High in Colorado

High in Colorado
Photo: Mandy Lea Photo

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Week in Review: March 17-23—Hello, Spring

Monday, March 17th
AM—6 Miles—1:20—800’—Valley Floor, Boomerang, Jurassic, and Lawson Hill Loop
My legs felt like absolute crap this morning. I took off down the snow-packed Valley Floor at about 10-minute pace, which felt like a chore. For the most part I stayed on top of the snow, but there were a couple instances where I punched through up to my knees. The snow was crusty and sharp. By the end of the run my legs and ankles were a bloody mess. I ran the first quarter of the Boomerang ascent before falling into a hike and chatting with some ladies who were out for a hike. They gave me cat calls and complimented me on my tan. I’m always a fan of tan compliments, especially when it’s still winter and I likely shouldn’t even have a tan. Jurassic Trail was nice and runnable, but I kept the pace slow. I maintained this slow pace down Lawson Hill and back to the Taco. 

PM—12 Miles—2:25—1,550’—Last Dollar Road
After spending an hour in the Taco downing ~1,000 calories I finally got back on my feet again. I wanted to at least run my usual 15 mile out-and-back, but my legs felt like crap. I had to walk most of the descent into Deep Creek due to stomach issues and no readily available place to address these issues without spectators. I ran out another two miles from Deep Creek before turning around. On the return trip I walked the entire climb up out of Deep Creek—the first time I’ve ever walked any portion of this road run. My legs were tired. Eventually, I slogged the last two downhill miles at a snail’s pace back to the Taco. 

Tuesday, March 18th
PM—18 Miles—3:15—2,500’—Pick Road and Sunshine Mesa Road
Really easy day with two climbs on muddy, icy, and snowy jeep roads followed by mellow descents. I stopped along the way to Sunshine Mesa to talk with a few of my coworkers who were out for some bouldering. Towards the end of the run my legs finally felt like they were starting to shake some of the fatigue from Saturday. After the run I self-treated a few trigger points on my right calf with some acupressure. 

Wednesday, March 19th
AM—15 Miles—2:20—1,950’—Last Dollar Road
My legs weren’t really that sore, but they were certainly not responding. Seemed impossible to get my legs to turn over today. 

Thursday, March 20th
AM—15 Miles—1:54—1,950’—Last Dollar Road
Same run as yesterday, only faster. Before even running a step I knew today was going to finally be a good run. I headed out on the short bike path section before crossing the highway onto Last Dollar Road and was immediately at ~7:20 pace versus yesterday’s 9+ pace. The 2.25 miles of ascent to where the blacktop ends passed by in a PR 18:09—right at 8-minute pace for the 500-feet climb. After two miles of comfortable descent, I reached Deep Creek in 13:18—32:08 total. From Deep Creek begins nearly 3.5 miles of constant ascent to gain around 800 feet. It was great to see how quickly this passed. I topped out with a split of 26:44—58:52 total (new PR). Looking back, I didn’t really push the 3.5 miles back to Deep Creek as hard as I should have. After 21:37 I was back at Deep Creek—1:20:29 total. With the last and steepest climb to go I leaned in and gave it all (or most) of what I had. The ~2 miles were done in 18:50—1:39:19 total. Once on the pavement, it took me about a quarter mile before I got my pace below 7 minutes/mile, but once there I was able to maintain a low-6 pace until the highway crossing and bike path. I was back to the Taco in 15:04 for a total time of 1:54:29, a new PR. Another sunny, shirtless run. Welcome, Spring!

Friday, March 21st  
AM—18 Miles—3:12—2,500’—Last Dollar Road
Ugh. Bonked like a champ on this one. My legs felt pretty good for the first ten miles or so, but everything went downhill after that. I ended up dehydrated to the point that I was coughing up phlegm’y crap and almost took a drink out of one of the nearby creeks. My legs were pretty beat up at the end of the day. I was glad to be done with this one…

Saturday, March 22nd
AM—11 Miles—2:05—1,500’—Last Dollar Road
Slow and easy day. It took a mile or two for my left Achilles/ankle to loosen up and my calves were a little tight, but everything felt decent eventually. 

Sunday, March 23rd
AM—10 Miles—2:09—2,200’—River Trail, Mill Creek Road, Bike Path, Jud Wiebe Loop
Another nice and easy day to close out the week. I started with a ~9 minute mile along the river before a short climb up Mill Creek Road, which I hiked most of. I was pleased to find the road almost completely dry. After cruising back into town along the bike path I made my way over to Jud Wiebe. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to do the short out-and-back up to Cornet Falls. About halfway there I turned around rather than endure the bobsled chute of ice any longer. Jud Wiebe was good for the usual awe-inspiring views as well as near-constant mud and slippery, packed snow. In other words, it was pretty damn fun. Once again, I hiked most of the ascent. The descent offered a few glissading opportunities. Upon reaching the pavement I cruised the last half mile back to the Taco. Not a bad end to the week. Gorgeous, sunny, and shirtless day!

Time— 18 hours 42 minutes
Elevation Gain— 14,950 feet

Welp, that wraps up my first 100+ mile week of 2014…

I was a little surprised at how long it took to shake out the fatigue from the marathon in Salida. My legs weren’t wrecked by any means. They just didn’t want to turn over at all. So, I basically just used this week as an opportunity to build up my volume, but with easy effort runs (except for Thursday). 

It seems that spring has sprung in Telluride. I was shirtless on 5 of 7 days this week. There’s still briskness in the air, but it seems that we’ve made a turn for warmer weather. 

My goal for the coming week is to bump up my mileage again to somewhere in the 110-120 range. We’ll see how that works out…

View from Mill Creek Road

Topping out on the Jud Wiebe loop

Cruising along the River Trail

Topping out on Jud Wiebe again

Connecting the River Trail and Mill Creek Road by crossing the valley floor

Another view from Mill Creek Road

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