Monday, December 29, 2008

Grand Canyon Double Crossing-R2R2R

"As opportunities arise...plans change."

I have a new running goal for the first half of this year...

...the Grand Canyon R2R2R!

Recently C.R.U.D. announced this as its 2009 Spring trip and I can't resist it. Not only do I love the Grand Canyon, but to be able to be out there with some really experienced and talented runners will, I hope, be a plus in my shot at an honorable completion. Paul DeWitt writes:

"The route that the bulk of us will be taking is:

Down South Kaibab, up North Kaibab, down North Kaibab, up Bright Angel. This isn’t the fastest route but allows us to see both main south side trails and is the route I’ve taken before.

Note: All are welcome. I think most of us will be doing the full R2R2R, which is about 43 miles and 13,000 feet vertical but obviously you can also just go down to the river and back. If there is anyone who wishes to drive to the North Rim, there would also be the possibility of doing a R2R trip. For those planning the full trip (43 miles), plan on about one hour less than your San Juan 50 time."

My problem with the "plan on about an hour less than your San Juan 50 time" is that I have not done San Juan! So...I have a ton of training to do, but I am pretty sure that I can do it. Above, I spoke of an "honorable completion", and what I mean by this is that I actually run the bulk of it and don't come strolling in 20 hours later in the dark, or something like that.

I am talking with my good friend Jorge about coming along as well...I think he is game (but he hasn't run a marathon yet)!

Here is my tentative plan for training:

1. Keep running my regular 10 mile route in the Garden of the Gods 2-3 times each week.
2. Thursday tempo runs with C.R.U.D. (Through the winter, up Cheyenne Canyon; in the spring, up Barr Trail)
3. Start getting out for the Saturday long runs with C.R.U.D.
4. Yoga
5. Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series (10K, 8M, 10M, and 20K)
6. As early as possible in 2009, run a Pikes Peak marathon.
7. In March, run a reverse Pikes Peak marathon (drive to the top, park, and run down to Manitou Springs...then back up to the summit)
8. In April, run from my house to the summit of Pikes Peak and back.

These extreme climbs, etc. are to get ready for the 13,000 feet of elevation gain on the R2R2R run. I have to be able to run down, back up, back down, and then finally back up out of the Canyon.

Oh, and it is all dependent on how my knee holds up...