Thursday, August 4, 2011

Almost Ready To Run Up Pikes Peak.

As I have been mentioning for awhile, I've been trying to get trained up for the 13.32 mile Pikes Peak Ascent which is now about 2 weeks away.  It seems I've always mentioned it more as an afterthought, as part of a post dedicated to other topics.  That means I've been storing up material on the subject, and it's time to let loose.

A week and a half ago, I did my long run on the treadmill.  Not because it was a pre-dawn 80º outside and humid, but because I needed some extended time going uphill as only a treadmill can provide in Kansas.  I got in a 14 miler in 3 hours, the last 10 miles of which was at an 11% incline.  Being the curious type that I am, I wondered just how much elevation I gained in those 10 miles.  Being the nerdy type also, I had a story problem to solve.  You remember those math story problems from high school that everyone complained about by saying, "When are we going to use this in real life"?  Well, here it goes:

Jack and Jill ran up a hill for 10 miles.  If the grade/slope of that hill was 11%, how much elevation did they gain before Jack fell down and broke his crown?

Answer #1 for the high school drop outs or mathmatically challenged: 
Jack and Jill ran for a long time, a long way, and are now having problems breathing.

Answer #2, break out your geometry and trigonometry textbooks:




There.  That was rather easy compared to some of the math I had to do to get my engineering degree, but I'll admit I did have to look up the formula.  Gaining almost 2 miles in elevation was a bit of a confidence booster since I've never raced up a mountain before.  I have a few pics from said run.  The first one is supposed to show me running the 11% incline, but it doesn't really look that hard or steep from the picture...  Judge for yourself:



Not that basements are known for high ceilings, but notice my head looks like it's about to 6" away from it.  Also I have a shelf right next to me.  When I installed it, I wasn't planning on being so high off the ground, so now I have to be careful with my shoulder or I'll bump it.

A friend who will also be running hiking Pikes Peak jokingly stated I should get ready for the oxygen deprivation by breathing from a straw.  I got to thinking about it, and decided, why not:



You may have noticed I'm wearing my Garmin, so before someone has to ask why; it's the only HR monitor I have, and I like to track my heartrate.
I ran a flat 20 miler last weekend.  It was 75º and humid starting pre-dawn.  By the half marathon mark, my shoes were so full of sweat, I could hear and feel the squish of each stride as they hit the ground.  I would probably not bother to mention this run if not for the fact that I managed to get a nipple bleed even though I applied Body Glide to it before I started the run.  And when stuff starts coming out of my nipples, I tend to find that titilating interesting.

Right Nipple Bleed.  I just had to wear a white shirt.
All the sweat helped the blood disperse, so it's
not real obvious in the picture.

Finally, I would like to give 2 Pikes Peak shoutouts:
  • First to Jill, who has made herself readily available to me to answer Pikes Peak questions, and who should be running up the mountain that day too, assuming her heel has healed.  I'm looking forward to meeting her in person for the first time.
  • Second to my fellow Wichitan Hannah, who is taking time from her ultra training to run Pikes Peak.  I just haven't figured out yet if she is retired from blogging or not.


Being Robinson said...

that is an interesting equation there sir, but i'm one of the math dumb-asses. however, thanks for explaining it well. good luck with that training. yikes! so you plan on actually RACING that sucker, huh?

as for the sleep thing? technically yes i could go to bed earlier, but then that brings up the whole issue of compromising my social life. which i can't do just for running. i USED to do that, but it's just not healthy for me. however, you DID make an excellent point :)

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

You lost me at Pikes Peak. Scary marathon! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Super good luck!!

Hannah said...

You have been kicking some butt on the PP training. So proud of you! And given that I'm staying 2 blocks from the start at PP, I should be able to get there in time to high-five you before you sprint up the mountain. Yay!

As for me "running" Pikes Peak...I'm not sure that's quite the word you're looking for to describe how I will make it to the top of the mountain. I believe the phrase "Don't die" may be more appropriate.

I'll blog again someday. If don't die at Pikes Peak, I'll blog about it. And then figure out a way to go back and recap the others that I've missed out on. Maybe I'll even come back earlier than PP once I get this triple-birthday party for my girls out of the way. It is Wizard of Oz themed and Oz is my favorite!

Jose said...

My head almost exploded with that equation... LOL. That's way to technical for me. Pikes Peak sounds like a very interesting run. I will have to check it out one day. Good luck with it!

- JR

A-Pi (Peter) said...

Wow, I haven't seen an equation since 1993.
Good luck at PP and remember to play some Pink Floyd.

Jill said...

Look at all that math, good lordy you are pretty anal! Bahahah! I have been in the process of trying to send you some pictures from my two times up there and the temperature differences from start to finish....will do that soon.

I hadn't heard about the straw thingie, good thing you have another source for this PP thing.

I like to think that PP is an experience, not a race! Makes it less freaky. I'm headed up Grays and Torrey's tomorrow (two 14ers) and if all goes ok, then I will do PP. Still a little iffy, my stupid heel wasn't very happy today.

Let me know when you arrive and let's for sure get together before that horrid event! You're going to do really great, I know you will! Wait for me (for about 2 hours) at the top, ok?

Paul said...

Of course the easy way sans sin tables is

11 degrees ~ 1/5 of a radian, therefore
alt = 1/5th of 10 miles = 2 miles.


That's a awesome treadmill run!

Char said...

I swear that there's probably a market out there for jog bras for men - just to stop that fun bleeding and the post-run screaming from the shower

Nelly said...

Impressive stuff! Sounds like you are ready for Pikes Peak!

Running 14 miles in 3 hours with a 11% incline for the last 10 is insane, haha That sounds like you were doing about 3.5 to 4 mph during the incline, which is really impressive.

Great job figuring out the elevation gain you did, 2 miles up is nuts! No way I could have figured out how to do it via the sin calculation, haha

Coy Martinez said...

OMG, just staring at your shirt is making my nipples hurt. Well done on that pic.

I was horrible at math when I was younger. I balance my checkbook now but that's about as far as it goes.

I might try that breathing through a straw thing. Looks interesting.

A Prelude To... said...

Your poor nipple.
SO cool you and Jill got to meet up!

Emm said...

I hope your PPA went well. Your blog is very interesting but I wanted to bring a a small rectification to this entry. The incline is expressed in %, not as an angle. 11% incline means that you rise 11 units for each HORIZONTAL 100 units. It is therefore the value of the tangent of the angle (opposite/adjacent). A tangent of .11 yields an angle of about 6.3 degrees. Now you can use the sin function to find your elevation gain which ends up being about 5773 feet which is coherent with the total elevation advertised by the PPM website: 7815 feet for the whole ascent.