Ka-PLOW….

Venting prevents explos-i-on. ~ Homer Simpson

Tues 6 Mar: 00:51, 6 miles, Boulder Creek Path tempo
Wed 7 Mar: 2:01, 13.5 miles, Watson tempo
Fri 9 Mar: 00:18, 2 miles, Beav’

This week started well. I recovered quickly from Sunday’s effort and jumped back into the fray on Tuesday with an excellent, albeit windy run in Boulder. Headed west on the Creek path (into the wind) then spun at 2.5 miles and did 7, 1:20 surges. Felt great. Got a new pair of skids too, which is always a treat. Garett Graubins set me up with Boa lacing systems on some Brooks Adrenalines and I must say, “Stu likes.” Very easy to use, feel lighter (for whatever reason) and are definitely trick.

Wednesday, I headed down to Boulder early to meet up with the group for a tempo run. Started out on my own and spun a big lap in more clothing than necessary even in sporadic snow flurries so I shed some layers and queued up for the tempo portion of the day’s event. Art Ives and I hung together for about 4 miles then he cut me loose and I finished the last two miles solo. I am still not the fastest guy out there but have managed two weeks in a row with negative splits each mile so that is quite nice. All in all a great run.

That’s when things went pear shaped. I had to take a meeting in Denver and grabbed some food on the way at a restaurant I have frequented over the past 20 years without incident. Well, my luck apparently ran out and though I felt awesome for the rest of the day and went to be a happy camper, I was rudely awakened at 2:00 with a “not-so-terrific” feeling coursing through my bod. “Not-so-terrific” soon turned to much, much worse and for the next 6 hours I alternated between puking up my toenails and full-body convulsing. Rach even dreamed that we were at a dinosaur exhibit and my ralphing was the sound of one of the creatures that was a) a bit too loud and b) wouldn’t stop. Lovely.

I spent all of Thursday in bed, lost 5 pounds in 12 hours and am just now getting back on positive terms with solids. My abs look awesome, however.

So though Thursday was a bust, I was able to get out for a brief, relatively unpleasant run on Friday and am hoping to extend the duration and minimize the unpleasantness today. All will be taken in stride, sometimes these things happen, but don’t ask me to join you for Middle Eastern food anytime in the foreseeable future.

~stubert.

Go long…

Don’t bail: The best gold is at the bottom of the barrels of crap. – Randy Rausch

Sun 14 Mar: 4:41, 29.18 miles, North Boulder road/trail loop

While running on the dirt road system North of Boulder yesterday, I commented about the amazing feeling one gets when 2 hours of running just ticks by. We were about 12 miles into what would eventually become a 29+ mile Sunday jaunt and I realized that I had reached the point in my training where things are starting to really click. My mileage has increased to the point where I can go out for hours at a time without too much stress and a lot of satisfaction.

Yesterday, I started solo then hooked up with Art Ives. We then met up with the group to form a solid pack of about 10. It was chilly and a bit windy but everything just felt right. Cloud cover built throughout the day but nothing seemed to get in the way of forward progress and Art and I quickly settled into a nice rhythm that saw us slide off the front of the group. It was just one of those days where I was able to sustain a steady pace without a ton of effort. Good times.

We made our way back West and jumped on the Foothills Trail. What a joy to be back on trails, if only for a short period of time. Soon we hit the Boulder Valley Ranch trail system then split up, leaving me solo, once again, to complete the run.

In increasing drizzle, I spun through mile 26.2 in 4:14 and polished up the final 3 miles in 27 minutes. Finished strongly, on target and smiling all the way. A great early-season effort.

~stubert.

Back on that pony…

Ya gots ta sass it. ~ Homer Simpson

Mon 22 Feb: 00:19, 2.375 miles, track barefoot
Tues 23 Feb: 00:48, 5.58 miles, North Boulder loop with surges
Wed 24 Feb: 1:41, 12.19 miles, Watson Park tempo
Thurs 25 Feb: 00:41, 4.2 miles, Neighborhood snow run

Great training so far this week supported, as usual by Rach’s yummy, vegan cooking. “Yummy” modifies “cooking” in case you mis-read. No vegans were cooked. It might be interesting to keep track of actual caloric intake sometime but given that everything Rach makes is from scratch, that might prove to be more of a challenge than it’s worth. But I am guessing the number is large. And probably a little scary.

