Give your all…

Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’. ~Paul Tergat

Tues May 11: 00:24, 2.55 miles, Janet’s house
Wed May 12: 1:30, 10.5 miles, Gilpin Rec Center Track

Two decent (albeit somewhat congested) runs. Starting to feel normal again, which is nice. yesterday was super mellow. Ran with Janet Runyan who worked with me on relaxation, grounding and posture. Mostly relaxation. Gave me this awesome focus of letting my ribcage relax down on my diaphragm. Good stuff. Mostly just cruised and tested the waters.

Today I was hoping to get outside but a relatively decent spring storm rolled in and dumped about a foot of snow. This made even road travel a challenge so I just hit the gym and got dizzy. Started out mellow and just settled into a groove of 9:00 miles. Spun 8 of these then ramped up to sub 7:30s for two, then did the last 1/2 mile barefoot. Actually felt great. Had a bit of a coughing fit once when I stopped briefly but as soon as I got moving again, it was all systems go.

Tomorrow, I have a 30-minute run and 1:15 hike on the docket. Anyone interested in a mid-afternoon jaunt in Boulder?

~stubert.

RIP Skip…

Skipper Dipper
Skipper doin' the flop.

You were sitting backstage in a dress. A perfect mess. ~ Red Hot Chili Peppers

Sat 27 Feb: 00:40, 4.18 miles, Treadmill barefoot and weights
Sun 28 Feb: 3:55, 24.35 miles, North Boulder LSD

Quick update since I have been on the computer way too long today. The running news this weekend was all good. In contrast to other events. Our beloved bunny, Skipper/Skipper-Doodle/Skipper-Dipper, died this weekend. He was an awesome, HUGE New Zealand with the sweetest disposition and a knack for making friends. He came to us with serious problems with his jaw and Rach nursed him through multiple surgeries and many late nights. He delivered the goods, always excited to see us and to hop his big butt around for our entertainment. He will be sorely missed.

On the running front, I put in some barefoot miles on Saturday on the Treadmill then lifted some weights. Barefooting is interesting and I am fascinated by the biomechanics of it. Since my experiment last week where I noticed a marked jump in effort after switching to shoes mid-run from barefoot, I have been paying a lot of attention to my stride and how it affects my efficiency. On Saturday, I warmed up for 30 minutes barefoot and felt great. When I switched to shoes, I felt a lot less great and started to immediately experience tightness in my glute. I removed my insoles and that helped a bit but not completely. Interesting stuff. Going to keep my eyes on it.

Sunday, I jammed down to Boulder for a Long, Slow Day. Warmed up for about 9-10 minutes (1+ miles), then joined the group for a tour of the back-roads between Boulder and Lyons. Felt very relaxed (average heartrate: 144) and relatively sporty (average pace: 9:42) throughout. Got full expression in my right hip, which is something for which I have been striving for a couple months now and felt smooth and fluid throughout. Excellent.

Finished February with a good 52+ mile week and ended the month with 157+ miles and one race under my belt. All in all… not too shabby.

~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.

Runs without running…

Pull up at the function and you know I’m Kojak
To all my party people that are on my bozack
I got more action than my man John Woo
And I got mad hits like I was Rod Carew

~ The Beastie Boys

Fri 19 Feb: 00:54, 7 miles, Track barefoot/shoed
Sat 20 Feb: 5:30, Crested Butte skiing
Sun 21 Feb: 3:30, Crested Butte skiing

So I suppose I lied a little. There was some running involved on Friday but Saturday and Sunday were all about logging vert in incredible conditions at Crested Butte.

Friday, I jammed over to the gym to get in one final run for the week. Opted to wear the KSOs for the first half of the run and felt incredible. Was relaxed, ran smoothly, good pacing. Particularly excited about the low heartrate for the speed I was able to sustain. Even more interesting was that when I switched over to shoes mid-run, my heartrate jumped by several bmp at the same pace. Weird. Going to have to experiment with this more as well as trying to adapt a more barefoot stride pattern while wearing shoes. I do realize that as the run progressed, my heartrate would naturally increase but this was a marked jump. Very cool discovery. I’ll be testing this one again.

The only ill-effects I experienced was a tightness/soreness in my calves – particularly the lateral portion of the muscle group on my left calf. Any thoughts on that would be greatly appreciated.

