I don’t like having you as my cousin… you’re tall and old. ~ Jack (my new step-nephew, actually)

Fri 23 Apr: 1:12, 8.65 miles, Air Force Academy Loops
Sun 25 Apr: 4:55, 28.5 miles, Niwot/North Boulder Loops
Weekly total: 9:45, 60.65 miles

Great week. Both training and otherwise. Friday was a bit of a cluster but the rest of the week featured solid training and good times.

The non-running highlight of the weekend was my dad’s wedding in Colorado Springs. He and his new bride, Donna hosted a wonderful weekend and are now in the air on their way to Hawaii for the honeymoon. Here’s the weekend recap:

Headed down to the Springs early on Friday, hoping to beat both traffic and pretty crappy weather. What should have taken about 2 hours turned into 3:20 with I-25 being turned into a parking lot for a good portion of the morning. So golf was out and watching it puke snow was in.

Dad arranged lodging at the Air Force Academy (he was a Major in the Air National Guard) and so we hung out there most of the afternoon. I had planned to hit some trails I used to ride a lot in college, but the snow and wind made that seem pretty fruitless. By mid-afternoon, I really needed to get my run on and headed down to the gym to log some treadmill miles. The room was way too hot so I bailed after 3/4 of a mile and decided to brave the outdoors. Fortunately it stayed relatively warm so the roads throughout the Academy fairly quickly melted off. Though it stayed windy, the street surface alternated between damp and wet. I selected a 6-mile loop (which turned out to be closer to eight) and got in a short run. Actually ended up feeling okay but got a little messed up given the mileage difference.

Friday night, we went to a party and met all our new relatives. Donna made special food for me (given my wacky vegan-ness) and it was wonderful to meet everyone and catch up with my brother and his wife, uncle and cousins. I decided to head home late Friday night and got to bed around 1:30. A bit of a long day but worth it.

Saturday, Rach and I headed back down for the actual wedding, which was a lovely event. Rach taught the little kids shame, even. Everyone should know that. We had one fairly major kink in the plans when one of our bunnies, Flea, got sick. We tried to get him to feel better before leaving for the event, but were unable to do so. So we brought a secret guest to the wedding carrying on a long and proud tradition of us bringing critters to family events. Why anyone expects otherwise at this point is beyond me.

Today, I got up early (after not a lot of sleep again) and jammed down to Boulder to run with the group. The run was a little slower than normal and I felt great despite the lack of sleep. Put in a strong effort and ended with about 28.5 miles in just shy of 5 hours. Run time was probably more like 4:40 or so. This pushed me up and over the 60-mile mark for the week. Good stuff.

Hoping to finish up the month with daily runs Tuesday-Friday. Heading to Palm Springs for another wedding on Friday, however, so that day may be a day off. Planning a decent run on Saturday but this week will be a bit on the low side in preparation for a big week the first week of May.


Ski, run, run, run…

If one could run without getting tired I don’t think one would often want to do anything else. – C.S. Lewis

Tues: 2:00, ski, A-Basin, 00:40, 4.5 miles, treadmill surges
Wed: 1:30ish, 11.4ish miles, Boulder tempo
Thurs: 00:36, 3.45 miles, Casa recovery

Crazy week. My mojo has been thrown off a bit by the holiday but that does not seem to have affected my running. Which is nice. I have continued to be consistent and even tossed in some turns at the Basin on Tuesday for good measure.

Tuesday featured early morning snow sliding with Caleb, a buddy who hadn’t skied since last March when he suffered a broken leg while skiing at the Basin. So it was a celebration of sorts, welcoming him back to the world of tele turns. A-Basin still has really only one run of man-made open but it was fun to get out there and spin a few laps. It wasn’t too crowded on Tuesday morning so we just burned vert until we felt like we had explored the one run enough then called it good. Caleb is a two-time Leadville runner and has logged a bunch of really cool marathon experience as well. He has done a lot of the major events (Chicago, New York, Boston, San Fran) and logged a PR of 3:02 at New York two years ago (if memory serves). I definitely am putting that one on the list and may just toss my name in the lottery for next year’s event for good measure.

