Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frontside PR, Running w/the Stars, One-Way 30 Miler--Jan 17th-23rd

...This is a ridiculously long "summary", but it was an eventful week and I am off from work!

AM 1:03; 8.06M; 910Ft; 129Av Hr; One of my best friends (best man) Matt Lowe was in town over the long weekend and got to meet Felix!  Matt Lowe is running Leadville this year and convinced ME to sign up.  Matt is a phenomenally talented runner that is easily distracted!  Matt ran 9:10 for 2 miles… in high school, with less than focused training in college he ran somewhere around 4:09 for a mile too.  Matt ran in one of the "4 Deserts Race" placing 4th overall.  The race crosses the Sahara over the period of a week.  Anyways, we jogged up Boulder Canyon and on the way back we both managed to climb on a round iceberg puck in the creek and managed to not fall off as it lapped the eddy.  The iceberg sunk to about ankle depth, but we didn’t sink, fall or break the iceberg…. classic stuff for Matt and I.  Matt needs to move back to the west, as he is currently pretending to be grown up in D.C.

PM 1:09; 8.67M; 601Ft; 135Av Hr; Easy run out to wonderland and back.
Classic sunrise on the wonderland trails w/Green in background

AM 1:40; 10M; 2,900Ft; 137Av Hr; Green Mountain Front-Side PR on Time Trial!  
I met up with Aaron for our Tuesday hard hill ascent/time trial day.  We decided to give the front-side a shot after warming up in the parking lot just in case others were joining (where were you Hommie!).  I felt pretty good and the snow was pretty good for a fast ascent.  On this steep “endurance stair stepper” front-side route, I purposely did my best to keep things under control early, unlike last time I ran the route.  I was surprised to find later that my hear-rate was between 149 and 164BPM on the 30 some minute stretch…  maybe I over compensated and should push harder, I don’t know.  Regardless, I was happy with a new PR of 32:07/32:19 to the tip-top.  While I am really happy with my progress in mountain ultra running, I still haven only had 4 weeks of focused training to get my climbing legs under me.  Thanks to GZ, I’ve linked a number of FKTs for Green on my page, including this 32:07 on the Front-Side route.   

PM :41; 5.18M; 156Ft; 128Av Hr; Easy run to Kitts for barefoot running with NB Stars! 
I had the luck of running into Anton on the barefoot Kitts run.  It was great to chat with Anton.  I enjoyed his poking at my preference for Ranger/Backside route up Green vs. the front-side due to the fact I’m still a bit of a “Roadie” as we made laps around the turf.  He shared (a bit surprising to me and I’m sure most anyone) that he too doubted when he first moved to Boulder that the Front-side was worth doing regularly.  Maybe in a year I’ll feel the same… maybe not.  

Ironically, not 2 minutes after Anton left  the other NB Boulder star, James Carney ,showed up with a buddy for some laps on Kitts.  Certainly great company on the turf Tuesday night!   

AM 1:30; 11M; 750Ft; Met up with Marcus Allen for a nice easy run out to wonderland and then north on the great single track.  It appears my watch didn’t record this run though, oh well.

PM :40; 5.23M; 156Ft; 128Av Hr; Barefoot (with socks) at North Boulder park with some general mobility drills. 

-Bodywork/Massage Therapy W/Marcus Allen-

I keep forgetting to log my bodywork…  The two biggest enablers for me to go from a max of 70-80 miles/week before I get knee pain or injuries to now running 120+ miles/week with no injuries are bodywork with Marcus Allen and switching to a “natural running” form (I’ll post on my perspectives on natural running soon!). 
I’ve been seeing Marcus Allen once a week three out of four weeks for the last 6 months.  Marcus Allen uses A.R.T. (he is certified) in our sessions and it is honestly amazing.  My gate and overall body has been so much more efficient, fluid and quicker to recover since I started using Marcus Allen.  I’d recommend Marcus Allen to anyone. 

Anyways, this week we worked on loosening some of the muscles in my hip, as I noticed it getting tight at the beginning of a few of my runs.       

