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.

Crash, boom, bam…

You take the good, you take the bad… ~ Alan Thicke (Who knew?!?!)

This has been a pretty stellar week for some of us. Others, not so much. I’ll start with the some and move on to the others…

After Sunday’s long run, I thought I would be a little worked. However, Monday morning I felt awesome and hit the gym for some weight-training and just to get the blood flowing again. Did about 10 minutes on the rowing machine then circuits. The gym is not my very favorite place to be but if one is efficient, one can minimize the time spent. Plus, the Gilpin County Rec Center is very nice and rarely crowded. So it’s all good.

Tuesday, someone decided to kick the blower into high gear and it was howling up here. So I headed back to the gym to run on the treadmill. Just put it in cruiser mode for about a half an hour warm-up (10:00 pace on an XC course that didn’t ever really tax me) and then stepped it up for a whole boat-load of surges. Amazingly, these felt awesome. Yes, I was working pretty hard but was able to stay relaxed, even at a quick clip. 50 minutes total for somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 miles.

On Wednesday, I headed down to Boulder early to meet up with a group that does tempo runs every week. I parked a few miles from the start and got in a good warm up, did some short strides with the group then we split into 3 or 4 packs for the tempo work. I was in the last group that consisted of Tim, Rebecca and me and we chased the rest of the runners. I am guessing there were 10 people total including my running coach, Janet Runyan. Fun to finally get to actually run with her.

I pretty much just stuck with Tim for the first 4 miles (where he stopped) and we spun low 7s for most of that period. We would catch other runners then they would take a shortcut and meet us farther along the route so we all got to run together for at least a little while. After Tim dropped off, I kept going for a full 50 minutes of tempo. Ended up back at my car in sub 1:30 and a total of 11 miles. I did about 25 minutes warm up, 50 at tempo and about 10 cool-down. This was actually a really great run and I felt awesome throughout. Covered lots of miles in a short period of time. Good stuff.

Wednesday night was when things took a turn. First, we found out that Reggie, my buddy John’s 13-year-old bulldog, had gone missing. He had been sick for quite awhile and was really old for a bulldog and his body was found the next day. He apparently had just wandered off to find a place to die. Very sad for John and the Reg-man will be sorely missed. He was awesome. Then Thursday, Luke, Pete and I went up to the Basin to get in some runs. On run #3, when we weren’t even really skiing that fast, Luke caught an edge and went down like a sack of potatoes. Spiral fracture of his left clavicle. Super drag. He handled the whole thing like a champ, though. We look forward to his recovery so he can get back to the business of kicking our asses all over the ski area.

I hit the gym on the way home for a few circuits and decided that I could take the day off from running since I skied and lifted. Off again today then a short run tomorrow and long again on Sunday. Starting to really feel great and I’m looking forward to putting some races on the schedule soon.

Be sure to get your passes lined up for next week’s Adventure Film Festival in Boulder. A lot of great movies to check out. Don’t miss it!

~stubert.

Day 6 on the stix and a weekly summary…

Remain calm. All is well. ~ Chip Diller

Finally getting some snow up in the zone. We got a couple at my house but it pretty much hammered the whole time we were at Eldora today so that was refreshing. In typical Rock fashion it was blowing about 7 billion miles an hour too so that made it extra special. Fun day on the boards, though with Pete, Edy, and Caleb. Pete was feeling super sexy as he donned Edy’s underthings for the day and borrowed my goggles because apparently his ski bag isn’t big enough or something. Not sure what made him feel sexier, the goggles or the frilly undergarments. I am guessing the goggles.

Ok, so I have flailed on the weekly updates for a bit. My apologies. Things have been a little funky and I have been remiss about updates. Here are the last two weeks in summary:

  • Sunday (11/16): Half a good road run in Boulder, 17 miles, 2:13ish. Well, I was awesome for about 13 miles then got stopped by a light and pretty much blew up. I did the first 13 at an 8-minute pace. Up the creek path to the end, back to 4th, over to Kalmia and down to the Foothills path. Good stuff as this isn’t very hill-free. Really suffered for the last 4 but overall, I felt pretty good about the effort. Need to work on the “finish strong” thing a bit.
  • Tuesday (11/18): Sanitas adventure, 6.5 miles, 1:30. Hit the trails with my buddy, Stephen. He showed me a cool, back way to the Sanitas summit. Really steep in spots so I had to walk a little bit but it was nice to be on trails. We descended the west route and my right knee started feeling a bit bunk from the steep drops and lack of miniscus. We then headed back up the valley trail and I called it at the top and ran back down in near darkness down Dakota ridge. Overall a fun run.
  • Wednesday (11/19): Abandoned Broomfield run, 6 miles, 00:55. Well, I had every intention to run about 12 miles but did not feel well at all so I bailed about half way through. Super sore from the day before and my knee was bugging me so I thought it would be best if I bailed instead of pushing it.
  • Thursday (11/20): Swim, 00:30. Hit the pool to see if that would make my knee feel any better. It didn’t really.
  • Friday (11/21): Recovery run with strides, 4 miles, 00:31. Hit the track for a bit then swam. Felt okay during but not super afterwards.
  • Saturday (11/22): Supposed to do a 6 mile race/run but wasn’t feeling it so I skied again.
  • Sunday (11/23): Was supposed to do a 17-miler but took the day off instead.
  • Monday (11/24): Ski
  • Tuesday (11/25): Track run, 7 miles with strides, 00:54. Fast track run. Felt a bit wonky but was able to spin some fast laps. Swam afterwards.
  • Wednesday (11/26): Ski
  • Thursday (11/27): Ski
  • Friday (11/28): Track run, 5 miles, 00:38. Did some strides and kept a steady pace throughout. Actually felt pretty solid, which was nice.
  • Saturday (11/29): Ski

