I’m hurting a bit. Inspired by Nancy, who, last Sunday hiked Mt Olympus (3800 feet elevation gain), Grandeur (3200 feet) and then climbed 5.12d (27) at the gym, I raised my bar. Skipping the climbing – apart from a few easy crack climbs, I joined Nancy for the snowy Olympus climb. I managed a few local 1-2 hour jogs and joined Nancy again for the Olympus-Grandeur double last Wednesday. The Rim to Rim to Rim involves over 10000 feet of elevation gain (and loss). Loss is my biggest worry as the lactic build-up from fast downhills can be debilitating. I plan to start hiking down the South Kaibab trail as soon as I arrive at the Grand Canyon – a 4800 foot descent, quite likely in the dark. My quads, trained only on a recent diet of ski touring, are not in shape for fast descents. Downhill skiing rarely bothers my legs. With plenty of time to think on my running hikes, I mentally calculate my running prowess over the past two years and figure that I’ve averaged 1-2 runs/month during that time.
Luckily the Anglems skyped me from Christchurch, NZ. Nat is a sports doctor who tends to many of the South Island’s athletes – especially endurance ones. Kristina won all the major adventure races in her day, including top 10 placings overall in NZ’s Coast to Coast and the length of NZ multisport event in 2003.
“Hey Nat, I’m planning to do an enduro run across the Grand Canyon on a month’s training. What should I do?”
Without a blink, Nat tells me to practice running slow so that I can recover and not arrive at “the event” tired. He tells me what I suspected – that I could blow the whole thing by going too fast on the first downhill. He’s completely casual with what I am proposing.
With the other ladies all ultra runners and Nancy really keyed up, I figure I’m on my own.