Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, 11/27/10 Green Mountain

Got out with Dave and Bruce for a trip up Green from Chautauqua, starting a little after 12:30pm.  Jogged up to the Gregory TH, then mostly hiked up Amphi/Saddle/NE/Greenman at a casual/easy conversational pace.  Passed Homie and Mia coming down Amphi and Dave graciously offered Mia some food, as she was a bit hungry.  The day was pleasantly warm and calm for late November.

~47 up
~?? down

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday, 11/26/10 Green Mountain

Inefficiency around the house meant that our ~3 hour window between baby feeds became less than two hours, as we did not want to leave Grandma to fend for herself.  Allison and I started from the Gregory TH, up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman a bit after noon.  Allison was feeling tired from yesterday, so she sent me on my way to the top and agreed to turn around wherever I met up with her on my descent.  In the interest of time, I cut up the NE Ridge route to shave a minute or two and made decent time, as that route was almost completely snow/ice free until the upper section of Greenman.  I never really pushed at all, just went moderate at best and was surprised to make the summit in 34:30.  This was especially surprising to me, as I was dressed heavily in winter mode (heavy shoes, jacket, pants etc....) and each night I get up to feed babies, I feel like I am crippled and hobble around the house, stumbling and dragging myself like a Sleestak.

I met up with Allison on the descent just above the high talus field below the NE jct. and we headed back down Greenman/Canter Cut/Gregory.

Thursday, 11/25/10 Green Mountain

Allison and I got out for a lap on Green while Grandma watched the girls.  Started at 10:50am up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman and soon bumped into Homie on his way down and stated that he would meet us on his second lap.  Allison was pushing a bit, trying to hold Homie off, but he caught us at the NE Ridge jct. near the top and hiked it in with us.  We did not linger on the summit, as temps were probably in the single digits or less with the windchill.  Of course Homie was wearing shorts, certainly way tougher than I am, as I was somewhat bundled and still cold.  Despite the cold, he was gracious enough to hike/jog down with us and it was great to have his company.  Allison took 8 minutes off her post pregnancy Green ascent PR, so she was happy with that, as it will not be long before she is back to her old self.


Up: 56
Down: ~38?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, 11/24/10 Green Mountain

Today was my first day out since Saturday.  I was hoping for more wintery weather this afternoon, but unfortunately there was no snowfall to be had.  Went up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at an easy pace and it was quite cold late in the day, though I soon warmed up and alternated between too warm and too cold depending on what the wind was doing (usually blowing steady).  When I finished, the temp read 19 degrees, so I am sure it was a good bit cooler than that with the wind chill.  I headed down Greenman/Canter Cutoff (old trail to the top of Gregory), then down Gregory at a very casual pace, being careful on the ice and snow on the upper sections.


Up:  37:57
Down: 32:17

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday, 11/20/10 Green Mountain

Met up with Homie at 6:30am for a trip up Green.  I was again so tired from a sleepless night, that I was seeing a large sun spot most of the way up Gregory, but fortunately it finally wore off and I felt at least half awake.  Went an easy conversational pace and as always it was great to catch up with Homie, as he is one of my favorite trail partners and we always have too much to talk about to fit into one run/hike.  It was also a rare opportunity to get above the clouds, which finally broke above the Ranger cabin.  On the summit, it was so cool to see a sea of clouds butted up against the Front Range and it was relatively clear to the West over the divide, we both were kicking ourselves for leaving behind the camera.

Up Greg/Ranger:  48
Down " ":  27

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday, 11/19/10 Green Mountain

Started at 10:30am, up/down Gregory/Ranger.  T-shirt weather again and much of the snow has melted, but the upper sections that were slush yesterday were bullet-proof sheets of ice this morning.  I felt pretty good, passing the cabin in an un-pressed 16 flat and maintained less than a minute off PR pace without pushing, but lost a good chunk skating around below 4-way.  This was also sketchy and slow on the down, not sure if it would have been worth it to carry traction just for that.  I thought so while I was on it.

