Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday, 01/31/12 Green Mountain

Up/Down Amphi/1st Saddle/Greenman

3.08 miles/2,293 vert./1:02:39 (38:25 up)/131 avg. HR  Garmin Data

Went very easy on the up and down, just taking my time and enjoying the lack of wind.  Made things feel a lot more peaceful and less hurried/urgent.

Also found a cool way to query weekly/monthly/yearly stats on the Garmin site which saves me a ton of time, as I do not have to keep up on my Excel spreadsheet or mess around with the calculator (both things that I have no time or desire to do anymore).

So, below are my stats for January.  I was able to get out for a run on every day of the month (certainly my longest streak ever), even if it was only for a few miles from the house or on my lunch break.  I am working on getting over my "if I can't run up a mountain I'll just do nothing" attitude, not even for "training" reasons, but more to just stay fit and healthy (physically and mentally).  Because of this new found attitude, I am finding that if I am determined to do so, there are really very few days (if any?) where I truly can't get out for at least a short run (though as things warm up and dry out, I hope to transition to the bike 2 days per week).  The hardest part is often times just getting the motivation to suit up and complete the first mile.  Even on my worst days, once I am out there and get a mile or two behind me, I want to just keep going.  Since it is only January, I have been keeping the intensity appropriately casual (hard for me to do typically).

Count: 33 Activities
Distance: 191.18 mi
Time: 38:21:46 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 47,454 ft
Avg Speed: 5.0 mph
Avg HR: 141 bpm
Calories: 20,139 C
Avg Elevation Gain: 1,438 ft
Max Elevation Gain: 4,446 ft
Avg Distance: 5.79 mi
Max Distance: 12.31 mi
Green Summits:       12
Bear Summits:         5
SoBo Summits:        4

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday, 01/30/12 LoBo Run

10.59 miles/185 vert./1:22:07/7:45 pace/135 avg. HR  Garmin Data

Brandon met me at work for a casual mid day run.  Headed out on the LoBo trail through Niwot and back at a conversational pace and was good to catch up, made the miles pass by quickly.  Was even better to snap up a $20 bill on the ground along the way.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday, 01/29/12 Green Mountain

Up/Down NE Ridge(ish)

3.07 miles/2,283 vert./1:01:52 (36:40 up)/141 avg. HR  Garmin Data

Very easy up and down.  Was reasonably warm today, but the wind was hammering pretty good high on the mountain and made it feel a bit colder.

Saturday, 01/28/12 S. Boulder/Bear

From S. Mesa TH (via Homestead/Shadow)

7.22 miles/3,264 vert./1:43:53/avg. HR 139  Garmin Data

This was a bit of a surprise outing in the late afternoon, as Allison got called off of work, so I took advantage and was able to get out for a run.  Was headed for Green, but figured with the little extra time, I should do something a bit longer/different, so made the last minute decision for S. Boulder and Bear.  Took things pretty easy for the most part, going slow as to not get too far ahead of Sierra and then waiting occasionally for her to catch up.  Half way up Shadow, I bumped into Rex and crew (second time in a week), so I stopped and chatted with them for a while.

There was a LOT of ice on the trails, especially in Shadow Canyon, but intead of wearing Microspikes, I wore a pair of newly screwed shoes and that was definitely the better choice.  I got better grip on the ice and did not worry about dulling a new pair of Microspikes on all of the exposed rock.  I have several boxes of screws at home still, so I may screw a few pairs of shoes and default to this method for a while (at least until we get some fresh snow on the trails).  I wish we would just get a few feet of snow several times over, like the Winter of 06/07, where we had perfect trench conditions December through March (unfortunately that was during the pre Microspike era).

Made the summit of S. Boulder in 54, 9 minutes to Bear, then a real casual/cautious 40 back to the car.  Another awesome day out with Sierra.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday, 01/27/12 Green Mountain

Up/Down NE Ridge(ish)

3.12 miles/2,284 vert./1:11:30 RT(40:35 up)/137 avg. HR  Garmin Data

Just as I was leaving the house, it was starting to flurry, which was a bit of a surprise, as the morning had started off somewhat sunny.  By the time we (Sierra and I) got to Boulder and started up the trail, it was snowing quite hard and I was happy to know the conditions under the dusting of snow and was able to get by without spikes for most of the up (all but the final 6-7 minutes).

Went easy going up and even easier going down (wearing spikes for the entire descent), hiking the entire time except for just a few minutes of jogging near the summit.  Had a really good fall on a very steep section of the descent (even going really slow and cautious) but was fortunate to not get hurt at all.  This caused me to slow it down even more and really take no chances.

