Well, I guess I'm running Pikes Peak Ascent this weekend. Not exactly a ringing of self-encouragement.
I've been thinking about this one since I got news of word of the job transfer last August, and have spent the summer in preparation. I've done a lot of trail running (50% or more) and time in the mountains (every weekend since the first of June has included runs and substantial time at above 9000 feet, and I've climbed to 13,000 or greater several times. No 14ers though. Although I wish it was more, I should be relatively altitude ready.
However, last month some pain (sometimes significant) has developed in my back--between shoulder blade and spine and that has restricted training somewhat. July was supposed to be a big month with 60 miles a week or so in preparation of the race but I had to cut back to about 45. And then two weeks ago the pain radiated down into my left arm. At that point I figured it was time to see a doctor. Have seen two so far and they've had me on muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory meds. The former I couldn't stand the side effects, and didn't take much of that.
Geez, when it's way way off and you've never even seen the trail you can dream big. Through most of the spring I was thinking that low to mid 2:50s was a good goal (I put 2:56 on my entry), but I don't think I'll be anywhere near that. Based on my last minute entry at the Barr Mountain Trail Race in July, guess I'll be at Barr Camp in 1:28-1:35, which is more like territory for 3:00 to 3:10. And that's if everything goes right: weather, fueling/hydration, pacing, my back, and most importantly my fitness which as of late (starting in May) is somewhat compromised if not off. And of course there is the altitude factor itself. How will I feel at 13,000 feet after some 11 miles and 2.5 hours of climbing?
Be healthy and have some fun. Those are my goals going in.