Flyin’ solo…

You get your ass out there and you find that fucking dog. ~ Billy Madison

Rach is covering the House Rabbit Society this week while her co-manager, Nancy, is visiting Maine so I am flying solo for the week. Just me and the critters up here at the casa – and quite a few less critters than normal. Rach took down all the critical care guys so the house feels a little empty. I have moved my motorcycle, ski and bike collection in to fill the void and get a little Spring tune-up action going so that is filling the now-empty space. (I kid, I kid.)

On the running front, I am still at it though with ill-definined goals currently. I took Tuesday off to rest and went to see Star Trek, which was entertaining. JJ needs to relax a bit on the lens flairs but it featured an entertaining story, capable acting and good action with just a fine schmear of cheese. And what would Trek be without some cheese?

I ran short on Wednesday and did some surges which got me a couple of thumbs up from passing motorists on the Beav’. I felt great, actually and was able to keep my form solid throughout my run, which is precisely what we are after. So mission accomplished. Short, meet sweet.

Thursday got away from me a little bit with some work wackiness then a quest to find Rach a new headset so that she can actually get some work done while fielding calls at the shelter. I then went to see Sandy to get a little work done on my never-en ading ab problem and by the time I got home, my desire to run had wained quite a bit. I finally levered myself off the couch and just said, “Man, get your ass in gear and go run.” And I listened! Go figure. Usually I buck authority.

The first half of the run was decidedly unpleasant. My poor attitude was coupled with really not feeling well at all. It was late (I didn’t start until after 7p) and I had wacked down some ill-advised snacks just prior to the run. Plus I was feeling a bit exhausted in general. So I ran/walked up a trail near my house with the ultimate goal of reaching Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Clunkiness continued for about 2.5 miles until I started to feel it. The second half of the run went really well and I turned on the heat to finish up with a total time of 1:04 and 6.5 miles – all on dirt and technical trails. I think this is actually as fast as I have ever done this loop so all’s well that end’s well. The lesson learned is “get off your couch, jackass… you might be missing your best run ever!” (Not that this was my best run ever per se, but it could have been and I could have missed it, jeez.)

So I am off again today and have to roll down to Boulder for a meeting. I may try to catch another movie… not sure. Tomorrow is the big race that I am not doing (ugh). I am going to volunteer at Aid Station 3 so say “hi” as you run by or just come out to watch everyone else running the Dirty 30. Sunday I volunteer at the shelter and then am shooting some video for the shelter then am going to figure out how to work in an 11-miler. May turn into my first night run of the season. We’ll see.

On a less awesome note, I ask everyone to employ their good juju and point it toward the mountains of China for a bit. My buddy, Jonny Copp and two climbing partners are past due returning from a first ascent attempt of Dojitsenga, a 5,700-meter peak in the Kangri Garpo range. They are currently at least two days late. This is not really something new for J to the C but any good thoughts you might send his way couldn’t hurt. Read more about it.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.


Holy crap another week…

These guys at school… smoke. ~ Gavin

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.


Heat and Stus do not mix…

I’m Mr. Heat Blister, I’m Mister Hundred and One. ~ Heat Miser

It is amazing how intolerant of heat I am. Yesterday, I was in Boulder and my run got delayed until around noon. It definitely wasn’t what I would consider “hot” down there but I suffered a bit nonetheless. Maybe I had just prepared myself for an easier time but my heartrate was through the roof all day. I must admit, I was having a hard time not running too fast (which contributed for sure) but my heartrate in general was just a lot higher than normal.

This could all be attributed to lots of different issues – from base fatigue to the physiology of how one’s body keeps cool. I am guessing it is a combination of factors. My sleep patterns have been a bit screwed up of late (getting to bed a lot later than normal) and I have been training more consistently as well. I am sure both these have contributed to my current state (which isn’t bad, mind you). Those items, coupled with my heart having to work harder to push blood closer to the surface of my skin in order to cool me off in warmer temps is probably what did it.

In any event, I had a fairly hectic morning then finally got out for an 8-mile loop around central Boulder. I am able to maintain increased speeds on flat roads (which is nice) and aside from the overheating, felt okay. My legs were turning over well and so I worked on form and then did some strides at the end. All in all, a pretty good run.

On Sunday, I did a 13-mile loop up by my place and tried to keep a steady pace of 8:45-9:30 pacing. I spun the loop in just under 2-hours, which is averaging about 9-minute miles. This was supposed to be an aerobic endeavor but trying to keep that steady pace up hills at altitude definitely pushed me up into “going too hard” territory on a few occasions. I may just switch to heartrate training or something to ensure that I don’t overdo it.

Tomorrow, I have a 10-miler scheduled and will be down in Boulder again. Might jump on some trails down there just for kicks or run their awesome network of bike paths. I’ll try to get out earlier this time so as to not get stuck in the heat. Anyone up for a run?


Ta daaaaa…

The first fall of snow is not just an event, it is a magical event. ~ J.B. Priestley

Snow! Not at my house but damned close. I thought we had a good shot at getting some here but it didn’t happen (since we have lived up in the hills, the only month during which it hasn’t snowed once at our place is August).

I decided to head down to the rec center to run on the treadmill and swim. This, apparently, was enough to get the clouds to lift and the sun to come out. So had I waited an hour or so, I could have had a pleasant run outside. In any event, I got in a good treadmill run, felt great, sunk swam for a bit and was treated to spectacular views of the snowcapped peaks near our house upon finishing up. Good times!

So for my run I did 1 mile warm-up at a 10-minute pace, then another mile at a 4-hour marathon pace (9-minute miles) then 2 miles at a 3:30 marathon pace (7:57-minute miles) then stepped it up for the last hard mile at a 3-hour marathon pace. Then I warmed down for a mile back at 10-minute pace. Interestingly, I was able to keep my heartrate in the 140s at the 4-hour pace and it only jumped up a little at the 3:30. Forget about the 3-hour mark. I would have a lot of work to do to be able to sustain that pace for more than a few miles. And keep in mind this is all on a treadmill, which doesn’t really count.

Then I swam for about 15 minutes. Which was plenty. I am less than efficient in the pool.

So send your thoughts out to the poor bastards doing the Leadville 100 today. I am guessing it is pretty ugly up there.


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