Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wednesday - Saturday Colorado visit

I left Green Bay on Wednesday morning and arrived in Colorado
Springs around 1:30 p.m. mountain time. I picked up my rental
car and found a grocery store and picked up a few items for my
stay. My motel had a small fridge and microwave. I then drove
to Manitou Springs only a few miles west of Colorado Springs.
I then checked into my motel. Unpacked a few things and drove
downtown Manitou Springs. This is a very small and tourist town.
So I walked around town for a bit. Found a Mexican restaurant
called The Loop so I decided that would be good for dinner. It
was very good food. I went back to my motel room and relaxed and
watched some Olympics.
Day 2 Thursday August 14, 2008.
Woke up early grabbed some breakfast and headed out. Got on the
Pikes Peak Highway and drove the 19 miles to the summit. This was
quite the experience. I have never driven up a mountain before
and I was a little bit scared. It's not bad the first few miles
but it gets worse the higher you go up plus no guard rails except
in a few spots. I had to be focused on the road and not sight see
too much or I might drive right off. Plus the car a rented was a
economy car with no power. I had to keep shifting to the lower
gears on the steep sections. So after an hour or so I finally made
it to the top. I got out and the temp.was much colder than when I
left the motel. It was in the 40's and windy but nice and sunny
and you could see forever. I took some pictures checked out the gift
shop picked up a few souvenir's. Then I found the Barr Trail and
walked down a bit then back up. This is the trail you run up and
then down in the marathon. The trail head starts in Manitou Springs.
I was finding it hard to breathe on the way back up the trail. The
air is a lot thinner at 14,110'. I went to the car and put on my
Garmin 405 and decided I would time myself one mile down and one
mile back up. Wow that was hard. I could not even run the mile up.
It was steep with rocks and I was having hard time catching my
breath. After the two miles I was tired and breathing harder than
normal. I stuck around for a little longer and decided I would head
back. The drive down was not much easier on my nerves you had to
make sure you did not use the brakes too much or they could
overheat and fail to work. I used the lower gear to keep car from
going too fast and having to apply the brakes. I did a good job. I
stopped at a check point wherethey check the temperature of your
brake pads and mine was 165 degrees that's good. If it's over 300
they make you pullover and wait till they cool off.

I made it down okay and ate some lunch and then drove to the
Garden of the Gods. Below is some pictures. This is neat place
they even have a 10 mile race that runs through here every year.
Lots of trails for walking or hiking.

Afterwards went to Sonic and had dinner. Back to motel to
watch the Olympics and chill.
Day 3 Friday August 15, 2008
Got up drove to Cave of the Winds and did the tour.
Was about a 45 minute tour was good. Pictures below.

Drove to the park where the packet pickup was and got my bib #
and bought a few things at the expo. Then went to a place
called the Cliff Dwellings. This is where the Native Americans
used to live. Some pictures below. Self guided tour.
I drove around some in Colorado Springs then decided to go
back to Manitou Springs and run some on the Barr Trail.
I parked in the lot near the trail head and ran two miles
up then ran two miles down. It felt better than when I tried
running at the summit more oxygen always helps although this
was a very steep section of the trail and my legs felt it
on Saturday. I was a bit concerned if my legs are sore after
4 miles what will 26.2 miles do to them?

Dinner was pasta at the pasta dinner for runners.
Went back to motel and watched more Olympics.
Day 4 Saturday August 16, 2008
Slept in. Cold and raining 50's. Drove around some.
Mostly just hung around the motel. I went to the
pasta dinner again for second time. Talked to a
couple runners at dinner one from Colorado and
the other from Indiana. Both first timers as well.
Went to bed early. Alarm set for 4:30 a.m.

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