Sierra was just going batty in the fresh snow and it was great to spend quality time with her.  Another great day out despite the traction challenges.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday, 01/26/12 Boulder Creek Path/Sanitas Valley Baby Jogger Run/Hike

9.02 miles/952 vert./9:49 pace/142 avg. HR  Garmin Data
(pace was skewed a bit by the two miles at 11:29 and 19:32, basically steep uphill running or hiking)

Today was nice and warm (high 50's, low 60's?), but better yet, it was absolutely calm while we were out, so this was quite the treat.

Parked at Scott Carpenter Park (thinking since the pool was closed, the lot would be empty, but was quite surprised that I got the last spot....  could not figure out why?), then ran an errand over near 28th and Canyon.  From there, we headed over to Folsom, to the creek path and then eventually worked our way over to Sanitas Valley.  Was able to maintain a run with the jogger to the top of the smooth dirt road portion of the trail (not steep when I run solo, but steep to run while pushing 75-80lbs).  At the end, even though the trail transitioned to semi technical single track, I decided to keep heading up and see how far I could get.  It was not easy, but I was able to heave the jogger up a ways and negotiate my way over the log steps and around rocks, but I soon was stopped by some larger rock steps and forward progress seemed futile.

Carefully headed back down (this is where I really appreciate having brakes) and then took a little side trail over toward the old quarry where we stopped to have a snack and enjoy the warm sunshine.

The trip back to the car was quick and enjoyable, it being pretty much all downhill helped a lot.  Once back to Scott Carpenter Park, I released the girls to run around on the grass and we had fun chasing each other around for a bit (they are getting faster by the day).

This was as high as we got, as the East Ridge Trail got a bit too rugged

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday, 01/25/12 Green Mountain

Up/Down NE Ridge

3.09 miles/2,281 vert./57:23 (35:22 up)/avg. HR 158  Garmin Data

Decent run today and was a bit more efficient with my route choice than I was on Monday.  The first section of ice on lower Amphitheater is negotiable/avoidable for the most part, then it is pretty much dry ground and smooth sailing until the last 6 or 7 minutes of Greenman.

Pushed a little bit on the up, nothing too hard, just working.  Did not feel nearly as good as I did on Monday though, so I lost more time that day than I first thought.

Went quick at times on the descent, but slowed to a cautious walk/jog when necessary.  It was another very warm day and I was definitely a little over dressed, as I would have been fine in shorts and one long sleeve shirt (but it is January after all).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday, 01/24/12 LoBo Run

7.09 miles/98 vert./54:16/7:39 pace/138 avg. HR  Garmin Data

As is usual for this type of run (what I typically regard as flat and boring, or, anything that is not up a mountain or across a Grand Canyon), I spend the first .5-1.0 miles contemplating just bagging the whole thing.  The only thing that keeps me going is a good line up of podcasts and the fact that I went through the effort to get dressed into my running clothes (and it is good to get a little fresh air in the middle of the day).

I feel like I am laboring a bit, but look at my watch and I am hovering at a sluggish low 8:?? pace and feel like I am working, yet my HR is in the 120's.  As the minutes tick by, I slowly transition from "maybe I should turn back..." to "maybe 4 miles?" to "6 will be appropriate for an easy day that I would normally take off" to "maybe I could squeeze in 8 or 10?" to "would I be in trouble with the boss if I ran for 20?".  I compromise with 7 and imperceptibly ratchet the HR up 10-15 beats higher, but it all feels surprisingly easy.  The urge hits to rip a few miles at the fastest pace I can muster, but I refrain, as my intent now is just to stay active and maintain a decent base level of fitness.

These flat runs I find more and more interesting as I progress, as I see my economy improve a little bit each time, faster pace at lower HR and less perceived effort.  What I am doing seems to be what I imagine to be a loose (and mostly coincidental) form of MAF and I might be starting to think there is a little something to it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, 01/23/12 Green Mountain

Up Steep Snow/Down NE(ish)

3.07 miles/2,337 vert./1:09:57 (46:17 up)/149 avg HR  Garmin Data

Started off from the Gregory side of the Gregory lot and headed S/SW up the steep hillside in a stupid effort to avoid the ice.  I was moving fast and felt as though I would get to the top of Amphi at or ahead of a "normal" split for a comparable effort (6:30ish).  Gained a ridge above the actual Amphitheater and could see the trail about 75 vertical feet below, so I tried to contour toward it without losing elevation, but got cliffed out several times and was forced in directions I did not want to go and still had to do some scrambling and elevation loss to get back on track.  Finally made the junction at 11:05, having wasted nearly 5 minutes (all to avoid a minute or two worth of ice).  I was annoyed with myself at this poor decision and considered a do over, as I was feeling really strong and knew I had a good climb in me today, but much of the purpose of going "fast" today was because I was in a hurry to get home at a decent time.

