Wednesday, April 30, 2008

1.5 x Green

Green Mountain
7 miles
3,400 vertical
37:15 up/1:05down

What a great day it was, about 80 degrees, sunny, I could not resist a run up Green Mountain.
Started at Gregory TH, went up Amphitheater/Saddle Rock/Greenman. Legs felt a little tired from the very start, so I decided that I was not going to go too hard. My HRM died on Tuesday, so if I had to guess, I would say I averaged 160ish and I made it to the summit in 37:15 sticking to the main trail the entire way. I was taking it somewhat easy on the descent due to the snow, as the snow was a bit slick, and when there was no snow, my feet were wet and not giving me confident grip. I bumped into George half way down. I thought he was running Sanitas and he thought I was running S. Boulder, but none the less a pleasant surprise. I turned around to "hike" with him for a little bit as to not interrupt his ascent and ended up chit chatting with him all the way back up to the summit. George's idea of "hiking" really cracked me up, as he is doing this to not aggrevate his nagging sports hernia. It looked more like a typical running pace than anything. I guess i'm not too surprised by this coming from someone who ran a 2:37 on his first go up Pikes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Green Mountain

6.5 miles
2,400 vertical
45up (Gregory/Ranger/Greenman)
25down (Ranger/Gregory)

Run two for the day. Felt much better than on my morning run up Sanitas, but still went fairly conservative. On the way down I went real fast when the trail was smooth/wide open, fairly slow when rocky/technical. Was hoping to run into George, but we never crossed paths. I really like the two runs in a day, but not sure how I can fit it into my schedule on a regular basis. Maybe a hill run in the morning and a few laps on the track when I get home??? Not likely, but it sounds like a good idea. My calves are a bit tight this evening, even though they felt OK when running. Seems like there is some sort of "Mad Calve" disease going around, several of my friends and myself seem to be afflicted with it right now.


3 miles
1,300 vertical

Was tossing and turning this morning, so I went out for an easy run up Sanitas and still made it into work for 7:45am. My legs are still kind of tight, so I went super easy. Hoping to get up Green after work, easy again just to get in some distance. Would like to start doubling my workouts on certain days if I feel it is effective.

4/28/08 Biked Linden

Don't know how long, how far or how high, does not really matter.

Legs were feeling a touch tight from the weekend, so I figured I would get out on the bike. Was planning on Flagstaff, but knew that would mean competing, so I opted for the more low key Linden and went really easy. It was good to get out on the bike, but was not entirely into it for some reason. Oh well, beats a day doing nothing.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

S. Boulder Peak/Bear Peak

3,300 vertical
2:15 RT
127bpm ave

I intended to go long today, but last minute guilty eyes from Sierra convinced me to bring her along and I suspected that this move would cut my run a bit short as she is tired from yesterday and she slows considerably as the weather warms.

The weather today was excellent and I felt really good. I immidiately regretted bringing Sierra along as she was moving quite slow. I went slow to keep her in sight and waited for a long time at all the water stops so she could cool off. Once we got into Shadow Canyon, she picked it up a notch as it was shady and somewhat cooler. We made the summit of S. Boulder in 1:04 going quite easy. After a bit of a break, we headed over to Bear, took another 5+ to take in the views and let Sierra rest. I debated Green, but just knew it would take too long, so we just headed back.

The Incline 4/26/08

2 miles
2,100 vertical
23:33 up
176 bpm ave.

Jeff and I decided that we would add a bit of torture to the day by throwing in the Incline after a great morning of snow climbing. I was tempted to bail and earn a WMPH card, but Jeff was hearing none of it. I knew that I was not feeling fresh, in addition to feeling a bit flat and not mentally into it, but what the heck. I started off a bit fast, but things quickly steepen to remind (force) you to slow down. After a few minutes of "running", I slowed to a power hike with my hands on my knees for assistance. On the steepest section, I was using my hands as well to assist grabbing the ties above, somewhat like a laid back ladder. The entire time, I only focused on no more than 2 or 3 ties ahead. Looking up more than that is just too discouraging as the Incline is so "in your face". I was at about 172 for quite a while, 175 in the middle, then 178 near the top. I was giving it about all I had, but I did not really have too much on the day. I ended up missing PR by 7 seconds, but I guess that was to be expected, I was happy to be that close all things considered. I was sheer torture, but I love it and was very happy I did it afterwards.

Little Pikes Peak Couloir 4/26/08

~4 miles from Elk Park
~2,300 vertical
Jeff Valliere, Dave Hale, Hoot, Jeff Kunkle, Scooby, Shep, Sierra, Denali

Had a fun morning of snow climbing a gulley Hoot had been eyeing from his house. Finished near Devils Playground and made for a nice little loop. The snow conditions were a bit variable and still need a few more warm days in my opinion to really shape up for ideal spring cramponing. The gully was not too steep, but steepened a bit near the top, maybe 35+ degrees. Awesome to get out on the snow, especially with such great company. Can't wait to go again soon.

