Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekly Summary: 9/20/10-9/26/10

Every day I get up a peak, I am a little bit on edge, waiting for "the call", knowing I could have to set a new descent PR and realize it could be my last summit for a while.  This sense of uncertainty and impending changes fatherhood will bring make me appreciate each day out that much more.  My only regret this week was not being able to get out with any of my usual running partners, as it is often tough to coordinate under the best of circumstances, but now I can't really plan, I just have to get out when I can, usually decided at the last minute.

Monday, 09/20/10, Bear Peak:

Easy dog jog with Sierra from Cragmoor TH. We had the mountain to ourselves and really enjoyed the peacefulness, solitude and cooling temperatures near the top. The clouds were very interesting to watch as distant storms developed to the South and East. I contemplated heading over to S. Boulder, as we had the time, but I instead used that time to just relax, enjoy my surroundings and time alone with Sierra. It was a special moment with her, as I could tell that she was really enjoying the time with me on the mountain, high above the plains just as much as I was. The eye contact, relaxed posture and ear to ear doggy grin spoke volumes. Though sometimes I get a little selfish and impatient having to wait for her on our runs, it is moments like this, when we really connect that I am especially grateful to have her in my life and be able to share such adventures.

Tuesday, 09/21/10, Green Mountain:

I was feeling kind of tired and sluggish, but after over indulging at a work celebration lunch (had a hamburger, chicken/veggie wrap, schwarma plate, Vietnamese noodle bowl, chocolate frosted/chocolate cupcake, and two single serving helpings of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream), my main motivation was just to burn some calories to help offset my major gluttony. I started up Amphitheater at a reluctant pace, but my legs felt decent and despite my bloated belly, my time split at the top of Amphi was respectable given the lack of effort and motivation (6:46). I upped the intensity just a tiny bit to the Greenman junction (19:59), but still felt as though I was just casually cruising. Again, I slowly and incrementally upped the pace some more, aided by the brief reduction of gradient, looking ahead and trying to guess where I would be in one minute, then another minute, etc…. This little game was helping and before I knew it, I was moving at what felt to be a very solid pace, but without digging very deep, it felt super controlled and sustainable and my feet were effortlessly gliding over the rocks. Had I not ate so much at lunch and put in a bit more effort over the first 20 minutes, I am positive I would have gone 2+ minutes faster and might have PRed. I topped out at 5pm in 34:27, took a moment taking in the views, backtracked in a relaxed 21:30 back to the TH. Though this was not one of my faster runs, but it was surprisingly satisfying and fun.

Thursday, 09/23/10, Bear Peak:

Another very easy dog jog. We started early and it was quite cool, so I was hoping that this would help Sierra go a little quicker, but she ended up being very slow, so this turned into mostly a hike. 55 up, 35 down.

Saturday, 09/24/10, S. Boulder/Bear:

Started from S. Mesa at 3:30pm. Was amped to go fast, mainly because I was in a hurry to get back to the hospital, but also because I was just itching to have some fun pushing myself a bit. Unfortunately, my body was not up to the task of what my mind wanted to do. My legs felt pretty good, but my stomach was a little bloated from having lunch less than 30 minutes prior and I was getting a pretty significant cramp in my left ribs. About halfway up Shadow, my lower back really started to ache as well. It is odd, this only really happens to me in Shadow Canyon for some reason, but rarely on other similarly steep trails. There is something about this section of trail in particular. I topped out on SoBo in a disappointing 51:24, nearly 6 minutes off PR, although I was putting in as much or more effort than when I ran a 45 a few years ago. My feet were not particularly accurate and I seemed to fumble a bit up/down the SoBo summit boulders and even had trouble picking the perfect line, as I normally have each step choreographed. I was able to rally a bit and made it to the summit of Bear in 9:22, but still did not feel particularly snappy. I pushed a little bit on the down at times, making it back in 32:10. 1:32:56 for the RT, not as quick of a run as I had envisioned, but very satisfying regardless.

Sunday, 09/26/10 Green Mountain:

Started from Chautauqua after work, headed up via 1st/2nd Flatiron access trail, up to NE ridge, then Greenman. It was hot and my legs were a little tired, so I just took it fairly easy up and down. 44:43 up, ~30 down.

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