Monday, May 27, 2013

May 20 - 26

Mon-AM: 3:32, 8000' ~ Pikes Peak
Up and down the big hill again, from Manitou. Climbed about 90sec faster than a couple days ago and felt a lot better above treeline, which was probably mental. Started snowing above 11k' or so, but it never really got too nasty until the last 500' of vert below the summit. Still comfortable enough in running shorts and a jacket.

Tue-AM: 2:05, 3200' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
Got up early and scrambled my 100th lifetime ascent of the First before descending Bear Canyon. Spent the rest of the day driving to Nebraska.

Wed-AM: 1:48, 1300' ~ Niobrara State Park+Ethiopian Trail
Started in town with Joel in a light drizzle. Ran out to the State Park, did my usual 5mi loop through the park, then ran home via the "Ethiopian Trail" (named for the opening scene in the Haile Gebreselassie film "Endurance"), which is an old pasture double-track that climbs out of the Missouri River valley up to my family's farm. Mostly steady cruising, but this was a 16mi run, the miles rack up quickly here.
PM: 0:52 ~ Run into Town
Ran 7mi back into town via the Ethiopian Trail with Joel to pick up my truck from the mechanic. Several squalls of rain along the way.

Thu-AM: 2:22, 1500' ~ Liska Loop
Cranked out this super-classic, hilly 22mi loop that used to be my staple long run when I lived at home.  After getting the legs going with a couple of 7min miles I settled into low-6min pace, suffered through a bonk the last 4mi or so, but still finished things off with a 5:40 final mile. I was never very stressed cardiovascularly, but my legs just aren't very used to turning over that quickly for that long anymore. I'm pretty sure I'd have a really hard time breaking 5min for a single mile right now. Great run.

Fri-AM: 1:07, 500' ~ Pastures
Sunrise run with Joel before hitting the road back to Colorado. Adductors and soleus were tight from yesterday's outing.

Sat-AM: 2:07, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert
Up and down NE ridge. So great to be back up in the Sawatch! Snow on the route was much more manageable than I had anticipated, which got me really excited for all the great running to be done this summer. Windshirt was sufficient on the summit, it was basically summer conditions. Felt really strong on the whole climb, which was nice since the last time I was up here in November I was super weak above treeline. I was just beat-down by that point last fall.
PM: 1:01, 600' ~ Boulevard, Leadville
Easy jog out and back on the Boulevard (Leadville 100 race course) in the evening. Legs felt solid.

Sun-AM: 2:24, 4500' ~ Mt. Elbert
Up the West ridge and down the NE ridge. Struggled through some snow between 11k' and treeline, but nothing horribly frustrating. Above treeline, the fell lugs on my custom winter 110s were indispensable on the frozen snow. The 3000' grunt in a little more than a mile on the west ridge delivered the usual beat-down, however. Gorgeous morning.
PM: 1:05, 1500' ~ 5th St Leadville
Out and back up the hill east of town in beautiful evening light. Easy jog to 11,600', legs felt good.

Hours: 18h24min
Vert: 25,700'

Low vert and (relatively) low hours but I think it was somewhere around 120-125mi, so pretty solid. Really fun week with the mix of flattish, faster running back in Nebraska and the return to the high country for the summer. Super psyched to be regularly getting back above treeline, and can't wait to get the Nolan's 14 line dialed back in over the coming weeks. Definitely the focus for the next month.

Summit of Elbert Sunday morning.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 13 - 19

Mon - off. Launch of BUFF Signature Collection in Barcelona. After another nearly sleepless night, I went for a stroll down Las Ramblas in the morning from my hotel and had to stop and get a coffee and a croissant on the way back in order to make it back to the hotel. Feeling really really weak but finally no more fevers and muscle aches.

Tue - off. All day travel back to Boulder from Barcelona.

