Monday, April 16, 2012

New FKT on Green, One-Way run to Nederland; Weekly Summary April 9-15

Monday- 13.25M, 1,500Ft Climbing; Ran from campus to Chautauqua, mesa, bear canyon to the saddle.  Tired. 
My Boy Running

Tuesday Tempo Intervals- 11.55M, 500Ft Climbing; Did general mobility a few strides and then 9 x 800 meter repeats with a 400 meter jog recovery on the trails by wonderland lake.  Legs were still flat and tired from the weekend's long runs.  Pace for the 800s:
5:35, 5:40, 5:32, 5:38, 5:39, 5:42, 5:32, 5:40, 5:24 AVG: 5:35
PM- 4M, 550Ft Climbing; Easy run around Boulder Creek

Wednesday- 8M, 600Ft Climbing; Easy run with Marcus around Wonderland trails
PM-7M, 550Ft Climbing; Easy run up and down Boulder Creek
My Boy Climbing

Thursday Time Trial NEW FKT UP MIDDLE ROUTE/"GREEN MTN 5K"!- 15.12M, 3,300Ft Climbing;
After GZ's motivational/putting me on the spot comment yesterday, I felt like it was the morning of a race. Right off the bat the legs felt tired as did the body. Last week was totally different from the start as the legs were strong and I felt fresh. I started to rationalize how last week's 124 miles was affecting me, Tuesday's intervals, etc... I honestly considered going up Ranger to avoid the disapointment of not running faster than last week's 36:47 on this route.
I held strong to the idea that a painful start could still mean a good overal performance. If I wasn't under 15 minutes at Green Mtn Lodge, I'd run up Ranger instead though.
14:25 was my split at the lodge...looks like I was running fast (faster than last week). First mile split was 12min low. The second mile felt the opposite of the first, I felt strong and confident. Second mile split was 9min low. Things continued to go well and coming up to the last .6 miles, which is the hardest for me, I was feeling confident. I kept the legs moving but was hurting. I know I have an extra gear on this steeper terrain, but right now, I don't have it. I kept things going and snow only slowed me down a little bit on the last few switchbacks after the stairs. I was giving myself motivationsl comments out loud, to get through the last section. Hurting.
To the post I hit 35:56, a new personal record and Fastest Known Time (FKT) for this route, my favorite for training purposes, by 8 seconds and 49 seconds faster than last week. Very happy.
My Cool Boy

Friday- 12M, 650Ft Climbing; Easy run out to Wonderland trails and north.
PM- 4M, 550Ft Climbing around Boulder Creek.  Soaked the legs for the third or fourth time this week in the creek.  Soaking is so benefitial for the legs. 
Pre Dawn Boulder

Saturday one way long run from my house to Nederland- 34.5M, 6,000Ft Climbing;

This is probably my longest non-race report run description/narative, but if you enjoy a good running story, I think it is worth the read...

There was more build up and preperation for this run than any other training run I've ever done.  Last April Geoff Roes coordinated a run from Chautauqua to his house in Nederland.  The day before the run last year I got sick and I wasn't able to join Dakota and Geoff on this epic beauty. 

I was very disapointed I didn't get to do this awesome run last year and was more than anxious to do it this spring before Maggie, Felix and I depart Boulder in late May.  This year, Geoff wasn't able to join me as he is just gettting into training after his 350 Mile Iditarod Trail Race win earlier this year.  The trails from Walker Ranch to Geoff's house (around 12-15 miles) are not marked, confusing and some of them are almost not trails at all. Without Geoff, this run is not feasible, at all, you would get utterly lost and turned around.  Late last week when I was considereing alternative locations for my long run, Geoff sent me the GPS track from his watch giving the exact route to Nederland... I was back in business.  I searched and found my Garmin eTrex, found batteries and the USB cable to download the track.  I ended up having to work with Garmin on the phone to download special software to enable a track transfer of this magnitude (33 miles with like 8,000+ way points).  After a few hours, I finally had the track.  The next challenge was making sure I could find a way to have someone watch Felix while I was running as Maggie was in Canada... I won't bore you with the long story on that one.

Friday night I went to bed early only to sleep horribly as I was anxious for the 4:30am alarm.  It felt like race morning for the second time this week.  I started running at 4:45am with 50oz of water, 7oz of EFS (700 calories), a GPS unit, my phone, some extra clothing and food.  I ran to Chautaqua, hit Gregory P lot to Bluebell, Mesa then Bear Canyon up to Bear Peak.

