Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week Summary: Nov 21 - 27

Mon-AM: 1:15, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle.  Met Rickey and Scottie at the Gregory TH (I biked, they were starting a longer run) and hiked to the impressively wind-less summit.  It was absolutely still up there today. Hiked down by myself as they headed off to places farther afield.
PM: 2:11, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st Saddle. Ran the 14min to the Ranger Cottage and then hiked the rest of the evening. Almost the entire descent was in the dark, so things took about 20min longer than they should've.

Tue-AM: 1:25, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st/2nd access. The wind was back this morning, but I felt decent after getting warmed up, really nailed the section between the 3rd and the NE ridge, scrambling the slab way quicker than usual, too.
PM: 1:41, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle.  I ran the 15min to the base of Amphitheater and then jogged the flat spots on the climb (hiking probably 95%), getting to the summit in 32:35. The ice on upper Greenman is still costing me close to a minute I think. Hiked all the way home.  Shin seems to be handling the transition to running, but I need to stay patient and not get greedy.

Wed-AM: 1:24, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st/2nd access. Very warm morning, exceptionally nice weather for November.
PM: 1:32, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st Saddle. Ran from my doorstep all the way to the base of the 2nd Flatiron (24min) and then on the the last couple switchbacks of Greenman I ran into Jeff, who I then ran all the way down with.  All of which was no issue at all for the shin, which is huge. Solid effort on the up despite lethargic legs netted me a PR 36:10 from Chat on this route.

Thu-AM: 1:22, 2500' ~ Green Mt. #500
Got up at 4:30am to get in my 500th ever ascent of the mountain before driving to Dubois, WY for Thanksgiving with my parents and sister.  Dead legs at this hour, all hiking.
PM: :24 ~ Dubois, WY
Jogged around on the dirt roads from my sister Katrina's cabin and my shin was 100% painfree.  Very encouraging.  She has an enviably stunning view of Ramshorn Peak from her front porch.

Fri-AM: 1:28, 2700' ~ Windy Mt.
Awesome trip up and down the mountain this morning.  Parked at 8k' at the Nat'l Forest boundary and started hiking uphill in the snow.  Ran a couple minutes here and there on the flatter/more snow-free sections. The higher I got on the mountain the more intense the blizzard became with some pretty crazy winds, blowing snow and postholing.  Made the 10,200' summit and then ran the downhill back to the saddle before hiking straight up to the radio towers on a subsidiary 9900' summit.  The sustained winds there were simply astounding; they had to be 60+mph, it was all I could do to stay on my feet.  Ran the entire downhill from there back to the car (total of ~30min of running on the morning) and the shin was rock-solid the entire way. Great morning.
PM: :35 ~ Dubois, WY
More flat evening gravel road jogging from Katrina's cabin to settle the afternoon's Thanksgiving feast (yes, we were a day late).

Sat-AM: :31 ~ Dubois, WY
A final +15F, 6am jog from Katrina's cabin before hitting the road back home. Perfectly clear sky made for some nice stargazing. I should've headed back up Windy again this morning as I would've been able to actually enjoy the expansive views of the Tetons and Absarokas that its summit allegedly offers.
PM: 1:31, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Evening summit after the 7hr+ drive back to Boulder.  This was very nearly a legit run. Ran to the base of Amphitheater and then ran/hiked my way up the front in 32:40.  Definitely way more hiking than running, and I can tell that I've lost some efficiency on the steep uphill run, but slowly working it back in. Ran the entire descent all the way back to Baseline where I decided to play it on the safe side and walk the final 1mi+/20min of downhill pavement home despite my shin feeling fine.

Sun-AM: 1:42, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st Saddle. Jogged up to Gregory w/ Jocelyn and then took the Bluebell-Baird connector over to the 3rd access as she headed to Flagstaff.  I ran all the way to the base of the 2nd Flattie, but above there I was just completely worked.  Totally bonking after not eating enough dinner last night I guess.  It seemed like it was basically all I could do to just stumble my way to the summit.  All hiking.  Ran the entire way down, though, and really enjoyed the magic grip of a fresh pair of MT110s.  Fresh lugs on those provide a perfect mix of bite on loose surfaces and stickiness on rock.
PM: 1:55, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. Ran from doorstep to the top of Amphitheater (22min) and hiked the rest of the outing.  Really pathetically tired again tonight, probably need an easy day.

Hours: 17h26
Vert: 29,700'


I don't want to jinx it, but I may have finally turned the corner this week with my shin's health.  Maybe.  At least a pinprick of light at the end of what has been a very, very long tunnel.  The key now is to not get carried away and to listen very closely to how my shin feels.  Now that I can run a little, it will be important to remember that taking a day or two to limit myself to just hiking to ensure recovery is totally fine and probably advisable.