So then the journey to Crested Butte began. Pete and I headed that way for what we hoped would be a couple days of better skiing than we have been able to accomplish this year in Summit County (or at the Rock). And let me tell you… we were not disappointed.

The Butte started getting hammered by a significant winter storm on Friday and it just kept coming. We were greeted with about 19 inches of fresh on Saturday morning and took full advantage of the prime conditions. Seems like everyone else in the county had the same idea and lift-lines were quite long but it was so worth it. Patrol started getting the good stuff open mid-morning and by noon we were spinning laps in tasty pow on Headwall and (after giving Telly’s head a good rub) NFL. All sorts of good.

CB is renowned for the high-caliber of skier and with the Extreme Championships going on, the level of talent on the hill was ratcheted up several notches. It was just cool to be in such close proximity to hundreds of rippers and to talk with people about how awesome the new snow was. This was the Butte’s first major storm since early December and the locals had the excitement level on 11. Pete and I worked the mountain, I showed him some cool stashes and we had a blast. It snowed all day as well which amp’d up the stoke for Sunday.

Post skiing, we wandered around the town of CB for a bit, grabbed a beer at Kochevar’s (a storied bar on Elk Ave.), then settled down to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Donita’s Cantina, for some tasty grub. Kay and Heli, the owners and all-around nice people make an amazing meal. If you are in the area, I HIGHLY recommend it.

A lazy evening watching Olympic coverage followed then we set it for “repeat” on Sunday.

Even more snow greeted us Sunday morning coupled with greatly reduced crowds, better visibility (well, for parts of the day… it was still snowing pretty strongly up there) and extreme terrain open from the gun. Perfect combo. We headed up High lift again and dropped into Figure 11, which was simply amazing and followed that with more NFL action. We stopped for a bit to watch the Extremes (Dead-end Chutes and Body Bags the primary venue for the day) then continued on our quest for excellent terrain coupled with killer conditions. Since a lot of the extreme terrain was closed on Saturday, when the rope dropped on Phoenix/Spellbound on Sunday, there was a LOT of fresh goodness to be had. And we had it. Seriously the best skiing I have had in a long, long time. Rivaled the conditions we found in Canada last year. I’d tell you where we went, but then I’d have to kill ya.

The drive home was fairly uneventful until about a mile west of Eisenhower Tunnel. Then it got ugly. Not sure what the solution to the I-70 corridor problem is (aside from avoiding it) but man… it is a mess. What is normally a 3.5 to 4-hour drive turned to 5.5 and it could have been worse. Rach had soup on for me when I got home. So I ate, ate some more, then hit the sack. Terrific weekend. Hope to put it on repeat soon.

~stubert.

Round and round…

Spurned buddy - Senor Treadmill
Spurned buddy - Senor Treadmill

Oh, he’s drunk. How would he know where we’re going? ~ Del

Wednesday 3 Feb: 1:18, 9.5ish miles, Indoor track Tempo run

Hit the gym for some tempo work and other than the traffic jam that was the track (seems like the whole world was there last night) and some spazzy kids running around (usually the wrong direction) and generally messing things up, it was a decent run. Warmed up for a couple miles at about a 9-minute pace, then ran tempo for 50 minutes at sub 8s, then donned the KSOs for a mile of “barefoot” cool down. It was shorter than I had scheduled but running laps on the short track (1/16th of a mile per lap) can be a bit mind numbing. Honestly, I have gone as long as 1:45 before but that day I was in the zone, no one else was there so I could reverse my direction every once in awhile and there wasn’t a gym full of screaming kids playing hoops and volleyball. So yeah, focus is a bit key.

Overall, I am feeling pretty well. The hamstring was a little tight to start but loosened right up and my knee didn’t give me any troubles whatsoever. So that is good news. I got a room booked for the night of the 12th in Moab and am getting pretty psyched to do that race. Should be fun.

We got a dusting of snow last night up here (whoa!) and so I may head over to Eldora to skate instead of running. Haven’t made that call just yet. Very excited to see Simon Boccanegra this weekend on the big screen and we are cleaning runs at the Bunny Barn on Sunday. Good times. Good times.

~stubert.