2500…

Excellent. ~ Mr. Burns

Finished up my Holiday week with 39 miles which pushed me over the top for my goal of running 2500 miles for the year. Coincidentally, I crossed that milestone right in front of Bob and Lindsay’s new house. As you recall, Bob helped get me to the finish line at Leadville this year with fantastic pacing and cajoling when I decided I was too spent to go on. Good stuff.

Look for a full, year-end report coming soon with all the facts and figures for the year.

~stubert.

Rudolph’s Revenge 10K Race Report…

We run to undo the damage we’ve done to body and spirit. We run to find some part of ourselves yet undiscovered. ~ John “The Penguin” Bingham

00:39:16, 17th overall, 4th in age group, PR

Cold weather finally came to Denver just in time for the annual Rudolph’s Revenge race. I opted to run the 10K event and hoped to put in a solid effort. My training hasn’t been completely up to snuff these past few weeks with numerous distractions and short days conspiring to keep me from putting in the miles I would normally like but I lined up with 600-odd other runner geeks to give it a whirl.

I made my way to the head of the queue to be sure to get out with the fast guys and targeted a sub-40-minute finish to wrap up what has been a stellar year of running and racing. After wishing a friend good luck (knowing I would be chasing him all day) I bounced around a little before the start, stripped off the garbage bag I was wearing to stay warm and we were off!

The first 100 meters of the run featured a very steep downhill into a tight bridge/right-hand turn and people were a bit all over the place jockeying for position and attempting to keep from getting clipped by the handrail. After this obstacle, however, the race merged with a bike path and headed north along the Platte river. I felt I was in a decent position as things shook out but quickly discovered the group with which I was running was going more slowly than I needed to achieve my sub-40 time, so I bridged up to the next group and settled in. After a minute or so, they slowed as well and so the first couple of miles was filled with little surges. I’d catch a couple people, they’d slow up, I’d bridge up to another group. This, as you might imagine, was a bit frustrating.

After about mile 2, I was stuck in no-man’s land for most of the remainder of the race and so had to rely on my own pacing to get me through. I didn’t feel terrific, by any means, but did manage to keep moving at a fairly steady until my right Achilles tendon started hurting as I crossed a bridge at about mile 3.5. One step it was fine and the next, not so much. Not sure what happened there but I just backed off the pace a smidge and soldiered on.

I must admit, it was pretty exciting to actually be at least within sight of the leaders of the race. I kept trying to haul people in during the last half but my Achilles problems weren’t really letting me move as quickly as I wanted so I just focused on retaining a semblance of good form and finishing strongly. With about 3/4 of a mile to go, I kicked as much as I was able and nearly caught the closest competitor in front of me in the steep uphill in the last 100 meters. I finished up in 39:16 and felt quite happy with that result. I realized after the race that I had run one previous 10K event in college and seem to recall finishing that one in about 45 minutes. So I’ll proudly take the new PR!

I have about 39 miles left to complete my final goal of the year – run 2,500 miles. Honestly, I have probably eclipsed this mark already as my Garmin usually reads a little short but to keep it honest, I am only counting verifiable mileage. So if I have a decent week, this goal could be reached in the next 7 days. If it is a bit thin (which it probably will be given my desire to get some skiing done and the Holidays), the mark may be passed in the last week of the year. In either event, I’ll keep you posted and shoot me a note if you want to join me during my 2,500th-mile run!

~stubert.

Darkness…

The depth of darkness to which you can descend and still live is an exact measure of the height to which you can aspire to reach. ~ Pliny the Elder

This is the time of year I usually dread. The days are unbearably short (I know, I know… Alaska) and usually freezing. Neither of which contributes fantastically to keeping a level of fitness together. Fortunately for me, I had the means to invest in a solution to both problems – I purchased a kickass treadmill to battle the darkness and the cold. Mother nature has conspired this year to take a big bite out of #2 as we have been experiencing a return to summer of late. Not that I approve, this climate change stuff could be a doozy long-term, but being able to run outside, in shorts and a t-shirt, in mid-December is a treat at which I will not scoff. I do hope for some more seasonal weather in due time, however.

Barker Reservoir is usually firmly locked in a thick layer of ice by this time of year. This season, however, it remains mostly in liquid form. Eldora’s trails are in fairly crappy shape as well and we have very little snow on the ground at the casa. As I write this, in fact, it is nearly 45° at 7:00pm. Not normal at all. The I-70 corridor, however, has been getting pounded by terrific winter storms so the skiing in the high-country is actually pretty stellar. Best of both worlds, I imagine. Good times.

