Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week Summary: Feb 20 - 26

Mon-AM: 1:16, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up 1st Saddle, down 3rd access. Ran into Scott, Jenny and Walter on the summit (or rather they ran into me as I was sitting up there), so I spent almost a half an hour on top. Was pleasantly surprised to find decent snow conditions on the lightly-traveled descent that made for minimal frustration. All hiking.
PM: 0:16, Streets
Did a little test jog on the Tight-ish and twingy, so wasn't super encouraged.

Tue-AM: 1:15, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle.  Some pretty significant drifted windpack on sections of the trail. All hiking. Also, acupuncture.

Wed-AM: 1:22, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up ASG-ish, down 1st Saddle. Horrible punchy, slippery windpack due to nearly 90mph gusts with lots of sand-blasting of exposed skin with ice crystals, courtesy of said wind gusts. Tough morning on the mountain for sure. Tossed in a minute or two of shuffle-running here and there on the descent. Shin responded not completely unfavorably.

Thu-AM: 1:17, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. Crazy conditions on the trail. Deep slush down low, postholed slush up high, all covered in an inch or so of new snow. Dead calm, though. Like yesterday, 95% hiking with a few steps here and there on the descent of running-like motions.

Fri-AM: 1:01, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. Hiked the up but ran the entire descent (17min from the summitpost to the bottom of Amphitheater).  This was enormously encouraging, and a lot of fun. Walking downhill sucks. Got some acupuncture afterwards.

Sat-AM: 1:18, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. Ran from my doorstep, hiked the climb, and then ran from the top all the way back to my front door, so, ~40min of running, but split up. Shin seemed to get better as the run went on. Was very proud of myself for exercising some restraint on this gorgeous 60F day and not getting out for an afternoon ascent. Even though I would've (obviously) limited myself to just hiking, I'm trying to be smart.

Sun-AM: 1:19, 2800' ~ Green Mt.+barefoot
Up and down 1st Saddle. Really great outing. Shin felt even better today. This run was an exact repeat of yesterday except that I snuck in some small bits of running here and there on the uphill and then did 8min of barefootin' around the cemetery on the way home. It's been over a year since I've done any barefoot running and it was pretty glorious to free the toes once again, even if it was on frozen, lumpy, dead grass. I feel like the very specific strengthening that this activity offers is something that has been missing from my shin rehab, but this is the first time that confidence in my shin and (relatively) appropriate weather conditions have coincided since I broke my leg last summer.

My trip up and down the hill today was notable in that, for some reason, my legs were working particularly well.  I didn't feel like I had exceptional power, but for the same usual effort I was minutes faster than what has been normal, even though I felt like I was going the same pace.  A big part of that was that this morning's trail conditions were fairly tacky and fast after yesterday's warm temps (trail conditions were terrible most of the week because of the wind).  At any rate, I managed a 32:25 ascent (to the tippy top) paired with a 14:32 descent (with no pause on top) for a 46:57 roundtrip from the Gregory parking lot.  I was doing a fair amount of pussy-footing on the way down because there are starting to be some semi-treacherous icy sections, so I could see shaving maybe another minute off of this with just some sharper spikes and a more focused effort.

Hours: 9h04min
Vert: 18,100'

I was sort of just going through the motions all week, feeling like my shin was in a sort of frustrating limbo between being fine while hiking but questionable while running.  As has been the case several times over the last 13 months, a little bit of running seemed to be exactly what it needed to get over the hump, though, and now I'm hoping to just maintain this running volume (no increasing) for a good chunk of time as I start adding in some evening strictly hiking sessions. At this point, I really am grateful for any amount of running I am able to do pain-free, so I'll take it.

#60 Thursday morning. Bear Peak across the canyon in the clouds.
First Flattie from the back with a fresh dusting.
La Blogotheque delivers again. The astute may recognize this as the track playing in my section of Unbreakable; I love The Walkmen. I mean, come on, that's some pretty gnarly whistling.

The Walkmen - On the Water from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.


Wyatt Hornsby said...

Pulling for you, Anton. I battled post-tib in November, December and January amd know how frustrating it can be (still not 100% but better). Here's to a fantastic 2012 and lots of good health for you!

(Sure wish you were doing Leadville this year!)


Juan Pedro Hernández de León said...

Congratulations on the full work week!! is a pleasure to see you again feel free to run.

Olga said...

That is patience and perseverance. I bow to you.

Buzz said...

NIce photo's!

Mike said...

I've followed your blog for a while now but never commented. Your patience and intelligence is truly admirable - it's nice to see a positive trend which I hope will continue!

