Sunday, January 2, 2011

Week Ending Jan 2

Mon - 8 miles (500') easy'ish with Jason O. Felt pretty stiff and tight from the faster hardtop long run on Sunday. Jason had no sympathy and dragged me around faster than I would have liked. Something about payback for a couple of bonks I put him through this summer.

Tues - 12 miles (1,200') easy. Soderberg to Lory Visitors Center on Valley, back on Well Gulch - Overlook - Valley. Legs still a bit stiff from Sunday long run.

Weds - AM: 8.5 miles (700') easy. From home to Lory fence on valley trail and back.
PM: 7.5 miles (1,800'). Horsetooth Summit hard (23:50 P.R.) w/Rob, then back down via Wathen - Spring Creek - Falls.

Thurs - Noon: 14 miles (4,000') easy. Got out with Ryan B who is back in The Fort after his stint up in Gunnison. Great to have him back. We hit the Horsetooth sections of the Chubster in big flaky snow and slippery conditions. Cold out. Horsetooth - Summit - Horsetooth - Soderberg - Spring Creek - Stout - Herrington - Spring Creek - Towers - Westridge - Wathen - Spring Creek - Falls.
PM - 5.5 miles (1,500'). Vertical Beer Mile.

Fri - 12.5 miles easy (1,200'). To Redstone Canyon 4 mile and back. Very cold out, but needed this run to hit 4,100 miles on the year to keep up with Mr Consistency himself.

Sat - AM: 6 miles (500') easy. To Towers/Swan Johnson and back. Cold.
Noon: 8 miles (1,650') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Sawmill - Loggers - Herrington, Spring Creek, Soderberg - home. Good amount of snow on trail, but can't see it sticking around too long. Nice out with the sun poking through.

Sun - 22.5 miles easy. Bike paths. Was going to do the last seven at MP, but I bumped into Bryan G, who I hadn't seen in a long time, coming the other way early in the run, so turned around and ran 15 miles of the loop with him in the opposite direction than originally intended. By the time he peeled off at Shields, I couldn't be bothered upping the tempo so just kept running at what was probably a 7:30 pace the rest of the way on the Poudre trail and then back to the car on Overland.

Total: 104.5 miles (13,250').

First two days of the week were a write off as my legs were very stiff in the hamstrings from a faster-paced long run on Sunday. As a result, I didn't get to the track this week, but I did get in a hard effort up Horsetooth on Wednesday that somewhat compensates. That said, everything else was largely easy paced, so I need to get after the speedwork a bit this coming week. Glad I went easy on the long run today as I should be nicely rested for a hard session at the track on Tuesday. I'm thinking 3 x 3 mile at marathon pace.

Decided to bail on the two New Years 5k races as I didn't see the point in trying to run hard in the snow and ice. As a make-up, I'm thinking I'll head down to Lafayette on Sat/Sun (not sure which day) to run the Oatmeal 5k. Looks like they're putting up some cash, so there should be some speedsters to chase, which will hopefully help in posting a decent time.

Got an exciting running schedule figured for next year, I think. As with last year, the focus through the first half of the year will largely be on Western States. With so many other great races and adventures to experience in future summers, I'm pretty sure this will be my last WS for the foreseeable future, so I fully intend on going hell for leather if I'm fit, taking a few risks and seeing what I can do. As build up races, I'll be running New Orleans in Feb, Salida Marathon in March (love that race), American River 50 in April (I'm probably more geeked about the prospect of running AR than WS), and then maybe Jemez (or something else) in May. I mailed in my Hardrock appo this week, so that is floating out there as a post-WS possibility, but really the second half of the summer will be all about UTMB and Sierre Zinal, two races that I am super stoked to be running.

With the addition of Stella to the family and with Alistair starting big-boy school tomorrow, my running routine is about to be shaken up considerably. However, with the races I'm hoping to run in 2011, I'll just have to roll with the punches and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that I do what I can to stay fit. I'm predicting a lot of (very) early AM runs this year.


  1. Happy New Year Nick, I look forward to running with you in February!
    Sounds like you had a epic adventure with the arrival of Stella into the world. Congrats to the beautiful and safe addition to the family.

  2. Cool that your coming down this weekend, Nan and I are doing lafayette 5K this weekend too. Looks like the weather should be good...a lot better than new years for sure.

    The newborn scene definitely throws some curveballs at you as you know, but I'm sure you'll be able to work it out.

  3. Any other thoughts on ways to be a good father while still getting in 100+ mile weeks (run/life balance)? I hate that guilty feeling of leaving my wife and daughter behind while heading our for a 2 hour effort.

  4. Few folks that are deserving of that title before me bud - including you.

    I hope to make it and see you in Lafayette this coming weekend.

  5. Oh crap...I hope the grammar police don't read your (correct usage this time) blog...I really can't afford any more community service right now.

  6. Tim, yeah me too man. A couple of Green/Bear ascents could well be in order. Looking forward to the PI boys/gals doing some damage at WS this year, too! See you soon.

    Aaron, oh, Nan is running! Geez, I better bring my 'A' game - or maybe I just won't show. Oh, and I think the grammar police gave up on this blog (and most others) a long time ago.

    Slshine - not really, but I'll offer up what I have (off the top of my head).

