Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dec 17 -23

Mon-AM: 2:16, 3700' ~ 3rd Flatiron+Green Mt.
My scramble of the Third was pretty hairy with 50mph wind gusts trying to blow me off while downclimbing the exposed final pitch in running shoes (sans sticky rubber).  But I survived. To change things up, I descended the Ranger trail to the double-track that heads down to the Red Lion in Boulder Canyon and then ran back home on the Creek Path. This appears to finally be open to the public--no fences or No Trespassing signs anywhere.  Nice to really get the legs turning over for once on the long, smooth downhill.

Tue-AM: 2:49, 6500' ~ Flatiron Quinfecta+Green+First Flatiron
Awesome morning on the mountain.  I wanted to get out and do one more big scrunbling session before the snow hits this evening and I head home to Nebraska later in the week.  I started out sort of cold and sluggish on the link-up, taking an uncharacteristically slow 17min to scramble the First, but I got in the groove soon after that and enjoyed really high energy levels this morning as I worked through the rest of the flatties.  The Fourth and Fifth had a surprising dusting of snow on them that could've been sketchy if it had been just a little heavier, but I moved through it with no issues, even setting a PR on the Fourth.  After popping up to the summit of Green, I still felt so good that I decided to hit one more lap on the First Flatiron--I couldn't let my clunky performance on it earlier in the morning be my last effort on it for the next couple of weeks--so I descended back down to its base and fired the east face in 12:05, my best time on it since I took three weeks off back in October (my PR is 10:50, but that's in approach shoe sticky rubber). Executed the downclimb in an efficient 2:45 and descended back to Chat feeling super psyched on life.  I love days like this!
PM: 1:30, 1700' ~ Satan's Slab
Parked at NCAR and hiked up to scramble the slab with Joe and Dakota. Damn that first bit up the water groove is a little thin for my liking (5.6), but we made it through. Really nice evening up on the summit. It started flaking a little while we were up there and by time we had made it back down to the car the snowcloud had moved most of the way down the mountain. Probably the last scramble for a while.

Wed-AM: 2:13, 3200' ~ Green Mt.
Up Gregory-Ranger and down Bear Canyon. Ran up to Chautauqua in the fresh snow and then broke tracks most of the way up the mountain...maybe 6" on the summit?  Really only my second run in snow in Boulder so far this season, which is pretty crazy. Really enjoyed the extra cushion that snow provides.

Thu-AM: 2:29, 3700' ~ Bear Peak
Ran up to Chat to meet Jeff and George, before heading over on the Mesa to go up Fern Canyon.  Lots of wading through drifts, especially above the Nebel Horn Saddle, but eventually made the summit. Unfortunately, I had to return the same way in order to make an appt and leave them to return over Green, which I would've preferred. Quite windy on the summit.

Fri-AM: 2:01, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Up Amphi-NE Ridge, down Bear Canyon. Nothing very special about this outing except that it was so warm (40s) that I was in shorts and a t-shirt despite cruising through at-times shin-deep snow.

Sat-AM: 2:26, 4500' ~ Bear Peak & Green Mt.
Ran to Chautauqua then over on the Mesa and up Fern Canyon before cruising up and over Green on the way back.  While descending Amphitheater I encountered a large group marching up the mountain, which included Bill and Homie.  I carried Microspikes this entire run but ended up never putting them on due to my heavily-lugged shoes. Great run.

Sun-AM: 2:04, 1600' ~ Nebraska
It was about -2F this morning on the farm, but only a light breeze, so I got out for a tour of some of my old hills from my running roots.  Ended up doing an 18mi loop that dropped in and out of the Bazille Creek drainage and finished up with a 5:40 mile to cap off the sub-7min mile average for the morning.

Hours: 17h48min
Vert: 27,900'

Posted up a report on my Double Flatiron Quinfecta from a couple weeks back, over on the Ultimate Direction Blog.

Another week of mostly getting out and doing whatever moved me.  Tuesday was an above-average day of scrunbling, which was on purpose as I knew the snow and cold was going to move in after that. My first run back in Nebraska on Sunday reminded me of how much fun it can be to get out and just run with a quick turnover for a couple of hours...but also that it engages some different muscles even if my heart and lungs were barely taxed. Also, that Nebraska is f'ing cold in the winter!


