January: 440.5 miles (45,850')
Tuesday - PM: 9 miles w/4 @ marathon effort. With the windchill temps in the negative double digits, I wasn't much looking forward to this run, but thanks to the positive effects of scheduling with friends, it got logged. A few miles at marathon pace was on the docket, and Tuesday was really the only available day to get it done, so after a couple of e-mail exchanges with Sarah to make sure we were both still up for it, we met after work for a 30-minute warm up before hitting the one-mile stretch of bike path on the Mason Trail between Harmony and Timberline for some pretty serious arctic action. The wind was blowing hard north to south, so heading north for the first and third miles the running was particularly painful, with the second and fourth miles heading south feeling almost tropical by comparison. Workout went: mile, 2 mile, mile @ marathon effort w/2-3 min jog between intervals. Splits were: 5:58, 11:50 (5:45, 6:05), 5:29 (gave Sarah 30 seconds on this one, so ran a little harder to chase her down). Clothing for my run on Sunday in 60 degree temps @ 7500': shorts & T-shirt; clothing Tuesday in -12 degree temps @5,000': two pair socks, four layers on top, three layers on bottom, two pair gloves, two pieces headgear. Brrrr. Don't think Ive ever experienced such a wild temperature swing in such a short period of time.
Weds - Noon: 4.5 miles (900') easy. Falls loop. Super cold again, but the sun was shining and there was no wind, so ended up enjoying a nice little jog. Crunched through untouched snow, which allowed me to enjoy the footprints of animals that had come before. Followed some pretty fresh cougar tracks coming down from Spring Creek to the three-way with Soderberg for a while, then a fox for almost the length of Soderberg down from Horsetooth trail intersection, and of course lots of deer and birds.
Thurs - AM: 10 miles (1,400') hills. Centennial to HTH 5 mile and back with Sarah, Slush and Celeste. Cold again, so dressed in many layers, perhaps one too many. Jogged out in 43, back in 33:30.
PM - 6.5 miles easy. FCTR social run.
Fri - Noon: 4.5 miles (900') easy. Falls loop. Super sluggish.
Checked in with Mike T at Pearl on Friday to talk shoes for 2013. Scott J is holding the new Fuel XC (blue/black, to be renamed Fuel Trail), while I've got my mitts on the Peak II (sweet ride). The new road flat (Streak II in green, white, black) is coming out in a couple of weeks and is a really impressive shoe. I'll be wearing those at NOLA. Exciting time at PI Run right now.
Sat - AM: 10 miles (1,400') easy. To 5 mile on HTH course and back with Fort Collins Running Club. Some good banter with Slush, Sarah, Alex and Pete. Ian Sharman runs 12:44 at Rocky! Wowzer. Chalk one up for the Brits.
Sun - AM: 3.5 miles easy. Bike paths setting up T&H 8k course. A solid 42-runner turnout in cold and snowy conditions. Good stuff.
Total: 52 miles (4,600')
Legs have been feeling sluggish all week, but that's typical for this stage of the taper. More rest next week in the form of a daily 4-mile jog and I should be raring to go come Sunday. I'm still kind of clueless as to a goal time, so the plan is to go by feel at no faster the 5:45 miling and hopefully slip into a pace that I can hold for 26 miles.
In other news, my number was pulled in the Hardrock lottery today which gives me a few things to think about for the summer. I guess I was hoping I would miss the draw this year and then get pulled in 2012, but things rarely go according to plan when lotteries are involved. I have until June 1 to make a final decision without actually having to commit funds. Obviously if I commit the funds then I'll be looking to run, but if recovery from Western States is slow, I can still give up my spot to someone on the waitlist and get 50% of my entry fee back. With that degree of flexibility, I'm pretty sure I'll be sending in a check this month to hold my place.
I am guessing that AJW's 46:58:20 (18:46:51 & 28:09:29) is a combined WS/HR record, so that would be a fun target to chase. Anyway, focus is still on New Orleans for the next week, then AR50, and then WS/HR. One step at a time.
Great to see fellow countryman Ian Sharman dominate in Texas yesterday. Let's hope this is just the beginning of the 2011 British invasion. Both Ian and I will be running AR50 and WS100 this spring/summer and then Canada-based Brit Ellie Greenwood has to be among the favorites at any race she lines up at this year, including Western States. Let the pillaging begin (continue).