Post skiing, I hit the gym for some surges on the treadmill and felt great. Good, solid warm up then 5 strong, 1-minute surges. Apparently the skiing treated me well as I felt awesome and just cranked through the workout in good form

Wednesday, I got up early and headed down to Boulder for a tempo run. I forgot my Garmin and iMapMyRun didn’t work for me so well but I survived the technical difficulties to pull together a pretty amazing run. I warmed up really slowly then chased through the group to log over 11 miles total in about 1:30. Considering the warm up (~50 minutes, 4+miles), that is a really fast tempo for a Stu. I was pretty much done by mile 11 and coasted in the last half mile for a really solid tempo run. Too fast, yeah. But good to get things moving and sustain for that duration.

Today featured a quick recovery run. It was a gorgeous day up here and I was treated to virtual silence throughout the run. With everyone indoors watching football or whacking down enough food to keep an African village well fed for a week, I had the roads and trails to myself. I put it on auto-pilot and just ran at a slow, comfortable pace throughout. Headed up through Mountain Meadows and unconsciously, turned onto one of my favorite trails near my house. It was snowpacked and icy but that didn’t seem to bother me much at all as I worked my way through the forest, the tempo of my footsteps providing the rhythm to carry me up and over hills and obstacles along the way. The trail became progressively less traveled as I made my way through the woods until I was breaking trail through 6 inches of untracked snow left over from our last storm. I popped out on the main thoroughfare and headed back towards my house. A red-tailed hawk was circling lazily overhead, ducking courageously through the tall pines until it drew the attention of a single crow who quickly made its way up to make its challenge. They danced, providing me ample entertainment to carry me over the last hill effortlessly. I made it home shortly thereafter, energized from the time spent out among the flora and fauna of the Colorado high-country.


The road to success…

Get your motor runnin’. ~ Steppenwolf

00:32, 3.27 miles, slow recovery

As we roll into winter months here in the high country, the ability to log miles on trails pretty much goes away. Fortunately, I am close to Boulder/Denver and trails down there stay relatively clear year-round (traction is a plus so I plan to get a lot of time with screw shoes or yaktrax) but one does tend to log a lot of miles on the slab during the course of winter training. Interestingly enough, I have been running on pavement quite a bit of late anyway as I have started running with a group of people who spend a lot of time on the blacktop.

Last year, I purposely started running longer-distance street races in an effort to become more efficient, get my average pace up and get in some late-season racing to jump start my ultra dominance in 2009. We all know how well that worked out as I was injured most of this year and only got in a couple of races. Alas, I do not blame the pavement and still believe that training on roads does help in many ways to translate fitness, efficiency and consistency to the ultra-distance scene and here I am, a year later, approaching the slab with a keener eye for how quickly to ramp up mileage and pacing.

Bryon Powell has a great summary of why he believes road running is great for trail running if you are interested in checking out his post on the subject.

I am not sure what you would call yesterday’s run, to be honest. It certainly wasn’t on pavement (mixed snow, ice, some hardpacked dirt roads) but it wasn’t trail running either. It was a bit chilly and given that I was moving at a very relaxed pace, I piled on the clothing a little bit. I felt better as the run progressed as well – starting out feeling a bit clunky then, by the end, feeling much smoother. All in all, it was good to get out for a quick spin and enjoy the time I get to spend in our beautiful surroundings. I recommend you do the same.




They need dip-tet boosters yearly or they develop lockjaw and night vision. ~ Dot

1:30, 11 miles, tempo

Got my run on this morning then went to the doc for a check-up and tetanus shot. All appears to be doing well with the bod and I didn’t even feel the shot. That nurse was a magician, I tell ya. Either that or she faked the whole thing and is selling my tetanus medication on the black market.

Ran tempo this morning and almost missed the train. Started at around 75th and Jay in Boulder and leisurely ran up to the starting point only to remember that I forgot to slather on the Body Glide. This… ladies and gentlemen, is a problem. So I started my tempo early and jammed back to the car then pushed the pace up Jay to meet with the Wednesday tempo crew. I made it with seconds to spare (well, or a few late) and ran a progressively faster tempo for just under 5 miles at which point I shut ‘er down and jogged back to the car. Good, solid run for me and I really felt great throughout.

Took Beep-kitty to the vet this morning as she had some follow-up surgery from a lump we discovered last week that proved to be cancerous. Dr. Bock felt like the procedure went really well and that he got good margins. The lab results should be back in a day or two then we’ll know for sure but she seems to be recovering nicely at this point.

I also got my old G4 desktop back from the shop and it is in need of a power supply. That’s $400 so the old girl may get repurposed as a liquor cabinet or a planter or something since that is about $100 more than the stupid thing is worth. (Purchased in ’03 for ~$3000 – lovely.)

Tomorrow work and a quick, easy run.