7/19 - Off. Blah. Should've run.
7/20 - :36.xx. ~200'v. Stagecoach. Ran the trail down towards the lake and back. Worked hard on all the uphills and recovered on the downs. Good, short effort.
7/21 - Off. Second day this week that I didn't run simply because my attitude sucked after work. Like most people, I hate my job most days. Unfortunately, it affects my running way too often. Not winning!
7/22 - 2.0++ miles. 19:00. ~150'v. Stagecoach.
7/23 - 9 miles. 1:17.24. 2500'v. Spring Creek Memorial Trail Run. My second time running the Spring Creek race was just as fun as I remember it being the first time. The newspaper reported that 180 runners showed up to run to run either the 9 miler or the 5K race. It was another gorgeous, sunny morning and I was definitely eager to run this race again. I had a bone to pick with the course after getting lost last year and I was also excited to see if I could better my previous time. The race had the same fun, trail run vibe and I was really glad to see my friends Bronwyn and Derek running this year. There were all sorts of runners on hand. A couple of fast guys from Ft. Collins and one from Denver (the eventual winner), joined a few of Steamboat's speedsters at the front of the pack and visitors and locals alike all lined up for this annual romp through the woods. At the start, I went out a little hotter than I usually go and settled in behind the lead pack before watching the fast guys get smaller and then, disappear altogether. The first mile is relatively flat (slightly uphill) but miles 2 - 4 feature two very steep, unimproved single track climbs through the aspens with several downed trees to climb over. I kept the tempo quick, hiked the severely steep sections and was only held up by having to re-tie my shoes a couple times. Once on the dirt road up to Buffalo Pass, I still ran a steady pace and made it to the Dry Lake parking lot in just over 45 minutes. I felt like I had pushed it a little hard on the ascent but I was stoked to be starting the 5 mile downhill part of the race. I picked a fast pace and tried to just let gravity do the work as I ran my way down the course. The trail was in great condition, tacky and fast. Thus far, I had pretty much run the entire race by myself. With a couple miles to go, I was caught from behind by Greg Joyce (whom I beat by 30 seconds last year!) and I could tell that he was running stronger than I. Once we hit the wider part of the trail, I moved to the side so he could pass and I tried to hang with him to the finish. He just had too much left and I slowly drifted further behind. I dug down deep to finish strong and still managed a big smile on my way to the finish line. I was the 10th runner across the line (6th, 30-39 year old) and kept my Running Series streak of top 10 finishes alive. I bettered my time on the course by 1 minute and 49 seconds but still felt like I faded too much in the end. I'm sure that my endurance was much better last year because I had so many long runs under my belt. This year my short distance running and focus on speed helped me keep my legs turning over fast even though I didn't have the "deep miles" lungs and legs. Big up to Derek McClung who ran a respectable 1:28.14, getting in under his 1:30 goal just a week after riding 114 miles in the Tour de Steamboat. Awesome job, buddy! Bronwyn's 1:44 on this gnarly course is nothing to sneeze at either. Next race: Aug 6 - Mt. Werner Classic (12 miles, 4775'v.).
7/24 - 1:10.xx. ~400' v. Stagecoach. Fantastic sunny run around the south shore with Katy. The wildflowers are off the hook right now! Katy's longest run in a while and it was just wonderful being out with her for more than a couple miles.
7/25 - 10+miles. 1:35.xx. ~500'v. Stagecoach. Out and back run from the house down to the dam and then about another mile or so. Wanted to get in a longer run in preparation for Mt. Werner in a couple weeks.
Weekly Totals: ~30 miles. ~2950' vertical.