Also, what Buzz said..sweet photos, as always. What kind of camera do you run with?

Rock on,

coach dion said...

That picture of the mountian is amazing would love to run up there with you... ok hike up there!!!

Pez said...

Dear Anton,
here we are pushing and sending you good vibrations from Alicante (Spain).
Your way of understanding life as an addition of simple things as a pair of legs, mountains or a cup of tea is a inspiration for lots of us.

Glad to see you running again and better than past week.

Hope to see you in 2013's UTMB.
Thank you.

Ken Bess said...

It's awesome that you're keeping your spirits high. I'm glad you had a pain free week.

I'm excited for the shoes man, I lust after them every time you post your pics. Is there a loop at the toes or some way to attach full length gaiters? Around here anything above 8000 feet requires some serious postholeing.

Tim Finocchio said...

Had same issue with Tib, ultrasound worked impressively along with deep tissue massage immediately after the ultrasound.

Unknown said...


Not sure if you've ever listened to Mumford & Sons but I think you might enjoy their music

Jason said...

What's with the hydration pack lately? Are you considering it for races?

Anton said...

Ken - Yeah, the no-laces thing on the Smurf boots makes it so you can't hook a knee-high gaiter on, but I've worn knee-high gaiters maybe half a dozen times with these shoes (and postholed at least up to my knees) didn't have any issues with snow getting packed under the gaiter. Might've cinched down the instep strap an extra notch, though, just to make sure.

C.J. - Yep, fan of M & S.

Jason - On this particular hike I was biking to the trailhead and just needed a way to carry my KTS Crampons (a little big to just tuck in the waistband :) I also had poles, so put those in there too when I was biking. But, yeah, I'll be using an Ultimate Direction pack here and there getting things dialed in for carrying the mandatory gear that is required in most European ultra mountain races.

Kristian Day said...

Hey man,

Must be frustrating to constantly battle with your leg! Either way, looking forward to having you around New Zealand for TuM next month.

P.C, reckons you might head over to Natty park and run the crossing.Cool!.

There's far more brutaly technical running around there though, so hope you get to explore some other gnarly tracks, other than the stock standard tourist highways.

Anyway, Keep well, run fun & I'll hopefully be able to meet you next month!



Jason Schlarb said...

On the first day of last weeks wind blasting, Tuesday, I was happy that you had been up Green already. Your up and down track made my run more of a run. I'll do my best to return the favor and set some tracks, but running from N.Boulder Park usually puts me behind you.

Shane said...

Loving your perseverance, Anton. And that picture of the flatirons is absolutely incredible - thanks for sharing it!

Campbell said...

Hey Anton. Looking forward to meeting you at the Tarawera Ultra & glad you are making the journey downunder, can promise that you will not be disappointed.

Tim Hartmuller said...

Hey Anton,

Im a huge fan. You are truly an inspiration to us distance guys. I have been keeping up with your blog for some time now, and I keep reading about this battle with the shin. I know you took a lot of time off...but sounds like there is still a lot of scar tissue.

I definitely know your frustration, spending most of my college cross country career battling nagging injuries. I know my opinion can be taken with a grain of salt, and you have probably discussed a lot of this with friends, but maybe the stress of mountain running/hiking is too much for your shin to handle at the moment. (your cardiovascular fitness is there for sure) I know your passion fuels you. And I'm not saying stop running. I believe that a body in motion will keep the blood flowing and promote a quicker recovery than sitting on the couch. From my experience, coming off of a nasty hamstring injury this summer, I started back by jogging for 5min and then walking barefoot for five min. slowly increasing time on a flat surface. To keep my fitness level up I cross trained a ton and swam. I know you probably don't want to go to the gym, so get creative and maybe try some cycling in the hills or mountain bike? With this process I went into my last XC season feeling pretty fit and now Im up to 60mi a week and doing workouts at 4:45- 5min pace. (not on the trails) And I feel the best I've ever felt. (and slowly have weened off of cross training) I think a plan like that would keep your fitness level up and also give your shin some time to break up all of that scar tissue. I know ow hard this is considering your passion is in the mountains....I met and spoke with Dr. Jack Daniels last week, Author of Daniels running formula. One of his biggest points he stressed was if you are given two options, pick the less stressful. Take it easy on your body and let it recover. He also stressed consistency.

I really want to see you out there dominating again so please get well soon and stay positive! Do you take any vitamins or supplements? I would suggest vitamin D, Vitamin E, and a multi. Also liquid Iron. Have you tried using any compression on the shin? I know that research has proven that compression improves recovery. Keep your head up Anton! and Thanks for all that you do for the running community.

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