Desert Vibes

Desert Vibes
Photo: Ben Clark

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week in Review: March 19-25


Monday, March 19th
AM—None
PM—9 Miles—1:40—2,200’—Flagstaff/Rangeview/Tenderfoot Loop
Legs felt like absolute crap up to the top of Flagstaff. A little ways into the descent on Rangeview I started feeling a little better. My legs finally started working somewhat normal on the Tenderfoot loop and I was able to cruise on the ascent up the jeep road to the Ute/Rangeview/Tenderfoot trailhead. Overall, not a very good run. 

Tuesday, March 20th  
AM—9 Miles—1:28—1,650’—Flagstaff/Rangeview/Tenderfoot Loop/Jeep Roads/Creek Path
Tony Molina sent an email to the BTR list seeking a running buddy for an early morning climb up Flagstaff. Since that’s right across the street I decided to join. It was nice to finally run with someone who is around my pace. We took most of the ascent pretty easy, but then Tony took off on the final steep staircase on the climb and my spent legs from the past few days couldn’t keep up. We took the descent very casual and had some good conversation on the way. Looking forward to joining Tony on more runs.
PM—5 Miles—0:43—200’—Creek Path
I had my first acupuncture session with Allison Suddard around noon today to work on some aches and pains I’ve been having. My legs were still a little sore (especially my calves) after work. So, I decided to do an easy few miles on the trail beside the Creek Path and try to shake my legs out a little. They seemed to handle the run fairly well. 

Wednesday, March 21st
AM—None
PM—3 Miles—0:37—350’—Creek Path/Viewpoint Trail
My legs were still feeling the soreness from yesterday’s acupuncture session. So I went out for a quick two mile warm-up on the Creek Path before venturing up the Viewpoint trail. About a half mile up Viewpoint my left calf couldn’t take it anymore. So I turned around and went home. Rather disappointing outing.  

Thursday, March 22nd   
AM—None
PM—12 Miles—1:29—300’—Creek Path
I decided to just stick to the flats after yesterday’s disappointment of not being able to run uphill. I ended up behind a doctor from Boulder Sports Medicine and ran his pace for most of the run. Ended up staying at a conversational pace throughout the run and averaged about 7:25 minutes/mile, which was pleasing since most of my upcoming 100 mile run will be flat or downhill’ish. 

Friday, March 23rd  
AM—None
PM—14 Miles—1:50—300’—Creek Path
Another Creek Path run, blah…I’m getting really tired of the flat running, but I don’t really want to push my calf too much. Took a casual pace throughout the run. Rather uneventful…

Saturday, March 24th
AM—12 Miles—2:27—3,600’—Flagstaff and Green Summits/Tenderfoot Loop
After three days of horrible running due to calf pain from my acupuncture session I decided to test things out by heading up again. I starting running up Viewpoint and to my surprise my legs felt relatively pain free. So I kept going to the top of Flagstaff. The summit of Green looked very tempting as I made my way on the Rangeview trail so I decided to keep going. I sat on the summit for about 30 minutes soaking in the sun. Ran into JV, his wife, and two girls on the way down.
PM—None

Sunday, March 25th
AM—None
PM—18 Miles—3:03—3,650’—Viewpoint and Mesa Trail Out-and-Back
I decided to sit around the apartment until the weather warmed up a little. The idea of running an out-and-back on the Mesa Trail crept into my head since the only few times I’ve done it involved excessive post-holing. As I made my way up the first climb from Chautauqua I ran into Scott Jurek, Krissy Moehl, and a few others. We stopped and chatted/introduced ourselves for about 10 minutes or so. If running into top-notch runners like them isn’t motivation then I don’t know what is. I hit the South Mesa TH in 1:25 then began the long ascent from the TH. I resorted to hiking a few times on the way back, but still finished the roundtrip in a sub-10 minute pace. 

Miles—82
Time—13hours 19minutes
Elevation Gain—12,250 feet
Definitely a little disappointed in my weekly totals. I had plans for a 115 mile week with 25-30k feet of vertical, but my Tuesday acupuncture session quickly changed that. Some bad calf pain left me seeking the flatness of the Creek Path for three days of running this week. I was eventually able to return to the mountains on the weekend, which was much needed. The warm weather has been great and should hopefully help with potential hot temperatures at my 100 miler in Zion this May. It also feels great to get out for a run and really sweat my ass off. 

I have my second acupuncture appointment with Allison Suddard this Tuesday. Hopefully it won’t result in more horrific calf pain that causes me to hit the Creek Path. I’d really like to get in a 115-130 mile week of running.
View of Green Mountain from the Rangeview Trail

Tenderfoot Loop

Looking Across at Bear Peak from the Summit of Green

Fresh Mountain Lion Kill Near the Bathrooms at the Gregory Canyon Trailhead (Photo Compliments of Homie)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week in Review: March 12-18


Monday, March 12th
AM—10 Miles—2:22 —3,200’—Flagstaff and Green
I had to work until 6PM today so I took the opportunity to shimmy up Green before work. I ran up Flagstaff, down Rangeview, and up the first part of Ranger pretty casually after yesterday’s PR ascent up Flagstaff. Ranger turned into a mix of dry, exposed rocks with occasional snow/ice. I hiked the remaining ascent from the Greenman trail junction and took the descent at a casual run.
PM—6 Miles—0:59—1,650’—Flagstaff
I got home from work and suited up for a run with the intent of a flat, easy shake-out run. However, my legs were feeling pretty lively so I decided to head up Flagstaff with my roommate. The pace up was pretty relaxed and then picked up the pace a little on the descent. I’m still not hammering out the descent like I used to before my ankle injury. Hopefully I’ll get back to the balls-to-the-wall descents before too much longer.