Wed-AM: 1:35, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
From my house, descent down Flagstaff. Oy. Thought things were feeling ok, but then about half-way up the rock I got super weak and had to take a minute before slogging through the rest of the run. Really weak after the first 30min or so. So good to be back in Colorado, though. The weather is gorgeous and I just love being here at home.

Thu-AM: 2:00, 3200' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
From my house, descent down Bear Canyon. Felt quite a bit better today, but still not quite 100%. Always fun to just cruise easy down through Bear Canyon, too.

Fri-AM: 2:10, 5000' ~ Flatiron Trifecta+Green Mt.
From my house, scrambled the 1st, 5th, and 4th flatties before going to the top of the mountain and descending Flagstaff back to my house. Finally feeling close to 100% again in terms of energy. Really fun morning on the mountain, always a pleasure to get in a few thousand feet of scrambling. Not much else I'd rather be doing while waiting for the high country to start melting out a bit.

Sat-AM: 3:34, 8000' ~ Pikes Peak (14,115')
Parked in downtown Manitou with Joe (who had dog, so was only going up Cameron Cone) and ran up the big hill. From Hydro Street (after all my years living in COS and running with MC it became habit to time from there) it was 2:19 to the summit and 0:56 for the descent back to Hydro. (Obviously, I wasn't going the standard route.) Felt really solid climbing today, only wavering the last 1000' or so. First 14er in over a month, though, so altitude weakness is to be expected. Let gravity take over on the descent, clocking a number of sub-6 miles. Per usual, there's way less snow down in the Pikes Peak region than up here on the northern Front Range. Granted, I was on the southern slopes of the mountain, but there was basically no snow below 12k' or so, and above there it was well-consolidated, perfect for kicking steps. Mostly overcast day, but I was shirtless all the way to the summit, and only put it on for the descent above treeline. Great day.

Sun-AM: 2:06, 3200' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
From my house, went easy on the uphill and then descended Bear Canyon, enjoying the smooth trail on my tired legs.
PM: 1:05, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
From Chat, cruised up the slab with a light sprinkling of rain part-way up and then had good energy in my legs to the top of the hill. Descent down the front. #99 lifetime ascent of the First Flatiron, all but one of those coming since last July.

Hours: 12h30min
Vert: 26,400'

Took me until Friday to get my legs back under me after being sick and re-adjusting from the overseas travel. The second half of the week was super solid, though, and after hitting Pikes on Saturday I'm really excited to spend a good chunk of time at altitude. Which I will do, starting next weekend when I get back from Nebraska. Bring on summer!

Against all odds, Joe actually turned me on to these guys:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Last Couple Of Weeks

Mon-AM: 2:01, 4000' ~ 1st and 5th Flatirons+Green Mt.
Ran from my doorstep up to Chat, linked up the two flatties, then headed to the summit of Green before descending down Ranger-Flag-Viewpoint. Took it easy but legs felt good considering yesterday's long run.
PM: 1:09, 3000' ~ 1st Flatiron+Green Mt.
Usual evening outing, but after warming up my legs felt surprisingly snappy and I scrambled the 1st in 12:30 before tagging the summit of Green in 45min from Chat.

Tue-AM: 2:08, 3200' ~ 1st Flatiron+Green Mt.
Ran from home, went up Green via the First and then descended Bear Canyon. Tired morning, but by just keeping the effort mellow it was a very enjoyable outing. Good to remember I don't always need to be pushing.
PM: 1:09, 3000' ~ 1st Flatiron+Green Mt.
Biked to Chat and then did the same exact run as last night, scrambling in 12:40 and getting to the summit in 44min. Gorgeous evening with the sun shining over the low clouds of the incoming storm.

Wed-AM: 2:20, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Ran down to the Boulderado to meet the Wolfepaw for a lap over the hill in a snowstorm. Up Bear Canyon, down Ranger-Flag. 6" of fresh snow with more dumping down.

Thu- off. Toe is really infected, so couldn't really even get a shoe on. Needed an easy day anyhow.

