Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Mountain Run of 2010...

This morning, Scott, jLu and I got out for first tracks to the summit of Green Mountain via Gregory-Ranger.  Yesterday produced the first legitimate (~6-8" or so in town) snowfall of the year, and after slogging through the wintry beauty to reach the summit I was instantly reminded on the downhill just why running in the winter is so fun: it often feels like pure play.  The powdery, cushiony surface spares the joints, the absolute muffled stillness is calming, and crystalline dressing on everything inspires.  It was a fantastic 296th (350th lifetime) and final trip to Green's summit for the year.

Our goal.
Scott powering his way up Gregory Canyon...
...and eventually, the summit rock of Green.
#296: tomorrow I start over.
Scott floating the descent through Gregory Canyon.
Nothing beats some properly-garnished Flatirons.
I suppose a few closing thoughts on the year are in order.  First, the numbers:

January:     488mi, 71h 50min,   91,500',   31 Greens
February:   501mi, 75h 33min,   101,300', 36 Greens
March:        547mi, 81h 08min,   94,700',   31 Greens
April:          673mi, 101h 19min, 120,400', 35 Greens
May:            522mi, 73h 18min,   76,100',   21 Greens
June:           674mi, 102h 09min, 113,900', 22 Greens
July:            501mi, 74h 23min,   77,700',   11 Greens
August:       459mi, 88h 06min,   66,400',   12 Greens
September: 435mi, 66h 35min,   85,300',   17 Greens
October:      668mi, 99h 37min,   128,900', 34 Greens
November:  461mi, 69h 35min,   97,000',   28 Greens
December:  356mi, 53h, 01min,  56,300',   18 Greens

2010:  6285mi,   956h 34min,   1,108,100'  296 Greens
                                                                       29 Bears
                                                                         6 SoBos

That's an average of right at 120.5 miles per week and 17.2 miles, 2h37min and 3036' vertical per day.

2010 was, by almost any measure, easily my best year of running ever.  Statistically, physically and spiritually I think, after 15 years, I finally arrived at a volume/combination of miles and vertical that has allowed me to sustainably maximize running's positive bearing on each of those areas.  I know for sure that in 2010 I was racing at my highest-ever level, and due to my notable consistency (only 16 days off the entire year, most of those in December) my enjoyment of running was at its highest-ever level, too.

Best Run(s)
There were a lot.  It is natural that a race is typically a "best run" because I have typically consciously set up several months of training in order to feel really, really good for that particular run.  As such, Western States and White River were certainly stand-outs.  In both I felt remarkably effortless (save the last 20 miles of WS) and both runs were further enhanced by sharing them with good friends.

A very close honorable mention was my solo 68 mile/10:16 run around Pikes Peak in early November.  While I didn't feel particularly physically proficient during that run (I was in the midst of a period of very heavy training preparing for the TNF50 Championships), it was mentally and physically much less of an ordeal than I had expected.  Plus, it was a loop that I had thought about doing on and off for very many years.

Another honorable mention was an 8hr outing in the Indian Peaks with Scottie in July.  We covered a ton of ground, saw many incredible sights, tread many miles of sublime singletrack, spent a whole lot of time above treeline and generally took advantage of our abilities to travel all day on foot with few physical consequences.  It was a blast.

Worst Run(s)
Without a doubt, my DNF at Leadville, obviously.  I've never run myself into the ground before, and let me tell you, it's not a whole lot of fun.  I learned much, though.  While I've had plenty of other crappy runs this year, none of them were so bad as to result in me passing out, so Leadville takes the cake.

A close second would be the profoundly mundane evening jog on November 18th where I strained my calf for good and did the damage that ultimately kept me out of the TNF50 showdown at the beginning of this month.  It was the only real injury disappointment of the year for me, and it came at a supremely inopportune time.