Anonymous said...


Awesome few days it seems, and your killing the Flatirons kudos on doing your thing and kicking ass in the process.

Media Challenge or Fan Based Request Rather: Would be pretty cool to capture this Flatiron Quest via Go Pro curious to see this come alive and supplement your already detailed and well worded UD Article.

Take Care, Stay Healthy...

Peter N. Jones said...

Fun stuff. I used to do the Quinfecta a bunch when I was living in Boulder. Lots of fast times for the Flatirons (I helped build the trail to the first and got to know it intimately). One note on ascents of Longs - as far as I know, the most accumulated is by Shep Husted who did 350 ascents.

Anonymous said...


Great to see you're into Alt-J, nice and chilled running music... Check out this Tiny Desk gig they did, very cool!

eichhorst said...

Happy Holidays, Tony. Nice write up on the DFQ. You are wordy! - Can you recommend a good shoe re-soler?

Unknown said...

I agree...some go pro action wouod be cool!


Kemp. said...

This is off of the quinfecta topic, but given your regained fitness level and possibly newly developed love for scrunbling, will you return back to the 100+ miles per week training routine for your future races? In one of your old weekly posts, you were training for Western States and did multiple back-to-back high mileage long runs. I think you clicked off 200 miles in those weeks before the race. Was that all a part of your plan to prepare for the race? Or did you simply feel such a passion in your runs that you were amped to run that much? I know you may not want to share your answers in a public forum, sorry. But, either way, knowing a little more about what has gone on (and still goes on) in your mind would be nothing less than motivating.

Jason A said...

Alt-J in Denver. 4/3 - going to be awesome.

Anton said...

Kemp - It's a good question. I highly doubt I will ever deliberately run a 200mi week ever again. Seriously, it's pretty destructive. In 2005-2008, I did that quite regularly, but I was also living in Colorado Springs where the trails are gradual and non-technical, i.e. a 30hr week would easily net you 200 miles. Now, I'm much more motivated by the terrain and the landscape than I am by mileage totals, and that reflects itself in my daily outings. I will definitely still log 40-50mi long runs to prepare for the flatter 100s (WS, Angeles Crest, Leadville)--something I never did last year--but most of my day-to-day running/scrambling will continue to have much more of an emphasis on vertical, simply because that kind of "running" is more inspiring to me these days. It also has the added perk of being a more sustainable form of movement, I think, because all the (very) steep uphills carry almost no impact with them.

From a more numbers standpoint:
In 2010 I ran nearly 6300 miles in 956hr with 1.1 million feet of vert. That's an average of 9min/mile.

In 2012 I ran only ~3900mi in 794hr with 1.4 million ft vert. That's an average of 12min/mile. Hands-down, from a pure physics standpoint, 12min miles are imparting less impact stress on the musculoskeletal system than 9min miles.

Anonymous said...


I think you’re also getting a better overall work out as well, along with what you mentioned (less impact).

What I mean is, sustaining a higher heart rate for a longer period of time while getting high altitude during your “scrambling" compared to a lower heart rate while running several miles or more are two different animals. I believe you would do much better in competition with what you’re doing now.

For example, if you were to train like you’re doing now, and getting more vert and reaching higher altitude, along with a much higher heart rate. But only getting let’s say 10-15 miles total for that day's scramble. Compared to let’s say running 20-30 miles at lower altitude with little vert gain/ loss, while maintaining a lower heart rate. I would say you would be much stronger come race day with the formal version of training.

Your training is almost compared to HIT (High Intensity Training) which provides far more results than the later. Your created cast iron lungs with cast iron quads with little impact!!!

If you did the later (which you have done in the past) you would HAVE to run 150-200 miles a week to get the same results while breaking yourself down. So the old theory applies “Less is More” , and so is “Quality over Quantity”.

And that is why I think you will do much better in your races by doing what you’re doing now.