Fri-AM: 2:27, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Ran up to Chat and apparently just missed Mackey and the Paw as I caught up to them on the summit of Bear, after marching up Fern Canyon. Brilliant morning. Broke trail down Bear's West Ridge---dutifully bloodying the shins---before heading up Green and descending down Ranger-Flag.
PM: 1:16, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
Biked to Chat, then cruised up the slab/hill with lots of energy. Yesterday's rest day put a lot of pep in my legs and the toe is much improved. Super slushy trails.

Sat-AM: 2:25, 5200' ~ Bear & Green+1st Flatiron
Biked to Chat, then the usual: up Fern, back over Green, descend to the base of the First for a lap on the rock, and run back down to Chat. Trails were still full of snow/ice/slush, but it's melting quick.
PM: 1:14, 3000' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
Biked to Chat to meet Joe. We jogged easily up to the base of the First with Geoff and Will. Had a really on-point, quick scramble and downclimb and then slipped and slid to the summit of Green with Joe. He continued on up to Gold Hill, while I ran back down to my bike at Chat.

Sun-AM: 1:48, 3200' ~ First Flatiron+Green Mt.
Early lap up the slab to the top of the mountain and then descent of Bear Canyon before hustling down to the bus stop to go to DIA and Spain.

Hours: 17h57min
Vert: 35,100'


Mon - off. Travel to La  Palma

Tue-AM: 1:48, 3500' ~ Transvulcania Course
Drove up to the church above Los Llanos with Tim, Cam, and Emelie and ran up the 1600'/20min of steep, cobbled switchbacks to the ridge where we intersected the race course. Tim went right while Cam and I continued climbing. Cam had done a couple hours the day before so he turned around after a bit but I continued on up to a small peak at 6500' or so before running back down to the car. Hot, dry day.

Wed-AM: 0:51, 1200' ~ Tazacorte
Ran with Tim, Cam, Joe, and Martin down to the beach where Cam stayed on the roads and the rest of us climbed the 1000' or so up the steep, cobbled switchbacks that the race takes down to the beach. Hot and humid, but legs felt good.

Thu-AM: 0:56, 800' ~ Sol de La Palma Rd
After going to bed with suspiciously flu-like muscle aches, I woke up feeling completely sick---terrible headache, muscle aches all over my body, sensitive skin, feverish---but tried to be positive and thought I'd go for a run to just see how things felt. Surprisingly, not too bad, as long as I didn't move my eyes around too much in my skull. However, things just got worse the rest of the day, which was pretty excruciating as most of the day was spent giving interviews to various media outlets. Those are tough enough to endure without feeling like shit, so it was a pretty rough day where all I wanted to do was just go back to bed. Turns out, fevers and full-body aches would make sleep the next three nights pretty much non-existent anyhow.

Fri/Sat/Sun - off. Flu.

Hours: 3h35
Vert: 5500'

Pretty bad trip overseas. These were my top-three highlights of the trip:

1 - This sunset from my hotel room balcony on Friday night.

2 - The half-day I spent with the good folks at BUFF in Barcelona this past Monday.

3 - Meeting and chatting with Robbie Lawless, the RunTramp; dude's a legend.

Beyond that...ugh. I haven't been more disappointed about a race experience since the WS100 was canceled in 2008 and I was fully fit and ready to go.  Not much else to say, other than, boy, I wish I had decided to duck Sage et al. before I'd embarked on the nearly 30hr of travel it took to get me from Boulder to La Palma. Seems like it would've saved me a whole lot of unnecessary hassle and stress.

Colorado's late spring snows have pushed back the timeframe for my planned Nolan's 14 attempt---probably far far into late June---and I'm struggling a bit mentally with the prospect of not competing until Speedgoat. We'll see, I'll hopefully jump in something next month, but other than WS and Hardrock, things are kinda blank until Speedgoat.