Back on track, I pushed hard again to make up some time for my mistake, but once I got to the ice between the 1st Flatiron access trail and the spring, I started heading up the hillside again (yes to avoid the ice and having to take the 20 seconds to put on my spikes).  The path of least resistance only lasted for 20 seconds or so and then it was a very steep, slippery and brushy climb, forcing frequent stops to wrestle with branches and contemplate the least worst way.  That was the easy part.  Soon, the snow deepened on the North slopes to a very surprising depth, necessitating waist deep wallowing over deadfall, crawling and the occasional bush/tree hand belay.  Making good time was now a non issue and the only question now was if I would be able to make it up the in your face hillside.  That was a major mistake and when I got to familiar terrain, I was now 10-11 minutes behind where I should be for a comparable effort and not nearly as high on the NE Ridge Trail as I had predicted.

Back on track, again, it was an comparatively easy jaunt to the summit and got there in 46 (a bummer, knowing that I would have been at least 11 minutes quicker had I chosen better lines).  Headed back down the NE ridge and stuck to known paths and familiar (and clear) woods.  A bit of an oops in the ascent route and was frustrating at times, but looking back, it was cool to see a few new areas that I had not seen before.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday, 01/22/12 Green Mountain

Up/Down Front/NE

3.12 miles/2,281 vert./1:05:39 RT (38:46 up)/143 avg. HR  Garmin Data

I have been a little discouraged with the current trail conditions as of late, but with a little extra work and good knowledge of the terrain, I was able to avoid the worst of the ice by getting off trail occasionally and taking the NE ridge.  Microspikes were mandatory for the uppermost section and the very bottom of the Amphitheater Trail.  Hiked for the most part (moderate pace) on the up and jogged very easy on the down.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday, 01/21/12 SoBo/Bear

7.18 miles/3,209 vert./1:58/140 avg. HR  Garmin Data

Sierra and I met Homie at the S. Mesa TH and started up the Homestead Trail at 3:21pm.  Was in the low 60s today, but the wind was kicking up a little at the trailhead.  Only a minor nuisance at the start and on the summits, forgot about it though for most of the run/hike.

Homie started off Brandon style and had me sucking wind for the first 5 or 10 minutes.  Eventually I got warmed up and engaged him in conversation to slow him a bit.  Went pretty casual for the remainder of the time, super slow on the down, as it was either ice or rock and made for some awkward running (if you want to call it that), then we had to wait for Sierra a bit over the final 1.5 miles (where she always "dogs it").

Great afternoon to get out and enjoy catching up with a great friend and my favorite pooch.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday, 01/20/12 Local Baby Jogger Run

8 miles/286 vert./1:06:55/8:22 pace/147 avg. HR

This morning was amazing and felt more like April than January.  It was warm, calm, sunny, calm.  Did I mention calm?  I was eager to get out for a run, but first had to deal with changing, feeding, napping, changing, feeding and dog walking before I could get outside and play.

Finally got the girls loaded in the Chariot a little after 11am, opened the garage door, then the "you have got to be frickin kidding me" moment of the day occurred, the WIND started cranking.  Serious?  Took the dog out for her obligatory mile walk and then while dropping her off, did a quick wardrobe shuffle (mainly needed to add gloves and swap out for my hooded shirt, so I could hide from the wind).

Anyways, the wind was hammering from the West and I figured it would be prudent to head into it, toward Davidson Mesa, as I leaned at a 45 degree angle, heaving on the sail jogger just to get it to move.  At times, I found myself upping the effort just to stay moving at 10-11 pace.  Once I rounded the far corner at Davidson Mesa though, it was smooth sailing all the way home (where I was on the brakes to maintain a sub 7 pace and even got down in the low 5s at one point, where my feet could hardly keep up).

While heading back along Davidson Mesa, we spotted two horses hanging out in their little corral/yard and stopped so the girls could have a look.  Amelie LOVES horses and much to her amusement, they both came over to the low fence and allowed for us to pet them.  This was a huge hit with her and she giggled, waved and stroked their soft snouts.  I gave Isabelle her turn, but she was not quite as excited about it, so I gave Amelie another turn while Isabelle happily observed from the comfort of the Chariot.  This simple encounter was easily the highlight of the run.





