Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekly Summary: Jan 17-23

Foreshortened Green Mt. from the mouth of Skunk Canyon.
Mon-AM: 14 miles (2:11) Green Mt., 3000'
Overnight Chinook winds turned all the ice/snow to soft mush which made for very slow trail conditions.
PM: 12 miles (1:28) BHS Track
3mi warm-up then: 2x2mi+1mi @ 10:59 (5:31, 5:28), 10:53 (5:27, 5:26), 5:14 (2:40, 2:34) with 3min/1-lap recovery jogs in between repeats. 3.5mi cooldown.  From the start I knew this one was going to be tough due to dead legs from the weekend's 45mi long run, so I cut a mile off of the planned 3x2mi session at 5:30 pace.  Happy to have gotten this in despite the non-ideal timing.

Feeling pretty incompetent in a foreign setting. Scott (on the far turn) joined me every other lap. Photo: Jenny Uehisa.
Tue-AM: 14 miles (2:07) Green Mt., 3000'
The cold temps overnight set the ice/snow up nicely for one of the more pleasant footing experiences I've had on the mountain recently.  Bear Cyn was still awkwardly mixed, though.
PM: 8 miles (1:05) Creek Path+Kitt
Easy bit with Jocelyn and then 4mi barefoot at Kitt.  Ran into Schlarb there and we did a couple miles together before I jogged home.

Wed-AM: 14 miles (2:16) Bear Pk & Green Mt., 4200'
Enjoyed doing this loop this way because it allows for a mellow rolling warm-up along the Mesa trail before the real climbing begins in Fern Canyon.  Fern was awkwardly iced and I should've just left the Microspikes off until the Nebelhorn Saddle, but above that there was often almost perfect purchase on the steep, packed pitches of ice and snow.  I felt decent on the climb up Green and then enjoyed more good snow conditions on Greenman. Except for the really steep stuff like upper Fern the trails are probably best experienced in screw-shoes right now. Mild inversion this morning made for a scenic sunrise, too.
PM: 13 miles (2:02) Green Mt., 3000'
Up back and down Greenman-Gregory in the dark and falling snow.  I had my headlamp but it was a nice bright night with the new snow and (nearly?) full moon, even if that moon was mostly behind a good layer of clouds. Idyllic winter evening out on the mountain.  Finished up with a trip to the grocery store and a some snow shoveling.

Thu-AM: 14 miles (2:14) Green Mt., 3000'
Up back and down Bear Cyn and Skunk Cyn. Incredibly pretty morning at 12F and with the ~4" of fresh snow on the mountains. I was laying down first (human) tracks on the Green-Bear connector and saw the best set of lion prints I've ever come across.  There were more cat tracks later on down in Bear Cyn. Great run.
PM: 8 miles (1:06) Creek Path
Easy jog with Joe.  Witnessed a most spectacular and long-lasting sunset.
Full moon setting behind the shoulder of Anenome.
Perfect set of lion tracks.  Looking for breakfast?
Microspikes alongside cat paw.
Snow on flatirons at the mouth of Bear Canyon.
And with me.
Fri-AM: 55 miles (7:35) Colorado Springs/Manitou, "only" 8700'
Started at the CRC in downtown Colorado Springs, where I left Jocelyn at Wooglins--lucky girl.  Ran the Mesas to Garden of the Gods to Rampart Range Road (12mi/3000'+ climb to 9400') to the Overlook and then down the vintage ridge route to Waldo Canyon and then up Longs Ranch Road (3mi/2200' climb to 9200') and down to Barr Trail to Manitou to Crystal Park Road (8mi/2500' climb to 8600') to Dog Rock Trail to Section 16 to High Drive to Bear Creek and back to the CRC and then downtown to meet Jocelyn at Ricos to refuel. This was a very solid run. It took me about 3hr to find my groove but I felt very good climbing LRR and on the top half of CPR. The idea was to get in a "flat-ish" long run while still keeping it interesting with gradual climbs (except LRR certainly isn't gradual) and great views.  I expect I felt best on LRR because its grade is closest to what I run on a daily basis on Green Mt. Ate six gels after a breakfast of a couple tortillas and nutella.