    Obviously we all have unique circumstances and schedules that we have to balance, and I guess one has to weigh how much running means to you versus other activities/family/work/etc obligations to find that balance. Outside of running, I don't really do a great deal other than be a father, husband, employee - so I have no great qualms about the time I spend running. In addition, I have a broad community of running friends here in The Fort who are very inclusive of significant others and children, which helps immensely. I am also pretty fortunate in that I am able to work from home on a reasonably flexible schedule. This allows me to do the vast majority of my weekday running when kids/wife are at daycare/work making the meat of my training invisible, so to speak, to the family. For weekend stuff, the only solution I've been able to come up with is to get up early. For the alpine summer outings, this still means I typically take a full morning to myself (with drive time). The way we worked it last year was that I would then go out and run errands/grocery shop/play with Alistair in the afternoon for an approximately equal amount of time, so my wife could get some solo time to pursue her passions. The second day of the weekend would typically involve more family balance (and early morning runs).

    I guess we (family people) all struggle with the balance thing to an extent, but at the end of the day we'd probably be pretty miserable to be around if we didn't get time to do the things we enjoy (outside of family). Some choose to spend their weekends watching football on TV, shopping (or some other stereotyped activity) for an afternoon. I used to watch a good amount of sports on TV - I don't anymore.

    I try not to feel too guilty about it, but certainly strive to minimize the impact of running on the rest of my family.

  7. With that road speed, I think you have a shot at going sub-3 at salida. A lot depends on the conditions though.

    Put my name in for UTMB...maybe with two kids you will slow down now and I can keep up :)

  8. Nick - good stuff on UTMB. Seems like most of the CO trail running world will be relocating to the Alps in late August.

    On Salida, I am told they are changing the course for 2011 (more singletrack), which I'm kind of bummed about. I'm generally opposed to changing trail courses because previous times are no longer valid as targets, which is part of the fun in racing courses that have been around a while. Oh well.

  9. Yeah, I just checked and saw this:

    New courses this year. ~ 9 miles new singletrack trails (slightly rocky, twisting, hilly, narrow and the rest dirt roads and two tracks).. <1/2 mile paved. ~2200’ climbing in half; ~4000’ climbing in marathon with same descents.

    Couldn't find a map though. I would like to think the course will be better (more interesting) with more singletrack. But, depending on the snow levels it may just turn into a lot of post-holing. Certainly agree that now it is essentially a new race and all prior times can be disregarded.

  10. Good feedback...Thanks Nick. I'm always impressed by guys (you, Jaime, AJW, Carpenter, etc.) who can stay in top shape and compete at a high level while also maintaining family duties. Congrats on the forthcoming kiddo and best of luck in 2011.
    We've got a small/tough/scenic road race here in Montrose that you may look in to if you're bored in May...ask Burch about it.

  11. Nick,

    Great comment on the family stuff. Good luck this year. Can't wait to see what you can do at WS and with the "international" crowd.

  12. Nick,
    you know I've followed your epic year. Cheers.
    And here's to an even better 2011, which is scary.

    More feedback please: what's your honest take on the Pearl Izumi snycrofuel XC shoes? I saw you comment on the Peaks over on iRunFar. Peak vs. SyncroFuel XC?


  13. Nick,
    how we order PI shoes size wise? bigger, smaller?
    which is a good on line store to do it, any coupon code?

  14. Matt - I use the Fuel as my daily runner for the most part. Ran in them at Wasatch and WS.

    The biggest shortcoming of the current version is the tread, in my opinion, so I was a bit nervous about using them for WS with the snow up high. However, they got me through the snow well enough and then they were great for the rest of the run. For the dry trails that we run on here on the Front Range through most of the year, they are awesome, but in the snow and mud not so good. I'm currently wear testing the new generation, which is being renamed the PI Trail, and they have essentially taken a mountain bike tread and replicated it on the outsole. Much more aggressive.

    As far as comfort and fit, I love them. I don't necessarily subscribe to the whole 'minimalist' thing, so appreciate the extra cushioning in the midsole. The slipper-like feel of the upper is quite unique. The new version is out in the fall.

    The current Peak is a flawed shoe, in my opinion. Doesn't hold the foot well enough, has durability issues in the upper and isn't aggressive enough in the outsole. The new Peak, which is coming out in the spring, is a complete overhaul. I've been running in it since late summer and absolutely love it. Really, the only similarity with the original is the light weight. The new tread is awesome, the upper is bullet proof, it rides low to the ground, and it looks super sharp with some unique design touches. I still use the Fuel as my jogging shoe, but always go to the Peak for faster/shorter workouts.

    Girona - the shoes run true to size. Don't know much about European retailers or distributors. If you check out the PI Run facebook page they are pretty good about responding to questions like that.

  15. Nick,

    What an amazing year. Your milage is awesome. I have a wife and two kids (2.5 years. and 0.5 years) and get out three times a week and 20-25 miles with about 15 on national trust trails here in the UK. So to see you doing an average of 80 a week shows I need to prioritise more. Where in the UK are you from?

    With you Jez Bragg and Ian Sharman we have a good UK contingent in the big trail races now!

  16. Alex - I'm from Canterbury. Enjoy getting out on the North Downs and other trails when I'm home. There's nothing quite like the British countryside.

    I met Ian at Western States last year - nice guy. I believe he's shooting for the 100k national team this year. He'll be running at WS again this year, so looking forward to reconnecting there. Not sure if Jez will be there in June, but I would assume he'll be at UTMB, so it'll be fun to race him in the Alps if not the Sierras.

  17. Nick,
    I'm looking forward to seeing you and a bunch of the PI-Smith crew over in Chamonix. UTMB should be even more exciting that last year.