Tuesday, March 13th  
AM—None
PM—10 Miles—1:44—2,450’—Flagstaff and a Mesa
The run up Flagstaff didn’t really start feeling good until a few miles in when I finally got my breathing in check. After that, the rest of the ascent was fairly easy so I decided to head down to Mesa and get in a few more miles. The remaining climbs were all done with relative ease.

Wednesday, March 14th
AM—3 Miles—0:27—200’—Creek Path and Red Rocks Area
Decided to run an early morning shake-out run today. I woke up to some sore/tired legs and figured a few flat miles would help loosen them up a little. Casual pace all the way.
PM—10 Miles—1:53—2,600’—Flagstaff and Mesa/Chautauqua Area Trails
Nice and easy run up Flagstaff. Descended to baseline to try to meet up with the Wednesday night BTR group, but ended up running into Eric Lee on the way and talked for several minutes. I headed down to the Mesa trail and took it to the Enchanted Mesa junction where I caught up to the BTR group at the same time my co-worker Alex was running by. I decided to head off with Alex since he was going in the direction of my apartment. We hit up some of the Chautauqua area trails and made our way to the Gregory Trailhead before parting ways. Took the rest of the run pretty easy.  

Thursday, March 15th
AM—None
PM—7 Miles—1:13—1,700’—Flagstaff and Rangeview/Ute
I took the run up Flagstaff pretty easy and hit the four-way in a little under 0:33 and then took Rangeview down to the parking lot before looping back on Ute. My intent was to head down to Chautauqua to tack on a few more miles, but a few minutes into the descent I began to have, uhh, stomach problems (likely a result of the pork carnitas, rice, and beans I had for lunch). So I just headed back home and called it a day.

Friday, March 16th
AM—None
PM—10 Miles—1:44—2,100’—Viewpoint/Mesa/NCAR Out-and-Back
Had to work late today so I decided to take a long lunch and get in a run. My legs were feeling a little blah today so I headed down towards Mesa rather than taking my usual jaunt up Flagstaff. Once I hit Mesa my legs came to life a little and I was able to tackle the few small climbs and hold a decent pace. Loving the awesome weather we’ve been having.

Saturday, March 17th
AM—31 Miles—5:29—5,050’—Viewpoint/Mesa/Doudy Draw Area/Eldorado Canyon Area and Back
I was pleasantly surprised at how good my legs felt as I made the climb up Viewpoint trail. My legs continued to feel great on the southward run on Mesa. When I reached the south Mesa TH I decided to divert from my original plan of a double out-and-back on Mesa and instead go across the street to Doudy (which I had never ran). The trails around Doudy were nothing particularly special (mainly flat and fast), but the views were pretty amazing. I loved the Goshawk Ridge Trail and will be back there for sure. I ventured down the Fowler trail into Eldorado Canyon (another first) for more spectacular views. I completed the outward portion of my run with a climb up the Rattlesnake Gulch trail. The run back just retraced the previously described path. My legs started feeling a little tired and I was forced into a hike on a few of the climbs. Overall, the run felt great. No real bonks to speak of and no major issues. Another beautiful day in Boulder!
PM—None

Sunday, March 18th
AM—6 Miles—1:08—1,650’—Flagstaff
My legs were still a little sore from yesterday’s long run. So I decided to take it really easy this morning. Once I got a few minutes into the climb up Viewpoint my legs started loosening up a bit and the rest of the climb up Flagstaff wasn’t too bad. My quads seemed to be a little trashed from yesterday, which made for a slow descent.
PM—7 Miles—1:09—1,650’—Flagstaff and Creek Path
The legs felt much better this evening than they did this morning. That being said, I still used this run as an opportunity to shake out the legs and give them a little rest.

Miles—100
Time—18hours 11minutes
Elevation Gain—23,150 feet

Overall, a pretty decent week of running that included beautiful weather and some exploration of trails I’ve yet to run. I think taking last week as a recovery week helped quite a bit with hammering out some of these runs. Some of my early/mid-week runs have me feeling pretty confident that a week or so taper for my race will have my legs feeling pretty good. This was the first week in my second big increase in weekly running volume leading into my 100-mile race on May 11th at Zion. My plan is to increase volume the next two weeks, take another recovery week, increase volume for two more weeks, then begin a slight two’ish week taper.

I focused a little more on some flatter, faster running this week than I have in past weeks. My average elevation gain per mile was only 230 feet/mile this week versus the ~300 feet/mile it has been in previous weeks. This running should be much more useful at Zion as there is only about 8,000 feet of vertical for the entire 100 miles.  

Sunrise view heading up Flagstaff
Snow finally starting to melt on lower portions of Ranger trail