"I am DOING this!" ~Day 5 Mantra
Miles 116-143; Continental Divide Trail -> Georgetown -> Idaho Springs -> US 40 East
Another 5am wake-up and 6am departure was in front of us. I surprisingly felt spry and nothing was sore. The pads of my feet were a tad bit sore, but that felt good- a reminder of all the miles that were beyond me and the little that were in front of me. Plus- my mom was arriving into Denver at 10am today, so I wanted to get through as many miles as I could before she arrived! I knew as I continued to descend into Denver that it would get hot, so that also pushed me to run a bit faster than my previous days' paces. We were around 30 minutes away from where I left off the day before, so I began my run shortly after 6:30am. Tayler was my road crew for the day- it was Rob's day off.
My first 5 miles began just passed the CDT bike path and continued along Frontage Road, which paralleled I-70. It was chilly to start (40's), but so beautiful. I was so happy to have my iPod recharged and no traffic to contend with. A nice bush helped cover me as I made my first pee stop for the day. I only saw one animal along my journey and at first, I thought it was a bear or fox and as I came closer it was the cutest Australian Shepherd. The dog was so sweet and did not want me to leave him/her. I kept trying to run and it would plop down and block me, "forcing" me to pet it. Ha. This gave me a nice little laugh and I finally was able to move around it and as I looked back, the dog headed back to his/her home.
Tayler met me at my first turn just before Georgetown (where the train station is) and we were slightly confused as to where the trail went. On the Map My Run route, it showed a small gap then the trail continued on. Luckily, there was an employee just arriving at the train station that day and I asked him where the bike path went. He pointed across the tracks (opposite from where we were looking) and said "I think over there". Hm. Not so helpful. We both couldn't be certain where it was and the highway was right there, so Tayler said she'd drive me ahead to find it. As we were merging onto I-70, I noticed he bike path was RIGHT next to us and she was able to go maybe 1/2 mile to a pull-off/ overlook where I was able to rejoin the path. Success!
The path decided me right below the Railroad (SO cool) and to the other end (beginning) of the train station and then I proceeded onto a small road to lead into the town itself (Georgetown). Tayler said she'd meet me at my next turn, so she zoomed off and then I came to a turn. One where town proceeded infront of me and one where it was just residental homes. I had no idea which way to go, so I continued through the town (whoops, wrong turn as I looked on my google maps to find the road I wanted to be on), took a left at the end of the road, then took another left to make a block and then found the correct road. Guess I made up for that 1/2 mile section we missed earlier!
I ran past some cute diners and gas stations, it was still early (8am) so most were heading to work or getting ready to head off for the Holiday weekend I assumed. The rest of the day I was basically in the sun with little-to-no shade. The next 5 miles treated me to country roads and beautiful old homes and cemetaries. Tayler met me around mile 11 and I had an s-tab (it was getting warmer out already), banana, pretzels, ginger ale (i loved carbonation), and some cold water. She went Facebook Live as I headed off to do the next 3 miles of slightly downhill.
My playlist was spot.on. for this day! Queens' Don't Stop Me Now came on (this song definitely played multiple times throughout my segment- I LOVED it) and I sang out-loud as I passed under I-70 and began entering Idaho Springs. I ran through the quant town and decided that I wanted to eat at Tommyknockers' brewery for lunch post-run. It was a bit after 10am and I'd hit mile 18. It was getting really warm. I had another s-tab, pretzels, cold water, and Tayler filled my Ultimate Direction bottles with iced water (such a great idea). I knew my mom would be landed and getting the rental by now, which got me so excited. I switched out my socks (extra cushioning was needed after putting so many miles on my feet) and shoes.
Mom called me around mile 20 (where Tayler ended up taking a wrong turn as she tried to navigate my tough section) so I stayed off to the side of the road on the other end of Idaho Springs chatting with her. We were getting ready to head on another road for what looked like 5 miles, which I thought was perfect for my mom to find us. I gave her directions, Tayler met me and we found the road I needed to be on (passed over I-70 again). I proceeded for another 3 miles on a beautiful canyon road. Bikers passed by and waved. I watched workers tend to the obstacle course/ zip line beside the road and stared in awe as rafters paddled along Clear Creek. It was beautiful. Around mile 21, I came to the end of the road and was expected to then enter a bike path for the next 2-3 miles it looked like. Well, so much for my mom easily finding us! I had to call her back and let her know to meet us on the other side of the bike path, which Tayler wasn't even exactly sure where it came out. My mom had just passed the exit to US-6/Golden (which would have been perfect), so she ended up going up further, turning around at the next exit and eventually finding us on the beginning US-40East where it intersects with 6. This was just after mile 24 for me and perfect for a 2 mile cool down walk with mom!
The last two miles ended up being a giant hill (I thought it was all downhill after Loveland, but I guess not), so we both got in a pretty great workout ; ) ! I ended the day with 26.83 miles, gained 1, 295' of elevation, and 12:01 pace with the last two walking. Pretty great for what turned out to be really warm (80's) by my finish!
I refueled with some fresh cold water and we got back on 70 to stop at the Brewery for lunch (we were an hour way from our campsite for the night back in Breckenridge). I couldn't believe tomorrow was Saturday! I ate my entire burger and sweet potato fries and beer and it was delicious! The staff was so great there and was so in awe of what I was doing that they comp'd my beer! So great.
Mom & I stopped to grab Iced Coffees back in Silverthorne before heading to the RV campsite (where we'd met up with Tayler) and I did a bunch of stretching/ foam rolling/ shin exercises/ feet up the wall once we got back (then refreshed with a shower).
I had Salmon / Asparagus/ Quinoa for dinner before getting a restless nights sleep. I was way too excited to have only one full day of running left tomorrow and also planned to start early as it was expected to be 90 degrees in Denver!