Mon-AM: 15 miles (2:19) Green Mt. up Back down Bear Cyn, 3000'
Started really slow with Jocelyn and Martin. Felt better by the end.
PM: 8 miles (1:04) Creek Path+4mi barefoot at Kitt
Tue-AM: 15 miles (2:12) Green Mt. up Front down Bear Cyn, 3000'
Climbed in 35:50 despite tired legs and losing at least two minutes to the glacier ice on the Greenman trail. 1mi barefoot.
PM: 8 miles (1:03) McClintock-Mesa-Skunk Cyn with Jocelyn, 1000'
Ran from the Law School between classes. Finished with some barefoot.
Wed-AM: 17 miles (2:30) Bear Peak and Green Mt. up Fern, 4000'
27:25 from Mesa trail to summit post (5:10, 9:45, 12:30) and then 14:05 from Bear Creek to top of Green. Lots of ice above the Saddle on Fern probably cost me ~1min. Fern is ridiculous--2100' in probably only 1.5 miles or so. Although historical comparison will be lost, I'm looking forward to OSMP re-routing this trail this summer and maybe making it reasonably runnable. Felt okay on the uphills this morning, awkward on the downhills.
PM: 6 miles (:47) Creek Path
Took it nice and easy, but legs felt good.
Thu-AM: 17 miles (2:26) Green Mt. and Bear Peak, 4000'
Bascially ended up tempoing the whole loop Chat-to-Chat (up Front of Green, down Green-Bear to Bear West Ridge, down Fern and back on Mesa) in 1:46. Climbed Green in 32:58 and was on PR pace before having to hike significant sections of ice on Greenman. West Ridge of Bear in 23:15. Fern above the saddle was pretty slow descending with ice/snow, too. This run reminded me of a conversation I was having with my buddy Martin last week. One morning we ran up the back of Green together in 41ish minutes and he asked how that compared to my "100 mile race-pace" to which I replied that it mattered what part of the 100 miler we were talking about. In the first 60 miles of a 100 I would probably run up Green in 37 or 38 minutes. The last 40 miles it would probably be more like 40-45 minutes, depending on how the day is going. So, in that vein, while I was cruising faster-than-usual this morning I realized that I was really just running ~50K-50 miler intensity, maybe a bit harder on the steepest portions of the climbs. All in all, a pleasant way to get in some up-tempo, race-terrain-specific running.
PM: 8 miles (1:00) Creek Path-Skunk Creek-Kitt with Jocelyn
Legs felt great and the 4mi of barefoot was at a relaxed 7-flat pace.
Fri-AM: 15 miles (2:15) Green Mt. up and down Back, 2800'
Cool morning with low clouds. Took it very relaxed up in 38:55 and then tacked on 3mi of barefoot at Kitt at the end. My right VMO is a bit sore/tight, so I got a couple twinges in the knee now and then.
Sat-AM: 50 miles (7:30) 2xGreen-Walker CCW-Eldo-Old Mesa-Bear
Green #1: (36:40) 16:15, 17:15, 3:10; Green #2: (35:35) 16:00, 16:40, 2:55; Green via Bear Cyn: (35:10) 20:50, 11:00, 3:20; Green #4: (38:30) 16:40, 18:25, 3:25. Green ascents 1,2, and 4 were all via the standard Gregory-Ranger route. Great day of running. Felt very solid all day except for the last 1000' of the last time up Green. Eight gels. Got drenched in a downpour in Bear Cyn. Soaked in Boulder Creek afterwards.
Sun-AM: 16 miles (2:24) Green Mt., up Back down Bear Cyn, 3000'
Gorgeous morning. Super relaxed 39:35 climb. Quads not sore, just tired on the downhills. 1mi barefoot at the end.
PM: 14 miles (2:00) Green Mt., up Back down Bear Cyn, 3000'
Huge (~2min) PR of 33:39 up the Gregory-Ranger route. Bonked hard coming down Bear Cyn (still operating on a pretty big calorie deficit from yesterday, I think), but came out of it and finished the run off nicely on a beautiful evening.
-Hours: 27h 30min
2010 Summits (Day 108)
Just a great week all around. As usual, by Wednesday I was recovered from the previous weekend and was able to put in a solid climb up Fern Canyon. As the snow melts out above the saddle on that trail I'll definitely be looking to get back there regularly (once a week?) and hopefully get a decently quick time in eventually. I was going to say something about how solid Thursday's run was then, too, but I've generally just been climbing extremely well all week long. To the point where I have to start thinking that a 33min ascent up the Front side of Green is pretty typical, as is 36 or 37min up the Back side.
My run this evening, though, was certainly notable in my eyes. Jocelyn and I were at the public library putting in a standard Sunday afternoon study session, but I couldn't resist the incredible weather outside so I slipped on my 5oz. hot orange slippers, shucked my jeans and shirt, and bolted out the doors for a late afternoon voyage up my favorite local peak. On the warm-up to the trailhead via 6th St. I could feel some surprisingly good bounce in my legs (considering 50 miles yesterday and the run up Green I'd already completed this morning), so was excited to hit the uphill trails.
(Forget training, shoes this hot will take 2min off your PR all by themselves!)
I chose my standard Gregory-Ranger route because I knew it would have the best footing with just one significant section of slippery, slushy, packed snow remaining on the upper switchbacks. My custom configuration of New Balance's MT100s are certainly extremely light and low-profile, but the featherweight outsole doesn't always offer the greatest purchase on non-dirt surfaces. Once headed up the mountain, I could tell right away that the legs were there. This was confirmed by my time-checks on the bottom half of the climb: 5:35 to the 2nd Bridge, 12:40 to my-rock-at-the-beginning-of-the-flat-section-before-the-creek-crossing, and a PR 15:25 to the Ranger Cabin.
Above here I wasn't sure how my legs and aggressive pace would respond to the stubborn patches of snow on the steep ridge section, so I just focused on dialing in the effort and was very careful to not overstep the boundary between sustainable oxygen debt and an unsustainable accrual of lactic acid. I've found that striking this delicate balance is the essential aspect to attaining one's absolute best effort in a hill-climbing test. Because, once that line is crossed, the mountain rarely offers any sort of opportunity for recovery and one is forced to slow down significantly in order to get back on the right side of things.
Fortunately, I did a fairly good job of keeping the effort reasonable and hit the Crest in 23:20 and the last-log-before-the-final-switchbacks-start in 28:00. From there to the 4-way junction, I was certainly slowed by slick slush and snow and was forced to hike a few steps, but still hit the final time-check in 30:52. The remainder of the climb was a hypoxia-induced haze of gasping, grunting, and high-knee stepping up the rocks until I reached the summit (but not the summit rock cairn...people were in the way) in 33:39.
I would definitely be interested in knowing what the FKT is on this route. With a completely snow-free trail and rested legs (as in, not the day after a 50 miler), I think I could maybe shave another full minute off this evening's time. My best empirical guesstimate is that the Gregory-Ranger route is ~3min longer than the shorter, steeper Amp-Saddle-Greenman route. Considering that Rickey Gates has slayed that in a stunning sub-29min time, I would bet that he could do something in the sub-32 range on the backside route.
However, tonight's sprint up the hill only makes me even more excited at the prospect of being able to some day soon have a legitimate shot at breaking 30min up the front. We'll see. We need to organize a reprisal of last Spring's 8er Time Trial series, don't you think, Jeff?
Finally, TV On The Radio is without a doubt at the top of my list of Bands I Still Want To See Live (okay, The Kills might give them a little competition), especially given videos portraying such peformances as this: