Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week Summary: Sept 13-19

Mon-AM: 8 miles (1:01) Venice Beach out and back
Easy shakeout run in CA.  2nd half was barefoot.
PM: 14 miles (2:07) Green and Bear, 4100'
Ran up the steep frontside of Green at what ended up being a solid tempo effort and eeked out a 31:59.  I guess my fitness is still there to some extent, but lately I've been feeling like I'm just out there kind of jogging around not hitting the times on climbs that I usually would for a given effort.  It's just that time of year where it would make sense to really be taking it easy but the weather is so perfect that it's tough to not want to be chasing some really nice runs still.

Tue-AM: 8 miles (1:05) Skunk Canyon+2.5mi barefoot on Kitt
Easy morning run.  Even on a shorter run like this I can get some great trails right from my doorstep.
PM: 14 miles (2:12) Green and Bear, 4100'
Pretty standard run but just tried to take it pretty easy on the climbing.

Wed-AM: 8 miles (1:05) Flagstaff Mt., 1500'
Legs felt way better than expected and I wished I had more time this morning to run longer.
PM: 12.5 miles (2:00) Green Mt., 3000'
Felt really flat this run so I just took it easy.  Ran up the back of Green and then down the NE ridge trails and then cut over to descend Flagstaff to Eben G. Fine.

Thu-AM: 14 miles (2:09) Green and Bear, 4100'
Felt good on this run, running a bit quicker than usual.  Really had the footwork dialed on the way down Fern, descending in a snappy 17:25.
PM: 10 miles (1:38) Green Mt., 3000'
Had only planned on an easy run up Flagstaff but the evening atmosphere was so nice that I was inspired to head over and up Green, too.  I was treated to an incredible sunset from the summit, which meant that much of the run back down to my house was in the dark.

Fri-AM: 10 miles (1:37) Green Mt., 2700'
Ran early before yet another busy day at school.  Paused briefly to witness a bear rustling around in the pre-dawn light near the Gregory Canyon trailhead.  

Sat-AM: 27 miles (4:37) Pikes Peak, 8000'
Perfect run on a perfect fall day.  Jocelyn was racing the CC home XC meet this morning so I took the opportunity to go run up my favorite mountain.  I feel like my climbing has certainly lost a few steps since this summer--things have just felt a bit off since Leadville--but I still enjoyed this run a great deal.  I was deliberately taking it pretty much as easy as I could while still maintaining a running cadence the whole way (except for a few steps on the 16 Golden Stairs), but it still felt like a little more effort than only a 2:45 ascent should be. Cruised the descent in 1:43 just enjoying the sun, the aspens, and the mountain.  There is no training reason to be getting out to do a longer run like this right now, but I can't resist the opportunity to go run up a 14er--especially Pikes--if I have the chance.

Sun-AM: 15.5 miles (2:10) Green Mt., 3000'
Up the back and then down the NE ridge trails to Flagstaff where I went down the fire road that connects into Boulder Canyon and the creek path.  Another day of gorgeous weather.  Can see patches of glittering aspen everywhere up in the high country.

-Miles: 141
-Hours: 21h 41min
-Vertical: 33,500'

Boulder 8ers 2010 (Day 261)
-Green: 216
-Bear: 22
-SoBo: 4

And I guess that's how I do it in the "off" season.  Weeks like this show me just how important running is to me in and of itself.  Right now I have no imminent competitive goals, but I still feel compelled to get out and run up the peaks and log the time on the trails even without that end-goal impetus of racing.  Especially with the demands of graduate school picking up, my daily local summits are absolutely necessary to keep me sane and productive in other areas of my life.

Part of me knows that I should probably be taking it a bit easier--especially with a lot of my runs feeling like I've lost some of the pep from the summer--but until the snow really starts flying and making the trails a bit messier I probably won't cut back too much other than to continue to keep the intensity dialed back.  In the meantime, I'm going to keep enjoying fall and its perfect running weather.  Having said all that, I'm going to be traveling a lot in the coming week, so there's a very real possibility that I will actually scale back the running significantly for the next few days.

After any trip back down to Manitou Springs and Pikes Peak, I often come away with some rather grandiose future plans.  Something about that mountain really draws me to it.  Actually, it's pretty obvious, really.  It's gigantic, its aesthetic as a summit is undeniable, and it's so close.  Last summer, Matt Carpenter--the undisputed mayor of that mountain--ran from his doorstep to its summit seven days in a row to celebrate his 45th birthday.  Running to the top at a casual pace yesterday, I could see--given the right circumstances, and enough time--committing to such an endeavor for, say, a full month.  Although I often get annoyed by the crowds on the first three miles of Barr Trail below the Incline turn-off, after this past year's acquaintance with Green Mountain here in Boulder, the idea of getting to know the Barr Trail and Pikes Peak with a similar level of intimacy really appeals to me.  Maybe next spring/summer I'll look at giving it a shot if I'm preparing for either Hardrock or the Pikes Peak Marathon.