Isabelle not quite as excited (but still interested)


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday, 01/19/12 Local Baby Jogger Run

8 miles/195 vert./1:03:24/7:55 pace/141 avg. HR

Ran some errands in the literal sense today, swinging by Runner's Roost, the supermarket and then the library.  It was over 60 today and quite nice, though a little windy at times (but nothing like last night or what was predicted for today).  Went pretty easy for the most part, with my slowest miles being a few seconds over 8:00 pace (headwind) and the fastest being 6:47 pace (tailwind where I was just letting the jogger roll on it's own with the occasional correction (yes, I had the wrist leash on as always)).

As I arrived at home and heaved the jogger into the garage, it dawned on me that the jogger was quite heavy and I realized that I should have done my shopping at King Soupers nearer to the house at mile 7 of the run, instead of Albertsons 3 miles in, but the whole thing was kind of a last minute decision.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday, 01/18/12 Longmont Run

6.03 miles/104 vert./46:33/7:43 pace/140 avg. HR Garmin Data

Easy run on the LoBo trail into Niwot and back.  Quite the steady headwind on the way out, went super easy.  Turned around and was really happy to have a good tailwind, so I upped the effort just a little bit, yet was going 1:30-2 min/mile faster.  Sweet.

Mile 1:  8:34/141 HR
Mile 2:  8:32/129 HR
Mile 3:  8:29/134 HR
Mile 4:  6:54/146 HR
Mile 5:  6:38/153 HR
Mile 6:  7:12/145 HR

Though not my favorite type of run, I am enjoying this type of run more and more.  The hardest part is just getting out the door and getting through the first mile.  The key for me, is having an MP3 player and good podcasts to listen to, as I get so preoccupied with what I am listening to, I forget that I am not running mountains (well not really, just takes the sting off and I look at it as better than NOT getting out).  Having a Garmin helps a lot as well, as it makes such runs more interesting and quantifiable.  I like that I can watch my pace in relation to HR and see how it varies depending on terrain, wind, how I feel, pushing a jogger or not, varying cadence, etc.....

Oh yeah, checked out a video on Hulu yesterday about the Costa Concordia shipwreck (operated by Carnival Cruise Lines) and was surprised by the ad from Princess Cruises that I had to watch beforehand, then got to look at the ad in the upper right of the screen.  It should read "30 seconds not enough to abandon ship?"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday, 01/17/12 Green Mountain

Up/Down Back

5.37 miles/2,367 vert./1:12:12 (43:12 up)/138 avg. HR  Garmin Data

After getting a less than encouraging conditions report from Green Mountain, I decided to skip it and head up Bear instead.  But, as I walked out of work, I could hardly open the door as the wind was hammering pretty hard and I was unsure whether Bear was still the best idea or not.  As I drove toward Boulder (watching the wind kick up snow devils in town and in the foothills), I waffled literally minute to minute between Bear, Sanitas and various routes on Green.  Traffic patterns and whichever lane I happened to be in at the time, ultimately dictated my choice and before I knew it, I was at the Gregory lot.

Luckily, the wind seemed to have calmed slightly for a bit, or I might have been in a little bit of a wind shadow.  I started off without spikes and put them on below the second significant rocky section in Gregory.  Conditions right now are really dismal.  WAY too much rock and bare ground to wear Microspikes, but simultaneously WAY too much ice (now hidden by a dusting of powder) to not wear spikes.  Uggg.

Went pretty easy on the up and even easier on the down.  Even going as slow and easy as I did, I still had a few good slips and close calls.  All the ice kind of beats one up on the descent, as it is the hardest running surface I have ever encountered.  I am almost tempted to stick to pavement (maybe do SuperFlag for my climbing days) until things improve.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday, 01/16/12 Longmont Run

6.04 miles/44 vert./47:03/7:47 pace/136 avg. HR Garmin Data

Did not really feel like running today, but a malfunctioning breaker at work was causing frequent and frustrating power outages, so I got fed up and just had to get away for a bit.

Figured I would just get in 3 miles, but once I got out the door, realized how nice it was out and became consumed with my Adam Carolla podcast, it was hard for me to head back and it was tempting to keep going, but figured I would stick to my intention of a casual day.

Headed up S. Fordham and maintained a very easy pace, crossed Nelson and just followed the powerlines to Golden Ponds and goofed around up in that area for a bit and headed back.

