Sunday, April 1, 2012

Week Ending April 1

Mon - 10 miles (3,000') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Soderberg - Rock - Horsetooth summit - Audra - Southridge - Rock - Wathan - Spring Creek - Soderberg. 

Tues - AM: 11 miles intervals. Cemetery/City Park workout with a small group. Workout was: mile, 2x800, mile, 2x800, 2 mile. Looked like I was going to be working by myself, then Mike showed up after the first (lazy) mile and started pushing the pace on me. Ended up being a bit of a weird session with splits all over the place: 5:34, 2:36, 2:39, 5:11, 2:41, 2:39, 11:06 (5:33).
PM: 7 miles (1,700') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Soderberg - Rock - Southridge - Soderberg. Sore in the groin, hip and lower back - which is never a good sign - but okay after 20 minutes or so.

Weds - 10 miles (3,000') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Soderberg - Rock - Horsetooth summit - Audra - Southridge - Rock - Wathan - Spring Creek - Soderberg. Tired the whole way around. No second run today.

Thurs - AM: 12 miles (3,700') Horsetooth Hell Repeats. This is perhaps the workout I fear most in the whole world. It's (not that) short, (not that) sharp, incredibly painful, and never seems to end. Start point for each interval is a mile up the Soderberg service drive where it connects with the Horsetooth trail. Quarter mile is at the first big rock, just before the (very) slight downhill; half mile is at the tree about six strides beyond the top of the quad-killing railroad-tie stairs; 3/4 is at the memorial/intersection with Southridge; mile is at the second intersection with Southridge (route goes right at first intersection). The workout goes:

3 x 1/4 mile (+185')
2 x 1/2 mile (+380')
1 x 3/4 mile (+550')
1 x mile (+680') + top out on Rock
Had Tri-Sam and Mike to work with for these, which helped keep the effort honest. Doing different variations of the same concept were Pete, Victoria, Kristel, Mary and Steph, so a good early morning group. Didn't feel like I was going to have much, but ended up running all splits faster than the three previous times I've done this workout. Times, with Oct.'11 (abbreviated workout), August '11 & April '11 in parentheses for comparison:

2:33 (44, 42, 40), 2:29 (44, 41, 44), 2:31 (39, 38, 45)
5:19 (40, 42, 44), 5:26 (43, 38, 49)
8:26 (50, 40, 59)
11:00 (28, 41)

So those splits are significantly better than last year, which is encouraging. I can't say I felt particularly sharp, but the beauty of running known routes/workouts is that the watch doesn't lie. Based on the above splits, I should be PR'ing on Towers, which I am not, so I'm a little confused right now but I'll take the good news where I can get it.
PM: 7 miles social run with 4:59 downhill trail mile at the end.

Fri - AM: 7 miles (1,800') easy. Horsetooth summit. Up Southridge/Audra, down Rock. 
PM: 3.5 miles (1,500') peakbaggin'. 'Sullivan Stump' (7,778'). I was done with work projects by the early afternoon, the sun was shining and the kids were with their mother-in-law, so I zipped out to the Big Thompson for a run up Sullivan Gulch to go tag ranked peak 7,778' (41 down, 214 to go).
Sullivan Stump (7,778') from top Sullivan Gulch
From the little-known Sullivan Gulch TH, a mile or two past Drake on the right (very easy to miss), it's a little under 1.5 miles and 1,300' to the top of Sullivan Stump, a summit with commanding views of surrounding peaks and a great line of sight down the Big Thompson Canyon. It took about 20 minutes to get to the top, so this is one you can easily sneak in on your way up to Estes Park, if you've got 40 minutes or so to spare. The trail up to the Sullivan Gulch saddle is about a mile and 1,000 feet of climbing and then there is decent trod most of the way to the summit from there. Came back to the saddle and followed the Sullivan Gulch trail into Sullivan Park to the north with the intention of intersecting the Crosier Mountain trail, but the trail petered out to nothing and I couldn't be bothered bushwhacking to find the Crosier trail, but I got some good bearings and am pretty sure I'll be able to find it next time. Fun little outing.
Some local favorites: Signal, Lookout, Crosier Mtns.

Palisade Mtn. down the Big T
Longs Peak Up the Big T

Looking down at the Big T from Sullivan Stump
Sat - AM: 22 miles steady. Got up super early to squeeze in some miles on a busy day. Ran the bike paths to max mileage on minimum time. Wasted 10 minutes waiting for Sarah, who'd slept through her alarm, but ended up meeting her coming the other way a few miles in. No watch, but probably in the 6:40 zone for the first few, then high 6:50s for the next 10 or 11 miles with Sarah before she cut things short on Shields. Dropped it back down to probably 6:30s for the last 7 or 8, and felt decent, if not great.
PM: 5 miles (1,000') super easy. Falls loop at sundown.
January: 330 miles (45,200')
February: 445 miles (58,500')
March: 501.5 (79,600')
Total: 1,276.5 miles (183,300')
Avg: 425.5 miles (61,100')

2012 Ranked Summits: 
Horsetooth (22)
Green Mountain (7,335')
7,098' (Poll Mtn range)
Goat Hill
Reservoir Ridge
7,260' (Ziggy Point)
8,415' (Leila Peak)
Mount Ethel
Buckhorn Mountain
5,740' (1)
5,740' (2)
Table Mountain (7,074')
5,773' or 'Aggie Peak'
Green Ridge (7,402')
Spruce Mountain (7,781')
Storm Mountain (9,918')
Sullivan Stump (7,778')

Sun - AM: 10.5 miles steady on the bike paths before the final T&H of the season.
AM (2): 5 miles (1,500') Horsetooth summit
. Stopped off on the way back from the T&H and grabbed a quick summit. Stitch from a fat stomach (2 bagels, 2 big cups coffee).
PM: 5 miles (1,500') easy
. Lily Mountain (9,786'). Went up to Estes Park with the family for the afternoon. Parked up at Lily Lake and then ran down to the Lily Mtn TH for a quick summit, while Dana, the kids and M-in-L enjoyed a nice stroll around the lake. It's just two miles to the top from the TH, with nearly all the climbing (1,000') in the last mile and the trail steepening up nicely toward the summit, which requires a bit of hands-on-rock action to get to the top of. The views west and north to The Divide are unsurpassed. The view of the Mummy Range in particular is quite fantastic and the complete Mummy Mania line is easy to pick out. As two-mile summits go, this one is pretty spectacular. Back to Lily Lake within an hour for a bit of jogging with Alistair before heading into town to feed our faces. Great day.

Total: 115 miles (18,700')

We've already had our first major fire of the season ... in March. This dry weather is really making me quite nervous. Here's hoping for major April moisture.

Fun and games next Saturday on Round Mountain for anyone who is interested. The Round Mountain ladder is a 30 mile, 10,000 foot beast of a training run, but the way we have it set up makes for a really fun and social morning. If you're going to grind yourself into the ground on a training run, then this is one of the more enjoyable ways of doing it.

Sad news out of NM yesterday. Rest in peace, Micah! 


  1. Nick,
    I knew you were fast, but I'm particularly impressed that you're already through the week ending tomorrow. Nice work!

  2. Bryon - it felt like an eight-day week!

  3. It's snowing/raining now! Let's hope we see more of this... no more fires this year! Great job Nick.