AM 1:53; 12M; 326Ft; 140Av Hr; Interval Day!  
Met up with George Zack and Aaron at the indoor track for some intervals.  Bumped up the distance and kept the pace this week with 8 x 800M, 2 x 200M with 400M recovery jogs between each interval.  
Times were: 2:28, 2:30; 2:29; 2:30, 2:30, 2:32, 2:32, 2:31 and :31 and :30.  I started the workout with low expectations as I had gone 8 nights with little or horrible sleep each night and increased my mileage...  At the 3rd interval, I had a little dry heave reaction at about 600M, on the 4th I considered stopping and again on the 5th and 6th.  The power of company was honestly the difference today, thanks guys!  While the last 3 were one to two seconds off, I was pleasantly surprised to basically keep the pace.  

PM :46; 5.95M; 233Ft; 137Av Hr; Felix’s Birth Certificate Run!
I decided I would maximize my time and get Felix’s birth certificate on my second run.  I ran to the office with an envelope to get the birth certificate only to find I had to pay $17 for Felix’s certificate.  I was a little disappointed to have to pay and didn’t have any money, but I ran back home, got a credit card, ran back, paid and carried the certificate home in a big envelope.

AM 2:18; 13.04M; 3,296Ft; 140Av Hr; Did my standard Friday run from home to EGF, Panorama, Flagstaff, Green lodge, Greenman to Green and back down the same way.  My legs were certainly flat and tired today.  No PM run as I wanted to feel good on the Saturday long run. 

5hrs; 30M; 5,800Ft; 142Av Hr; I did an outstanding one-way tour of the Boulder front-range today.
I have attached a map of the first 5 or so miles of my run. 

From the Flatirons Vista parking lot I ran the southern most route all the way to Goshawk Ridge trail on the far west end of the map. 
While Bear Canyon probably still is my favorite trail in the local area, Goshawk Ridge and into Eldorado Canyon has to be the most beautiful and diverse.  The trail starts with a climb from the massive South Boulder creek diversion.  The trail is very new and with the exception of a few silly meanders, is ultra-efficient in it’s path with great switch-backs and it contours the landscape nicely.  At the peak of the climb there is a great view and a nice flat spot where I took Maggie for our first anniversary romantic picnic.  The wildflowers during the summer on the North-facing slope heading down the trail are pretty epic for the front range.  While the trail does go on a dirt road for a bit, the dramatic entrance into Eldorado canyon certainly makes up for it.  Luckily the trail in the canyon is nearly a sidewalk, as I almost always trip on my feet staring at the canyon walls across the canyon.  I really hesitated in talking about this trail, as it is a special one to me and I enjoy the fact that not many people are up there (except IN Eldo), but due to the fact you can’t bike it, take dogs, it is a 15 minute drive out of boulder to get to it, the trail is a couple miles from any trailhead and that there aren’t really that many reading this, I decided to go for it. 

Once in Eldo, I filled the water bottle I was carrying in my tights, took a drink and continued up to Walker ranch.  I did a loop around Walker, took the Walker link trail to the 2.6 mile trail where I exited halfway out on a fire road to Flagstaff road.  I ran a 6:50 mile on the road to the trailhead for the West ridge of Green Mtn, summited Green, went down Greenman crossed Flagstaff Rd up to Flagstaff mtn, down Flagstaff trail, Panorama, EGF, 1 mile on the Boulder Creek trail and back home. 
On this long run I tried a nutrition tip Dave Mackey told me he used… I carried and ate a peanut butter and honey (Mackey uses jelly) sandwich.  It was a bit dry in that I had limited water, but I liked it and it worked pretty well.  I think I’ll eat a PB and honey or jelly sandwich at the Nueces 50 mile!  I got crap from my wife, but I also drank a bottle of water someone left on the Flagstaff trail I saw the day before and then on the long run… the water was delicious and most needed, as I only had maybe 30ish ounces up to this point (25 mile point). 
On the last mile of the run I did bonk pretty big.  As I dramatically entered the house, Maggie thought I looked awefull and that something bad had happened to me.  I pounded some juice, snacks, chips and a few other things and felt great immediately.  I was happy I bonked at the end of the run, because I’ve always bonked earlier in long runs when I can only eat a GU, but would love to devour something from the fridge, this time I was able to capitalize and fully indulged!  I felt great overall and hit a decent pace for the length and terrain of the run.  
Long description, but it was a fun one-way journey.     