I got back after it on Monday with a short run on the track. Opted to go with the Vibram KSOs to continue to hone the barefoot stride as it seems to not only be more efficient, but causing my calves to want to secede. Guessing it will just take a little time to get them to fall into line and actually, as runs progress, they start to loosen up. Anyone else out there running barefoot with advice? Any would be welcomed.

I also hit the weights for a couple of quick circuits. Really think adding strength training to the regimen is helping out. Thanks again to Duncan Callahan for the info.

Tuesday’s run, as Marcia Brady would say, was just dreamy. Dropped Sharkey III off at Super Rupair and spun a lap in North Boulder. About a quarter of the run was on the snowpacked Foothills Trail then I moved on to the slab for some surges. Really continued to work on the barefoot stride and I believe that the results were positive. Great run overall for sure.

I jammed back down to Boulder Wednesday morning for a run with the group. Warmed up around the Res for about 45 minutes then joined Art and Scott for tempo. We spun low 7s until Scott dropped the hammer and the group split up a bit. I continued to roll low 7s for 6 miles total then cooled down for about 15 minutes. Terrific run.

Today I headed out again, this time in a pretty serious blizzard. Felt good to get out there in crappy conditions and I spun easy sub 10s for about 40 minutes around the ‘hood. Felt great. Depending upon how much snow we get, I may have to head up to the slopes tomorrow morning for a few turns. Will play that one by ear and keep you posted.

~stubert.

Variety…

It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness. ~ Seneca

Wed: 1:34, 11.25 miles, Snowpacked and icy Boulder road tempo
Thurs: 00:20, 2 miles, Treadmill session with Janet
Sat: 00:32, 3.4 miles, Treadmill surges
Sun: 3:47, 23.5 miles, North Boulder Hygiene loop
Tues: 00:50, 5.86 miles, Boulder Creek Path surges

Playing a bit of catch up after a hectic week and jam-packed weekend. Still have some residual tightness in my right glute/hamstring I am trying to sort out but have gotten in several great runs despite the wackiness.

Last Wednesday, I missed hooking up with the crew due to work obligations and had to wait until later in the afternoon to get in my scheduled tempo run. It was pretty chilly (15°F or so) and snowing when I started from central Boulder and made my way west on the Creek Path. I tried to keep my heartrate below 150 (and actually, at the time, thought I was doing an okay job of this) but the splits don’t lie and I guess I pushed it a bit on the warm up. Not a big deal given the weather. Had to keep the blood flowing for sure.

Once I reached Eben G. Fine Park, I headed onto surface roads and started my tempo after about 35 minutes of warm up. It was definitely game on after that as I rolled up 4th and dropped down Kalmia. One thing I do love about Boulder is that they tend to pay more attention to bike paths than the streets and Kalmia was a bit of a mess. Lots of snow-covered ice and slippery sections made for interesting and exciting running – particularly at tempo pace. I fared quite nicely, however and ended up with a solid effort for the day. Blew up just a smidge toward the end after getting stuck at a light or two, losing my mojo a bit and getting a bit chilled but all in all, a great run.

Thursday, I had a session with Janet Runyan and, given that it was all of 7°, we opted to hop on the treadmill instead of driving around with her windows rolled down. Janet has me pretty dialed in at this point and I showed her a couple of new tricks I have been employing to try to help drive my hips forward and she pointed out a some other techniques I could use to relax a bit more and get a bit more grounded. I can’t really say enough good things about where she has gotten me over the past 9 months. My form has improved, my fitness is way up and, though I am still nursing a few goofy aches and pains, I am feeling like I am definitely on the right track for a great year in 2010.