Well, that's enough.  Let me leave you, though, with a most aptly-titled track by one of my favorite bands, The Walkmen.  I've been listening to these guys for almost two years now, but ever since I saw them at the Fox Theatre here in Boulder in October they've been nearly non-stop on my music-playing device.  Much to the chagrin of my roommates, I imagine.  But, I think the passion evident in this song should at least partly explain why.  Happy New Year!


Eric said...

I love your posts Anton. Thank you for all the inspiration, and I wish you all the best for 2011 !

-Eric Hildinger, in California

Jay said...

Congrats on a great year and glad to see you're running again. I'm not planning another trip up Green until Sunday. But when I looked up at Green and Bear all covered in snow this morning, I thought of you and hoped you were up there playing. Thanks for a year of inspiring tales. May your 2011 be even better.

John said...

What a luxury to be able to read about the training, perspective, and feats of a world class athlete in his own humble words...truly a treat.

Oh, and to have an almost identical experience makes it even better; I put down the first tracks in the snow yesterday on Dowdy Draw,South and North Springbrook Loops, and Goshawk.

Unknown said...

What an incredible year, Anton.

Reading this blog has been a major source of inspiration to me, and I always look forward to your posts.

Happy new year, and best wishes for 2011!


Tim said...

Anton, as always you are a major source of inspiration. I am a avid reader of your blog and wish you all the best for 2011 and beyond. I predict some good results! Many thanks again for your thoughts and honest accounts.

Soy afortunado said...

Toni, this 2010 has been a very tough year for me, but of course I have had good things also. One of them, without any kind of doubt was discovering your blog. Since then you have been a great inspiration to me. You cannot imagine how helpful you are.
From Spain, thanks a lot and my best wishes for you and all your folks this new year.
Take care.

Unknown said...

Insane mileage Anton, its a joy to read your blog each week and keeps the impetus for my own running on a high. I have increased my own mileage significantly through your approach and it feels good to push the boundaries. Happy New Year and have a killer 2011.

Coolrunnings said...

Tony, where are the cheapo western shirts and skimpy shorts this winter?

GZ said...

A million vertical feet plus. Dang dude.

All the best in 2011 - and hope to share a few more miles with you.

Anton said...

Coolrunnings--It's about 5F in the picture in the blog. I wear whatever makes me comfortable.

This shot was from the day before in Bear Canyon.

GZ--Likewise. I'm looking forward to your foray into the ultra world this year.

canucking said...

What an incredible life to live vicariously through with the stories of real highs and lows. The descriptions you use create images that inspire me to perform outside of my comfort level when I’m out on the trail experiencing my own highs and lows.

Job well done and cheers to the future,
george in Montana

Local Mind Media said...

Happy New Year, Tony.
Truly looking forward to following your progress (again) this year.

Unknown said...

Tony, what kind of camera do you use for the great shots you've taken through-out the year? Also, do you have a waterproof case to prevent "sweat-asphyxiation." I've been the grim-reaper for quite a few phones.

Rob Timko said...

Tony - Just made that flatiron picture my desktop background! Thanks. Hopefully, I'll be able to have that view from my window soon.

Trailrunner - I'm not Tony but I've had good luck with Kodak's 'Playsport' line of HD video cameras for trail running. They take 5mp photos as well as great video and are waterproof and almost bombproof. They are also easy to carry. Check them out.

-Rob & Laurie

Brandon Fuller said...

2011 - The Year of the Rocket.

Martin said...

...wish you all the best for the upcoming season 2011...greetings from Austria..

Cathy said...

Hi Anton, I have a pretty geeky question here. How are you calculating elevation gain? Are you getting a rough estimate from a topo or using GPS software functionality? Just curious...I'd like to calculate my net gain/loss during my runs as well this year. Thanks! Cathy, VA

Anonymous said...


I know Tony has written about using the High Gear Axio watch, which can calculate elevation gain.

Patrick Thurber said...

Ah, that was my 2009-looking towards 2010 song. one of their best, certainly.

best of luck/health/etc. in '11

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