Did my first long(ish) solo run in the mountains this weekend and it went. I was a bit hammered by the end but did manage to stay out almost as long as I wanted. Temps dropped a bit in the last several miles and this, coupled with my starting a bit too fast, contributed to the suffering at the end. Not sure that my elevation gain/loss numbers are anywhere near correct either but the entire run was done above 8000 feet. Good altitude training for sure.
Also saw Alice in Wonderland on Friday to celebrate our anniversary. Rach has put up with my shenanigans for 19 years now and frankly, I am not sure how she does it but I am grateful that she does! Hoping for another 19, fun-filled years with my sweetie.
How did that happen? Another week just whoosh in the past.
Well, here’s the summary:
Sunday: 12.5 miles up Rollins Pass, 1:47. Pretty good run. I was a bit tired from the day before but after about 3 miles started feeling okay and so I just kept going until the road maintenance wore out (at the second train bridge). Cool and a bit windy but nice to go on an evening jaunt in the high country.
Tuesday: 9.5 miles in Boulder, 1:19. Brutal run. Not sure if I was still just wiped out from the weekend or what but I was definitely not feeling it today. Had a 9-miler on deck with ~4 miles at 10K pace. I am pretty sure I ran the planned 4 miles at 10K but that isn’t saying much. It was my 10K pace for the day, not what I would consider a real 10K pace (if you get my drift). Pretty much maxed out. A bit ugly. If I have learned one thing after years of training and competing (and trust me, it took years of training and competing to learn this), there is no such thing as a bad training day. There’s always something to be learned and something to be gained, even from what seems like the world’s worst day out there. Plus, you were out there and not stuck in some goddamned cube for a few hours so chalk that up to goodness.
Wednesday: 5-mile recovery run in the woods, 00:49. We had a bear pay us a visit Tuesday night so I was on the lookout for our fuzzy little friend throughout my run (no sightings). Just a fairly mellow run in the hills near our place. Walked the steepest sections in an effort to keep my heartrate down. Nice and cool with a brisk wind. Perfect woods running conditions. My left ankle was bugging me a bit and since that horrendous effort a couple weeks ago, my right knee has been giving me a little grief but on the heels of Tuesday’s beating, this was a good, slow effort.
Thursday: 9.5 mile Boulder Res loops, 1:21. Great, relaxed run at the res. I headed west from the East Eagle trailhead and did a short loop on the Eagle Trail then did a clockwise Res loop. Threw in Coot Lake for good measure (and some extra miles this is not a 10-mile loop as published). Ran into Caleb just as he was getting started, which was super cool. Caleb notched a top 1000 in the NYC marathon last year with a 3:02. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. Hoping to get together with him in the coming weeks to have him kick my ass on one of his slow days. In any event, I felt strong and was able to keep a good pace throughout without taxing myself too much. Nice and cool (though you wouldn’t have known it from the way I sweat) and no wind. Saw a couple of pelicans, which was awesome. I really like pelicans for whatever reason. Not necessarily a rarity in Colorado but still cool to see.
Saturday: 5-mile recovery run Eldora road from Ned, 00:40. Just a nice, easy run on the only flat road I could think of in the area. Steady pace up, picked up the speed a bit on the way down. Felt really strong and worked on running smoothly and efficiently. About a half mile before the turn, another runner warned me of a bear up the road but I didn’t see it. It is definitely that time of year, apparently, and the big critters are all out and about trying to pack on the pounds before the long winter.
Total mileage for the week: ~41.5 Total time for the week: ~6 hours
Not too shabby. I generally stayed on schedule this week with a couple of runs being just shy of planned. Overall, I am feeling pretty well and am not getting burned out. I am a bit concerned about what happens when the snow starts flying but we’ll just play that by ear and not worry about it before it happens (which it will). Last night it snowed down to about 10000 feet so it is definitely on the way.
I also tried out a new pair of shoes today: the Pearl Izumi Surge. It is always a bit iffy trying out new shoes but Saucony no longer makes the ones I prefer (and they are much more of a trail shoe anyway) so I thought I’d give the Surges a shot — particularly since I am doing the road thing for the coming months. First impressions are positive. They are definitely lighter than what I normally use and felt stable and fast on the road. I was planning to use them for tomorrow’s run but decided that was a bad idea to jump into a fresh pair of shoes for a long-ish run. If these keep working well for me, I’ll probably pick up another pair for use during the event as well. That is the plan, at least. I’ll keep you posted. So far, I like them.
Tomorrow, I have a 17-ish miler planned for down in the valley. May turn this up a notch to 22 and run with Caleb. I’ll let you know.
Normally, I wouldn’t go around sniffing shoes, mine or anyone elses, but last year Dylan took a whiz in my bike shoes and well… it lingers. Whatchgonnado?
