Mon - Noon: 8 miles (2,100') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Soderberg - Rock - Audra - Southridge - Rock - Soderberg. Took ages to warm up after Sunday's 37-mile effort, but felt reasonably smooth after a few miles.
PM: 3 miles (600') easy. Bench loop. All I had time for.
Tues - AM: 10 miles intervals. Cemetery workout with Jane's group. Warming up, I felt totally flat so decided on a tempo effort for the workout, leaving Mike and Chris to do the heavy lifting by themselves. Workout was: mile, 3x800, mile, 2 mile. I decided to run the broken 1.5 mile (3x800) straight through without the usual 20 second jog between the 800s, as I wasn't trying to achieve any kind of turnover results. Splits: 5:40, 8:30 (2:50, 51, 49), 5:36, 11:29.
PM: 8.5 miles (2,500') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Soderberg - Rock - Horsetooth summit - Audra - Southridge - Rock - Soderberg.
Weds - Noon: 12 miles (3,000') easy. Jogged down to Soderberg, then sauntered up Towers (now fully clear of snow and ice), over the top on the Secret Trail and out for a quick summit of Horsetooth via Westridge. Back on Audra and Southridge, with some additional jogging in the neighborhood on the way home.
Thurs - AM: 10.5 miles (1,200') easy with Sarah. Conversational most of the way, with a slight uptick over the last few miles. Beautiful orange and blue daybreak over Coyote Ridge.
PM: 10 miles (2,100') Towers time trial. 29:33. There are only so many times a year that I can find the motivation to go hurt on Towers for 30 minutes straight, so I was a little disappointed not to register a PR tonight. Nonetheless, I was only seven seconds off, so I guess I should be happy with that. Judging by my splits (and how I felt working up the hill), it is pretty evident that I started pooping out about half way up.
Splits (from memory) versus PR Jan 2010 splits: Towers - 2:41 (2:45), Stout - 8:24 (8:43), Herrington 16:21 (16:43), Top 29:33 (29:26).
I'm not sure if it was a help or a hindrance, but there were five of us lined up in the sub-30 group (Hinterberg, Erb, Malmberg, Burch and me). Hinterberg and Malmberg went out at a pretty furious pace, which I had no interest in covering. By the Towers turn (.45), they were about 10 seconds up on me and Brian, with Burch close behind. As soon as we hit the road, it was evident that Mike had gone out too hard, and I went by him at the Stout intersection; Sam was maintaining his gap though and I could hear breathing behind (Brian). The pace felt slow, but I was working hard, so knew that I'd be in and around PR pace; however, by the top of the middle grunt I just didn't have much left to give. Brian went by me some time before the Mill Creek grunt and I just didn't have the mental fortitude to suck it up and get on his train. The last two pitches were pretty pathetic and I just did what I could to get to the top without puking. I learned again that the best way to attack this hill (and most in general) is to start conservatively and ratchet the pace/effort as you go. Starting with five other guys in a quasi-race situation didn't help with that pacing strategy. I think my next PR will come from an organic effort on a low-stress individual start where I can crank from Herrington.
Fri - PM: 8.5 miles (2,500') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Soderberg - Rock - Horsetooth summit - Audra - Southridge - Rock - Soderberg. Bumped into Mike on the way up to the Horsetooth summit. He'd come over from the Soderberg side, running Towers just 40 seconds slower than he did last night at the time trial.
Sat - AM: 33 miles (7,500'). Green Ridge, Spruce Mtn, Storm Mtn big ass loop with Mike.
Sun - AM: 22 miles steady with Mike and Sarah. The classic shark's tooth route on the bike paths/Overland Trail. Helped pace Sarah on a split 15 mile marathon pace run. After a 2 mile warm-up, we went 4 miles @ Sarah's MP (6:40, 39, 38, 37), 2 miles easy, 5 miles @ MP (6:45, 33, 45, 39, 40), 2 miles easy, 6 miles @ MP (6:43, 43, 45, 45, 48, 38). Sarah held on pretty well and dug deep to hold pace over the last six miles; confident that she'll go 2:55 or better at the Colorado Marathon in May. All things considered, I actually felt pretty good too, and it was nice to be getting some turnover after slogging for hours on Saturday.
Total: 125.5 miles (21,400')
Pretty good week for the most part. I was a bit disappointed to come up short on my Towers PR attempt on Thursday, but that will come. Went easy on the first half of the week to give myself time to recover from the 37-mile effort last Sunday, then hit a hard effort on Towers and cranked out two bigger efforts Saturday and Sunday for a 55-mile, two-run weekend. Not too shabby. Saturday was a fun outing and a long, time-on-feet kind of effort, and then Sunday was a good cruise that felt pretty effortless considering the 33 miles and big vert the day before.
This week tells me that I may not be that sharp right now on the speed side of the equation, but that things look good on the stamina/endurance front: No major slogging through the tail end of long runs, just strong and ready for the next one. And I guess that's where I want things as I start getting into the meat of the 50/100-mile season starting next month with Lake Sonoma. Nonetheless, I'll keep working on tweaking that top-end speed, if for no other reason than I enjoy moving a little faster every now and then.