Mon - 7 miles (1,900') easy. Soderberg - Rock - Wathan - Spring Creek - Falls - home long.
Tues - AM: 8 miles of intervals with Jane's group at the cemetery. Workout was: mile, 3x800, mile, 3x800 on 20 second rest between 800s and 3 min before/after miles. Can't seem to get any turnover going at the moment, but it'll come: 5:25, 2:43, 2:44, 2:46, 5:22, 2:46, 2:46, 2:49.
PM: 6.5 miles (1,700') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Soderberg - Rock - Southridge - Soderberg - home long. Great dusk cruise blowing out some post-work frustrations. Starting to feel like I've found some of that early season hill-cruising fitness. We build from here.
Weds: 8.5 miles (2,100') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Soderberg - Rock - Horsetooth summit - Audra - Southridge - Soderberg - home long. I love the fact that we're stuck in fall-like weather. I don't think we're going to get a winter.
Thurs - AM: 13.5 miles LT. Met Sarah and Mike early for a 2x4 mile LT session on the Spring Creek bike path with 1.5 mile w-u/c-d and two mile jog between 4 milers. Goal was 5:50 pace heading east (on the subtle drop toward the plains) and 6:00 pace coming back up. Out was a total cruise: 5:58, 5:49, 5:53, 5:52; coming back up was more work than I would have liked (and I think breached the lactate threshold): 6:04, 6:01, 5:56, 5:57. Work to be done. Good job it's only January.
PM: 9 miles (1,800') Towers. Beautiful night out with no wind, so decided to try and push out a second tempo-type effort after easing into things on the lower sections of the hill. Up in 32:25 with some nasty ice up above Westridge.
Fri: 7.5 miles (1,100') easy with Brian E. Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Towers - Swan Johnson - Shoreline - 38e. A dusting of snow over patches of ice made for some pretty treacherous conditions. Brian took a really bad fall on the Falls trail so we cut things short so he could get home and clean things up and, as it turned out, get stitches to the back of his head. Ouch!
Sat: 10 miles (3,000'). Blue Mountain from Pinewood Reservoir.
Sun: 20.5 miles (1,200') w/5k, 10k double at the Frost Giant in Estes Park. Warmed up with 5.5 on the 5k/10k course, raced 5k, jogged 2, raced 10k, jogged 4.
Total: 90.5 miles (11,900').
A solid week of running without really pushing myself to get out the door. Even though the mileage is a little higher than I had planned for January, it still feels very organic at this stage. I'm definitely a step or two slower than I was last year, but then this time last January I was just about ready to taper for the New Orleans Marathon. Right now I'm just enjoying the mild temperatures, the company of good friends and some new peaks and places in Larimer County.
With all that said, I have been finding the mind wandering to June in the last week or two. The question I keep asking myself is what do I need to do differently to avoid the implosion I suffered over the last 10 miles from Auburn Lake Trails to Placer High? An easier January is, I think, part of the answer, but there will be no shortcuts. There's a lot of hard work ahead and I think I'm just about ready to get started.
On a different note, Pete and I have been blown away by the response to the Quad Rock race here in Fort Collins. The 25 miler is now full (although we do have a waiting list) and there are about 50 spots left in the 50 mile race. We're working hard to make sure we give you the best race experience we can.