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.