I have decided to try not taking any days off from running for a while and see how it goes, even if it is just a mile or three from work or home.  But, at least this time of year with all the dressing up, I find it hardly worth the effort to get out for less than 6 miles.  Once I get out there, I always want to do more.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday, 01/15/12 Bear/SoBo

5.7 miles/3,303 vert./1:33:38 (45:47 to true summit of Bear/11:40 to SoBo/9:48 back to Bear/26:20 down)  Garmin Data

After getting up Bear on Friday and totally enjoying the snow drifted ridge, I could not wait to get out there again to enjoy.

From Cragmoor TH, up Fern to Bear/SoBo and back.  Nice day, pretty warm, but a little windy again above the saddle.  A little bit of everything out there for trail conditions, ice, bare ground, packed snow, slush, wind drifted powder, wind packed crust, frozen post holes, you name it.  We need either a foot or two of snow, or a week of 80 degree temps (I would truly prefer the feet of snow right now).

Went high side of moderate on the up, flirting with the low side of hard at times, especially fighting the snow drifts on the ridge and piffy pow on the way up SoBo.  Took it pretty mellow on the descent due to the variable conditions and lack of confidence in my rounded Microspikes (even crab walking through the steep section with the log steps).  Once I crossed the Mesa Trail, I just removed the spikes, which was mostly a good choice, but made for some slow and careful stepping in spots, especially on the Cragmoor connector.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday, 01/14/12 Local Baby Jogger Run

8.3 miles/237 vert./1:05:50/7:56 pace/144 avg. HR

Ran with the girls today to go visit mom at work.  Was reasonably warm(ish), but somewhat windy, so I was either going an easy 6:30 pace when it was at my back, or pushing just a bit to stay in the 8 range running into it, but overall a mellow to moderate run.  Got a little bonky toward the end, but ate some GU Chomps that I always have stashed in the jogger which got me home feeling good.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday, 01/13/12 Bear Peak and Cragmoor Run

Run 1:  4.77 miles/1,203 vert./1:10 126 avg. HR  Garmin Data
Run 2:  4.48 miles/2,721 vert./1:30 RT(59 up) 152 avg. HR  Garmin Data

9.25 miles/3,924 vert./2:40

With Allison's parents at the house watching the girls, yet with a limited amount of time, Allison, Sierra and I took a run around the various trails from the Cragmoor TH including Mesa and Shanahan.  Was expecting to hike for the most part, but Allison was pushing a run the entire time.  Conditions were all over the board, from packed snow, wind drifted snow, dry trail, bulletproof ice, etc.....  The wind was cranking and although the air temperature was reasonable, I was a bit chilly the whole time and was glad I backtracked to the car early in the run to grab my jacket.

Just as we finished, I met up with GZ, as planned, for a lap on Bear, while Allison and Sierra headed home.  We went a pretty reasonable pace, casual/conversational for the most part and it was awesome to catch up with a great friend.  Microspikes were almost ineffective on the upper section above the saddle with all the wind drifted snow, it was quite the wallow and slip fest and the wind was hammering for the most part.  We spent no time on the summit and then had a great time foot skiing the down.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday, 01/12/12 Local Run and More Shoes

6.03 miles/292 vert./54:14/9:00 pace/137 avg. HR

Easy run with the baby jogger and dog.  Pace ranged anywhere from ~6:21 pace (passing, then putting distance on a person of undetermined gender, running ~7:20 pace with 2 Fi Fi ankle biter dogs).  The remainder of the run was casually strolling, walking some ice/snow sections and waiting up on Sierra.  A bit cold and breezy late in the afternoon, should have gone late morning when it was sunny and warm, but we were getting ready for a lunch date with mom.

Listened to this podcast (lifted from GZ's blog), an interview with my good friend Dave, talking about his recent 2011 UROY award.  His achievement was very well deserved simply because of his running alone, but it also could not be awarded to a nicer guy.  It was cool hearing Dave actually talk about his running, something he rarely, if ever does in person and even then it is like pulling teeth.  Congrats Dave!

Also listened to this very good podcast that I got from Jason Henrie about transition and could relate a bit being a new(ish) father learning to balance my outdoor passions and time with family.  I really like everything he had to say, but had to chuckle a bit at his somewhat naive sense of optimism.  My situation is a bit different having twins, but even with just one, it will take a while to transition to the place that he is looking for (a bit longer than he might think).  Or maybe not, perhaps he will get there right away, hard to judge as I don't know his situation.  Either way, good luck to him.

