Weekly summary extraordinaire…

Yeah man, but it’s a dry heat. ~ Hudson

A crazy week weather-wise devolved at the start to treadmill sessions then closed out with a solid long, easy snow run in Boulder. Funny how things can turn around. My running mileage lagged a bit for the week but when you toss in a skate-skiing session on Friday and the fact that the mercury at the casa on Tuesday and Wednesday was scraping the high negative 20s, I don’t feel too bad about how the first week of February turned out.

Monday’s easy run reinforced for me the value of the shake-out run. My legs were a bit sore and definitely on the cranky side after Sunday’s long effort and the first quarter mile of my run Monday left me thinking, “What the hell are you doing?” I have been at this long enough to know that if you stick with it, sometimes the early grumpiness wears off and after about 1/4 of a mile, my legs shook out and I started to feel really great. Just took it easy and let it develop: 3.31 in 00:30.

Tuesday’s group run was canceled due to extremely cold temps so after completing some early morning emergency house repair (you don’t want to know), I jumped on the treadmill briefly to get in a few miles before having to head into work. Nothing to write home about: 3.6 in 00:30.

One item of note, it is amazing how good -6° feels after crawling around in the snow in -26° temps.

Wednesday devolved as well and the 1:15 easy run I had on the schedule turned into a quick one: 5 in 00:41.

By Friday the frigid weather had departed the area and I was in the mood for a skate ski. I have been hoping to add skating to my regular regimen but for the second year in a row, it just hasn’t come to pass. This was only my second outing for the year but I felt amazing and was able to cover a LOT more ground in a shorter amount of time and without resorting to stopping on long uphills to catch my breath. Just cruised around a bit at Eldora: 6.34 in 00:50. Later that evening I jumped back on the ‘mill to get in a quick surge run. Had 45 on the schedule with 6, 20-second surges but figured the morning’s effort counted for something so cut it short. 6 surges, 3 miles, 24 minutes.

Given the lack of duration for my runs this week, I decided to opt out of downhill skiing on Saturday and headed in to do a tempo run with the Gijima group. We started at the East Boulder Rec Center and made our way along the Bobolink trail to Marshall road where we started what was supposed to be an 8-mile tempo run. I wasn’t feeling super great but just worked on my form and tried to lay down splits in the 6:30 range. Somewhat successful. We made it back to the start after about 6 miles of tempo so a few of us tacked on another mile and called it good: 10.71 in 1:20.

And to round out the week, I did a long, solo run this morning in Boulder. We got quite a bit of snow overnight so side streets were a bit of a mess. I started out on the Boulder Creek path, ran west for 3.5 miles then headed back to the path that parallels Broadway to the south. Though many of the pathways had been plowed, they were still a bit on the slow side but I made good time heading south back to Marshall, over to Cherryvale then back to the Creek path. I finished up with a bit of a fade on Goose Creek and surface streets but got in a good run at a pretty low level of effort: 20.38 in 2:45.

All in all, I am happy with where I am sitting right now. I am a little nervous about being able to get in quality runs prior to Boston but today’s 20 was confidence-boosting for sure. 10 weeks to go before my first big race of the year. I am planning to complete the Winter Distance Series with another 10-mile race on the 19th then will test the waters with a half maraton on March 6th in Denver. Either of these races could be complicated by weather conditions but I am hoping they will be able to show me something about my level of fitness heading into Boston. Time will tell. Conditions pending, I’d like to do another sub- 1:05 (perhaps even push that a bit lower but definitely work on a stronger finish) at the 10-mile event and will be looking for a sub- 1:26 half. At least those are the numbers that I am considering.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.

~stubert.

Decembrrrr…

Balmy.

When I was your age, we had to walk 5 miles to school. Snowin’ in the summertime. Uphill both ways. ~ Someone’s Grandpa

Thurs: 00:40, 4 miles, treadmill easy
Sat: 00:40, 4.75 miles, treadmill with surges
Sun: 1:55, 13 miles, treadmill/track easy

I have been grossly negligent about posting this past week. Perhaps the cold weather has slowed my mojo or something. Apologies all around.

