High in Colorado

High in Colorado
Photo: Mandy Lea Photo

Monday, July 30, 2012

Week in Review: July 23-29

Monday, July 23rd
PM—8 Miles—0:57—700’—Creek Path and Red Lion
Headed up the Creek Path and made the decision to keep going up the Red Lion route to the top of Flagstaff. Lightening soon put an end to that plan and common sense dictated I sprint my ass back down.

Tuesday, July 24th        
AM—5 Miles—0:36—300’—Creek Path
Early morning shakeout run.
PM—4 Miles—0:44—1,000’—Panorama Point and Red Rocks
I didn’t really feel like committing to any particular route. So I ran up past Panorama Point, turned around, and ran around Red Rocks for a bit. Legs felt solid throughout, but I kept the effort easy in anticipation of an early morning run up Green with Tony Molina.

Wednesday, July 25th   
AM—10 Miles—1:52—2,600—Green via Back Side
My legs felt solid and peppy on the warm-up run up 6th street, but soon into the climb on Gregory they fell apart and I resorted to hiking most of the ascent. Not really the time trial I was hoping for. Just goes to show that you can’t really plan time trials. Most of the time PR’s just seem to happen on days you least expect.
PM—12 Miles—2:13—3,250’—Green via Long Canyon and West Ridge
Wow. This was just one of those runs where it felt like I could run uphill indefinitely. I hit the 7-8ish mile and 3,000’ climb up Green in 1:18 and felt great/easy the entire way. Took the descent pretty casual and came down the middle route before descending Flagstaff back down to Ebin G Fine Park.

Thursday, July 26th
AM—5 Miles—0:41—300’—Creek Path
Really easy shakeout run. Legs felt fine, but I didn’t want to push too hard after yesterday’s double dip of Green.
PM—8 Miles—1:13—1,150’—Red Rocks, Dakota Ridge, and Creek Path
I wanted to get in a little climbing without overdoing it. So I ran up-and-over Red Rocks, did an out-and-back on Dakota Ridge, and then hit an easy five miles on the Creek Path. I’m trying to keep my legs a little fresh for pacing Jonathan at Grand Mesa this Saturday, which I’m pretty stoked to do.

Friday, July 27th

Saturday, July 28th            
AM—16 Miles—2:53—400’—Grand Mesa Pacing for Jon
Ran in an area with some pretty amazing scenery, but essentially no vertical. I took a nasty fall about 6 miles in where I think I broke one of my toes and nailed my shoulder on a rock upon hitting the ground. Thought I was going to be pacing 27 miles, but Jon ended up having a second pacer for the last section. Guess I’ll just have to make up the miles tomorrow. I really enjoyed seeing a new area of the state.

Sunday, July 29th  
AM—30 Miles—4:57—5,400’—Backside Loop (Flagstaff, Green, Walker Ranch, Eldorado Canyon, Mesa)
Another one of those runs where I wish I could have run uphill all day long. This route took me up Green via the middle route after first ascending Flagstaff. I then descended the west Ridge and took the road to the first jeep roads before hitting the Walker Ranch loop. I rode out the Eldorado Canyon Trail before eventually making my way back home by way of the Mesa Trail and 6th Street. About 50 yards past the old 4-way on Green I took a pretty bad fall that made me seriously question continuing the route (mainly due to popping the top off a water bottle and losing all of the contents). I pushed on anyways and had one of the best runs since living in Boulder. I nailed every climb and never wanted them to end. If it weren’t for the weather, I likely would have climbed Green again at the end of my run to see if I could hammer out the front side. Yes, my legs felt THAT strong.

Time—16hours 08minutes
Elevation Gain— 15,100 feet                                                                                                                                               
My legs felt pretty solid this week. With the exception of my early morning Green run on Wednesday I seemed to nail all of the climbs in my runs with minimal effort. I feel like I made some significant gains this week regarding both the physical and mental aspects of my uphill running. In the late stages of my 30 mile run on Saturday there were definitely several climbs that would typically reduce me to a hike, but I pushed through the urge to stop running and hammered them out.

I still have two more weeks in my training push for the Leadville 100 before starting a week-long taper going into the race. My short taper has been the topic of some debate amongst friends. However, I feel much more prepared going into a race on a solid training push versus heading in on a 2-3 week taper stretch with short, shitty runs that essentially serve no purpose. I think recovery is one of my strengths, which means that a 5-7 day stretch of tapering seems to be more than sufficient to have my legs as close to 100% for race day.

Maybe this “lack of tapering” will all blow up in my face and I’ll be greeted by people with shit-eating grins waiting to say “I told you so”—who knows? Right now all I know is that running is what makes me feel strong. Tapering doesn’t. It’s that simple. Isn’t the idea to feel as strong as possible leading up to a race? If so, I say do whatever makes YOU feel your best come race day…And I’ll roll in on my “mini” taper.

Grand Mesa
Walker Ranch
Walker Ranch
Bottom of Walker Ranch Loop as I crossed over to the Eldorado Canyon Trail
Relaxing by the Creek after my 30 miler. Beer in hand and view of Green Mountain in the distance.

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