Monday, January 6, 2014

Dec 30 - Jan 5

Mon-AM: 2:04, 3000' ~ Green
Up Bear Canyon and down Gregory-Ranger. Feeling pretty sluggish this morning, so I skipped Bear Peak and just jogged up the canyon instead.

Tue-AM: 2:11, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Did the usual loop, and it was super-warm out, probably upper-50s. Legs weren't as responsive as I would've liked, though, and the weather was hot enough to make me feel dehydrated and worked by the end.
PM: Climbing, at Movement.

Wed-AM: 2:19, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Finally felt good on this run. My new apartment is a minute or two further from Chautauqua, making for the slower time, but I had a blast on this run, zipping up and down the vert instead of the usual slog.
PM: 0:54, 700' ~ Sunshine Canyon
Easy out and back at dusk with Dan Kraft. Good to catch up.

Thu-AM: 2:19, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Up Fern and back over Green. Pretty tired today, probably need an easy day.
PM: Climbing, at Movement.

Fri-AM: 2:25, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Usual loop up and over the two bumps. Trails a bit icy in spots, but mostly manageable. Gorgeous shirt-sleeves weather, but blustery on top of Bear. That should all change by tomorrow, though, with some fresh snow.

Sat-AM: :34, 500' ~ Streets
Sometimes you just need a rest. Suited up and ran up to Chautauqua in the on-going snowstorm, but after just a few minutes of slogging up the hill I could tell my legs had nothing. I've been tired all week; it wasn't a hard choice to take a break.

Sun-AM: 1:57, 3200' ~ Green
Rest can do you good. After a bunch of sleep, I felt a lot better this morning; lots of fresh snow with more falling down meant it was a low-intensity day, though.

Hours: 14h40
Vert:  25,400'

This week was a good reminder that you can't skip any steps in the return to fitness. The previous week I had put in a serious bump in volume and this week I could feel myself needing to recover from that even though my mind wanted to be doing more. No worries, there's plenty of time; I just need to stay healthy and focus on doing sustainable training. This winter's schizophrenic weather continued this week. Highs close to +60F during the week gave way to single digit temps and close to a foot of fresh snow this weekend. It's all good, though; I love the variety.

Seeing that 2013 is over, I suppose a little industrial tallying is expected: I spent 799h45min in the mountains, during which I ascended 1,257,850'. Last year (2012) I had 5hr less volume but 160k' more vertical. I suspect this was because less of that vert was amassed on as technical routes as those I tackled in 2013 (both in terms of technical footing (talus, etc.) and technical climbing/scrambling (both roped and unroped on both snow and rock). I'm not going to count up exactly how many days I missed but there was at the very least a month's worth for injury (a nagging hip niggle last winter and then my UTMB-induced troubles this fall) and then more than another month's worth for general fatigue/end-of-season-rest, also this fall. Of course, in 2014, I'd love to implement more discipline and smarts to keep that time off due to only fatigue-related issues, not injury.

Snowy flatties.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dec 23 - 29

Mon-AM: 2:18, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Easy loop over the peaks. Grunting up Fern Canyon was a little slower than normal due to a couple inches of fresh snow.
PM: 1:08, 2700' ~ 2nd Flatiron+Green
Biked to Chautauqua and wasn't running until after 4:30pm, so most of this outing was in the dark. Scrambling the Freeway on the 2nd was fun, a little spicy with the dusting of snow on everything.

Tue-AM: 1:37, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Up and out the door early before driving home to Nebraska for Christmas. Exceptionally windy morning, and my legs were a bit tired from yesterday's first double in a long time.

Wed-AM: 3:35, 1800' ~ Verdigre Loop (Nebraska)
Awesome run. At 32 miles this was the longest run I've ever done back home in Nebraska and it was a great way to spend Christmas morning. This is a 30mi loop, but when I was nearing the end I thought I might as well go a full 50K (in 3:28) and then jogged another mile as a cooldown. 10 mile splits were 69:20, 66:30, 64:50. Really fun to just get out and roll along at a steady pace for a few hours; definitely boosted my confidence a bit in my fitness. Also, I haven't done a run like this in a long time…a couple of years at least. I'm anticipating a couple races this year with lots of flattish running, so I might be doing a run like this fairly regularly here in the early season.

Thu-AM: 2:02, 1000' ~ Nebraska
Nice, easy recovery jog on one of my favorite 15 mile loops here in Nebraska. Felt good to get out and go easy on tight legs from yesterday.

Fri-AM: 1:02, 600' ~ Nebraska
Down to the river and back via the "Ethiopian Trail". Brilliant moonlight from a quarter-orb, and I even saw a shooting star. I love easy jogs like this at home.
PM: 2:16, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Back in Boulder after a long day of driving, but my legs felt fantastic as they often do in the evening after a morning run. Had to turn on my light once I entered Fern Canyon, and really enjoyed the unseasonably warm evening and having the trails all to myself. Shorts and a t-shirt.

Sat-AM: 5:07, 5200' ~ Torreys & Grays
Parked just off the highway with Joe and went up Kelso Ridge before making the trudge up Grays as well. Ugh. My first time above 9000' or so since August, and I could tell. Above 12k' I was struggling. Today was my first outing on my new skis, and I suppose I learned some things. We skinned up to basically the base of Kelso Ridge before ditching the skis and continuing on in our boots. Our boots are light, but it's nothing like scrambling in a pair of running shoes, haha. Skiing down the road at the end of the day was, of course, a nice pay-off.

Sun-AM: 2:02, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Up Gregory-Ranger and down to Red Lion and back down the Creek Path. A few inches of fresh snow made for a nice low-intensity outing. Unexpectedly caught up to Jurker while heading down to the highway; nice to share some strides with him after not seeing much of each other the last few months.
AM2: Climbing at Movement. Gym climbing is interesting; it's basically reducing the act of climbing to the pure kinesthetic/physical aspect, removing virtually all of the danger, uncertainty and route-finding of climbing on actual rock outside. Good for getting strong, that's for sure.
PM: 1:02, 200' ~ Creek Path
Easy jog in the dark in the evening. Trying to re-boost the amount of actual running I'm doing this season.

Hours: 22h09min
Vert: 26,800'

Really good week of running here. I had a pretty big boost in volume this week, and with all of the flatlander running back home in Nebraska even managed 130 miles or so. I can feel myself finally starting to build some fitness, but Saturday's outing up into the thin air was a rude reminder of the fact that I've spent most of the past month on the road at near sea-level elevations. Altitude acclimation will return quickly, though.

Mom and Dad on the spread.
Joe cruising up Kelso Ridge on Torreys Peak on Saturday.