It has been a while since I have posted some of my latest shoes, so here are a few of the more recent ones:

Under Armour Charge RC Storm.  A unique shoe for sure, better than you might think, but I am still somewhat undecided on whether or not I really like them.

Nike Lunar Eclipse 2.  Very good road shoe, really digging this pair more than I expected.

K Swiss Blade Max something or other.

K Swiss Blade Max something other or other.

North Face Single Track Hayasa.  It has been a long time since I have run in a TNF shoe (2002 I think?).  I have not had the opportunity lately, nor have I really been that interested, but they really hit a home run with this one.  This is their entry into the minimalist market and I think they did a great job.  Very light (~9oz), fast, nimble etc.... but with pretty reasonable protection still.  Tread pattern could be a bit more aggressive for the steeper rougher trails, but the rubber compound is great.

Salomon XR Mission.  I have always been a Salomon fan, but I am only so/so on these.  They are comfortable, but the arch is a bit further forward than I have ever felt, but perhaps it is just the insole though (which I might swap out and see what happens).  Kind of a cross shoe that does well on a variety of surfaces.  It is definitely a solid everyday trainer, but a bit heavy to race in.

Pearlizumi Kissaki.  Supposedly their minimalist shoe, but I found them to be a little heavy and not particularly speedy.  I like the Streak II MUCH better.  The memory foam in the heel padding is unique though.

Puma Faas 800.  Awesome road trainer shoe.  Light and quick feeling, very stable, but struggle a bit in the mud.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday, 01/11/12 Longmont LoBo Run

6.23 miles/94 vert./48:38/7:49 pace/141 avg. HR Garmin Data

Would have loved to head into Boulder after work to run Green in the fresh snow, but snowy roads mean more time in the car, which I could not really afford today.

Ran from work into Niwot on the LoBo trail and back in heavy snowfall.  Was a little bit cold at first, mainly due to the wind, but I eventually got warmed up and enjoyed myself in the near whiteout conditions.  Might have gone a little longer, but had a meeting to get back for.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday, 01/10/12 Local Run

3.33 miles/148 vert./27:57/8:24 pace/131 avg. HR

Easy run to the store in the dark after the girls went to bed.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday, 01/09/12 Green Mountain

Up/Down Front

4 miles/2,278 vert./57:29 (36:49 up)/157 avg. HR Garmin Data

Conditions were improved over yesterday, but still less than ideal, especially with rounded microspikes.  Put in a steady effort, not too hard, but definitely was working a bit on the up.  Took the descent pretty casual and cautious.

Sunday, 01/08/12 Green Mountain

From Chautauqua via Gregory/Ranger

6.37 miles/2,512 vert./1:44 (54:01 up from Gregory lot)/114 avg. HR Garmin Data

Casual hike/jog with Allison and Sierra in the afternoon.  Conditions were not ideal with the fresh snow on the old ice and dull microspikes.  Was a great day though and the new snow did a good job dressing things up a bit aesthetically.  Wanted to push Allison a bit more on the uphill (she spent much of Gregory Canyon on the phone dealing with some things happening at home), but she was going a decent pace above the cabin, where I had fun coaching her a bit on form, stride and cadence, which seemed to help her move along quicker and more efficiently.  I really hope to help her get her back to her pre pregnancy ~40 minute Green PR shape by Spring.

Jogged much of the way down which was fun and somewhat unusual for Allison, while Sierra of course was going batty with the fresh snow.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saturday, 01/07/12 Local Run

Part 1:  4.13 miles/191 vert./29:30/7:09 pace/155 avg. HR
Part 2:  1.31 miles/105 vert./11:20/8:40 pace/138 avg. HR

5.44 miles/296 vert./40:50

Got out for a quickie run late morning.  Was told to be back in 30 minutes and did so in 29:30, but then had a little extra time to tack on a cool down 1.3.

Went high side of moderate for the most part on the first run out around Harper Lake.  Figured my pace would be much quicker without ~75 lbs of baby jogger to push, but I did not feel like I was going much faster without it.  Definitely a little quicker on the uphill grades, but maybe even slower without it on the flats and downhills.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday, 01/06/12 Local Baby Jogger Run

7 miles/289 vert./58:58/8.25 pace/142 avg HR

Mellow late afternoon run around Louisville with the girls. The dirt paths have mostly melted out, but the melting has left behind a lot of mud and dog $hit to dodge, so I ended up preferring the hard surfaces.

