Monday, August 31, 2009

Back in the Game

This was a good week of training and I do feel a bit fried from the effort. Sort of a good fried though, sore, not hurt.

Tuesday was a good reflection of some of the tempo work I've done, knocking out fourteen miles negative split with a really hard last mile effort.

Took Wednesday nice and easy with Rachel and X at the park, and Thursday was a moderate 10 without much effort.

I was able watch my wife race on Saturday morning, which was great and for a good cause. The E-Race Homelessness 5K and 10-K was put on by some top class people and turned out some quick times, I think the top 2 males broke 16:30 and there were at least a few 10K'ers that broke 36 minutes. Better than I (WAY better).

Sunday was a day for me to get in a long run, and Gunner and I headed over to Golden to run up the saddle, but about a mile in we were hunkered down by lightning and thunder which brought out some impromptu speedwork and a 6:50 mile back to the car where we booked it out of there.

I was really bummed because I had been looking forward to that run all week, and I'd already run twice on the Highline. But any run with Gunner is a good one and we were chatting and laughing for a good portion of it. All in all it was 49 miles for me, most at a decent pace, and though I had intended to break 55 miles, I feel that the effort I did put out was more than worthy... Wyoming this week, here I come!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Life's other Adventures

Sometimes life changes things up. Such was the case this week. I had known going into the week that I was not going to be able to run Saturday and Sunday due to one of my really good friend's bachelor party in Ft. Collins Saturday night. Intending to take Monday off I errantly missed Tuesday's run for some good catching up that needed to be done with my aforementioned friend over a Guinness.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday brought out medium runs with decent pace minus Friday where I felt horrible, pukey (not sure if that's a word), and slow.

Wednesday I ran twice, once with the Runner's Roost and then again by myself at the park. Thursday was 4 loops at Wash Park where I almost lost my mind but ran faster to get the "looping" done with and felt good about my fitness. Friday had an OK run at work on the treadmill next to a big boss lady who is really cool.

Saturday I allegedly did some running after last call. I will neither confirm nor deny any actions. :)

Total running: Measly 33 miles.

Big week coming.

Also side note, bruised the bottom of my left foot pretty bad. Sat and Sun helped, will take today to finish icing/rest and hit it back tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Stars Align

What a great week of running! Saturday I went out with the Evergreen Runner's Circle at Flying J and brought the wife and little man. It was a good run, with a decent turnout. Mary was back for the first time in a while, Joanne, John, and Norm all joined in as well. John's gearing up for Leadville next weekend, good luck man! It was a fun run, did a couple loops with Xavier in the jogging stroller and capped it off with a run by myself in the opposite direction.

Sunday saw Gunner and I heading off to do Evergreen Mtn. from the Dedisse lot. It was a great 16 mile loop run with some great climbing and moderately technical descent. Weather was perfect, nice and cool with a slight breeze and we didn't have to use the headlamps too much because of all the stars. On the way down we decided to take a loop around the lake because we'd cut the trail up in Alderfer by a few miles and it was a wonderful decision.

Coming around the south side of Evergreen Lake, just past the boarwalk, it was starting to get pretty dark but as we passed this man I just caught a glimpse of a man and I knew it had to be. It was Rusty, a great member of the ERC who's been gone for quite a while. He'd had some trouble landing a teaching during the end of last school year, but went up to direct his summer camp, so no one had seen him for a few months.

Turns out, he had just gotten back into town and landed a sweet teaching job in Golden, CO. This makes me super happy for a number of reasons, mostly because Rusty is one of those guys who just GETS IT. Running, life, and everything else. He's bursting with passion and is as nice a person as you'll ever meet. We ended up catching up and talking for about half an hour before we decided to head back home.

On a side note: Rusty makes the best pancakes ever. EVER. Seriously. If you told me there were better pancakes, I would tell you that you were a liar. Because that's what you would be.

My week in full:
Monday: Off
Tuesday: 7 mi @ Cherry Creek Res
Wednesday: 8.5 mi @ Matthew Winters Park
Thursday: 7.5 mi @ Green Mountain
Friday: Off
Saturday: 9 mi @ Flying J Ranch
Sunday: 16 mi @ Dedisse/Alderfer

Total: 48 (all on trail!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Purity Week

Let me explain.

A normal week has me running trails once, perhaps twice if the goods come around and I can manage to get out.

However, this week has seen a shift, as ALL of my runs have been and will be on trails. Wonderful. I ran at Cherry Creek Res on Tuesday, Matthew Winters (see pic) on Wednesday, and again last night at Green Mountain.

Both the C.C. and GM runs were quick, pushing the pace sub 8ish minus the real climbs at GM which were right around 10:30ish pace. However, the MW run was awful. Not in the fact that it was on trail or hard, just how I felt. I mistakenly drank a protein shake prior to running in the heat (90ish) and was miserable. I pushed the pace hard up Zorro (1 mile/900 feet) and was zapped at the top. I trudged through the top of the hogback, was humbled up Red Rocks trail and was just grinding through the Morrison Slide uphill.

