Sunday, March 20, 2011


Friday morning this week I awoke to a slight smattering of wet snow here in town with the peaks above town exhibiting a frostiness that suggested there might be a little more snow up there.  Against my better judgement I headed towards Fern Canyon sans Microspikes anyways and within minutes of entering the canyon and engaging its merciless grade I was viciously reminded: building running fitness is all about patience--this route was way more difficult for me than I'd hoped.  It took all of my will power to maintain a running stride to the Nebelhorn saddle at the half-way point of the climb, and above there the fresh inch or so of snow hid and lubricated the sheets of ice underneath so that, without spikes, I was forced into a hands-on-knees hike the rest of the way to the summit of Bear Peak.

Sitting on the windless top of Bear, looking out over the serene inversion layer of clouds at my feet, I was simultaneously inspired and downtrodden.  After a week of running up and down Green Mt., I thought that maybe I was ready to step up my game a bit, but Fern showed me just how close to the edge of my current fitness I've been playing all week and that that level of fitness is still (duh, it's only been a week!) pretty low.

That's okay, though, because, for the most part, it's working.  I'm feeling healthy and am more thankful than ever for my ability to reach a peak-top every morning--I know that with patience and consistency my fitness will gradually build and the moments of flow and effortlessness will happen more frequently.  It's exciting to watch one's strength accumulate from what feels like the ground up, and I look forward to finding out just how high I can take my abilities over the next three months.

Mon- 12 miles (1:51) Green Mt., 3000'
Up back and down Bear Cyn.

Tue- 12 miles (1:50) Green Mt., 3000'
Up back and down Bear Cyn. Ran with Scott.

Wed- 12 miles (1:50) Green Mt., 3000'
Up back and down Bear Cyn.

Thu- 12 miles (1:50) Green Mt., 3000'
Up back and down Bear Cyn.  With the time-change, I've been catching some incredible sunrises this week.

Fri- 14 miles (2:17) Bear & Green, 4200'
~2" of fresh snow in the mountains made for poor footing on upper Fern. Felt really strong the last 30min, though.

Sat-AM: 12 miles (1:48) Green Mt., 3000'
Up back and down Bear Cyn. Ran into Brendan on top and then Aaron on the Mesa Trail.
PM: 8 miles (1:10) Flagstaff Mt., 1500'
70F afternoon had the trails crawling with folks.

Sun-AM: 12 miles (1:50) Green Mt., 3000'
Up back and down Bear Cyn. Pretty tired after Broken Social Scene's amazing non-stop two and a half hour set at the Boulder Theater last night.
PM: 8 miles (1:10) Flagstaff Mt., 1500'
1mi barefoot on grass at the end.

The BSS show was a $32 ticket--which is almost double the most that I've ever paid for a concert before--but they played basically twice as long as other bands usually do and the two songs below (videos not from last night, but from an NYC show a couple months ago) were--when witnessed live--worth price of admission alone.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Back At It

(Getting above the clouds this morning.)
There's nothing like a long absence from running to really re-whet one's appetite for it.  A couple weeks ago my sore foot was accompanied by a five-day flu-like illness that made getting out of bed a real challenge, let alone actually going for a run.  I took the obvious hint and submitted to ten days or so of zero running and almost no physical activity of any sort except for biking to and from class.

By the middle of this past week then, I was very curious to see where the inactivity had left the status of my foot.  A couple short test jogs were promising so on Friday morning I ventured up Flagstaff with Jocelyn.  This had no ill effects (despite viciously exposing my severe lack of fitness), so, after nearly a month and a half, I was finally able to return to Green Mountain the last couple of days.  With my body fully-rested and my mind eager, I'm really looking forward to the long, slow build in training over the next three months.

Mon- 0

Tue- 0

Wed- 3 miles (:25) Kitt

Thu- 5 miles (:42) Kitt

Fri- 7 miles (1:05) Flagstaff, 1500'
Easy with Jocelyn. Incredibly windy and the uphill made me nauseous for most of the climb, but the foot was very encouraging.

Sat- 10 miles (1:37) Green Mt., 2700'

Sun-10 miles (1:35) Green Mt., 2700'
A couple inches of fresh, sticky snow above 6500' did a nice job of covering up all the bullet-proof ice. Beautiful morning in the mist.