High in Colorado

High in Colorado
Photo: Mandy Lea Photo

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week in Review: March 26-April 1

Monday, March 26th
AM—9 Miles—1:39—2,200’—Flagstaff/Rangeview/Tenderfoot Loop
Legs didn’t really feel too good this morning. I was able to run up to the last big staircase on Flagstaff before hiking a little. My legs never really felt good on the ascents or descent, which made for a long run. Never really tried to push too hard since I didn’t think my body would respond well.
PM—6 Miles—0:52—1,650’—Flagstaff
I guess the morning run helped shake out my legs a little because they felt great from the start. Ran into Sally coming down the Viewpoint trail and chatted for a minute or so. I ran at what seemed like a comfortable pace throughout the ascent. As I got closer to the top I realized the potential for PR’ing the ascent and picked up the pace a little more. Eventually, I reached the top in 30:53 (a PR by 51 seconds). Without hesitation I turned around to make the round-trip PR attempt and nailed it in 52:48. I ran the descent harder than I have in a long time, but still not close to my 19 minute PR. I’m starting to gain a little more confidence in my right ankle’s ability to handle the quick descents.

Tuesday, March 27th  
AM—11 Miles—1:45—2,200’—Flagstaff/Rangeview/Tenderfoot Loop/Creek Path
In anticipation of hardly being able to walk after this afternoon’s acupuncture session I decided to get out early and log a decent run. I took the entire run pretty easy, especially the climb up Flagstaff. After taking on the full Tenderfoot Loop I decided to head back down the jeep road and come down Red Lion back into Eben G Fine Park. Beautiful morning.
PM—None—Acupuncture Recovery

Wednesday, March 28th
AM—None—Acupuncture Recovery
PM—10 Miles—1:53—2,350’—Flagstaff/Rangeview/Tenderfoot Loop/Gregory Canyon
All day long I had planned on just doing a flat Creek Path run to let my leg recover from yesterday’s acupuncture session a little more. That all changed as soon as I laced up the shoes. My legs felt pretty good on all of the climbs today, but the descents really killed my left leg. By the end of the run I was babying the descents really bad (to the point that I may as well have just started hiking). I’ll see how the leg feels tomorrow and let that determine what I run.

Thursday, March 29th   
PM—12 Miles—1:42—300’—Creek Path
Still have some soreness in my left leg. So I decided to take it REALLY easy by doing a flat and slow run on the Creek Path. I tried to focus hard on listening to my body and how it felt throughout the run so that I can better assist Allison at my next acupuncture session. We still have a little work left, but I think we’re on track to getting my legs feeling pain-free.

Friday, March 30th  
PM—10 Miles—2:02—3,200’—Flagstaff and Green
My friend Brennan had just made it back in town. So we decided to get together for a run as it had been a while since we’ve run together. We made our way up Flagstaff at a somewhat conversational pace. It didn’t really seem like we were pushing too hard, but when we reached the top I looked at my watch and noticed that I just PR’ed the ascent by ten seconds with a time of 30:43. We opted to carry on to the summit of Green via Ranger. I was promptly left in Brennan’s dust and eventually slowed to a miserable hike (I was breaking in a new pair of 110’s and they decided to give me a few little blisters). Although both of us are more than capable to flying downhill we took a much, much more casual pace instead. Looking forward to more runs with Brennan and also hoping I can get him to come to Zion and pace for me. He’s a strong runner and I only get better every time we run together.

Saturday, March 31st  
AM—35 Miles—8:16—8,500’—Flagstaff/Green/Bear/SoBo, Eldorado Canyon, Doudy, Mesa
When I left my apartment this morning I had a few routes in mind: flat and fast, up and slow, rolling and medium-paced (all around 30-40 miles). I didn’t formerly decide on a route until I got to the junction on Flagstaff trail where I could go up to the top or down to Baseline/Chautauqua. I decided to go up on a route that would tag all of the peaks. Ran into Eric Lee on the way up FS and chatted for a few minutes. It wasn’t until I got to Long Canyon that I remembered the fresh blisters I got while breaking in a new pair of 110’s yesterday. Damn. I basically just power-hiked most of Long/West Ridge to the top of Green while I waited for the pain of the blisters to eventually dull away. On the way from Green to Bear the pain went away and I never really noticed it much for the remaining 28’ish miles. It was nice to get up on Bear since I haven’t done it all year. The climb up SoBo certainly did suck. It was the only section of trail on the entire run with any snow cover, which yielded a dreadfully slow roundtrip. Next up was my dreaded foe, Shadow Canyon. This trail was the site of a nasty fall I took on the Boulder Basic that left me sidelined for 18 days. Damn I hate that trail…I can’t think of too many descents here in Boulder that bring me to a snail pace while running, but Shadow is one of them. It was nice to run into Basit and a few others on the way down to take a mental break from the technical terrain. I eventually reached the end and made my way down Old Mesa to Eldorado Canyon (been searching for Old Mesa for a few weeks and finally got some input from Scott Jurek last week on how to find it). Ran into Jason Schlarb on Old Mesa and we officially introduced ourselves. Just another example of the great runners you’re likely to encounter on the trails of Boulder on any given day. The water fountain, equipped with ice-cold water, at the Eldo visitors center was a godsend. I hit it up before and after the Eldorado Canyon Trail out-and-back and probably had close to a ½ gallon of water each time. I finally started making my way back home via Goshawk/Doudy/Mesa trails. At times it was difficult to get my legs into running mode after a day of seemingly non-stop vertical, but once they got going they were hard to stop. I finally reached the Chautauqua TH around 7:45 PM and realized that it was going to be dark pretty damn quick and I didn’t have a light. So I just cruised the last two miles on the roads to get home. Felt great to sit down after being out that long.

Sunday, April 1st

Time—18hours 11minutes
Elevation Gain— 20,400 feet              
Another decent, but disappointing, week of training. Once again my mid-week acupuncture session resulted in some unwanted days of flat running and reduced mileage. I broke out my second pair of 110’s (after putting somewhere around 450 miles on my first pair) on my Friday trip up Green and developed a few nasty heel blisters. After Saturdays nice, long outing those blisters became virtually unbearable. I tried to go out for a run on Sunday, but just the act of putting on my shoes nearly brought me to tears and the first few steps of my run solidified my decision to finally take a day off after running for 53 days in a row. Long term, it’s probably not a bad thing to finally take a day off even if my legs and body have been feeling relatively strong throughout this running streak.

March Monthly Totals:
Time—79hours 14minutes
Elevation Gain—94,250 feet
It was great to finally get in a CONSISTENT month of running. Consistency has been missing from my running since I’ve moved to Boulder. This has mainly been due to an unfortunate series of injuries stemming from bad falls and traumatic ankle rolls. January was full of time off due to injury and February was heavy on easy running as I got back into the swing of things. March was just a month of nice, hard running that led to my first-ever 400+ mile month. Here’s hoping for many more to come.  

Year-to-Date Totals:
Time—150hours 42minutes
Elevation Gain—177,550 feet
Not overly impressive due to extremely low mileage in January and February. I’m hoping to keep hitting 400+ mile months for the rest of the year and come in above my goal of a 4,000 mile year. 

Breaking out a new pair of 110's

Reaching the top of Long Canyon

View of Boulder from Green Mountain West Ridge Trail (look through the gap in the trees in the center of the photo)

Eldorado Canyon
Eldorado Canyon
Eldorado Canyon
Looking back towards Eldorado Canyon from Goshawk Ridge Trail

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