Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Week Summary: Oct 22 - 28

Mon-AM: 0:44, 1600' ~ First Flatiron
Mellow scramble, but my peroneals/fibula acted up right at the end on the run down the hard-packed dirt back to Chautauqua.
PM: Climbing with Jenny.
Did the Owl on The Dome at the base of Boulder Canyon. Funky roof on the final pitch but overall lots of fun.

Tue-AM: 0:45, 1600' ~ First Flatiron
Same as yesterday morning except I descended Saddle Rock to Amphitheater, which seemed to be nicer on the fibula as it only tweaked slightly right at the end.
PM: Climbing+Gym Climbing (Eldo and Movement).
Buzz and I got on Calypso down in Eldo and after the second pitch traversed the ledge over to the bottom of the final pitch of Wind Ridge so that we could top out on Wind Tower. Fun stuff, especially the downclimb on the descent.  Immediately afterwards I met Marissa for a couple hours of climbing plastic at Movement, which was a first for me, plus pretty frustrating considering I was already pumped from the couple of hours spent on real rock beforehand.  Also, gym ratings are so bogus.

Wed-AM: 0:48, 1600' ~ First Flatiron
Standard run up to the base, scramble and downclimb and run back down to Chat. Peroneals didn't hurt at all, which was nice.
PM: 1:00, 1600' ~ First Flatiron w/ Joe.
Did a casual hiking scramble of the Flattie, snuck this in right before it started raining...clouds were swirling on the summit and we got a little wet on the walk back down to the car.

Thu-AM: 1:10, 1000' ~ Gold Hill
Ran in the cold, fresh snow from Joe's house.  Predictably, the fibula was totally fine for 45min but then tightened up after that. Full-on winter run here at between 8500' and 9000'.

Fri-AM: 0:50, 500' ~ Gold Hill
Another snowy run from Joe's house, but this time we got above the clouds, which was as beautiful as one might expect. Fibula acted up right at the end again.  Got a crazy painful massage from Jeff Staron afterwards that left my lower leg immediately sore but hopefully did some good.

Sat-AM: 1:41, 3000' ~ Flagstaff+Green Mt.
Met up with some friends to get back to the basics in the Boulder hills. Kept it super mellow all the way to the summit of Green, but it was nice to catch up with people I don't always make time to run with.  I was just testing out my peroneals, so after hitting the top of the mountain I ran back down Ranger and Gregory Canyon, pretty psyched to have no pain, just soreness from the massage yesterday.  Gorgeous day with all the snow.
PM: Climbing w/ Joe.
Did three laps on the Umbrella Tree top-rope near Crown Rocks on Flagstaff.  Was able to send the direct line, which is allegedly 5.10 but seemed a bit soft for that.

Sun-AM: 1:18, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up Gregory Canyon and down the trail between the 1st and 2nd Flatirons for the descent.  First time I've run Gregory Canyon (and Ranger) in quite a while. Though a proper trail the whole way there are still some legitimately steep sections in there. Tough. All in all, feeling awkward and out-of-shape these days.  Ice turned much of the descent into a tentative walk without Microspikes.
PM: Climbing w/ Joe.
Parked at the Elephant Buttresses near the bottom of Boulder Canyon and just top-roped from a set of anchors on that big jumble of rock between the parking lot and the actual Buttresses. Got in a couple of laps before the sun was gone.

Hours: 8h16min
Total: 13,500'

This week started out tentatively and was turning in a depressing direction as my fibula/peroneals were still giving me a bunch of trouble, but then the massage with Jeff on Friday morning seemed to magically fix the issue and I'm now running basically as much as I want, pain-free.  Incredible.  I got in a lot of rock climbing this week, and I plan on keeping that up, but after two weeks completely off and this third week of very low volume I'm feeling pretty fat and out of shape. It was a break I needed, and my fitness should come back quickly, but maybe not as quickly as I'd like.  I'd still like to race one more time this year...

Sussing the final pitch on The Owl, Dome Rock. Photo: Jenny Jurek.
And, in the spirit of election season, a catchy little tune written by an old college friend.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Week Summary: Oct 1 - 7 (+ an off week)

Mon-AM: 2:19, 3300' ~ Refugi Sant Jordi
Ran the quiet, bucolic road from our hotel (Ca l'Amgata--truly amazing hospitality; honestly, it blows my mind) ~30min to the start of the trail up the canyon to the Refugi.  Nice mellow trot up the incredibly scenic climb for the third time in the past week, and then ran the last 12K of the race course back into Baga.  Took a while for things to get loosened up at first (left achilles, mostly), but then everything felt good except for my right big toe joint/extensor on the extended downhill.  Really fun to see these mountains on a nice sunny morning instead of having them hide in the clouds.  Spent the rest of the day meeting with BUFF designers and touring the factory just outside of Barcelona. I had no idea that all of their production is right there, nothing in China. The apparel (as opposed to headwear) is manufactured in Portugal, but everything else happens there in Igualada.