I have managed to keep up a somewhat silly run streak for 46 days. I am in desperate need of a day off, however, and am taking one Thursday in prep for this weekend’s 10K event in Denver. Not sure exactly how I will do since a) I have never actually run a 10K race and b) am not sure my prep has been as fantastic as it could have been with lots of work-related distractions keeping me from focused training but I plan to give it all I have, race smart and come away with a sub-40 chip time. So I guess the first half of that sentence contradicts the second half but the truth will be, as they say, in the tape.

I have managed to get in several days of skiing at the Basin as well and am finally coming back into some semblance of form and style I crafted two seasons ago. Skiing with confidence again, which is nice and I feel really able to explore the opportunities a mountain like A-Basin has to offer. I did throw down some coin on a pair of AT boots and am very excited to see how well I ski locked down. I predict ample gains in what I can accomplish when not constantly faced with the prospect of flying over the bars. Should be fun.

My two remaining goals for 2010 include logging an honest 2500 miles for the year (as of today, I am only 50 miles shy of that target) and running that elusive sub-40 10K. The latter is going to be the touchy one as (barring injury or unprecedented flame out) I have the former pretty much in the bag. I’ll announce a day on which I’ll cross that arbitrary threshold and anyone who wants to join in the fun and/or games can come along. Afterward, beers will be served.

So stay tuned. News is forthcoming.

~stubert.

Fall to winter…

Man imposes his own limitations, don’t set any. ~ Anthony Bailey

Been taking things a bit easy of late and work has been slammin’ so that has kept me very busy. Still managing to get in some decent running though my volume has been off of a bit. Still gunning for a 2500 mile year and need to step it up a bit in November/December to make that mark.

I have been nursing a calf/Achilles tendon goofiness for the past couple of weeks that seems to crop up after 5 miles or so of running. Definitely wanting to take care of this rather than allow it to become a chronic problem so my longer runs have not been particularly long. Spun 10 on Sunday on trails near my house that take me into Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Still not much snow in that area of the woods but one can sense that it is on its way. Probably not many weekends left of uninhibited high-country trail running so I am enjoying it while I am able.

Very excited about the addition of a Sole F85 Treadmill to the arsenal for this winter. Much more convenient than hitting the gym and it forced me to rearrange the office a bit and commit to a stand-up desk (which I built over the weekend). Still need to sort a few items out in there but it is coming together nicely.

I couldn’t find another good marathon to run this year so will focus my attention on running a sub-3 next season. I am planning to work in a 5K and 10K before the end of the year and hope to put together a couple more long-ish adventure runs before we get completely socked in with snow. We’ll see if those get done before it just becomes silly.

One race that is definitely on the schedule for ’11 is the San Francisco Marathon in late July. That isn’t really a PR kind of race but it should be a blast. Really looking forward to that one. Will have to sit down and figure out the rest of my schedule soon. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

~stubert.

Slackin’…

Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. ~ Jeffrey Lebowski

I have been slacking in many ways but working is not one of them. We have been slammed and this, coupled with Relish Studio’s move to Lakewood, has been keeping me super busy. I have been running – rather quickly, it seems – but have logged neither the consistency I would prefer nor the volume. Alas, that is – as they are known to say – how it goes.

The sluggishness I felt in my legs immediately post Leadville has worked its way out and I have had some great, fast (for me) runs over the past couple of weeks. It has been really nice to just cut loose on these runs and I feel that my form is coming along well. Just need to regain the consistency I had during the run-up to the LT100 with a serious dial down of the overall volume. Training for that race was difficult. It was a commitment I am glad I made because the results were impressive, however, I would caution anyone seeking to commit to a similar program about the life and relationship sacrifices one will have to make to put that plan in place. In all ways, it was challenging.

So what does the future hold? Right now, I am enjoying a certain lack of structure associated with a more free-form approach to running and may target another event in the future but not another 100-miler. I feel I have tackled that elephant and a repeat performance at this point would be merely redundant. Adventure running has a strong appeal as does the allure of a sub-3-hour marathon. Unfortunately, these are mostly combative when considering the nature of training required for each. So we’ll see what happens.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.

~stubert.