Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekly Summary: June 20 - June 26

6/20 - 5.13 miles, :40.30, ~600'v.  Slightly soggy day so I stayed off the trails and ran some road hills.  I wasn't really "feeling it" but still gave a decent effort and worked on my leg turnover on the downhill on Bear Dr.  My route from the house was: bike path to Chinook Ln., through the First Tracks condos over to Mt. Werner Circle, up to Val d'Isere and then down Bear Dr. to Walton Creek, Stone Ln. and bike path. 

6/21 - 7.54 miles, 1:58.42, ~1500'v.  Red Dirt to Saddle Trail down to Mad Creek and back with Benihana.  Benny got super hot so we had to stop a few times so that he could cool off. Poor little guy has to run in a fur coat no matter the weather and today got sunny and we did alot of climbing.  Fortunately, there were a few places to stop where he could stand in the water and cool off and we hiked a mile or so instead of running.  I feel bad because I get frustrated with him for not being able to keep up sometimes but then I need to remind myself that he's not out on a training run, he's just running because he loves to, it's his instinct.  And then that reminds me of the real reason that I'm out running trails:  Because it's what I love to do.  Good boy, Benny.

6/22 - 9.18 miles, 1:51.10, 2000+'v .  First time running up to the top of the Gondola this summer and it was a good one.  Whistler Park game trail up to Valley View and then up to the gondy.  Made it to the top in 1:05.40 before running the same trails back down.  On one of the steepest parts of the climb, I checked my pace and saw that I was doing a 27-minute mile.  I had to laugh!  Still, I love this route.  It's mostly in the trees but still has a couple sensational views along the way.  (None of which I stopped to take in, today.)   Very technical footing for much of it, but the single track section on the Mountain allows for some smoother running.  My favorite thing is probably that almost every time I run this route, I have it all to myself.  My cool down on the bike path was really interesting as the creek had swelled in the time I was gone and I got to run in 6" of water as I got home.

6/23 - 6/26 - Off.  More or less taking a few days off from running to pack and move Katy and I out to Stagecoach.  I'm feeling pretty good though.  Feeling strong from the last few mountain runs and pretty sure I would have logged a 40 mile week if we weren't in the process of moving.  Today (6/25), I'm nerding out in front of the computer and watching how the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run plays out. 

Weekly totals:  21.85 miles, 3100+'v.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Summary: June 13 - June 19

6/13 - Off.  Double lower calf blowout from the race this past Saturday.  

6/14 - Off.  Really surprised to still be feeling the after effects of the race.  Apparently, I ran much harder than I thought.

6/15 - 5.5 miles, xx:xx, ~500'v.  Ran Spring Creek Trail with Katy for a couple of miles before continuing up the trail a another mile and half or so by myself.  Legs felt incredibly fatigued at the beginning of the run despite already taking three days off and I could feel the lactic acid in my calves coming back on during the downhill return.  

6/16 - Off.

6/17 - 10.3 miles, 1:40.01, ~1,300'v.  With the snow finally melted all the way up to Dry Creek, I decided to go for what I like to call an "end to end burner" (to borrow a phrase from the graffiti world, meaning to paint a train car entirely from one end to the other) on Spring Creek Trail, so I ran the entire trail from trailhead to terminus and back.   A cool, slightly overcast day was perfect for running and about 3.5 miles into my run I saw and stopped to talk with Adam Sando, who was mountain biking.  He confirmed that the trail was good to go all the way up to Dry Creek.  It was a tough run overall.  It took me a few miles to feel good but it didn't last long and even after the turnaround (5.15 miles, :57.24), I felt like I was working way harder than I should've been.  I hit the 6 mile mark around 1:03, which is what I ran 8+ miles in last weekend.  Ended the run at a casual pace rather than pushing it too hard.

6/18 - Off.  I hadn't planned on taking Saturday off since it is usually an opportunity to run as long as I'd like, but today was different.  One of Katy's dogs, Ulu, had been acting oddly so I dropped him off at the vet (where Katy actually works part-time) in the morning.   They called her and we both met there to find out that his lungs were dangerously full of fluid (possibly the result of an erupted tumor) and that he was having an incredibly hard time breathing.  Under the circumstances, our only choice for treatment was to try and get him over Rabbit Ears Pass and down to the Front Range to run some tests at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.  The down side was that he was in such bad shape and old enough (he was over 11 years old) that he might not survive the trip or tests.  Our only other option was to have him put to sleep, which, sadly, is what we decided to do.  I have lost other pets in the past but never sat and watched as one was given a lethal injection to end it's suffering.  As painful as it was to do, it was the right thing to do and the staff at the clinic were very supportive and kind.  Ulu was a gentle and wonderful companion and we are incredibly sad about losing him so suddenly.   We love you, Monkey Dog.

6/19 - Off.

Weekly Totals:  15.8 miles, ~1,800'v.

Another really low mileage week, but some things are just more important.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekly Summary: June 7 - June 12

6/7 - 7.02 miles, 1500'v., 1:09.22.  First summit of Emerald Mountain (el. 8252') this summer as it was finally dry enough to go for a solid uphill effort.  Made it from the truck (parked on the far side of the rodeo grounds next to the ice rink) to Howelsen Hill base area to the summit of Emerald via Blackmere Drive and Lane of Pain in 39 minutes.  I pushed the downhill harder than I had intended, probably because there were a ton of mountain bikers on the hill and I love blowing by mountain bikes.  I ran down the Lupine Trail which has a ridiculous amount of fun switchbacks and technical rocky sections and keeps you nicely shaded in the scrub oak and aspens most of the time.

6/8 - 2.67 miles, ~200'v., :34.02.  Leisurely trail run in Whistler Park with Benihana dog before going home and making some pizza for dinner.