1. You will remain Healthy (Less Impact)

2. You will train in a more High Intensity Training Routine (Higher Heart Rate, Higher Vert) which will equal stronger legs with a better VO2Max.

3. Your more motivated which keeps your head in the game.

In summary,

Why run 200 miles a week when you can run half of that and still get the same results if not better? And you’re doing something new and you love!

Seems to me you’re on the right track, and it’s awesome to see you grow/ branch off. I mean come on, how long can a person run 200 plus miles a week before it gets kinda old?...You been there done’re doing bigger things Tony! Keep kicking ass and taking names.

*I'm just a fan and by no means is my opinion hold any weight. I'm just stoked to be able to follow you in the process and be able to add a few comments along the way! You’re a huge inspiration to a bunch of us*

Tom said...

What's your call on headlamps for night running?

Anton said...

Tom - It depends. For racing, I've been a Petzl Myo guy (150ish lumens, I think?). For training, I love the rechargeable Black Diamond Sprinter. 85 lumens is enough for training, it's lightweight and low profile, and you recharge it by plugging it into your batteries!

David Henry said...

A couple of quick questions:

1. Now that the color "update" to the 110 is out can you elaborate at all if the 1mm adjustment to the lateral forefoot makes that much difference on the run. Was it something you advocated for or just a response to customer feedback?

2. What have you been using for your winter mountain running (i.e. recent Longs run, etc)? I've been using the 110 winter for "trail" winter running (including a recent 50k), but the outsole is a bit lacking for more agressive running or any steeper off trail action and I find them a bit more loose in the midfoot and heel than the standard 110 (even though I'm sized down from a 14 to a size 13 in the winter version). I've ended up turning to the Inov-8 Oroc 280 or the La Sportiva Crossover GTX (on the heavier end and more drop than my liking but the GTX and gaiter are nice) for more technical winter running as the difference in grip is significant. Love how light the 110 winter is though for what you get in that upper.

Anyway, take care and looking forward to reading more about your training (are you still posting training updates this year?) and adventures in the future.

dyldahl said...

Interested on the same topic as David posted above at the end of his comment, "Anyway, take care and looking forward to reading more about your training (are you still posting training updates this year?) and adventures in the future."

Are you going to be routinely updating you blog still? You're one of the most inspirational ultra-runners and I would hate for you to discontinue your writing and sharing, however, real life >>> internet life.

Hope all is well Tony! and good luck in this year!

Anton said...

David - Yep, I will be updating the blog. In the next day or so. I've been wearing the 110W for nearly everything lately--I love the gaiter--but I must admit, mine come with a different's a proper fell-running outsole made for a UK NB shoe a few years back, the RX Terrain. I'm a pretty lucky guy.

Having said that, on Longs Peak, I'm wearing crampons a lot of the time (to not do so would be a death sentence)--the Kahtoola KTS Steel--they integrate excellently with running shoes and are the best light-and-fast option I've found for moderately technical alpinism (definitely not steep ice, though). The aluminum ones are too soft and don't have long enough teeth.

David Henry said...

Nice outsole on those RX Terrains. Reminds me of the Walsh PB fell racers (love those shoes for sloppy stuff). Looks like the sole on those is a more "sheet" type rubber like the Walsh or La Sportiva X Country so NB could likely cut them to the NL-1 last easy enough I would guess.

I received a pair of the Aluminum KTS crampons for Christmas but haven't used them yet...a little concerning about them being too soft (I had similar concerns about them), but didn't know about the teeth being shorter. I'll have to look into that.

Any comment on the 110 update lateral adjustment I mentioned above? I looked over a pair recently and couldn't really tell much difference (I never had problems with the first 110), although the upper seems like a slightly different material that is a littler softer and more pliable.

I really hope NB can expand the 100 series a bit. There really is room for more than 1 shoe in the series as the demands of trail running and mountain running are not always the same (particularly the need for lugs...for most races you really don't need them, even though I love them for most of the running I do).

I'll look forward to the updates on the blog. Thanks for taking the time to give feedback!

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I just realized you are from Nebraska. I grew up in Lexinton, NE and was wondering what part of NE you are from?

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