I had the awful bloating sensation. It was bad. Yet funny in retrospect. I chatted with Jon as we were heading out to GM last night about the ill affects protein shakes can have if you drink them pre activity. I was laughing so hard I almost choked.

In any case. Life is OK now, a bit busy with birthdays, weddings, batchelor parties, and the like. Otherwise, it's life, enjoy it.

And run trails.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Not-So-Bloody Sunday

[Photo is of Black Canyon in Gunnison, CO]

Today was a truly wonderful day to run. We had warm weather, but not hot, with a nice cool breeze to help you along. I joined my friend Hillary for her long run (20 mi) on the first and last 10 miles of the Boulder Backroads Marathon course. Now, typically I'm not one for running on roads, but most of the BBM course is run on dirt roads, so if you're gonna do it, do it that way. She wanted to go for a slower steady run as she's getting into final preparations for race day at BBM in a little over a month. We ran 9:18's pretty much to the T the entire way, and it was filled with beautiful scenery and some surprising rolling hills. Certainly the hills were not tough, and I didn't feel taxed on any of them, but it would be hard to go out and run "fast" on that course comparatively to others I've looked at. I felt fresh the whole way, actually only feeling "good" after about 16 miles and our run finished right at 3:03:00. I think I'm mostly recovered from Silver Rush, only a few signs of sluggishness to remind me it's only been 2 weeks since I first ran 50 miles without stopping.

I'm excited now for Steamboat, and I'm going to start ramping up my preperations with some kick ass climing starting next Saturday. Anybody feel like knocking out 20 miles with 7,000' of gain next weekend? I'll be slowly making my way up Mt. Falcon 2 times with a variation of trails interconnected.

For now, my week in full:
Monday: 7 mi @ Green Mountain
Tuesday: 0 mi ~ 1 hr Bike
Wednesday: 7 mi tempo (almost pooped my pants, don't do speed work after dinner)
Wednesday: 1 hr Bike
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 10 mi @ Cheeseman park, including BBQ/Beers(2)/Jurassic Park movie in the Park
Saturday: 0 mi ~ 2 hrs Soccer/1 hr Bike
Sunday: 20 mi @ Boulder Res

Total: 44 mi + 3 hrs Bike

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Looking Back

A funny thing happened today as I was flipping back through Photos of the Sageburner 50K. I saw this photo, it's just after you hop off the 100 meters of road during the race and climb back up into the sage.

This was why I initially recognized Harsha during Silver Rush, I had run behind him for a while during the race and he wears Addidas road shoes, the kind with bright colors on the sole, so that's what I remembered first.

My buddy Kyle snapped this shot, and by chance captured an oddity. How small this ultra world is!

On a side note, I did speedwork for the first time in months yesterday and I'm feeling good. I think I'll be ready for Steamboat; I'm taking care to review what worked and did not work for me at Silver Rush and I'll be much better prepared this time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Moment of Brilliant Light

Last night Gunner and I cruised out for an evening run at Green Mountain just out of Lakewood, CO. The air was cool from the late afternoon rain we had just recieved but warm enough for shorts and a tee. I decided to break out the Saucony Grid A2 racing flats that I've been using for roads and give them a run at some rocky trail. I've been contemplating going straight to a low volume shoe for trail running and wanted to get a feel for what it might be like. Starting up Box o' Rox trail I took the front spot because Gunner had yet to run here and settled into a good climbing pace, we'd run uphill for about 1-2 miles to start the run and my legs were finally feeling recovered from last Sunday's mauling. Up and up we went through the cool frontrange air until we crested near the top of Green Mountain.

We stopped to take in the view and watch the city lights. It was clear and you could see from Parker to Boulder; we chatted about the perfect breeze, the lights, and the potential for good wiping material as I had forgotten TP. In the end we decided it would be best to just hold it as there was nil in the way of large leaves. Back on the trail we picked up the pace, and though I didn't have a watch I'd put it quickly somewhere around 8 minute miles. Both of us were feeling good and we talked conversationally while the sun set over the Rockies. Getting on Green Mountain Trail we coasted down, took a right and flipped on the headlamps. We'd have rolling singletrack all the way back to the car and we confided in the hollow pattering of footsteps. Miles passed quickly and we were back at the car before we knew it; I felt as if I could run forever. It was a short run, but one of my favorites in recent memory (7 miles, in about 1 hour).

Here was my last week of training, a small reverse taper:

Monday: 2 miles - Stiff, sore.
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 5 miles - Wash Park Loop, heavy legs
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 5 miles - Wash Park Loop, quicker but still heavy legs +2 hours cycling
Saturday: OFF - Crankworx Colorado!
Sunday: 7 miles - Harvard Gulch Park and Wash Park Loop - winded/slow, heavy legs

Total: 19 miles

I'll be back into a normal training week this week.