1:51; 11.02M; 1,929Ft; 127Av Hr; SLOW, recovery run up Sanitas and Boulder Creek.  
I was pretty flat from the week and the long run today, but I really wanted to do a loop on Sanitas to scope snow conditions for a possible Tuesday hard effort run there.  ¾ up Sanitas, I noticed my soleus was not very happy.  While it isn’t terrible, it is/was bothering me, so I have been icing it and will have to see how it feels tomorrow and visit Marcus Allen.  I really hope I will be ready for a time trial effort on Sanitas Tuesday. 

18:32 Total Time Running
17,057 Total Feet Climbing
120 Total Miles

This was one of the most exciting weeks of my life!  Besides one day at work and running, I was focused on my new baby boy Felix.  His first week of life was wonderful.  It was fantastic getting to know him and playing with him this week.  Thankfully, my mother in law, Ginny, came out from Canada to help out and ended up pretty much taking care of the house, food and cleaning. 

This week’s running was a benchmark.  Despite poor sleep, I increased my mileage, set a PR on the frontside of Green, ran a great speed workout, lowered my average heart rate on easy runs while maintaining pace and had an awesome 30 mile long run with almost 6K of climbing.  Hopefully the soleus will heal up and I’ll be ready for another great week with a little bit of a taper for USATF XC Championships on 5 Feb in San Diego.  Obviously Cross Country is not what I am focusing training on and while I know I will be somewhat close to where I usually perform (breaking into the top half or so depending on attendance), I’m not sure how exactly it will go.

I AM confident I will be dialed in for Nueces in March though.    


  1. That is a POWERFUL week.

    I love the Goshawk, and other stuff around that. Sweet stuff.

    Curious as to what you think you will pull at SD now, versus when you were a pure roadie.

  2. I concur on the Goshawk Trail. I love the switchbacks up to the apex just before the long steep descent down towards the dirt road. Epic run that day, man.

  3. GZ thanks!

    Good question on what the training will produce at US XC...

    Im more fit with greater focus on running, but I have spent less time running at sub 6 pace. I usually ski 40-50 days a year, but this year I have been up way less doing more running and due to Maggie being Prego.

    Shortly before Matt Carpenter set the CR at Leadville, he won the US trail 10K championships proving you don't have to loose your speed to run ultras, I hope this is true for me!

    Jim, or anyone for that matter, on the drive to pick up my car after my long run, I couldn't help but notice the nice peaks just north of eldo... are there trails up there, is it private land, or protected?

  4. Most of that is HCA or state park land north of Eldo (OSMP) and the trails (be happy to work through those with you some time)

  5. That was Tyler McCandless you saw with James Carney. He runs for mizuno...just did a 2:17 at his first marathon at the california international in December. I was talking to him saturday at the CU indoor event and he mentioned he met you there.

    Awesome week bro. My Saturday run was pretty wimpy compared to yours! I like how you expanded upon our Christmas day run, you definitely made it cooler. That's a great route.

  6. GZ,

    I'd like to explore up in that area... I'll get to you on more details for sure!


    Tyler, that is right.

    Yeah, I think I've worked out all the kinks on doing that one way route. Only one mile and change on flagstaff road too. We will have to work on the route where we go from Eldo to SoBo staying on the west side of the ridge...

  7. Jason,
    I am probably 99% sure I am running Neuces. I just need to register.

    I am getting jealous reading all fun adventures all the ultra dudes are doing in Boulder. I feel I am missing out! I can't complain too much about the trails here in southern Ohio though.

    Keep rollin with the good running.

  8. Mike,
    Glad to hear you are going to be at Nueces(99% sure at least!).

    I have family in Ohio and love the diversity of trees not to mention all the lakes and rivers (not a lot of those in CO!)

    See ya soon.

  9. Did you mean the peaks 'South' of Eldo? The peaks North of Eldo are Bear, SoBo, and Green. I have personally wondered a bunch about the peaks to the south of Eldo

  10. Aaron,

    That was a dumb typo, yeah SOUTH of Eldo. I'd like to explore over there!

  11. Most of those trails are Eldo park trails or OSMP trails, although there are some informal, social connectors. On the North side, I thought you could be referring to old Mesa.

  12. GZ,

    I'm not that experienced (obviously!), but I've never seen any trails south/west of Flatiron Vista, Gosshawk or Spring Brook...