Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rather Evenful Week

AM - 6 miles - Ran a loop on the greenways here in town to loosen the legs up. Kept an honest pace, but nothing stellar. The weather was cool for a change and I just kind of enjoyed the jog.
PM - 9 miles - Up the hill through town to Mount Sanitas Park. Ran up Mount Sanitas, Racing some guy's relentless collie up the trail. Sat at the top, watching the sun go down for a minute, then took the East Ridge Trail down to the streets. I arrived at home to get a text from Sam, asking me to bring her some food at work. I was a running courier for the last two miles of the run.

Steady as she goes. Today felt pretty good.

14 miles - what a garbage run. All on the Goose Creek and Boulder Creek Paths. Flat, mostly paved with the exception of the gravel on the South Boulder Creek. Waited until it cooled down and missed the opportunity to run trails after dicking around all day. Pace was decent, but the run wasn't really of any quality. The silver lining is that it reminded me that I need to be consuming more on longer runs. 2-3 GUs per hour is my typical ultra race regimen, so I have to remember that for future reference. The scenery was good as I cruised down the path in view of the Flatirons. Something about running through a prairie with Johnny Cash in your ears just feels right, even if the run hasn't much training value. Tweaked my soleus on Monday, so I'll be nursing that the rest of the week. Oh well, its time to make friends with the hurt while I sharply peak.

5 miles - After I finished coaching wheelchair racing, I decided to do a few miles of my own on the track. Nothing crazy since I hadn't eaten or drank much in the heat of the day(99 degrees today). 2 mile warmup at a 6:30-6:50 pace, then a handful of 400s at a 5:10ish pace with a quarter mile rest in between. Ran on the lines of the track since its torn to shreds from spikes. My bare feet are incredibly sensitive from lack of skin-to-ground time. All this rugged mountain running is giving me sissy feet.

Though I did these repeats,  didn't do them to exhaustion. I got bored. Running at high speeds for a change was a short-lived thrill; it felt like work. The intensity of running up Sanitas on Monday was higher(to the point where my head was spinning), and it was a blast. It's quite amusing that running at an 18min/mile pace can be more intense than 5:15 I do miss workouts with my club at school, but for now, I think I'll chose trails whenever possible...Just wasn't in the cards today.

9 miles - Decided to do a little "speed hiking" to balance out yesterday's speedwork. Three hours(stops included) of powering up Green. Instead of quick turnover and running light, I decided to load up my backpack with a full 100oz bladder, a couple books, my camera, and my Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket. I also opted for the use of trekking poles this time. Though slow, this trek rates very high on my list of great runs. The adventure part was comparable to my 30 mile post holing trek in the back country with Jason Robillard. I had fun vaulting over rocks with my poles sliding on the slick rocks.

The weather was looking a bit ominous, so I packed my coat. I'm glad I did. A strong wind blew up as I hit the summit, bringing hail, rain, thunder and lightning with it. Apparently, if you want some solitude, you have to brave a little bit of shit weather. I'm from the Midwest. I consider this to be pretty bearable. I sat there, perched atop my favorite peak(what the hell do I know? I've run to the top of 4 mountains since getting here), watching a beautiful lightning storm roll in. Everything, for some reason, felt absolutely perfect, like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

The strange feeling of happiness that came over me while sitting in a lightning storm atop a mountain eating Oreos(12 chocolate double stuft) is something I'll never forget. I have these moments of clarity sometimes. Everything makes sense, and that safe feeling of home fills my mind. I'm no longer homesick for that place that has ceased to exist. If I could capture that feeling and always keep it with me, I could wander forever...and I just may.
I have a face better suited for radio than blogging.
I'll try to keep the camera pointed the other direction from now on.

13 miles - Pretty typical route. I'm not bored, but it gets boring typing the same thing into the log every time. Green Mountain again, but this time I had to duck out of the trails and hit the streets when it got dark. Better start bringing a headlamp if I insist on procrastinating all the time.

AM - 6 miles - Run/hike with Sam. Parked at the National Center for Atmospheric Research(NCAR) and explored some trails there. Its close to my usual routes, but I typically have 7 miles or so on by the time I get there. This where more of the Open Space and Mountain Parks trails are. Hiked up to Mallory Cave and ran back down, then hit the Skunk Canyon loop. Sam's getting in great shape. Since she's my only running partner, I hope that means that I am as well. 

PM - 4 miles - Had some time to kill between some work stuff and getting home from the hike, so I put on some music and went for a run in the sun on the Goose Creek and Boulder Creek Paths. I didn't look at my watch, but ran comfortably fast. Turns out, I had a couple quick miles in there. The whole run was under 7 minute pace, and the middle miles were about 6:20-6:30. Shit, I'll take it.

7 miles - Drove up to Leadville to check out the town and see some of the course. Due to my lack of planning, the course prerunning was a complete bust. Once I got over the ski hill at the starting line, I had no idea where I was going. The maps provided on the website show only the course, omitting the myriad of other two tracks that fills the area. No matter, Sam and I still got some hiking in at 10,000 feet and figured out where we are camping the weekend of the race. I didn't get nearly the miles in I wanted today(roughly half), but I'll try not to define myself by the number of daily miles run...even though I'm secretly freaking out about my lack of preparation.

Total: 73 miles
The Good: steady progression since Mind the Ducks 12 hour and move to Boulder hit the "reset button."
The Bad: I'd like to be pushing 100 miles before peaking
The Ugly: Leadville is in 2 weeks. Time think about tapering- ready or not.
This is the Mountain College's ski hill. The race starts and then immediately climbs it.
It's not long, but its steep

Sam hiking one of the two tracks.

I can see them closer now. I just have to figure out how to get there.
Desperately want to run these snow covered peaks before I leave.

See you in two weeks, Leadville!

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