Rest week…

Though the streams are swollen, keep them doggies rollin’. ~ Frankie Laine

Mon June 14: 00:23, 2.48 miles, South Beaver Creek night run
Tues June 15: 1:01, 5.84 miles, Secret to Thorne surges
Wed June 16: 2:00, 13.45 miles, Dearborne tempo
Thurs June 17: 2:32, 9.43 miles, Arapaho Pass/Glacier Trail run/hike
Sat June 19: 1:57, 10.75 miles, Casa trails easy
Sun June 20: 4:09, 21.93 miles, Boulder Foothills/Mesa
Total: 12:03, 63.88 miles, 8,258 vertical

Good, mellow week of running. Felt strong and rested and worked on getting the slower pacing down. No major, or even minor troubles to report at this point. Just gearing up for the race and getting supremely focused.

I even came to the realization this week that I am psyched to get through the event… wait for it… so I can run. Yes, there is nothing really okay with that. This thought came to me while actually ON a run as well. So essentially, I am excited to complete the training (running) for Leadville so I can run some more. Not right at all but amusing. I think I am missing a bit of the spontaneity that comes with not having a fixed goal to which I am focused. It will be fun to have some flexibility for sure so I can go on a big run on, say, Friday if someone has something wacky planned.

The highlight of the week was probably my trip up Arapaho Glacier Trail. This was a scheduled run/hike and so I jammed up 4th of July to the trailhead for Arapaho Pass. The trail up high was still snow covered and a little punchy until I turned off to go up the Arapaho Glacier Trail where conditions were mixed but the snow was a bit more firm when it needed to be crossed at great length. Lots of water flowing up there as well which made for soggy feet but I didn’t really mind. The wind was howling up there, however, which made going a little tough but fun. I am learning to appreciate everything nature has to throw at me and take it all in stride.

One item of note for the week: Early morning runs are pretty sweet. I got out on the trails by about 6:15 on Saturday and all was right with the world in that moment. The birds were singing, there was a peacefulness and tranquility that one just doesn’t seem to find at other times of the day. Even when I am alone in the woods, there is a certain “buzz” one can sense when other people are active in the area. I may go hours without seeing anyone else but during the day, you can just feel the activity. Early in the morning, this same energy is missing. In a good way. Coyote are yipping, the sun is making its first impact on distant hillsides and the cool air makes each exhale visible.

Good times.


Get up, stand up…

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that! ~ the Queen

Tues 2 March: 00:40, 4.9 miles, Boulder Creek Path surges
Wed 3 March: 1:48, 12.5 miles, Westview loop tempo
Thurs 4 March: 00:39, 4.4 miles, Mtn. Meadows/Beav easy

Still rolling consistent mileage. I felt a little whooped going into Wednesday’s tempo run and slightly blah about the whole endeavor. Once we got rolling, however, it ended up being a decent effort. I blew up quite dramatically at the end but still managed decent splits. Lessons: Pay attention to what your body is yelling at you, time your kick, push through the finish. One out of three isn’t great but gaining the knowledge of the other two makes up for their absence during the effort.

These runs aren’t all about time on my feet. They work as training for my head as well. Getting up for a daily run can be difficult. Some days, my brain tells me to just bag it, to take the day off and everything will be right with the world. These are the days that when I pull on the trainers and get moving, I can make that big, wuss part of my brain shut up for awhile and then I realize how much better I feel for having ignored the naysayer in me and gotten out for awhile. It is rare that I feel worse after having gone out for a run. And that is a big part of why I do it.

Americans are an “all or nothing” kind of society. Sometimes (when embracing the “all”), this works to our advantage and great discoveries are made, records are broken and we really shine. Unfortunately, the “nothing” takes over much of the time and we are left with generations of couch potatoes with carpal tunnel syndrome or video-game-thumb. I can’t count how many times I have had people ask me about running and comment that they would like to run a marathon (or half marathon or whatever) but that they just don’t have enough time. So they do nothing.

My advice is always this: If you only have 15 minutes to run, go run for 15 minutes. That’s it. Sure, the bigger goal may still loom out there but running 15 minutes will get you moving in the right direction where sitting on the couch will get you nowhere. It’s the same advice I give people who want to go vegan but just can’t give up food-item-x. So eat less of food-item-x… you will be doing yourself a favor and helping the planet. Strap on the trainers and go out for 10 minutes. That’s 10 minutes more than nothing. Which is much more than just a start.


Patience makes perfect…

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. ~ John Quincy Adams

Yesterday: Run – Zoo Loop (GGCSP), 3 hours 15 minutes
Today: Massage/Hike/Walk – Somewhere, 1 hour
Tomorrow: Golf/Yankees Game – Denver

FINALLY a good run.

Yesterday’s run felt great and I have no residual aches or pains this morning. Everything just clicked… from tempo to food to hydration. Hoping this is an indicator of things to come.

I headed out into the forest behind my house and wound my way up to Gap Road where I linked up with Elk Trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. GGCSP is one of the gems of the Front Range and, for whatever reason, not too many people seem to know about it. (Which, frankly, is okay by me.) Elk Trail is mostly downhill and starts in the conifers and slowly moves down through meadows and aspen groves, past an old homestead then eventually links up with Mule Deer Trail.

This whole area was once rife with Bootleggers and the remnants of their presence can still be found if you know where to look. There are abandoned cabins, rusted out delivery vans and the like dotting the canyons and hillsides in and around the Park. If you know where to look, you can see evidence of some interesting history.

Mule Deer rises up from the valley floor through the forest to a gorgeous high-meadow where another homestead once existed. This is one of my favorite spots in the Park where Coyote Trail meets Mule Deer. There is a small spring nearby and wildlife abounds (though I didn’t see much during yesterday’s venture). Rach loves it up here and we hike Coyote often.

Mule Deer continues through more arid terrain and eventually dumps back to some tricky, steep singletrack before it connects with Raccoon Trail. This is another favorite – a fairly mellow 2.5 mile loop that wraps through diverse terrain. The wildflowers were starting to peek out through the grass all along the route – boding well for this summer’s season. From Raccoon, I hooked up with the campground loop, refilled my water and headed back home the way I came. More of a popsicle than a loop per se. I was home in just under 3:15 and then sat in the creek for awhile to soak my legs. The remainder of the day was spent freelancing and hanging out with Rach.

Lessons learned:

  • Start out slowly: This is key to being able to set a decent pace long-term and to ensure that you don’t blow up early on in the run.
  • Clif Shots are gross – but are your friend: You have to just gulp these things down but they seem to help a bit. I still like the Margarita Shot Blocks better.
  • Pizza doesn’t work for a Stu: Dean Karnazes swears by it but it didn’t really work so great for me. Perhaps it was the Soy cheese or the fact that Rach makes really yummy spicy pizza but my stomach couldn’t take it.

View the full run album here.

My pops is coming to town tomorrow for a belated Father’s Day celebration. We are going to play a round of golf then go to the Rockies/Yankees game. Dad’s a big Yankees fan so I try to get tickets whenever they come to town. I am really looking forward to spending some time with him enjoying the summer weather. It is not supposed to be too hot tomorrow nor is it supposed to rain so we should be in good shape.

Okay, off to get some work done before meetings in Boulder.

See you out there.