Sanitas 4/24/08

3 miles
1,300 vertical
148bpm (up)

As my mom and stepdad were still in town, I snuck out for a early morning run up Sanitas. Went really easy due to the prospect of running the incline the next day (which ultimately never panned out). As the days lengthen and warm, I think I will switch to early morning runs, it is so peaceful and such a great way to start the day.

Moab Wrapup 4-20 thru 4-23

Had a great time taking my Mum and stepdad to Moab. Got out for some great hikes around Arches and Canyonlands. They were amazed, as they have never been there before. The highlight was a 12 miler for the Chessler Park/Joint trail route with roughly 2,000 vertical of up/down spread out along the route. They were beat afterwards as they are not used to hiking, but loved it and were glad they did it in the long run.

Not much running, snuck in a few steep slickrock intervals one day, then a 6 miler early in the morning up Negro Bill Canyon up to Morning Glory Arch. Did some up and backs while waiting for Allison. It was awesome flying through the canyon along the creek, through the trees not knowing why lay around the next bend. Desert running is such a blast, wish I could have done more.

Sunday: 3 miles/500 vertical
Monday: 9 miles/1,800 vertical
Tuesday: 12 miles/2,000 vertical
Wednesday: 6 miles/700 vertical

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sanitas x 2

6 miles
2,600 vertical
Lap 1: 18:21 (164bpm)
Lap 2: 19:29 (171bpm)

Allison, Sierra and I got out for an early morning jaunt to Sanitas, opting for warm/sun/dry.
I had hopes of running somewhat fast, since I have taken things pretty casual since Tuesday (hard run at Walker), but after a few steep steps, I could feel that I was not fully recovered.

My next goal was to do each lap under 20 minutes. Lap 1 I did not really put too much into it and was having trouble elevating my HR, made it up in 18:21, went back down in 13. Did a u-turn at the lower bridge and felt the oh so powerful pull of gravity and it felt like I was on Mars (or one of those planets with a stronger gravitational pull), as I was having trouble switching gears.

HR was higher on the second lap, but I knew I was dragging. Oh well, off to Moab with the parents, so I will have some casual days to recover fully. Hope to squeeze in a few runs here and there.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Green Mountain

6 miles
2,400 vertical
47 up

Had an easy day out after taking 2 days off due to weather, in-law obligations and being a bit sore from my hard run on Tuesday (otherwise I would have ridden the bike on those days).

Allison got a bit of a head start up Gregory as she arrived before me. I ran moderate pace (150-160bpm) till I caught her a bit before the ranger hut. Despite not really giving it too much, I was only a minute or so off of PR pace, I guess that is good?

The last half mile or so of the Ranger Trail was completely slush covered and slick. Sierra romped like crazy, she is a bit more excited about the snow than we are at this point in the season. Awesome day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Walker Ranch Loop

~8 miles
~1,800 vertical
169bpm ave.

Another great weather day and I was really itching to get out and run fast in the warm air. Drove up to Walker, warmed up for a few minutes and realized that I did not feel as good as I had hoped. Adding to that the wind was howling, so much so that it was throwing me around at times. Oh well, I figure I will give it a go regardless, mentally I am amped.

Started off at a fast pace for me down the hill. HR in the 160's. Got to the bridge in 8:52, felt good up the next hill, HR now in the low 170's, but I can't really get it up to where I want, confirming my suspicions that my mental state is stronger than my physical. Make it to the parking lot at the crest of the meadow in 20:11. Keep up my intensity on the downhill, maintaining around 170bpm, forcing myself not to coast. I make quick work of the rock stairs and cross the creek again at 36:26.

I rightly figure getting back up the hill to the TH is going to take some time and effort. My first goal is to beat my time of 1:04:27 from Bill's race on Aug. 8th, 2006. Goal 2 is to get George's time of 1:00:01, goal 3 is to go under an hour, a tall order.

I grind and grind up the hill. I look at my watch a few times, but can't really come up with any guesstimates. I am at 176+ going up the hill, then just kill myself on the final rollers, nearly throwing up at the finish and get in at 1:02:17. Not bad. I am somewhat happy to take 2:10 off PR, but a little bummed to not go under an hour. Oh well, I gave it all I had. Tough course.