From Beark Pk I scouted my next challenge and long time goal of connecting the peaks of Chautaqua to the trail's of Walker Ranch without going through Eldorado Canyon.  I decided to get another look at my off trail scramble down from South Boulder peak.  I ran back to the top of Shadow Canyon from SoBo and began what ended up being a very challenging STEEP off trail scree field scramble.  I ran into an awesome herd of 10-15 elk just as I finally got onto runnable terrain and then finally onto the trail 30 minutes after leaving the trails of Chautauqua.  In the scramble, one of my favorite blue T-shirts fell out of my hyrdation pack... probably never to be seen by me again.
Looking back at the scramble down SoBo

Once on the trails of Walkder Ranch I could really tell I was tired from the serious training over the last 3 weeks and began to doubt rather I should push on and just turn around... onward.  I looped around Walker and S. Boulder Creek when I took a wrong turn that led me up the creek and into private land.  From here, I ran on Gross Dam road all the way up and around, which added some extra miles I really didn't want.  At this point, I decided that after 2:45 and around 18 miles that I needed to just run to Flagstaff road and hitch a ride down to Boulder, it just wasn't happening and I was beat.  I was really tired and could hardly run the hills on the road.  Part of my problem was that I wasn't taking in enough EFS as I was so focused on the run and my route.  I was also pretty spent in general.  Standing at the intersection with Flagstaff I did a GPS check and saw that as the crow flies, I was only 8 miles from Nedeland.  After so much build up, I didn't want to be defeated and not complete this journey.  I knew 8 miles really meant at least 12 trail miles, 12 trail miles in the middle of nowhere, that I have never been on, after 20 miles and 3hrs, exausted, solo, behind schedule to catch a bus which was my only means home and lastly, Felix's babsitter had to be on her way 15 minutes after the bust gets into Boulder...  I again, stubbornly and stupidly pressed on. 

From here I ran on the dirt road of Flastaff until it turned to a jeep road with way to many "private property" and "no trespassing" signs every 100 meteres, I wasn't about to cut any corners as I am certain there are some serious gun slinging, rabid dog owning red necks that hate seeing people, espeically people on THEIR land. 
From the end of the jeep road, things got very beautiful, with great view of the Indian Peaks, open meadows, ridges, forests and trails that unlike Chautaqua, are not frequented all that often.  I was glued to my GPS as there were at least 20 turns that were NOT marked and a few of them led to trails that were just open fields with hardly any sign of a trail.  Geoff really knows his way around this area to remember these routes, I was amazed at the options and vastness of this area.
I refused to zoom out on my GPS to see how far away from Nederland I was, I couldn't handle news that I wasn't close.  So half mile by half mile I ran and tracked Geoff's route making a turn nearly evey mile or.  On a handful of up hills (not mountains), I had to power walk as I was really spent.  On the flats and downhill, which was more than not, I was running decent long run pace.  I began to wonder about my plans to run 100 mile races, not a good thing to think about at this point.
Finally the ellusive 6hr mark was approaching, a mark at which I would not make the bus back to Boulder.  Plan B, was to hitch-hike down Hwy 119/Canyon 17 miles to Boulder, which didn't concern me at all at this point, being in Nederland and done running was all that mattered.  Just after 6 hours of running I all of a sudden realized I was at the highway (hwy 72) where Geoff lived.  I was so happy, I cheered out loud.  The last last little bit to Geoff's cabin was easy, I was just happy to be finishing.  Unfortunatley this was the only time Geoff wasn't at home that day and second, I missed my bus by 15 minutes.  I continued into Nederland with my thumb out attempting to catch a ride, with no success.  In Nederland I couldn't resist Backcountry Pizza, I stumbled in and half oblivious ordered a big fat slice of peperoni and pepper pizza.  I enhaled the pizza slice and continued down the road to Hwy 119 to hitch-hike... more.  It began to get really cold really quick and 40 degrees felt like 20 especially when you are exhausted and standing around in the wind.  Not too long after I began, I got picked up by a SUV with California plates.  Insise I met some very kind CU college ladies, who imediatley sped off going 45-50mph in the 25mph zone and as you guessed, we were pulled over.  Despite no current registration or proof of insurance and California plates, they got off with a "no headlight" fine as long as they pay on time... impressive.
I was dropped off a mile from home, where I waddled my way back home only 15 minutes late to relieve the babysitter.
It felt so good to successfully complete this mission, journey, run.  This sort of adventure is why I quit road running.
So Good... thank you

Sunday- 16M, 500Ft Climbing; Felt better than I thought I would.  Cruised north on the trails which turned muddy.  At the end of the trail I cut over to Hwy 36 and ran a few miles back to Boulder and through town.  Happy to have no strains or aches after such a dynamic and big week.  Have to thank Hoka, Marcus Allen and myself for keeping things healthy and happy.

Synopsis- Three milestones this week: a new FKT up Green, a second week with over 120 miles and an adventure run that challenged me and made me really appreciate and enjoy the essence of trail ultra running.

125.5 Miles
14,150 Feet Climbing


  1. Awesome week of running, Jason. I love those long runs that more or less turn into brutal "death marches" that never seem to end. I feel like I grow the most as a runner out of those types of runs. Congrats on the FKT!

  2. Thanks Kendrick. You are hard core... I can handle the death march once in a long while.
    I actually saw you running down the canyon along Boulder Creek while I was getting a ride back from Nederalnd that day. Funny.

  3. Those picks look like hands. and you have keep a great training regimen. but it looks like it is quite tiring.
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