Up:  37:35
Down:  22:46

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday, 11/18/10 Green Mountain

Up/Down Gregory/Ranger.  Very easy hike/jog with Allison and Sierra, great to get out with both of them on the trails after a long hiatus.  It was quite warm on the lower half, but windy on the NW Ridge to summit and was glad to have a windbreaker, hat and gloves.  A significant amount of snow has melted today, so traction was not necessary (though ironically, I carried Microspikes and did not use them).

Up: 48
Down: 33

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday, 11/17/10 Green Mountain 2+ laps

I had a bit more time than normal today to run, but the caveat was a somewhat late start of 2pm (the sun is pretty low behind the hill by that time on this date), so I figured I would shoot for 2 laps on Green if I felt like it after the first lap.  Headed up Gregory at a moderately moderate pace and not surprisingly bumped into Tony at the top of Gregory, as he was descending from his 3rd consecutive lap of Green for the day and was going to head back up for a 4th lap.  I continued on at a plodding pace, surprised by the increasing amount of drifted snow from the unexpected squall the previous day, probably more snow fell/drifted yesterday than the previous minor snowfalls combined and I was wishing I had my Microspikes.

After a few minutes on top, I started down and intended to turn around and follow Tony back up once we crossed paths again, which happened at the flat spot on the NW Ridge.  I did my best to keep up without traction, as he was wearing Microspikes (yeah, that is my excuse ;)), but I felt kind of sluggish and he put 15 or so seconds on me on the final steep steps to the summit, despite it being his 4th lap and he was able to negative split each ascent, pretty frickin amazing.

We hung out on the summit for a while and headed down Greenman to the Ranger Cabin/Gregory to spice things up, going a moderate pace and chatting all the while about various topics related to running mostly and the upcoming NF50.  Once at the car, I changed into dry shirt, hat, windbreaker, gloves and tried to talk Tony into a 5th lap, which he contemplated, but ultimately thought better of it.

I started back up Gregory, at a reluctant and non-commital pace, a little spoiled by having had Tony along for a good bit of the previous lap for enthusiastic conversation and good energy, now it was just me heading up in the cold.  Each step forward, I contemplated it being my last in that direction and looked at each one as further away from the car instead of closer to where I wanted to go. 

I intended to head up to where I met Tony and turned around for my re-ascent to complete the two lap loop, but once I got there, I stopped and debated a bit, as it just did not feel right (especially knowing that Tony just clicked off 4 laps), so I continued on to the summit despite tired legs, falling temps, a quickly setting sun and a heavy bonk (I forget my gel at the car, oops).  I was the last one on the peak, so I shuffled back down at a dedicated, yet not too fast pace, just zoning out to the Car Guys on my earphones, arriving back at the TH as it was getting dark.  I was frozen and worked over by the time I finished and hurried home with the heat in the car blasting, then took an extended hot shower and chewed the handle off the fridge as GZ likes to say.  My endurance is pretty lacking right now (at least it is in the snow/cold temps with no insufficient food) and I think my fitness is waning fast as well.  Luckily, I am not training for anything, just getting out as much as I can before I start back to work on Sunday.


Ascent 1:  Gregory/Ranger: 41

Ascent 2:  Gregory/Ranger: 49

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday, 11/16/10 Green Mountain

I was up early feeding babies and figured since it was starting to get light as I was finishing up, I would strike while the iron was hot.  Somehow it managed to take me 90 or so minutes to dress, eat, check e-mail, download my daily podcasts, drive to Boulder, then poop at the TH.  Just as I was about ready to go (7:30am-ish), I heard a distant and distinct scratch, scrape, scratch, scrape and figured it must be Homie, since I was parked next to his car.  I was right in my assumption and spent a short while chatting with him.  We both had to boogie, as I had ~1 hour to meet Brandon and possibly go another lap (if I could get clearance from home) and Homie had to do something, not sure what he called it, work I think he said.

