Mon - 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls loop.
Tues - AM: 9 miles intervals. Phew, this was a cold one. The minute I stepped out of the car and my face started hurting, I questioned my sanity. Low-single-digit air temps are not ideal for interval workouts, to say the least. Nonetheless, six of us showed up and so we got on with it. Workout was: mile (cemetery), broken 1.5 mile (3x800 with 20 meter jog between 800s), mile (cemetery), lamp post 1.5 mile (hard/medium fartlek effort from lamp post to lamp post within the cemetery). Given the cold, I kept this at pretty much a tempo effort, running with Miler Ben the whole time: 5:40, 9:00 (2:46, 2:44, 2:47), 5:28, 8:40. Brrrrrrrr.
PM: 6 miles (1,000') easy. Milner loop. Felt like I needed to shake things out a bit from the morning so jogged a nice easy six.
Weds - Noon: 6.5 miles (1,900') easy. Horsetooth north summit via north gap, Rock Trail up and down. Beautiful day with temps in the mid 50s; so much better than yesterday.
Thurs - AM: 9.5 miles tempo. Jogged to Spring Creek bike path from Maxwell, then 20 mins out and 20 mins back at tempo. Ran this one a little slower than marathon effort - 10 secs slower coming back (slightly uphill).
Fri - Noon: 7 miles (1,800') easy. Horsetooth north summit via Southridge/Audra/North gap. Just another beautiful day on the Front Range. Wowzer.
Sat - 25 miles (5,300') easy. Headed down to the Springs early with Slow Aaron Marks to run the third and final installment of the Front Range Phat Ass series: Ponderous Posterior, although technically Fort Collins' 31 miler was the only real Fat Ass of the ultra series. Anyway, we were greeted with bright sunshine and balmy temps for this scenic tour of the Cheyenne Canon area. I was super impressed with the trails and vistas down in the southern Colorado Springs foothills. The country back there is noticeably more desert-like than it is just two hours north up around the Fort, and the hills surrounding the always impressive Pikes Peak are just a lot bigger, giving a nice sense of perspective to the area. The run ended up being super casual, both in terms of the average grade and indeed the overall pace, which made for a really pleasant morning of running. Ran with Pedatella, Jurek, Ricks, and Dave Phillips through the first half, before mercilessly dropping Jurek & Pedatella and continuing on with Ricks. So anyway, a super fun morning shooting the breeze with the boys and then kicking back and enjoying a few brewskies at JTs after. Ah yes.
Sun - 12 miles (3,000') easy. Blimey - a bit bruised from yesterday's casual outing it seems. I ended up procrastinating on today's run until the last possible minute, finally getting out the door a little after 11:00. My left knee, it seems, has developed a bit of old-man syndrome (a strange disorder where random parts of your body hurt for a few weeks before settling down and allowing the pain to relocate elsewhere), while my quads were noticeably sore. Just some early season seasoning going on, I hope. Anyway, started out with a hobble up Horsetooth for a north gap north summit, then headed north on Westridge/Secret, Towers, Carey, Loggers, Stout, Spring Creek, Falls. Finally felt warmed up after the Horsetooth climb and enjoyed a nice cruise around the park, before I was rudely interrupted by, and forced into polite conversation with, Slow Aaron Marks from the Falls back. Another gorgeous day on the Front Range.
Total: 80 miles (14,000')
I fully feel like I am back in the training groove after this week. I'm still working hard to ensure that I keep things under control through these early weeks before the real madness begins in March/April/May. It felt good to get a couple of 3,000'+ runs in this past weekend, and for as achy as I was feeling on Sunday it was really encouraging to feel things open up after a couple of miles.
Quad Rock: the 25 mile loop is sold out - wait list is open. The 50 mile still has a good number of spots left, but we expect it to sell out by the end of next month.
I've got this crazy race in Nicaragua coming up next month. It wasn't part of the plan until a few weeks ago, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I'm really not quite sure what to expect from the course, but the two volcano climbs look really gnarly and I'm fully expecting a solid ass-whooping. Apparently 11 hours is the mark to beat, so I'll be shooting for that I guess.
Not much else going in my running world right now. Work is busy - and just got a whole bunch busier - which is going to add an extra level of challenge to this year's campaign, but we'll make it work. Up at 4:00 am, if I have to...