Random thought of the day....

I have been noticing on these urban runs (reminding me of what I have often noticed and thought about after many years of riding the road bike) that the majority of trash on the side of the roads and paths are alcohol, tobacco or fast food related and what that might indicate. Have a problem you are trying to hide?  Keeping it hidden from the spouse?  Don't care about yourself, so why care about the environment?  Maybe it means nothing?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday, 01/05/12 Green Mountain with Amelie

5.19 miles/2,324 vert./1:37 (53 up/44 down)/avg. HR 129 Garmin Data

Got to spend some one on one time with Amelie today and figured I would take her up Green Mountain since her twin sister Isabelle was one up on her.

Headed up Gregory/Ranger for a little sunshine and to avoid the worst of the ice on Amphi/Saddle Rock trails.  Aside from a few slushy/icy sections, spikes were not needed until the top of Gregory at the 1 mile mark.  Conditions above that were nice packed/slushy snow where the spikes got great grip the entire time and there were just a few rocky sections near the summit.

Effort on the up was on the low side of moderate with a bit of a harder effort over the last few minutes.  We spent a few minutes on top sharing apple juice out of Amelie's sippy cup and took a few pictures before reluctantly heading down on such a perfect ~65 degree January day.

We went super easy on the descent as to not bounce Amelie around too much or risk taking a slip.  I bonked hard near the Ranger Cabin and I then realized it was after 2pm and I had not eaten lunch.  I guess I was so concerned about making sure everything was perfect for Amelie, I totally neglected myself.  Lesson learned.

We had an amazing time and it was really cool to just spend quality time with Amelie on her own.  We sang, practiced words, imitated the sounds farm animals make and just generally soaked up the warm sun and laughed a lot.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday, 01/04/12 Bear/SoBo/Green

12:31 miles/4,446 vert./2:44/150 avg. HR

I had the day off and after letting Allison get out for a lap on Green, I was able to get an afternoon pass. Decided to go for Bear with the extra time, as I was eager to scout the alt. route I noticed a few weeks ago from upper Bear Canyon to the mid point of W. Ridge. It was pretty steep and snowy, completely untracked after the last storm, but I was able to follow the old buried tracks pretty well. The hillside was in your face steep (much to my satisfaction) and the snow was knee deep in spots which made things a little slow. Despite the poor conditions and back sliding, it was only ~10 minutes up to the trail.

Once on Bear, going to SoBo was a given. The snow is in decent condition, at least compared to the bullet proof ice on the front of Green right now, but there were some wind drifted snow sections and some frozen post hole-ish snow. I originally planned to head down Fern, but liked W. Ridge and Bear Canyon so much, I had to head back.

Since I was feeling great and had the time, I tacked on Green as well.

This was a perfect day out and I felt like I had great energy. I did not push very hard, but felt like I was always moving pretty efficiently for the effort I was putting out. It was one of those days where I seriously considered going back for a second lap on Bear at least on the way out, but knew that would not score me any points at home.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday, 01/03/12 Longmont Run

10.32 miles/156 vert./1:27:16/8:27 pace/134 avg HR Garmin Data

Easy run on the LoBo trail, basically a 5.16 mile warmup followed by a 5.16 mile cool down.  It was surprisingly windy out there, so I just tucked into my headphones and was absorbed in the first Adam Carolla podcast of the year.  The trail was quite muddy in spots, some snow and ice too, which added to the fun.  It was also incredibly warm as I quickly shedded the windbreaker and was wishing I had shorts on, it was definitely warm enough for them.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday, 01/02/12 Green Mountain

Up/Down 1st Saddle

3.52 miles/2,495 vert./1:04:48(36:11 up/5:33 search patrol/23:03 down) Garmin Data

Good showing this afternoon with Tony, Brandon and Bill all in attendence for a 3pm start. Brandon took it out hard in his customary fashion, where he had us all huffing and puffing a bit going up Amphitheater, but once we topped out, he pulled aside and let Tony take over the pacemaking.

Tony and I got a little ahead and then waited at the 1st/Saddle junction, but somehow we ended up losing Brandon and Bill, so we kept moving up in hopes of re-connecting with them after we heard them yell from above somewhere. Fortunately, it was Tony's second ascent of the day (and he was being kind), but for my fitness level (or lack of) I felt like we were moving at a pretty good clip all the way to summit. I was definitely working beyond my fitness level, yet it somehow felt great.

