Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week Ending March 13

Mon - AM: 11.5 miles (2,500') easy. 38e - Bluesky - Towers - Secret Trail - Westridge - Rock - Audra - Southridge - home long way. Cold and dank out. Procrastinated on getting out the door, but convinced myself eventually. Cold until I started up Towers, then all was well with the world.
PM- 5 miles (1,100') easy. Falls loop, long way home.

Tues - AM: 8 miles intervals. Workout with Jane's group: mile Indian file, lamp post mile (fartlek), 2(2x800) on 20 sec rest, mile. With Salida upcoming and a tired pair of pins, I largely cruised the workout, picking it up in places: 6:05, 5:40, 2:52, 2:46, 2:58, 2:42, 5:27.
Noon: 7 miles (1,600') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Herrington - Spring Creek - Soderberg - home long. The park was stunning today. A two-day fog was in the process of lifting, leaving behind a wonderland of frozen frost-covered vegetation glimmering in glimpses of golden rays.

Weds - AM: 5 miles (1,100) easy
. Falls long. Wow, tired legs.
Noon: 9 miles (1,000'). Blue Sky with Aaron to 'Golden Eagle Gate' and back at an up-tempo effort. Tired again.

Thurs - AM: 10 miles (1,400') hills w/Slushtenstein. To HTH 5 mile and back on Centennial. Out in 39:55, back in 35:40 (7:38, 7:10, 7:27, 6:57, 6:27). Ran with Scott the whole way.
PM: 10 miles (2,100') Towers. 37:02. Warmed up with three to Sawmill, then ran steady to catch up with Cat who I ran with from Carey Springs to help her push out a PR. Beautiful evening out. Last stretch of Towers was still icy.

Fri: 5.5 miles easy in Salida. Felt sore, tired and generally lackadaisical.

Sat: 26.5 miles (3,500'). 3:08. Salida Marathon.

Sun: 15 miles (3,700'). 2:35. Southridge - Audra - Horsetooth summit - Westridge - Mill Creek - Loggers - Sawmill - Valley - Towers - Stout - Spring Creek - Falls - home long. Woke up early and got out the door before I had time to think about bailing on the run. The legs felt slow but generally pretty good. I was up on top of Horsetooth before I was even really awake - almost dreamlike. Working up the hill I had been sitting in a cloud of fog, but on top of the rock the early morning sun was burning strong, a couple hundred feet above the rolling mist. The rock was a little sketchy, encrusted with ice, so I had to be super careful getting up, but up on top the views of the socked-in valleys and canyons below were sensational. I couldn't help but release a primal yelp. The rest of the run was a bit of a slog, but then that's the purpose of getting out on a run like this the day after a hard long effort. Got to get out there and work through some leg fatigue so it hopefully feels a little easier on race day at, say, mile 80. Home for a serving of Ultragen followed by a huge serving of bacon, eggs, toast, avocados and coffee, and a round of superheros with Alistair. Great way to round out the week.

Total: 112.5 miles (18,000')

So another strong week. Trained straight through Salida, which meant I toed the line with a pretty tired pair of pins. I'm at a stage of the building process right now (week three) where the legs are tired and generally lethargic for a majority of my runs. This is pretty standard, especially with the big vert I have been putting in of late, but if history is any guide that fog will soon lift and I should be holding this volume quite easily after a another week or two.

Already this week, I can feel some of that strength in my legs that I was feeling in May and June of last year. The recovery from Salida was an excellent example of this. I don't think I totally maxed my effort there, but I was certainly going hard enough that recovery was a concern. For my run on Sunday, however, lethargy was really the only factor in play as there was very little soreness. To me, this ease of recovery suggests that my legs are adapting well to the load and should be rock solid for the bomber Western States descents come June. If I can stay healthy, I'm starting to feel good about my chances there.

Moving right along. We had a record turnout of 34 runners for the Towers TT on Thursday, which was great to see. Times have been updated. Hopefully we'll build on these numbers through the spring and maybe get a few 50-runner turnouts come peak season. Pete and I have been tossing around the idea of an official Towers up and down 10k race for spring of next year: your slowest and fastest 5k in the same race. Seems like it could be a fun event.

Speaking of Fort Collins Trail Runner events, Alex May has a little something brewing for this Saturday. Giddy from the success and fun of our winter shindig, Alex will be hosting the March Mileage Madness Horsetooth Circumnavigation. Starting from his house near Pineridge, there will be three 'official' routes (9, 23 and 34 miles). For those training for spring marathons, the 23 mile route can be adapted to yield a run that is mainly asphalt by replacing the Foothills section with Centennial roads. However, the official 23 & 34 mile routes will avoid asphalt at all possible opportunity for a total of only 6 or 7 miles of pavement. The 34-mile route will head up into the Horsetooth/Lory hills on the west side of the reservoir for the ultra-inclined among us, whereas the 23-mile route will stick to the traditional valley trails.

Teammates Scott Jaime, Tim Olson, Josh Brimhall and Darcy Africa are off to Washington state this weekend to run the Chuckanutt 50k, and I have to say the field is loaded with talent
(especially on the men's side). To date, this is far and away the race of the year and it should be interesting to see how it plays out. Tim is coming off a strong 4th place run at Way Too Cool this last weekend, which is certainly not optimal for Chuckanutt, but I still expect him, Scott and Josh to run well. I count 10-15 guys who should have a shot at the podium. Not sure how many of them will be beaten by Ellie Greenwood, but I'd bet that at least a few will.

And finally, I've always wanted to go to Kyrgyzstan, and now that they've named a peak after Vladimir Putin, I'm even more excited at the prospect. A summit of Mt. Vlad is now firmly on the bucket list.

14,582' Mount Putin in the Tien Shan Mountains.


  1. If I understand the fine print correctly (my Russian is not that good; only one semester of class in college), aspirants wishing to summit Mt. Vladimir Putin must do so shirtless and wearing camoflague cargo pants, and carrying a foot-long knife between their teeth. Otherwise it's not an official summit attempt. And they are not allowed to carry any water or food, but they are allowed to kill and eat any thing they can catch on the way (hence the knife).

  2. I found your week end sports very exciting

  3. I could not have come across this blog at a better time. I'm training for a ten miler and need the inspiration! Thank you!