On the way home, I ran up Gregory to meet Allison. I was trashed, but it felt good to shake out some of the lactic acid. Great day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

SuperFlag (Bike)

16.8 miles
2,500 vertical
158 bpm ave (ascent)

First ride of the year, dove into the deep end with a trip up SuperFlag. Went somewhat "easy" most of the way. Kicked up a notch in a few spots with sporadic bursts in the big ring. Toward the top I saw a racer dude up ahead all decked out, power meter and all, so I dug a bit for a convicing (but friendly) pass. Was a bit surprised to go 34 seconds faster than my first trip up last year at 16 bpm less (and I had been riding for two weeks last year prior to my first SuperFlag pilgrimage). I guess my fitness is coming along a good bit better than last year at this time, so I am quite encouraged by that.

4/13/08 Walker Lollipop

~14.5 miles
~4,100 vertical
3hrs 12 minutes
Ave. HR 133 bpm

Wanting to get out for a few hours on dry trails, I coerced Homie into joining me for a run. We decided that the Walker Loop from Eldo would fit the bill perfectly for such a fine day. We made it to the Walker Loop in 42 minutes and went right opting to go counter clockwise. Upon Homie's encouragment, I picked up the pace up the Columbine Gulch trail, then doubled back to meet him. We alternated power hiking and jogging for the remainder of the loop. Pretty easy day, but I am itching to go back and blast this route.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

S. Boulder and Bear

9 miles
3,200 vertical
3 hrs RT

I was expecting better weather and since it was not so great outside, I was mentally reluctant to commit to a long walk. Oh well, just glad I can do it and there was really nothing else to do anyways. Sierra and Allison dictated the pace and they both moved pretty well today. There was a surprising amount of fresh snow. Not deep, just more than I expected and we were on packed snow most of the day (traction was surprisingly good though). Bumped into Buzz and Lisa near the saddle and chatted with them for a while, then an old friend from U-Bikes on the way down from Bear. Small town.

Friday, April 11, 2008


3 miles
1,300 vertical
18:42 up (13 down)
161 bpm

Waffled all day, the sun finally came out so I went at the last minute. Was glad that I did as it was quite nice out, at least for the short time I ran. Went pretty "easy".

Thursday 4/10/08

Sheer and utter laziness today. The weather was less than inspiring with the fresh snow and cold wind out of the North. I actually felt like running, but I was too lazy to change my clothes and get ready. I was also eager to go home a watch the recent Milan San Remo and Tour of Flanders that a friend of mine taped for me. I was really missing bike racing and had a twinge of wanting to do that again, but then I saw a few crashes, and thought about all the boring office park crits and circuit races.... had a flashback of "only 70 laps to go" and that was that. I really love the simplicity and peacefulness of trail running.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Two Laps on Sanitas

5.5 miles
2,315 vertical
19:02 up Sanitas S. Ridge
163bpm ave
56 minutes total

Did the same variation that George and I did last week. Up Sanitas in 19:02, down to "Quarry" turnoff in 9:??, back up the ridge in 10:??, 4ish more to the summit and 12ish back down.

I felt surprisingly good after yesterday's effort. I really did not feel it at all, but kept my pace in check, as I knew it was best not to push it too hard two days in a row.

Just as I got to the car, it started to rain, great timing. The humidity felt great, as the air was pretty saturated.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


5.5 miles (including warmup)
1,900 vertical

17:08 up Sanitas S. Ridge
12 minutes down
177bpm ave (for the ascent).

Had an excellent run up Sanitas today. I was hoping to go fast, but was unsure throughout the day how I really felt. I warmed up for about half an hour, a good part of that being some scrambling up at Red Rocks and some of it talking to some "Sanitas" acquaintences.

During the warmup, I was feeling on the fence as to whether or not I wanted to go all out up Sanitas. Although it is only 1.5 miles and 1,300 vertical, it really really hurts when going hard, more so than anything else in my opinion. I came close to bailing, but decided I had nothing to lose.

For the first half, I felt like garbage. My HR was high and I was not really sure I was going a good pace. At my only time check on the hill (the slight dip where a puddle usually resides this time of year), I was at 13:40, definitely the best time I have ever seen at that point.

Greatly encouraged by my time check, I kept on digging and was able to maintain my momentum pretty good all the way to the top. For a short bit, I was thinking I might even break 17, but no matter how much I gave it, I could do no better than 17:08, 5 seconds shy of my PR. I was pretty satisfied though, as I was 34 seconds faster than the last time I gave this a good effort.

Not to make excuses, but I did get bottlenecked by 3 hikers at a narrow part of the trail. I made all the usual hacks, coughs, scuffs and loud breathing, but they did not pay attention. This for sure slowed me by a few seconds at least. Air quality was also not great today and I was hacking up pflegm much of the way. Sometimes I wonder if I have exercise induced athsma, or if it is solely tied to air quality, as it does not happen every time.