We topped out and enjoyed the afternoon sun and soon Bill showed up without Brandon, so we set out searching. We soon found him on the trail a few minutes from the summit and he explained his post-holing (in shorts) adventures.

Took it somewhat easy on the down, as trail conditions are a bit tough right now, lot's of ice and variations of surface.

Sunday, 01/01/12 Local Baby Jogger Run

5.1 miles/194 vert./42:09/8:16 pace 140 avg. HR

First run with the jogger in a while (~ month?).  Went pretty easy it seemed, but the upper body was not used to the work, though the legs felt fine.  Would have liked to add a few more miles, but needed to take a trip to the airport.

I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, but I found this to be inspiring:

Barring any debilitating injuries, I plan to stick to this (at least the best I can), as there are usually plenty of days in my year where I could easily squeeze in a mile or three or 5 from the front door, or from work, but just don't feel like doing it (mainly because it is not up a mountain).

Saturday, 12/31/11 Year in Review

OK, I don't have the time or desire to go too deep, but figured I would post a few highlights, thoughts, numbers, etc....


Miles: 1,325 (running and hiking, I don't really track them individually)
Vertical:  402,915
Total Summits:  178
Green Summits:  109
Bear:  22
S. Boulder:  18
Sanitas:  9
14ers:  9
13ers:  7
12ers:  2

For the sake of comparison since I started keeping track of full years in 2005

2005      1,381/539,067 (miles/vert.)
2006      1,592/602,087
2007      1,141/440,975
2008      1,936/716,446
2009      1,501/525,314
2010      1,818/702,377

Highlights, well, running related, this year was pretty minimal.  I only raced twice (I think?), the Bolder Boulder and had a not so great run, mainly due to a lingering achilles injury at the time (and the requisite lack of fitness because of it), but running the Bolder Boulder is just a lark for me, as work has paid my entry the past 2 years.  The highlight of the day though was re-running the race with Allison and "pacing" her to beat her goal time.  This to me was more satisfying than if I had exceeded some random and arbitrary goal time I had set for myself.

Then of course my first marathon in August, Pikes Peak.  I fell a bit short of my goals, but was reasonably satisfied with the outcome and results none the less, especially considering how little focus I really put into it.  I guess I can't realistically expect much more without truly putting in the work (training structure, diet, etc...), but for me, I have to keep it fun and on my own terms and just let the chips fall where they may.  Not to mention, Pikes Peak never fails to deliver an ass kicking no matter how well prepared I am.

Aside from that, 2011 was the year of the baby jogger.  Having the Chariot has enabled me to stay sane as I typically care for the girls on my own 2-3 of my 3 days off each week and has helped us to explore Louisville, Boulder and Vail Pass.  Unless we get a snowstorm, there is never really an excuse not to get outside for some exercise in some form or another.

Mountain climbing was also comparatively slim this year, yet simultaneously very satisfying as I was able to share these increasingly limited moments with great friends and family.  My only new 13er summit was North Star back in July.  I managed to get in 9 14ers (down from the normal ~30 per year), Decalibron, Princeton, Pikes, Grays, Torreys and a recent Winter ascent of Belford.

The bulk of my mountain adventures this year were on the peaks in Boulder, usually squeezed in after work, or occasionally a hurried trip if I had a spare 2 hours here and there.  Exploring some new routes on Green have been a blast, as have night runs, snowy runs/hikes and carrying babies, either with Allison, or carrying both of them on my own all the way up Green Mountain.

I also got in a good bit of riding in the Spring, as I gave my achey Achilles a bit of a break.  In March and April, I got in some amazing rides on the mountain bike, riding from my house, out to the Marshall/Eldo trails, sticking entirely to paths and singletrack.  Much of it was fast and smooth cruising with some occasional technical sections, but that is what I really prefer anyways.  Kind of like a road ride without the road and cars.

What will 2012 bring?  I am not sure, but I will certainly take advantage of my free entry to the Pikes Peak Marathon in August and look to improve there.  I would also love to run RRR again at some point, but that is a long shot because of the time to train/execute.  I'll just be happy to enjoy all the time I possibly can in the mountains and avoid injury if at all possible.

Many more miles pushing the baby jogger are also a certainty.  As the girls are getting bigger and more resiliant, I intend to get them out for longer and more interesting runs in the mountains further from home.  We also plan to take the girls up some of the easier 14ers next summer as well in the baby backpacks which I am really looking forward to.  They genuinely seem to enjoy the time we spend outdoors and I really look forward to developing this more and sharing our passion for the mountains.

A "few" highlights from the year.  Life is pretty good.