6/9 - Off

6/10 - Off. 

6/11 - 8.19 miles, ~1000'v., 1:03.13, pace:  7:43/mile.  Still a little bit cool at the 10 a.m. start of the Hayden Cog Run.  There were also 5K and 10K runs that went through town but the feature race was the 8+ miler that starts in front of the town park, weaves it's way through the small town of Hayden and, then, climbs about 1000' in 3 miles on a paved county road up to the top of the Hayden "Cog".  I felt a little out of my element at another road race (wearing trail running shoes, no less) and outgunned by what looked like a few fast dudes (wearing road racing flats).  The entire field of racers for the Cog Run was actually very small, maybe 25-30 people.  I really like the smaller races, it's just more of a homey atmosphere and no huge crowds to get lost in or weave through.  It's also neat to see people who do alot of these races and become more familiar with them.  Again, I saw Don Platt, the 6-time Hardrock 100 finisher, who was running his 24th Cog.  I really admire his longevity and consistency.  At the start, the lead pack took off  fast.  I stuck with them for about 100 yards, looked at my GPS and saw that we were already doing a 6:12/mile pace.   This was way too hot for me so I eased back to a 7:00/mile. "That was humbling,"  I thought.  Once we were out of town, I got a look at the first climb.  I was actually really excited about getting in some good, steady miles of uphill running and that's exactly what I got.  I was able to pull ahead of 3 runners here and find a little breathing room.  I passed one more person on the next steep climb and I tried to keep the effort moderately high without blowing up.  It was a clear and sunny day and the views were getting better and better as we climbed up to the Cog.  It started to get warmer without any sort of cover and I made sure I took a few swigs from my handheld every now and then.   Near the top, Mike Hlavacek passed me and I tried to stay close to him, hoping I might be able to pass him later in the race.  At the turnaround, which I made in :35.19 (8:36/mile),  I was surprised to find that I couldn't keep up with him on the downhill.  I checked my pace on the GPS at one point and it read 5:38/mile, which isn't slow, but it sure seemed like it as I watched Mike gradually increase his lead on me.   His running looked so effortless and I was just amazed at how he just seemed to get faster and faster (or I was getting slower and slower).  At one point, I dug down deep and really tried to catch him but it was just no good.  At least I was pushing myself to run my best.  In the last mile, as I returned to flat road, my legs really started to feel fatigued and I knew I was almost out of gas.  With only one more turn and a little to run, I checked my time and saw that I wouldn't break 1-hour.  (Rats!  Well, I guess I have goal for next year.)   I could feel my legs were going to be upset with me later in the day, so I eased off the pace and rolled through the finish in a modest, but well-earned 1:03.13, 9th finisher.  My downhill split for the second half was  :27.53 (6:52/mile), so not bad, but I would like to get that down into the 6:30/mile range.   Definitely a fun, challenging and humbling race.

6/12 - Off.   Calves are little sore as post-race DOMS sets in and I pulled a muscle in my back at some point yesterday.  I'm feeling 39 today.  Ouch.

Totals:  17.88 miles, ~2,700'v.

Didn't run a whole lot this week but I did work 40 hours which is probably more important.  Well, I guess that's a matter of perspective.  If I didn't need money, I suppose I would run just for the hell of it alot more than I already do.  Anyway, I should start adding a little more volume to my totals once I feel good enough to run again.   

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekly Summary: May 31 - June 5

5/31 - 3.90 miles, 50:43

6/1 - Off

6/2 - 7.08 miles, 1:25.33, .30 mile cool down, 4:00.13 (1800+' v.).  First time running up to Valley View via the Whistler Park game trail.  The trail gains roughly 1600' from miles 3 to 5 and is exceptionally steep in a few sections.  There are a trio of progressively higher vistas along the way the allow you to great views of the valley.  The descent is fun, starting with  mountain bike single track, followed by dirt road, so you can open up the stride a little bit.   A short run on the bike path and a couple of streets takes me right back home.  

6/3 - 6.55 miles, 1:05.03 (700-800'v.), .1.01 mile cool down, 7.56 miles.   Whistler Park hill workout:  Warm up run to the park followed by some moderate effort trail running before working some short, steep climbs.  After the initial climb, there is a loop trail offers a runnable 150' climb and descent with a flat, recovery section.  I ran  3x150'v., reverse direction 3x150' with .3 mile recovery between ascents.  Progressive effort on each lap had me huffing and puffing but I feel like I am getting stronger. 

6/4 - Off

6/5 - 10.74 miles,  1:42.35 (1500-1700' v.), .35 mile cool down, 4:57.80.  Very little pain in my left foot fascia this morning.  Tendonitis swelling on right heel looks noticably better.  Sick "early season" run on Spring Creek Trail in lieu of doing the Steamboat Half or 10K.  Started on the trail behind the high school and ran all the way up to the canal before doubling back and getting on Spring Creek.  Then, power hiked a steep 150' climb back up to the canal on a rough drainage track, turned around and dropped back down to Spring Creek.  I ran a few uphill miles through the aspens to the 7th bridge (elev. 7902')  before turning around.  My legs were getting a little fatigued but bounced back on the downhill and I had a great time racing down the forested single track, most of the time with a fully swollen Spring Creek raging at my side.  The unmuddy sections were perfectly tacky and easy to grip.  Dealt with a little snow and mud, just enough to keep it fun and I even wanted to get my feet wet towards the end so I ran though a few puddles and drainages.

Totals:  29.85 miles, 3900-4200+' v.

Stepped up the trail vertical a little bit this week.  There's now dry trail up to about 8000' where there are still lingering pockets of snow.  Last year on this day, I was able to run all the way up Spring Creek to Dry Lake and then run a couple more miles up Buffalo Pass Road.   Today, I had to turnaround about a mile short of Dry Lake.