The treadmill and I have become friendly this past weeks as the temps have plummeted. Thursday, I hit the gym for a post-tempo recovery run and felt great. Really nothing to complain about or remarkable about the effort aside from its genuine lack of any issues. Just jumped on, spun through 4 miles or so, then went home. Good stuff.

I took Friday off then headed up to the Basin with Pete on Saturday morning. We were greeted with chilly temps and fresh corduroy which I used to my advantage spinning blazing laps on my AK Maidens. Not really what the skis were designed to do but they do it admirably. Tip those puppies up on edge and they just accelerate away from you. I hit the gym on the way home to say hello to Mr. Treadmill again and busted out 4.75 miles in about 40 minutes with 5 sets of 1×1 surges. Again, felt awesome.

Sunday, Rach and I headed down to the shelter early to help out with the bunnies and it was cold. And snowy. And windy. Not the best combo. The plan was to drive back home, then jam down to Boulder for a long run but that simply wasn’t in the cards with temps and conditions that were not much better than those found at home. So back to the gym for more treadmill action. Spun 8 miles at a leisurely 10-minute pace then hopped on the track for 5 more. 13 total in a bit less than 2 hours. Didn’t push it at all and felt smooth. Boredom was the only battle I had to fight, really.

So I’m hoping we get back into some more normal “cold-up-top, warmer-down-below” style weather soon or I am going to have to break out the balaclava and mittens. Running indoors serves its purpose but is not the best companion long-term. I did get my skate boot back from Larry today so I envision some skinny skiing in my not-too-distant future.

~stubert.

Couch-bound…

Keep your icy feet away from me, Mr. Freezey. ~ Akbar… or Jeff… I get those two guys mixed up

Seriously, my feet are like bricks of ice. Gotta get that situation fixed pronto. Rach, go boil some water or something…

Well, today I just feel like going for a run. But it is supposed to be my rest day and realistically, I need the rest, so run I will not. I may just kick the new cat around a little and hope that the impact doesn’t shatter my feet.

It was pretty nippy up here last night. 3° to be exact. Which, as defined by Webebster* is nippy. So that makes 3 + 8 = horseshoe. Math… who gets that stuff?

So instead of a thrill-a-minute, action-packed tome about tromping around the woods for 17 hours, today, I’ll pick something to review and well… review it, for your reading pleasure. See, I got your back.**

Today’s review: The Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover – Mmmmmmmm Pufffy

My new favorite garment of the year is the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover. That is a lot of words but there is some serious alliteration in there so we can forgive them. It is not only fun to say, but fun to wear and has kept me toasty warm in a wide range of conditions. This awesome jacket proves that good things DO come in small packages as it is amazingly lightweight, packs down to a tiny, easy-to-store bundle, and keeps you warm and dry even when wet. This is the advantage to Patagonia’s PrimaLoft One insulation over Down – well, that and no birds are harmed – and it gets the stubert seal of approval. The outer shell is even made from recycled material so that makes, like, three thumbs up which means I need to go out and find a third thumb somewhere. Where’s Walter Sobchak when you need him?

Just yesterday, I was removing a foot and a half of snow from our driveway and, as I am known to do, misjudged the wind direction a bit with the snowblower resulting in a seriously coated Stu. No problem for the Nano Puff… I stayed toasty warm. It’s like wearing some sort of magical anti-coldness cloak. Now, if I could only get them to make one for my feet…

~stubert.

*Webebster is a completely fictional reference book made up by the author to cement a punchline. I cheat. Sue me. Webebster did.

**Yes, though occasionally I misspell “contemplate”, I am not a complete moron and do know that “I got your back” is not correct grammar. Punctuation and where commas and shit go when tossing quotes into sentences, I really need to brush up on that but right now I am in the zone and as I discovered when I startled our cat one time while he was playing with a piece of tinfoil or something, you should never disturb someone who is in the zone… particularly when your nose is within clawing distance.