconds of that Incline PR if I didn’t stop for pictures. Oops!


Playing fetch with Cooper at Shadow Mountain Res.


Gorgeous view from the top of my hilly run.


Sunset heading back to Denver on Sunday night.


So far taking Week 5 easy has been paying off in Week 6! I went for an easy run on the High Line Canal on Monday, a 60 minute trail run at Matthews/Winters on Tuesday and CrossFit on Wednesday. I have plans to run tonight, take Friday as a rest day, get a 7-8 mile High Line Canal run in on Saturday morning and a more significant 2-2 1/2 hour trail run on Sunday. I have the Mount Evans Ascent next Saturday (holy cow) so I don’t want to be too dead next week. However my main focus remains Pikes Peak so I have a bit of a dilemma because I also want to kind of train through the Evans Ascent. I honestly have no idea what to expect next week. I guess it will be a good measure of how much good the past 6 weeks have done me?

photo-5Hopefully seeing a double rainbow is double the luck for my continued training!

Overall: I’m feeling like a much stronger runner these days and the Pikes Peak Marathon is starting to feel somewhat doable (say what!). It’s a pretty exciting thing!


Author: paulamahla

Typical Colorado girl that can't make up her mind. Trail running, hiking, climbing, camping, CrossFit, ultimate frisbee, and skiing? E, all of the above.

One thought on “Pikes Peak Marathon: Training Update #4

  1. I’m so jealous of your beautiful trail runs, mountain adventures, and mile high sunsets!! Keep up the stellar training!

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