Due to the snow, I had been avoiding the front side in favor of shallower grades and marginally more sunshine of Gregory/Ranger, so I figured for something different, I would go up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman.  Immidiately I felt like crap, my legs had no pep and it was all I could do to get up the larger step ups.  My vision was also a little skewed, dark in the periphery and the middle was kind of like I got a surprise flash from a camera, or stared at the sun for a little too long.  I just went slowish (since that was about all I could muster up) and was thankful to make it to the top.  The wind was blowing, so I threw on my wind breaker and took off down Ranger/Gregory to warm up.  Fortunately, not long below the 4-way, the wind subsided and the day seemed warm again.  I just cruised casually on auto pilot back to the TH and then waited on Brandon to tell him that I would not be able to join him for a second lap (permission denied, probably for the best anyways considering how lousy I felt on the first lap).  I think lack of sleep was the main culprit, I should have just slept in and gone later.  Oh well, a tough day on Green is better than a great day on the flats or a treadmill.


Up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman:  39:52
Down Ranger/Gregory:  25

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday, 11/14/10 Green Mountain

Up/Down Gregory/Ranger

Started off at nearly 3pm at a quick, but comfortable pace up Gregory.  Passed the cabin in a surprising 15:38 (surprising, considering the lack of concentrated effort and how effortless it felt).  I knew that my splits would suffer above the cabin, no matter the effort I put in due to the snow and ice, as the trail is nicely packed, but still pretty slick the entire way to the summit.  Microspikes might have been nice just for efficiency sake on the upper half, but it hardly seems worth it at this point to have to mess with them.  I considered screw shoes for the next trip, but the though of scratching around on the bare lower half is even more unappealing.


Cabin: 15:38
Greenman/Ranger: 19:28
Flat spot on ridge: 24:15
4-Way:  33:34
Summit:  36:59

Descent:  22:52

RT:  59:53

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday, 11/13/10 Green Mountain

Easy day out with Homie up/down Gregory/Ranger.  Jogged casually and hiked some, just chatting away and enjoying the day.  Met up with a fellow runner named Jaime from Denver on the summit and chatted with him for a bit, but soon got cold and had to keep moving.  Bumped into and chatted with Tony for a short while on the descent and then bumped into my friend Rick from Maryland who we started off with briefly and talked with him for a while.

~46 up
?? down

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday, 11/12/13 Green Mountain

Moderate run up/down Gregory/Ranger.  Started around 2:30pm and it was a bit colder than I anticipated and I had expected that more of the snow would have melted.  Aside from occasional ice and snow,  Gregory was mostly bare, but everything above the cabin was packed snow and ice.

40:36 up
24 down

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, 11/11/10 Green Mountain

Got out for a great run today up Green Mountain in the snow.  Met up with Dave, Brandon, Dave's friend Nicolas (Mermoud, 3rd at UTMB a few years ago/co-founder of Hoka shoes), Geoff and Joe (Grant) at Chautauqua and headed up Gregory, where we eventually met up with Tony and a photographer/videographer, as they were doing some filming for a running magazine.  They joined us to the top of Green, where we spent a while socializing.  Dave, Geoff and Nicolas headed over to Bear/S. Boulder, while Tony, Joe, Brandon and I all had to get back, so we opted for Bear Canyon.  It was so much fun getting out on a snowy day with a great group.  I felt like I was sucking wind a bit, I think having a bit of trouble getting used to the new and slippery running surface, as it seems to take a bit more out of you (not to mention running with such an elite crowd).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday, 11/09/10 Green Mountain

I did not get out of the house until after 11am and by then, the sky was looking pretty bleak toward Boulder.  I was hoping for the best, but as soon as I started down the hill West of McCaslin, I could see a wall of rain and the temperature dropped from the mid 40's to the upper 30's.  As soon as I drove into the squall of blustery wetness, I thought to myself that I did not need to be out in that mess, so I whipped a u-turn to head home.  I backtracked a mile back toward home and felt really bad at the prospect of squandering a few precious hours of free time, so I busted another u and headed to Gregory TH.