It was great getting up to Wyoming for a couple days to visit with my family this week; the Wind Rivers and especially the Tetons are two mountain ranges I hope to explore a little more extensively this summer.  The last time I was in the Tetons was over four years ago, and it's been far too long.  They are definitely one of the more inspiring mountain ranges I've run in.

In other news, I'm going to be out in San Francisco next weekend for the Unbreakable premiere, which should be a good time but I'm probably even more psyched for the opportunity to witness the battle in the Headlands the next morning.  Fun stuff.

Ramshorn Peak (11,640'), from Katrina's front porch at 7200'.
Windy Mt two-track approach. Wind River valley below.
Gale-force winds not shown.
10,200' summit.

Temporary sunshine 3000' lower in the Wind River valley.
Katrina's cabin.
Dad in his element: woodlot with a maul and chainsaw.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week Summary: Nov 14 - 20

Mon - sick

Tue - sick
Can't believe how long this illness stuck around.

Wed-AM: 1:18, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Chilly morning at 19F. Some lingering effects of being sick, and could also muscularly notice my time away from the hill.

Thu-AM: 1:18, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Legs felt good.
PM: 0:10 ~ Creek Path
Short flat jog to test out the shin. Slightly tight and twingy, but not terrible.

Fri-AM: 1:28, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access, down 1st/2nd access. Legs were moving well, but there's still a fair bit of slick ice over on the boulder field below the Third--guessing that sticks around until Spring. Another really windy day.
PM: 0:12 ~ Creek Path
Another little tester with the calf sleeve on.  Shin never hurt at all.  Ridiculously warm day.

Sat-AM: 1:19, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Another brisk morning and I didn't see a single other person out on the trails, which was pretty great.
PM: 1:49, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Jogged the 15min from my doorstep to the base of Amphitheater, then hiked to the summit in 33:55, slowed a 1min+ by the ice on upper Greenman.  Hiked all the way back home.  Shin felt good and legs felt great.

Sun-AM: 1:19, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Brisk but very calm morning on the mountain.  The wind has finally given up.
PM: 1:42, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Jogged up to Gregory with Jocelyn and then met George, Jeff and Homie for a trip up the front of Green.  On the way down I probably ran a little more than I should've (~13min or so), but it's hard not to enjoy the descent when out with friends.  Great sunset on the top of Green, and we made it down just in time so as to not need lights.

Hours: 10h13
Vert: 18,200'

Nice week of getting back into the swing of things.  I just need to be very careful and gradual with adding short little bits of running back into the routine.

Just in case anyone who's interested hasn't already seen the announcement on RunColo or Geoff's blog or Facebook, I wanted to give a quick reminder that Journeyfilm's new feature documenting the 2010 Western States 100 will be showing on December 7th at 7:00pm at Stargazers Theatre in Colorado Springs.  Advance tickets ($10) are available at Mountain Chalet, the Colorado Running Company and Carmichael Training Systems in Colorado Springs, or at imATHLETE online.

More importantly, the event will be a fundraiser for the newly-formed Manitou Springs non-profit Incline Friends, whose purpose is to get the Manitou Incline legally open to the public and to preserve that access into the future.  The Incline is a unique and highly popular way of getting into the mountains in the Pikes Peak region, and I strongly support any efforts towards its maintenance and access.

Following the film there will be a panel Q&A including myself, Geoff Roes, Nick Clark (three of the top four at the 2010 Western States) and Anita Ortiz (2009 Western States Champion).  All in all, it should be a fun and timely evening as the lottery drawing for the 2012 WS100 will be only three days later!

Interview for the film on the WS trail, two days before the race. Photo: Joe Grant.
JB catching the action at Foresthill (62mi). Photo: Megan Zaranek.
JB talking to Joe before pacing. Photo: Jenny Uehisa.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two Week Summary: Oct 31 - Nov 13

Bit of a catch-up post.

Mon-AM: 1:17, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Tired. Very warm morning.
PM: 1:22, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access, down 1st/2nd access. Great outing ending with the sun setting on a 70F+ day. After not being on this route for a week or so (because of snow), it was great to come back.  Love the scrambly nature of it.

Tue-AM: 1:17, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. At my 7am start the clouds were just kissing the top of the mountain and by the end the ceiling was chasing me back to the bottom. Enjoyed the gloom for some reason.
PM: Fly to Sao Paulo.