Finally, I can't wait to see these guys next week here in Boulder, about four blocks from my house.


Frank Bott said...

Hardrock would be nice..

tim barnes said...

I haven't seen Pike's since 2006, but I remember just about every step i made on that mountain. Such a fantastic run. Local Natives are going to blow yr mind! Dancing is key.

Jim Parry said...

I am jealous and agree that there is something magical about Pikes Peak that draws many of us to it. Wish I could get there more often.

Mark said...

You mentioned grad school... What are you studying? what is your bachelors in?

Anonymous said...

"And no trip to the summit would be complete without one of our world famous donuts, made fresh at 14,000 feet!"
Tony, maybe it's the food that draws you to Pikes? Can you smell it on the way up the trail?

Never been, but I take it's not a wilderness experience?

Anton said...


No, Pikes, for the most part, is certainly not a wilderness experience. There is definitely something a bit surreal about having toiled through the roadless woods and airless tundra for a couple of hours on a singletrack trail only to pop onto the summit and often be greeted by hordes of tourists, a gift shop, and a cog train. But, for some reason, it doesn't really bother me. Sure, it might seem like willful denial, but even those things aren't enough to cancel out the mountain's sheer scale and undeniable natural beauty. Part of Pikes' uniqueness is its accessibility. If any mountain is capable of having charisma, it's Pikes Peak.

l.d said...

please, keep your life style on!
you're a model of "equilibre" and honestly you contributes to keep me in mine...cause is so easy to leave the whole civilized world to run alone into the wild and far beyond the prosaic duty of life;-)

enjoyed your "off" training time!

GZ said...

Well, that thought-consideration brings a smile to my face.

But then your casual run up and down would have just edged me so I end up considering that I need to up my game.

Joeliejoel said...

Hey Tony. I enjoy reading about your running adventures. I too am a running minimalist though with far few logged miles I imagine. Run a nice state park with some pretty technical trails here in SE Pennsylvania. I am curious if you would be willing to post a few photographs of your running shoes, status post serrated knife remodeling. I am always trying to find the right shoe and wind up gutting them, but I never thought to pare down the outsole. Be well. -Joel

Anonymous said...

when you say up back down front of Green what do you consider the "back" trails and what are the "front"? just trying to gauge how far I go when I do it on occasion.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anton,

New Question- Where would be your optimal place of living outside of Colorado???

Recycled Questions- What has K. Skaggs been up to?? Still the organic agriculture stuff you mentioned a while back??
Will you guys ever train together again??


David Hill said...

following on Jacob's question...

Which city inside Colorado do feel has the best overall trail running, within a 25mi radius??

christopherleemiles said...

This is off topic, but I know of nowhere else to post this inquiry.

I live in central Alaska. I wear New Balance 790's. But I have yet to find a minimalist shoe for winter running, something with a bit more lining. It can be fifty to sixty below up here, and I am tired of reverting back to the normal, pillowy running shoes after loving the low-profile summer sneaks for three months.

Anton, would you be willing to bug somebody at New Balance about this? Can you even do that? Or does any other runner have a clue as to how I might build a pair of my own? Where could I get the material? Find someone to sew them up?


Anonymous said...

Not gonna lie Anton, Local Natives put on the best show I have ever seen in my life. It almost brought me to tears! Enjoy!!! Im very jealous!!

Eric said...

hey brian, saw an awesome video of you on which has some pretty cool shoes I'd like to try.

do you happen to practice in any of those other shoes besides the new balance and also, did you produce that video yourself?

JB said...

I saw this and immediately thought of you:

It would be interesting to see what someone of your ability could do on this trail.

Thanks for the Blog!

Unknown said...

Thanks for continuing to update us on your weekly training and pics. Looks like field for TNF50M(SanFran) is starting to take shape. Krupicka, Dakota Jones, Eric Grossman, Chris Lundstrom, Gary Robbins, Erik Skaggs, Nathan Yanko and a few more. One name that stands out from way across the pond is Jonathan Wyatt. As you know, he is probably the top mountain runner at the shorter distances. Wonder if this is his first crack at 50 Miles?

SeanE said...


Too lazy to look up info on NB website; what do you think of the minimus line for running country roads in eastern NE? More gravel than the loess bluffs of Niobrara. I vary my shoes; xcountry flats, road flats, minimal trainers (Brooks Ghost, e.g.), but I'm intrigued by NB's investment in minimalist shoes. Keep on it!

Unknown said...

Here is an excellent video on Tony's video on New Balance Minumus Line: A Sneak Peak

paul Hopi said...

How was the band T.? bet it was a great night. Will check the L.Natives out some more- Loved the intro. sounded like some greek ,peruvian mix with a solid percussion and base. alohas

James W. McCue said...

missed the local natives in los angeles this last week, but the walkmen were on point. as good as ever. if you get a chance, see them.

Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous you got to see Local Natives!