A truck coming down Flag confirmed my suspicions that it was snowing up high, so I just had to endure rain for a short while.  6 or so minutes up Gregory, the rain stalled out and there were increasing traces of snow.  Above the cabin, snow became the predominant surface and once on the NW ridge, it was a full on howling blizzard with at least an inch of fresh snow, with deeper drifts in spots.

Though I was wearing shorts, I was dressed just well enough to be comfortable(ish) as long as I did not slow down or stop for anything.  I was so thankful that I made the decision to head up the hill.  I was wearing the Hokas again and they did very well in the snow, but were a little slick on wet rock (as many shoes are, and they did however keep my feet relatively dry, as they are so high off the ground).  Now it is snowing here at home in Louisville and I can't wait to go back tomorrow and play a bit in the new Wintry playground.


39 up Gregory/Ranger (semi casual/survival pace)
22 down Gregory/Ranger (pushing a bit at times, but being super careful on the wet rock)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, 11/07/10 Green/Bear/S. Boulder

An awesome run on another great Fall day, hard to believe it is November already and I am still comfortable running in no more than shorts and a t-shirt every day, as it has been in the mid to upper 70's as of late.  Met up with Dave, Tony, Geoff, Krissy, Darcy, Dan, Charles, and Jason for a casual trip over a few Boulder peaks.  I felt as though I was about the only one who has not been on the cover of, or featured in Trail Runner magazine, quite the accomplished group.

We generally took it pretty easy, but ran at the upper end of conversational pace at the most for a few minutes near the summit of each peak, where we then re-grouped and hung out for a long time, chatting and taking in the fine day.  Sitting on SoBo Peak, we could see an impressive line of dark storm clouds marching toward us coming off the divide.  The imposing weather and rapid change in temperature, coupled with the need to get home to the girls, had us running reasonably quick back down off Bear via Fern Canyon.  I led the way, with Tony and Geoff on my tail, going quick, but not really pushing too hard.  Interesting to hear their chatter about how great Killian Jornet is (I agree), but they both smoked him at WS100 by an hour, so what does that say about them?  Some rare air indeed.

We made it back to Chautauqua just in time, as it began to rain and get all hurricano-ish.

As is happening at the Zack household, the never ending Dog/Squirrel battle is also continuing to rage with full fury here in Louisville.  This goes on all day long, literally.  All I have to say is "Sierra, theres a BAAAAD Squirrel" and she about breaks through the glass door.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday, 11/06/10 Green Mountain and Hoka impressions

Met up with Homie at 9am/Chautauqua for a run up the front side of Green.  I was anxious to catch up with him, enjoy the record or near record warmth for the date and also try out a pair of Hoka Mafate shoes that I am borrowing for a few days.  At first the shoes feel (look) a bit silly, as they are so big and boaty.  Though they are reasonably light considering their bulk, the rocker action of the outsole took a bit of getting used to and they do not feel like a fast shoe, at least not to me (but that might be more a result of being up half the night tending to newborn twin daughters).  The cushion on them is incredible and I immidiately started to seek out every obstacle I could find to put them to the test, big sharp rocks, small sharp rocks, roots, pointy stumps etc.... and I could not feel a thing.  I became more and more impressed with the cushioning and was really looking forward to seeing how stable they are on the technical downhill and how they would eat up the impact.

Though initially tentative, I slowly cranked up the speed coming down the upper section of Greenman and was very impressed at how stable they are despite the added ~2" to my height.  These shoes are like a plush, full suspension mountain bike on the downhill, smoothing out the ride and making the trip more comfortable.  They don't quite have the stability of a really low slung shoe, but are as good or better than all of the middle of the road trail shoes I have used over the years.  The tread pattern and rubber composition is awesome and really hook up well on various steep surfaces. 

I'm not sure I would run in this shoe daily, but it would be ideally suited to somebody recovering from/nursing or trying to prevent a nagging foot injury and would probably be awesome for a 100 mile race.  I am guessing that ones feet would feel quite fresh wearing such shoes over long distances over rugged/rocky terrain.  I will be disappointed to have to turn them in, as it would make an excellent addition to my quiver of trail shoes.

