Aside from the birth of my Birdies, the Imogene Pass Run proved to be one of the most difficult yet exhilarating experiences of my entire life. For the last 6 months we trained for this moment. And like labor and delivery, in the moment you swear never again, but as soon as it is all over that is quickly replaced with "I can't wait to do that again!". The Imogene Pass run is a 17.1 mile mountain race from Ouray, CO over the 13,114 ft. Imogene Pass into Telluride, CO. It is breathtaking and unforgiving. With all of the training involved, I still at moments felt unprepared and scared that I really might not be able to do this. For me, half of it was the physical challenge, the other half mental... repeating to myself, I can! I will! My ancestors had to do this kind of thing barefoot! GO! GO! One foot in front of the other! Keep MOVING!
A good portion of the trail ran along a beautiful little stream, which we crossed several times.
Above tree line and prepping for the final push. We have about 2 miles to go to reach the summit. In one more mile I began pushing my lips together and blinking back tears. I could hear the summit in the distance and I just wanted to make it there so bad, but the elevation made it grueling.
And I DID!! So happy in this moment... the summit is here! Freezing temps and 40 mile/hour winds forced me to not want to hang out too long. Now only 7 miles down to Telluride. The next couple miles were so steep and rocky I felt I had to inch my way down, but after that I took off. I was ready to be finished. I decided I would not stop running until I was done.
We survived!!! SO happy to be done. It felt like such a huge accomplishment. I am so glad I did this and can't wait to try to improve my time next year. Plus, having an awesome group of ladies to train with really made the whole experience. Until next year- Goodbye Telluride!