Sunday, June 24, 2012

Balancing Act

As I post this, Tahoe gets closer. 4 weeks from now, I'll be in Carson city either recovering from a successful run, or a flop.

9 miles - ugh. I really hate getting back into the swing of things after a few days of travel and busy inactivity. I now understand why it was so hard for me to train well in years past. I took the whole "rest is good" philosophy and misused it. Active recovery is good. Nonconsecutive rest days are fine. Several consecutive days of sitting in a car, on a plane, or other general ass time activities are not cool.
Home > Flagstaff  > Creek Path > Home. Slow pace, felt fairly shitty.

6 miles - My Aunt and Uncle were in town, so I went with them to Rocky Mountain to do a little hiking. Deer Mountain and some adjacent trails. 6 mile hike with about 1200' of up-ness. Great views, but I forgot my camera and phone. Too bad, because I was wearing plaid boardshorts on a hike while drinking Mountain Dew. Could have been a good picture for anyone who googles "tourist douche."

12 miles - Very cathartic run this morning. I felt like I finally sweated some rust out. Nice cool morning, so I charged Gregory Canyon and the Ranger trail to get the the Green Mountain Summit. (excessive capitalization be damned). I typically just trudge up this route, hoping not to get passed by a hiker in a floppy hat. This time, I tried to carry some speed. Including an extraordinarily long traffic light, a stop at the juan, and petting a puppy on the trail, I made to the top in 1:12.(six miles, approx 3000' up) Sat on the Summit for about 20 minutes just thinking about nothing. Had a GU, talked to some girl with cool dreadlocks and blue eyes for a minute, then scooted down the hill. A great run that remined me again that not all runs are great, but you've got to sift through gravel to find gold.

12 miles - a bunch of random jogs thrown together.
 -10am - 3 miles before getting lunch with Sam
 -12pm - 2 miles down to the running shop to peruse the selection of packs with Ely before our Summit of Long's on Saturday
 -3:30pm - 3.5 mile jog to work
 -6:30pm - 3.5 miles home

Kind of a weird ass way to get miles in, but I didn't have time for a continuous run today. I know I'm a huge puss, but I'm not a huge fan of running in heat. If there's a group outing of some sort going on, I'll shut up and do it. Mostly flat, and only dipped below 7min/mile pace a few times, so it was a pretty easy day. I swam for 30 minutes as well, which kicked my ass. 1 hard 50m swim and I was about to puke. No re-entering the tri world in the near future.

AM - 7 miles - My legs felt sort of sore this morning, which is weird since yesterday was so light. 30 minute warmup, then 10x400 on the track. Not a lot of consistency, but I kept them between 69 and 77 seconds, finishing up with a fast one. I may have run it faster than necessary, but if anything, I could use the mental ass whooping that comes from running hard. I wasn't very close, but for the first time, I understood why someone might puke from running too fast. A couple weeks ago, I managed to go under 5min/mile pace for 300m repeats. This week, for 400m. By my calculations, I should be able to run a 100miler at 4:59 pace by some time this November. Okay, not really.

20 miles? Hell, I have no idea. Long's Peak with Ely. 8 up, 8 down, and some ridges and exploring in between. There seems to be a good reason that most don't bother countin miles on this trip: roughly 1/3 of it is climbing, depending on your abilities. I pride myself in being adventurous, but my actual mountain skills aren't awesome.  Arrived at 7:20 to a rather crowded trailhead, and started our jog after signing in(and the ranger mistook Ely for Anton Krupicka). Once we ascended above treeline, we were quite surprised to feel the wind. Some 60ish mph gusts about blew us of the mountain as we climbed the trail to the Boulder Field, then up to the Keyhole. Of course, I pulled my camera out of my pack to find that I left my memory card in my computer. Total ascent time was around 2.5 hours, but we stopped frequently to look at the mountain, duck out of the wind, and talk to people. After finding a spot to sit on the summit, we ate donuts and drank hoppy, canned beverages. Scouted some of the ridges that lead into the Continental Divide for future endeavors(If I tag along, I'll have to get much more comfortable with climbing). The trip back down was quick, but one of the most technical descents I've done. So far, this tops my list as one of my favorite runs ever. We were on Long's for 7 hours, just bumming around and having a good time.

- MT110s suck royal ass on some of the polished rocks on the steep descents. A better mountain man could probably make better use of them than I. A tackier rubber, though less durable, would suit the upper part of the trail better. I'd pay dearly for a shoe that allowed me to use my finger muscles and curse words less often.

- My technical trail skills need sharpening- I keep finding myself in a state of apprehension when trying to cruise downhills. As I start my taper for Tahoe, I think I'll spend less time on mileage and more time just focusing(or not focusing, whatever helps) on floating downhill quickly and saving energy. Ely trotted away from me like I was walking. Granted, I had a track workout the day before, but my goal race isn't on a track, is it?

EP enjoying a Scotch Ale at 14000+'

Hanging out a few thousand feet from Chasm Lake(I think), pondering life's mysteries and getting a rather painful sunburn on my upper-upper thighs.
I ripped my sleeves of on the trip up, then tried to put them back on. Genius.

15 miles - nice and easy run with the club on the creek path. Ran to the meeting place, did 45 minutes up the canyon bike path, then turned around with Haylie for a an even 90 minutes. Toward the end, I could tell that it was all I needed. The day before had some serious climbs, and I felt a little fatigued. I finished out the week feeling pleasantly tired. Temps in Boulder have been in the 100 degree F range, so...that blows.

81 miles for the week. A good example of a lower mileage week being superior to higher mileage.I'd like to have done more early on this week, but as I mentioned, getting that rust off took longer than I expected. Great experiences and quality sessions throughout, so I'm very happy with the week as it played out. I had the opportunity to balance 5 min/mile track work with a long, technical mountain climb. I balanced out an easy day of multi-run cruising with a fast ascent on one of my favorite routes. Steady, easy hikes with the family balanced out by a challenging run with a friend. I laughed, I cried, etc. etc.


  1. I actually do okay at heights, but seeing others free climbing or perched on cliff edges gives me the willies. All of you Boulder bloggers are freaking me out all the way over on the east coast!!!

    1. I'm the same way. I can't stand watching a kid wander around near a pool or a ledge. The above picture of me napping is more dangerous than it looks. There's another rock just below me. I'm sure I'd bounce off it before plummeting down the diamond :)