Tue-AM: 1:30, 1100' Basreny River out and back
Nice early 6:30am start in the dark under the very bright light of the moon before an all-day photo shoot up near Pedra Forca.  Legs felt way better than yesterday, including my toe.

Wed-AM: 1:52, 1800' ~ Collserola Park/Tibidabo
Run in Collserola with Nacho and Pol from New Balance.  Really tired legs.
PM: 0:58 ~ Barcelona Beach
Ran down through the Gothic district from my hotel down to the beach and back. Tired legs and tough negotiating my way through crowds of people nearly the entire way.

Thu-AM: 2:04, 4000' ~ Montserrat
Run from Montsellero with Just Sensio and Nacho.  They took me on a ~25k route of an old race course that climbs from town to the summit of the mountain and back down.  Awesome line that finishes with a really steep grunt up a canyon to the summit, complete with a couple of fixed ropes. Legs felt good and it was a ton of fun on an awesome mountain.
PM: 1:00 ~ Barcelona Beach
Much better run down along the beachfront. Found a more direct route and legs felt quite good.

Fri-AM: 2:12, 1700' ~ Collserola Park/Tibidabo
Ran from the hotel up to the forest/hills/trails.  Spent some time contouring on the Carretera des Aigues where I ran into a couple of familiar faces--Richard and then later, Allesandra.  The 25min of noisy, polluted, crowded street running on Balmes on either end of the run wasn't very pleasant, but so it goes when exploring a city I suppose.

Sat-AM: 2:33, 5000' ~ Montseny Traverse
With Nacho and Roberto Sancho.  Started from Coll Formic at 1100m above the town of Montseny and linked together the three main summits in the park, which included a pair of ~2000' climbs plus a couple other bumps followed by a screaming 4000' descent back down to Montseny.  The second climb was a very fun scramble up an aesthetic ridge to the summit..."La directa!"
PM: 1:01, 600' ~ Park Guell
Ran up to this iconic park where Gaudi has several impressive tile mosaics.  Legs were tired so I just stumped along through the streets and then enjoyed the art and views of the city from the park.

Sun-AM: 1:40, 1500' ~ Tibidabo Cathedral
Was running by 6:40am, which isn't early but feels really early these days now that it doesn't get light until after 7:30am.  The run up Balmes to the park was interesting in that I got to see all kinds of people still out after a long night of raging. Nice run up and down the trails in the park and then back on Balmes to the hotel.  My right leg really started acting up on this run, to the point where I was definitely favoring it and limping by the end--really weird, nervy peroneal/fibular pain that shoots up and down my whole leg at odd times.  Hurts more to walk than run, and it's a really weird feeling...not usual muscular tightness/soreness at all.  Feels almost like something having to do with a nerve, not muscular.

Hours: 17h09min
Vert: 19,000'

My legs came around quite quickly after the race and my local mountain runs near Barcelona on Thursday and Saturday were of a much higher quality than I could've ever planned on my own.  Many thanks to Pol, Nacho, Just, Roberto, and Dani for all rallying and showing me the two main playgrounds near (within 45min driving) Barcelona--Montserrat and Montseny.  Both were top-notch outings that I will definitely make sure to not miss the next time I'm in Barcelona.

Last week ended on a bit of a down note, though.  On my last run in Barcelona (Sunday morning) before catching a plane (and enduring 30hr of transit) to Cape Town, SA my right leg started acting up in a really weird way...not sure how to describe it except it feels like my peroneals/fibula, but it doesn't feel muscular at all.  Much more nervy.

I thought a day of rest whilst traveling would help set it right, but on my first attempt at a jog in Tonaika Forest in Cape Town on Tuesday morning it worsened and I had to walk back to the car after only 20min.  The wonderful folks at New Balance in SA got me right in for an appointment with a physio at the Sports Science Institute that afternoon, though, and it seems I aggravated a nerve (the sural nerve?) and it needs a few days of rest to quiet down.  This all meant that I had to miss the Otter Run and came back to Boulder a couple of days early, which was obviously a bit of a bummer, but I'm also happy to be back and look forward to getting back into a regular daily routine and getting fully healthy.  I'm taking this ill-timed niggle as an opportunity to rest for a week or two and recharge the batteries before hopefully getting in a nice block of training before the TNF50 Champs in San Fran on December 1st, which I'm looking ahead to with a lot more confidence after my run at Cavalls.

On Montserrat with Just. Photo: Nacho Puig.
Summit of Montserrat on Thursday morning, a 1000m climb up and out of the clouds. Photo: Nacho Puig.
La Sagrada Familia--Guadi's vision still being constructed nearly 100 years after his death.
Barcelona at dusk as seen from Park Guell. Mediterranean Sea in the distance.
On the first summit of the day at Montseny outside of Barcelona, looking at the next peak in the distance.
Final scramble to the summit of the second peak in Montseny.
Roberto reaching the summit after the scramble.  Pyrenees on the horizon.
Chapman's Peak overlook at sunset, near Hout Bay in Cape Town.
Camps Bay from the summit of Table Mountain.
Cape Town.