Yesterday was the 4th of July and my family had an opportunity to stay with friends in a cabin up at Lake Tahoe. Naturally, I drank my fair share, stayed up much too late and managed to sneak in a (way too early in the morning) run on the TRT course the next day. I did about 10.6 miles on the loop that runs from Bull Wheel to Diamond Peak and back to Bull Wheel. (For parking considerations I actually started at Diamond Peak Ski Resort) I noted 4 things on the run: the downhills are fun, the altitude will be manageable, the trail is gorgeous (and a healthy distraction) and the climb at miles 30 and 80 will SUCK.
Because I started out of order, that meant that I got to do the 2 mile climb out of the ski resort aid station first. Holy Hell Batman! That is going to be fun. You literally run 2000' feet up the ski slopes in 2 miles. I ran into a couple training for TRT 100 and the wife ran the 50 last year. She said it took her 50 minutes to do the two miles and she lives at altitude! Fifty minutes! The flat "wall" section in the graph was where my watch was paused because I was moving so slowly it assumed I had stopped or died. The following is what it looked like:
|Elevation profile from Garmin Connect|
|Elevation profile from Strava|
|What it felt like|
At the top, I chatted weather and gear with the two veterans and then moved on. The next section was relatively flat (what wouldn't be at this point) with some rollers, views and minimal oxygen. Surprisingly though, running at +8500' wasn't bad at all as long as you adjusted your pace and kept hydrated. This is what the trail looked like:
|Some doof got in the picture|
|Runs like a roller-coaster|
Also, the views were ok. I was limited on time so skipped many other picture opportunities.
|Looking down on Incline Village and North Shore|
|w/o the idiot|
|The part of the sign noting that this course is only for bad asses has worn off|
After about 6 miles, I diverted from the TRT trail and headed back down to the resort. This section of the trails runs more like a mountain bike slalom course. It has switchbacks, banked corners, jumps and I was flying too fast and enjoying myself too much to take pictures. Picture the coolest downhill run you have ever done. Multiply by pi.
Square it.... Never-mind, just go run/ride it. It's called the Tyrolian Downhill. Bring first aid if riding it.
Towards the bottom, I did stop and snap the following picture as it looks back up to the top of Diamond Peak where I was awesome:
|Pic doesn't do it justice|
Anyway, there's 15 days and change to go to the race and I am pumped. I've got a conservative game plan in mind and plan to PR. Can't wait.
p.s. If you want a hilarious read on pacing, try Footfeathers 3 part guide: part one, part two and part three.