Wed-PM: 0:24 ~ Sao Paulo
Went for a short jog over to Ibiapuera Park and back from my hotel in Sao Paulo. Shin was a little touchy, but I wanted to get out and explore.

Thu - 0
Filming for much of the day in Sao Paulo.

Fri - 0
Flew by helicopter to Ilhabella island.

Sat-AM: 1:22, 1600' Ilhabella Traverse
Started at the park entrance and then ran the 4x4 road that traverses the island from west to east.  I didn't expect to be able to run the whole way and after the shin felt OK decided I would run to the top and catch a ride down in one of the accompanying jeeps.  However, at the top my shin actually felt pretty much fine on the downhill and I was able to run all the way to the beach, much to my surprise.  Really unique run going through the jungle and traveling from one side of the island/mountains to the other. We were going easy the whole way, but I was also surprised to find that I wasn't tired at all on this run (the first sustained run of this length that I've done in over two months) and that all the hiking has definitely developed a basic level of fitness in me.

Sun - nothing.
Despite feeling mostly fine on the run yesterday, my shin was, of course, pretty tight today.  Just glad I was able to do yesterday's run.  Flew to Rio de Janeiro in the evening.

Hours: 5h41
Climb: 9200'


Mon - nothing.
Spent all day filming around Rio.  Quite the city and landscape. Shin was sore.

Tue - nothing.
In Rio all day and then flew home overnight.

Wed-AM: 1:15, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Got home from the airport and within a couple hours got back on the home mountain, and my legs felt really good after all the rest.  Shin also seemed to be surprisingly good.  Last 10min to the summit are aggravatingly bullet-proof ice with most of the rest being reasonably dry. Frustrating mix.

Thu - nothing
Last night I could feel myself coming down with something -- scratchy throat, headache, full body aches, super sensitive skin -- so spent the whole day today in bed trying to get healthy.  Bound to happen after all the travel stress.

Fri - sick

Sat- sick

Sun- sick

Hours: 1h15
Vert: 2500'

Kind of a worthless couple of weeks when it came to physical activity and mountain summits.  So it goes sometimes.  All the travel this month must've taken its toll as it's Wednesday now and today was the first day I felt my body allowing me to get back out on the mountain after taking a week for little more than laying around in bed drinking tea, nursing a headache and trying to not let my swollen throat suffocate me.  Hopefully that mess is finally out of the way for the season.

This morning's summit of Green was brisk and breezy at 19F, but the trail was basically dry until the final stretches of upper Greenman above the northeast ridge.  But dry trails aren't even needed for my motivation and psyche to be pretty much at an all-time high right now--after Hardrock has its lottery in a couple of weeks my planned racing/adventuring schedule for 2012 should mostly fall into place (aside from the Wasatch lottery in February), giving my mind more concrete objects of visualization on my daily jaunts up the mountain.  Right now, if Hardrock doesn't happen for me, I'm hoping to take dual shots at California's pair of 100 mile classics this summer: Western States in June and Angeles Crest in July.

Mountain 100 mile racing's latest evolution has seen the shattering of every classic 100 mile race's course record--from Western to Hardrock to Leadville to Wasatch--except for Angeles Crest.  Over the last 23 years, only Hal has come even within an hour of Jim O'Brien's 1989 standard of 17:35:48, and while the race maybe hasn't attracted the depth of competition necessary to lower the time, the precedent has to be considered stout.  I hope my body gives me a chance to chase it this summer, but with it being only four weeks after what is sure to be a hard-fought race at WS, I'll be satisfied with just a strong finish, record or not.

Frogger slinging the bottles at Foresthill, 2010.
O'Brien setting his record in 1989.  Original photo by Stan Wagon, used by permission from the AC100 RaceBook [].

Saturday, November 12, 2011


For the last week-plus I was in Brazil -- Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro -- in support of New Balance's launch of their Minimus collection of shoes down there.  A full account of my trip can be found over on my Running Times blog, but here are a few pictures from the week.

Sao Paulo from helicopter.
Brazilian coast and the island Ilhabella (on the horizon) from helicopter.
Sunset on Ilhabella.
Climbing during the 16K NB Minimus Challenge traverse of Ilhabella. Photo: Funf Sports.
Looking down 2100' to the beach from the route's high point.
Castelhanos Beach, where the island traverse ended.
Coconut water straight from the source.
Ferry leaving Ilhabella.
Rio from the summit of Pao de Acucar.
On Pao de Acucar, with Corcovado Mt. (Cristo statue) over my right shoulder.
2800' Pedra da Gavea.
Leblon Beach sunset with Dois Irmaos.
Copacabana Beach with favela behind.
Cristo Redentor from Ipanema Beach.