Saturday, Rach and I went to see the Met’s broadcast of Der Rosenkavalier. Fantastic opera and amazing performances. We even managed to get home in time for me to jam over to the gym for a quick run on the treadmill. Only did 32 minutes and 3 surges but it shook out some of the kinks from sitting most of the day. Glad to have that resource available for sure.

I met with the group on Sunday this week for my long, slow run. We hooked up in north Boulder and spun a quick loop on clear surface roads and snowpacked side roads then headed west and back north to Hygiene. These roads are quite familiar from my days racing bikes and I never even conceived that one day I would be running the same routes on which I spent so much time perfecting my sprint and chasing down breaks. Pretty cool, actually.

I actually felt amazing for the first two hours of the run and spent most of that time spinning sub-10s and chatting comfortably with Janet and Art Ives, a top-five Leadville finisher and all around nice guy. He also coaches runners and is never at a loss for amazing stories and solid advice about how to improve my game. We burned a lap southwest of Hygiene then Art headed back to Boulder while Rebecca and I spun one more circuit then followed. By this point, my heartrate was staying up for some reason but I felt okay so am guessing there was some interference or something. Maybe I was working harder than I realized but I was breathing comfortably so I am not sure what was going on. I was pretty ready to be done once we got back to the cars, to be honest, but it was a great run for sure.

I was a little sore afterward and had a good soak in an ice bath once I got home. Stretching, compression socks, lots of fluids and some killer grub from Rach did the trick to get me feeling much better very quickly.

Mild soreness on Monday dissipated by Tuesday and it was a gorgeous day for a run. I was down in Boulder anyway and took advantage of the spring-like weather (mid 50s, sunny, no wind) for a jaunt up the Creek path and some surges. Felt maybe a little clunky to start but kept a mellow 9:15 pace for my warm up then did 8 1×1 surges. Dropped back down for a sub 9 finish that felt really amazing. Almost mechanical in how I was turning over the legs with power and efficiency. Hoping that I get that feeling more and more as the season progresses. Really a fun run.

So that brings us up to date. Sorry for the lapse… hectic has been the word that best describes my world right now. But getting out for a run always seems to bring everything back into focus.

~stubert.

Links, snow and walls…

He may have driven us into a wall, but at least he didn’t blink. ~ Jon Stewart

Fri: Golf @ Deer Creek
Sat: 00:40, 4.19 miles, Snow trails and surges
Sun: 3:30ish, 18ish, LSD bonk-a-thon

Where’d the time go? After last week’s efforts, I tossed in some golf with my pops then got back on the running plan for a nice little jaunt on Saturday near the house then a long, slow run on Sunday that was pretty awesome for the first 2+ hours then turned south quickly. Headed out from the Cottonwood trailhead in Boulder and made our way north to Jay then up past the Res and on to the Eagle trailhead. It was a beautiful day for a run and there were tons of people out enjoying the cool, clear weather. I ran for a bit with Janet Runyan along the Eagle trail until she turned around to head back home. The group split apart as we headed west and by the time we reached the Foothills trail, I was running comfortably with Art Ives, a top-10 Leadville finisher.

Art and I made our way south along the Foothills trail, up and over the ridge to Sanitas and then back down to Eben G. Fine Park where we went our separate ways. I needed to get in 3:10 for the day so jammed up and over the flank of Flagstaff and back down to Chautauqua. This… was ill-conceived and given my lack of water and food, quickly made for the rapid approach of the proverbial wall. So I sucked it up and kept going since my car was on the other side of town and I wasn’t about to let a little thing like 6 miles get me down.

I made my way over to the Boulder Creek bike path and started to work a run/walk cycle that eventually got me where I needed to go, albeit much more slowly than I had anticipated. But that is what happens sometimes, particularly in ultras… you have to just suck it up and keep moving. All told, it was a good run and I learned a lot. Plus, I wasn’t too destroyed the following day as I was able to rehydrate and get some calories moving quickly. A good day of training, for sure.

I took Monday off then didn’t manage to get out for a run on Tuesday so I am really interested to see how today goes. There is snow in Boulder so it could be a total cluster but I’ll go give it a whirl and report back soon.

~stubert.