All in all a great run. I feel as though I am making steady progress and look forward to continueing that momentum. My knee felt great during and after, as well as my achilles, which has totally healed. I am feeling 100% back on track for the first time in over a year.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weekly Summary

Great week, I feel like I am making progress and can get out most days without any consequence. The warmer weather is helping to keep me motivated as well. Ready to start adding some harder efforts and more specific workouts.

36 miles total for the week
13,715 vertical feet


~4.5 miles
~1,600 vertical

We were again a bit lazy about getting out. We waffled, but what the heck, it is a nice day. I was intending to run up Flagstaff somewhat hard, but after a quick start, I decided I was not really feeling motivated or fresh and that I would rather hike with Allison and Sierra.

After several minutes, I recalled reading in Matt Carpenter's Pikes Training guide about the minute on/minute off workout. I figured this would be a good way to get in some workout and not totally ditch Allison and Sierra. I ended up doing 8 seperate minutes on, with a minute rest in between, with one of those rests being 2 minutes (due to the dog and a road crossing).

These were the longest minutes I have experienced since going to visit my grandparents as a kid. By the 7th one, I was feeling a bit tired and on the 8th, I just knew I was done. I think I have to build up to it and maybe eventually work up to 15 or 20. I see the benefit though, not only is it a great workout, I don't think I have ever gone uphill so fast (even if only for a minute at a time).

Saturday, April 5, 2008

S. Boulder Peak

8 miles
3,000 vertical
A long time getting up
A long time getting down
HR 80bpm +/-

Allison, Sierra and I dragged ourselves up S. Boulder today. We were all feeling lazy and almost bagged it after looking at houses all morning, then eating a large and tiring lunch at Chipotle/Spicy Pickle in Louisville.

We took lots of breaks and soaked up the sunshine. Chilled out by S. Boulder Creek for a long time relaxing and listening to the water and the birds. Nice day.

Friday, April 4, 2008

S. Boulder Peak

8 miles
3,000 vertical
37 down
168bpm (on the ascent)
143bpm (on the descent)

Had a great run up S. Boulder. Went up Homestead instead of Towee (which I think takes a minute or so longer) in hopes of seeing Allison and Sierra. Bumped into them eventually as they were on their way down. Gave a kiss and a pat and got a quick conditions report. Was feeling pretty good, going hard but definitely not all out. Got to the mouth of Shadow in 19 and once it got steep, I felt my achilles talking. I backed off a good bit for 10 or so minutes and the discomfort subsided, so I ramped it back up a bit. Made the saddle in an unimpressive 43:?? and from there on it was a complete slip fest to the summit, as the hard packed snow was freezing solid. Was happy to make the summit in under 50, turned tail and picked my way back down. Busted ass twice on the steep icy snow, but was lucky only to get a cold hand. Once beyond the saddle I picked up the pace, but still went conservative as footing was a bit slick with shoes that were often wet. Definitely do not want to get hurt being the last one on the hill for the day. Awesome day, wore shorts and felt great. Rolled my ankle severely, enough to come down and touch the ground with my hand, but fortunately, it did not do any damage.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Green Mountain

7miles/2,500 vertical
50minutes up, 32 down

I waffled all day on whether or not I would get out. This morning it was raining, then sunny and warm, then driving hail and snow, then wind and cold. I convinced myself one way, then the other all day, minute to minute, whether or not I was going to get out or not. I ultimately decided not and told George he was on his own.

While walking to the car, I saw a hint of sun to the West and figured what the heck. I called George and conveniently, he was on his way to go up Green.

We took it quite easy going up Amphi, Saddle, Greenman, I had 43 minutes up from the Gregory TH at 148bpm. I walked over half of it and we just talked about everything under the sun and had some good laughs. There was fresh snow on top of old snow much of the way, but it was quite grippy.

Came down Ranger/Gregory in 32 back to Chautauqua.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sanitas x 2

5.5 miles/2,315 vertical

Got out with George today and had a great run. Went fairly easy up the S. Ridge, totally conversational pace. Averaged 161 bpm, probably would have been lower if we were not talking so much, but we always have a lot to talk about, especially when we only run together every few weeks or less. We need to run more, so we are not always catching up, then we can hammer each other like normal. It always starts off as "yeah, let's go mellow or moderate" and before long, we are hammering. It is great to have somebody out there in person pushing you and motivating you. Just the kind words of encouragement from somebody of George's caliber gives me added motivation to be my best. Anyways, from the summit, we headed down the East ridge, down the valley a bit and noticed a trail heading West, then South up to a quarry. We followed this until it petered out above the quarry and turned into social/game trails. It was steep going, but I love the steep and feel most at home. Soon we were on the main trail and zipped up to tag the summit a second time.
My achilles was feeling good and I think I am over the knee thing, so I turned it up a bit to test things out and felt really good. We headed back down the ridge to the TH.

Thanks George! Another great run and conversation.