Efficiency gained, efficiency lost

Caleb and Stu just below the summit of South Arapaho Peak

I want what I want. ~ Roger Sterling

Marathon recovery always seems to take longer than I want. This cycle has been particularly difficult because I have been REALLY excited to run trails and followed the prescribed recovery regimen only to find myself a battling some knee pain over the past couple of weeks that definitely set me back a bit. It’s all good, just didn’t get to log as many trail miles as I had hoped in May. June is shaping up well, however.

I ventured up high with my buddy, Caleb, yesterday to South Arapaho Glacier via the Rainbow Lakes Trailhead. Overall, it was a decent – albeit slow – run. We battled fierce headwinds all the way up the pass and decided to abandon our goal of summiting South Arapaho Peak after hunkering down for a bit at the base of the last pitch. Just a little too windy for our taste. We ended up with a little over 12 miles for the day. Most of which were pretty hard-fought. Much slower than we anticipated but all in all a great outing.

I did discover that though my fitness is good and I am moving quite efficiently on smooth trails, my technical running has taken a hit after all this road training and racing I have done over the past couple of years. If the trail is obstacle-light, I can fly. When things get dicey, not so much. I also have lost my ability to fall into the “ultra shuffle” and tend to stride out a lot more than in the past. It has yet to be determined whether or not this is a bad thing. I just noticed it makes matching pace with Caleb a bit of a challenge and I found myself switching between a fast hike and slow run cadence while he kept a pretty consistent trot most of the way up. We topped out at over 12,600 feet for the day which makes this the third week in a row for me to get up over treeline. Really looking forward to our 4-Pass Loop run in July.

I upped the mileage considerably this last week since my knee has been feeling better and am hoping that spell of grumpiness is behind me. Seems like it was just a matter of needing a bit more time off and having quads that, though they didn’t really feel it, were a bit wrecked. Worked on mobility, took some time off, watched a lot of movies, brought yoga back into my regular regimen, and did a lot of foam rolling and massage and things seem to be on the mend. Hoping I can get back up in the 50+ mpw range in the next couple of weeks.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.


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