After months of mocking these shoes, I have to eat my words.  Just another example of "don't knock it till you try it".


Up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman (from Gregory):  45 going a relaxed conversational pace
Down Greenman/NE/1st-2nd Flatiron route back to Chautauqua: 28

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday, 11/05/10 Now I am 6' tall

I'll admit that I have laughed at these Hoka shoes more than once, but I figured I can't knock em till I try them.  I got a test pair today and plan to give them a whirl tomorrow.  I'll report back soon.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday, 11/04/10 Green Mountain

Ran up Green this morning from Chautauqua, up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at what started off as a painful effort and not very quick, until I backed off the pace a bit and just gave in to the fact that I was not at all on today.  Headed back down Greenman at a very casual pace, intending to continue down Saddle Rock/Amphi, but at the last minute hung a left and took Greenman down to Gregory.  I really like technical trails, but that new(ish)/refurbished stretch of trail between Ranger and Saddle Rock, just perfectly smooth, gently twisting and undulating singletrack through the forest is a really nice treat.

Warmup: ~5 minutes
Up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman:  34:42
Down Greenman/Gregory:  28
Cooldown back to Chautauqua:  ~4 minutes

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, 11/02/10 Green Mountain

As I rolled up to my normal parking spot by the bridge at the base of Flag just a few minutes before 3pm, I was surprised to see that all spots were taken.  It turned out to be a great coincidence, as I drove up to park at the Gregory lot, I  passed Tony running up the road and asked if he minded company. 

We headed up Gregory at a moderate conversational pace, passed the cabin in 17ish (I think, as I was not really paying attention) and kept the pace even until a bit after the Greenman/Ranger junction.  Almost imperceptibly, we began to dial up the effort, conversation ceased and we settled into a fairly steady effort.  It was a bit harder than I had planned to push, but I had no plan or real reason to hold back, so I just focused on Tony's heels and we cruised up the mountain in perfect sync.  We topped out in 36, which was good considering the casual start and might have even been a PR on the upper half then for me at least.

After hanging out on the summit for 5 or so minutes, we decided to take advantage of such a perfect Fall day and headed down Green/Bear, Bear Canyon and then Mesa Trail.  We went a solid pace, chatting all the while and stopped a few times for bio breaks, rock in shoe removal, wildlife camera investigating and scoping future bushwhack routes.

Tony bailed off the Mesa Trail at Skunk Canyon to go do some barefoot miles and I continued North back to Chautauqua, or oops, I forgot, back to Gregory TH, which meant a good bit more climbing/rolling terrain on the Bluebell-Baird trail back to the car instead of the nice smooth sail I had in my mind back to Chautauqua.  An awesome run on an awesome day.  Thanks Tony, I appreciated the company and conversation.

I did not really catch any splits, but we were 36 up Green and 1:29 for the loop with the summit break and a few stops on the way down.

Start: 3pm
Finish: 4:29pm

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, 11/01/10 Green Mountain

After walking around Chautauqua with Allison, Amelie, Isabelle and Sierra, I got an hour long pass to hit up Green Mountain while they hung out on the lawn next to the van.  After a ~5 minute casual warm up to the Gregory TH, I started my watch and headed up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at a moderate, but lousy feeling pace.  My legs felt like lead and it was as though I were running on a slippery treadmill and seemed as though I was going nowhere, or at least nowhere fast.  I debated cutting the run short, as to not hold up the family, but I just kept going, not pushing, but not really holding back either.  My time splits were nothing great, but not as terrible as it felt, so I pressed a little bit harder for the next 8 or 9 minutes above the Saddle Rock/Greenman Junction (only because it is flat/down for a short while) and then slowly faded toward the end, topping out in a better than anticipated 33:55.  Nothing great, but much better than I would have guessed early on.  My final split was actually close to PR pace, so I guess I just needed a bit of a warm up.  The final switchbacks were coated in a light dusting of snow, a nice surprise and a reminder that Winter is right around the corner on this first day of November.



Down in 20:55