Overall, I am feeling pretty beaten up right now but that is getting better. I am going into full taper mode at this point and am even going to bail on some of my scheduled training to see if I can get feeling injury free by next Sunday. The plan for this week is to do a short run tomorrow (probably about 5 miles), a short run with a serious effort on Tuesday (7 miles or so with 3 at super max effort), rest Wednesday-Friday (well, I will probably have to toss in a few laps at the local slopes but rest is relative). I fly to Vegas on Saturday and will probably try to get in a 3 miler then game on Sunday at 6:00 am.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.

~stubert.

Fast. Furious. – Weekly summary…

Yo tengo un pato pedorro. ~ Pete Sabin

What a week. Way WAY too busy with work. Made me grumpy as hell but eager to get my runs in. Spent most of the week indoors but laid down some fast laps and felt pretty solid about it all by week’s end.

  • Sunday 11/9: Horrendous half, 13 miles, 1:53. This was not the workout I had in mind as I just pretty much suffered through most of it. Felt friggin GREAT on the downhill then things got windy, cold and ugly fast. I find it virtually impossible to run slow enough up hills at altitude to keep my heartrate down. By the end, I couldn’t keep it under control on the downhills. Plus I got nipple chafe. How lame is that as the proverbial cherry on top of a miserable run?
  • Monday 11/10: Recovery swim, 30 minutes. Good to get in the pool to wash away yesterday’s tears.
  • Tuesday 11/11: Wash Park runstravaganza, 7+ miles, 00:57. Now THAT’s what I’m talking about. Was down in Denver for meetings so decided to head to Wash Park for some laps. Was feeling pretty solid so I decided to step it up and lay down some good times. I have come to the conclusion, however, that I am an ugly runner. Who’s that lump plodding down the road over there? Oh THAT? That’s stubert.
  • Wednesday 11/12: Indoor half, 13.3ish, 1:44. Ok, I felt the need to really put the hammer down and had a 12-miler scheduled so I figured why not turn that into a half marathon and see if I can get my target pace for the full dialed in? So that is what I did. Painful? A bit… but I felt okay afterwards and am now feeling pretty confident about adjusting my raceday target to something below 3:30 since I won’t be at altitude. I’ll keep you posted on that.
  • Friday 11/14: LT 9-miler with some barefoot then swim, 9 miles, 1:09. Hit the track again because work kept me busy until after dark. Spun the first three miles at a steady 8-minute pace then turned on the heat for 5. Tried to keep a 7-minute pace for these but was redlined after 2.5 and had to back off for a little bit then crank it back up. Ended up finishing the first 8 in 1:00, which for me, is awesome. Then I did 1/4 mile slowish jog then 3/4 mile barefoot. All in all, a great training session. I then swam for a bit to cool down.
  • Saturday 11/15: Day two on the planks at the Basin, 1:30. Pete, Edy and I headed up early and made turns until it got crowded — which didn’t take long. The snow was decent and a morning of turns is better than a morning spent sitting in front of the computer.

Total mileage for the week: 42.5
Total time for the week: 8:15ish (including swims and skiing and whatnot)

All in all, a bad start with a solid finish. Starting to feel fast and definitely more able to manage the heartrate at higher speeds. Good stuff.

~stubert.

Good week…

Vanity is the enemy of funny. ~ Rach

Where were we? Oh yeah… back in business.

This week has been pretty solid on the activity side of things. After Sunday’s ski with Luke and Pete, I went for a run on Monday. Just a short one, 5 miles in the woods near my house. I didn’t feel awesome but did feel a lot better than I have in months. Great news. I followed up with a 6-miler yesterday (Thursday) and logged the best time ever on that particular route. My average pace was just over 10-minute miles and I was able to really put the hammer down for the last couple of miles. Just what I needed. I am not breaking any speed records but I am not really a speed record kind of runner. In case you hadn’t noticed.

Luke and I went out this morning for a ski up Niwot Ridge. We left the trail head about 6:15 and were back at the cars by 10:15. Both the up and out were a bit of a slog (just the nature of the Isabelle drainage) but the ski was really a lot of fun. We were a bit concerned up top as the snow was quite firm but as soon as we dropped in, it softened up and was a blast. Big walls on either side; undulating terrain; nice, steep sections; and a sketchy mandatory over some rocks in a tight pinch at the bottom (you had to kindof scootch into the bottom of it and then leap over the rocks and straight-line through a 3-foot chute with a big wall on the right and a huge boulder on the left). Exciting and fun for sure.

Other than that, I have just been working a lot, watching some movies (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is hilarious, incidentally, and inspired Rach’s quote above) and reading a ton (finished a second reading of the Potter series, Long Way Round, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, etc. etc.).

More later.

~stubert.