I ran the loop in a counterclockwise fashion.
Full Ascents of Rampart Range Road, Longs Ranch Road, and Crystal Park Road. Not an insignificant undertaking.
Classic view of Pikes as seen through the arch created between the Siamese Twins in the Garden of the Gods.
Queen's Canyon as seen from part way up the Rampart Range Rd climb.  This is a geologic beauty in the Springs that many people don't know about because much of it is privately owned by The Navigators.  The preternaturally flat rim is a result of historical limestone mining and is now home to a healthy bighorn sheep population.
The view of Pikes Peak from the top of Rampart Range Rd at 9400'.  That's a lot of vertical relief!
The Longs Ranch Rd (right) and Crystal Park Rd (left) climbs as seen from the summit of RRR.  Kind of intimidating with 35mi left to go and dropping to the bottom of the valleys in between each climb. 12,400' Almagre Mt. can be seen in the upper right corner.
Following big cat prints up the Longs Ranch Rd climb.  The trail was nice and packed from the previous weekend's Ponderous Posterior 50K and Incline Club Double run.
A back-lit Dog Rock on the trail descent from the top of Crystal Park Rd to connect into the Section 16 Loop.
Also from the Dog Rock Trail--a view back across the expansive valley to the burly cleft of Williams Canyon.  Rampart Range Rd can be seen contouring high above it.
Finally, an example of one of the ugly realities of Colorado Springs. This monstrosity has gone up on the edge of Bear Creek Park since I moved away. I used to run this trail every day without this view.
Sat-AM: 12 miles (2:04) Green Mt., 3000'
Running at 5am under a brilliantly bright moon that almost precluded the need for a headlamp.  Up the back and down Greenman-Saddle Rock and then to the grocery store and back for some apples.  Took a while to get the legs working after the long run yesterday, but all in all this was a pleasurable run despite the incredible wind gusts. It was tough to get up this early and run up a mountain after yesterday's long run, but totally worth it. I spent the rest of the day at 10,000' up below Niwot Ridge snowshoeing/digging snowpits and looking at the stratigraphy, etc.
PM: 8 miles (1:03) Skunk Creek Loop
This was mostly a mental toughness run after a long day of physical labor in the cold and snow and an amber ale on an empty stomach at Wild Mountain up in Ned. Got it in, though, and was glad to.

Sun-AM: 14 miles (2:09) Green Mt., 3000'
Finally slept in this morning and felt accordingly fresh as a result. The track on Ranger was perfectly packed for Microspikes while there was almost no snow in Gregory Cyn. Great winter conditions. 25th Green for 2011.
PM: 8 miles (1:04) Creek Path+Kitt
Easy shake-out with 4mi of barefoot on the Kitt turf.

-Miles: 194
-Hours: 28h 24min
-Vertical: 30,900'
Obviously a very good week of running.  I'll probably try and hit one more track workout this week and then it's going to be time for a moderate taper.  It's been a short but good build-up.  I'm pretty much exactly where I would like to be going into an early season race like Rocky: healthy and reasonably fit but certainly not at any razor's edge sort of fitness as I will hopefully reach for the important summer racing season.


Rob Timko said...

Great Summary this week! Great running and awesome photos!

Thanks from Jersey!

Kris said...

Tony, how tall are you? I'm guessng 5'10"?

Anton said...

Kris- 6' even.

Dusty said...

Do you ever have any concerns running through mountain lion habitat? I had a recent close encounter (I surprised a mountain lion in a creekbed) and it's completely stopped me from running trails / dirt paths alone at night.

Ryan said...

Great post, Tony. I always look forward to your weekly recaps.

Charlie said...

You must have made Jason's day.

Charlie said...

