I've been running a lot through May, twice a day on most days and averaging upwards of 18 miles through 27 running days. Looks like I will come in at just over 500 miles for the month with over 60,000 feet of climbing.
The intensity with which I have gone after the miles this month is completely new territory for me. Through the first half of the month it was a struggle, but the deeper into May I've gotten, the stronger I've been feeling and the easier the daily two-hour, first-run grind has been. So much so in fact that the Wyoming Marathon last weekend was over shortly after I felt like I was getting warmed up. My confidence levels have never been so high, and with the Big Horn starting gun just three weeks away (to the minute), I couldn't feel better about my chances for a strong finish.
Anyway, I intend to finish up May with miles, climbing and intensity. First up is the Pilot Hill Classic, which is touted as the oldest footrace in Wyoming. This Saturday will be the 33rd running of the 15.5-mile hill climb and descent. The climb doesn't look that intense - 1,500 feet over 7 miles - but the descent is reportedly pretty loose and treacherous. The field is typically small and is capped at 100, but there are usually a couple of Cowboys from the University of Wyoming track team who show up, so the pace should be good. Just got off the phone with Ryan B, and he's toying with the idea of running, so either way I'm looking forward to a competitive race.
Sunday will be the last day of the big-mileage-and-climbing phase of this training cycle. Ryan and I have an early morning start planned for a triple crossing of Crosier Mountain - a nearby, lower elevation peak that is currently clear of snow. We plan to out and back from all three trailheads for something close to 26 miles and 8,000 feet of climbing. Should be something of an epic. We plan to get going at around 6:30. Anyone who happens to read this in time and wants to tag along is more than welcome. I would imagine we'll work fairly hard up the climbs, but probably take time at the top to refuel and soak up the unbelievable views of RMNP.
Got to love Colorado in the sun!