This weekend, I logged some hours on the mountain bikes to give the shin a rest. Seems to have worked nicely. No problems either day which, as you can imagine, makes me pretty happy. The riding went pretty well too. I got soaked on Saturday but it was warm and there wasn’t any lightning so I stayed out. Hit up some old trails in the Ned/Eldora area and then explored some new ones on the way home. My bike was destroyed afterwards from all the mud but it cleaned up nicely.
Today, Luke and I headed up to Eldora to suffer up the Caribou Flats climb on the singlespeeds. I wouldn’t really recommend this one unless you have the right gears. Both Luke and I are rocking pretty tall ratios so we ended up pushing a fair amount. Full-rigid is a little rough as well but sometimes you have to keep it really, really real. Old school. After a couple of missteps, we managed to find a kickass section of singletrack I had not ridden for many years and let me tell you, it was well worth it. Great ride. Here’s the full album.
Tomorrow I plan to do a whole lot of nuthin’. I have an appointment with Dr. Dave but will be taking the rest of the day off. I’m into my taper at this point and rest is going to be my primary focus over the next few weeks. I’ll roll out for a few runs here and there to test the leg, will do a few medium rides and take it easy until the race. I need to finalize my race plan for Megan, Nichole and Luke to review and get everything in order prior to the event. That is on this week’s agenda for sure.
It isn’t a mountain bike ride until somebody bleeds gets hit on the head by a falling lodgepole pine. ~ Ancient Mountain Biking Proverb
Yesterday: Nada Today: Ride – West Mag trails, 3 hours Tomorrow: Ride – Casa del Critters, 2 hours
Yesterday, I jammed into Boulder early to zap my leg with some ultrasound. Good times. Hopefully this, plus rest, massage and more ultrasound will get things working properly again. Still having some isses today for sure. I am glad I decided that trying to do Hope was a bad idea.
So, to keep myself off the gimpy shin, I met Brad and Jess in Nederland for some mountain biking. We headed up the trails off of West Mag and ended up monkeying around looking for a stretch of singletrack I stumbled across on Wednesday. Then Brad got bonked in the head by a pine tree that apparently had a deathwish for the Bradster. I had passed by the offending flora only to hear Jess ask if Brad was okay. Apparently, Brad gave the tree some grief about its rainbow suspenders back in gradeschool and well… made the list. Other than a headache, sore neck and now being an inch shorter, we think Brad is going to be okay.
Tomorrow, I plan to stay off the leg again and ride around the neighborhood for a couple of hours. I have a ton of work to do as well so will just stay in the area to get everything done.
Movie time: Last night we watched 11:14. Not a bad movie but not great either. One of those multiple story-line movies where several seemingly unrelated incidents come together at a point in time. Frankly, Kieslowski did it much better but this isn’t horrible.
In order to avoid scaring any readers off with continued tales of woe (our beloved kitty, Samantha died yesterday), I will post a few things I learned during yesterday’s productive, 4+ hour altitude run.
The route I took started from my house and ran down the Beav to Coal Creek Canyon. I then headed east to 97 and up to Magnolia. East briefly on Mag to the Blue Dot trail head tail and backwards on the Dots to Ned. Ned to the High School trails, West Mag and a sneaky trail back to Rollinsville. From there, I pretty much bee-lined it back home. I spun my last mile in about 7 minutes. At least I had that to brighten my spirits. Not sure how far I ran in total but I was pleased with the effort.
Here are some tidbits:
Jackets with hoods are necessary. In the ever-changing weather of the Rockies in the Springtime, one needs proper protection. My hooded jacket, unfortunately, is still on its way. I should be able to test-drive it later this week.
Drinking is a good thing. No, I don’t mean lugging around bottles of fortified wine, but I do recommend creating a system that works for you to stay hydrated. Yesterday, like most, I ran with my trusty Shuffle, and made sure to drink at the end of each song (at least). This seemed to keep me very well hydrated throughout the run. Good stuff. I also experimented with soda and protein drinks. Both of which seemed to do the trick.
There’s no school like the old-school. I dipped into the bag of old tricks and went for the old-school solution of PB&Js for my main “meal”. Seemed to work well. I think this is a combination of my getting better used to eating on the go but regardless, I plan to add the old standard to my new regimen.
Eat, drink, eat, drink, repeat. I try to start eating no more than 20 minutes into my longer runs. This helps to get me in the habit of ingesting calories throughout my effort and starts replenishing energy reserves immediately. This also helps me to graze vs. trying to choke down a huge meal all at once. Thanks to Luke for the killer Gorp recipe: Almonds, Pecans, Chocolate-covered Espresso Beans, Dried Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds. Good stuff.
Other than those items, I can report that Blue Dot is almost completely clear as are the Highschool and West Mag trails. Gentlemen, start your bikes.
I am not sure what the plan for Monday entails. Probably a run but we’ll see.