Snarky commentary:

1. What a lovely McMansion you have there!

2. You have a typo for Fri. You put 55 instead of 5.

3. That mountain lion is clearly following after the previous runner on that trail. Tony could have been dessert.

4. Tony can get away with trespassing on Navigators property because he looks like Jesus.

Unknown said...

Your mileage never surprises me! Love the pics. Better get signed up for Rocky. They might not let you in :)

I am from Texas said...

WOW don't bash my pad, man. A very...very impressive week of running.

Unknown said...

Great week of running. I just love the photos. Awesome!

Jason Schlarb said...


Afternoon I'll admit, day is a lot.

Right after Anton took off from Kitts that day, James Carney (I've known Carney for a number of years) and his buddy happened to show up for a few laps... So I had the pleasure of running with both dynamically different NB stars that day.


Awesome week Anton, you are going to roll at Rocky Raccoon!

Brett said...

What did you run at Rocky a few years back? 13h28m was it? How do you feel now compared to then as best you can remember?

Anton said...

Brett-I ran 13:32 at Rocky 4 years ago. I'm way more fit and way more experienced now, no question. As to whether that translates into a faster time depends on two things:

1) If the "new" (more singletrack, same park/terrain) course is indeed as much slower as others have said it is (AJW has suggested 10-15min/lap; I can't imagine it's that much different)

2) Intelligent execution (but that's all part of the fun!)

Shane said...

Those awesome pictures are making this midwesterner salivate. You think there is a spare room in that new "house?". You have read "The Monkey Wrench Gang," haven't you?

Korey said...

I always enjoy reading your blog. Good inspiration for me. Puma prints are cool! I always wonder when I'll run into one out here in WA

Pez said...

Amazing Anton.
Great trains, great pictures.
You are really an inspiration.

Regards from Spain!

Jannicke said...

Fantastic run you had on Friday. The terrain looks just avesome.


Eric B said...

Great Pics Tony. Enjoyed your summary.

uhlir said...
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uhlir said...

Tony you stated you were 6'0" tall. What is your typical body weight from day to day?

jun said...

So, two outings with kitty-cat tracks and you still have never come across one? Sad. I'm still waiting for my first. I've seen a couple in the wild, but never while on a run. If you're anything like me you'll consider it an honor if/when you see one.

Anton said...

uhlir--i don't weigh myself basically ever. i weighed 154 at both the Western States and Leadville check-ins last summer, but i remember i was 142 at the finish of WS...

jun--nope, haven't had the pleasure of seeing a lion yet, but i'm sure many have seen me.

Wyatt Hornsby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barry Bliss said...

Anton, did you ever have a fear of lions, etc., or were you just never afraid?

peach fuzzzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peach fuzzzz said...

Are those the new New Balance flats your wearing on the track? When are those going to debut?

Anton said...

barry--i try not to worry about things i can't really control.

peach--the flats i'm wearing are actually a couple years old...the old japanese RC130s. I'm not sure when the 1400s (the new flats) come out. March, maybe?

Josh said...

Tony, what times are your am and pm runs normally at?

Coolrunnings said...

Tony, do you ever run in snowshoes? Can't recall you ever talking about that.

knix05 said...

Have you seen one time a lion when you run ?


Chris Gerber said...

That sunset on the 20th was off the handle. Snapped a photo (well, series of photos, then stitched) from Louisville:

vis said...

Nice new pick at the top of the blog.

Anton said...

Josh--Sometime between 6:30 and 7:00am and then whenever I can fit it in in the evening, usually 4 or 5pm, but 6 or 7pm is not unusual either.

Coolrunnings--I've never talked about snowshoes because I don't run in them.

Chris--Sweet sunset shot! Joe and I marveled at it that entire run.

Vis--You can thank Glen Delman for that picture. Summiting 12,600' Hope Pass outbound (45mi) during the 2010 Leadville 100.

Dominic Grossman said...

Did I spy a new MT110 with microspikes on next to the cat-track?

Zak said...

What white shoes are those, Anton?

Anton said...


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