Saturday, January 21, 2012

Week ending January 21

Sunday: 12 miles, foothills trail, 2500ft of gain. I did the foothills trail + Reservoir Ridge out-and-back-lollipop-loop thing again, getting a comparatively late start (I'm usually at the turn-around when the skies turn fiery before sunrise). I saw quite a lot of mountain bikers out today - these guys are brave as hell, as I have enough trouble just running these hills and their endless supply of boulders and scree.

Monday: 10 miles, foothills trail, 2000ft of gain. A fairly nice day by any measure, not too cold, calm winds. I took a bad couple of steps near the turn-around that tweaked something in my left leg - hopefully that's a one time thing!

Tuesday: 8 miles, foothills trail, 1500ft of gain. Takin' it a little easier today, the tweak didn't resurface but I feel a little tightness in my left glute, so I'll be hitting the tennis ball/foam roller combo to work it out. Entirely uneventful day - although I time my run just right so that I get an unobstructed view of the sunrise. Even though I see it every day, the beauty never diminishes.

Wednesday: Off. I fought some gnarly winds on the bike on the way to the department, though.

Thursday: 10 miles, foothills trail, 2000ft of gain, 30mph sustained with 50mph gusts. My legs got sandblasted by all of the loose soil and gravel kicked up, and the cross-wind on the ridge sucked the air out of my mouth and made it very difficult to breathe. I almost got blown over when I crossed the gap in the trees and boulders going into the descent toward Laporte; running downhill back into town with that kind of tailwind is actually pretty frightening.

Friday: 4 miles, foothills trail, 500ft of gain, 40mph sustained with 65mph gusts. A shake-out run to keep me fresh for tomorrow. I was running the whole time, but there were occasions where I'm positive that my speed dropped to walking pace as I faced a brick wall of wind. I love running in the wind - it keeps things interesting, as you have to constantly recruit your core and stabilizer muscles and adapt to the gusts and changing wind directions.

Saturday: 23 miles, Horsetooth Mountain and Lory State Park, 4500ft of gain. Felt really, really good today, but I held back on adding more mileage. It's been a long time since my long run and weekly mileage has been in this range; I also feel that in the past year, I've dived back in too quickly after races and/or injuries, which has typically led to more overuse injuries. Anyway, the weather was perfect - virtually no wind with temperatures between the high 20's and mid-30's; it's dry so the cold isn't too bad. I felt fantastic rounding the southeast side of Stout, bombing down into the canyon, and making the final ascent. It's that point in the run where you've exhausted most of your glycogen and you're in fat-burning mode, your body is swimming in epinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, and your mind is somewhere between egging you on and begging for you to stop. On only two Gu's, that's a great place to be.

 Nice view of the Rockies, this morning; from Stout trail.

Mileage: 67 miles
Vertical gain: 13,000ft
Time: 9 hours

The elevation gain is spot-on for a mountainous 100 (~190ft/mile), which is a big change from one year ago when I could only run serious hills on the weekends. One more week of buildup - shooting for 74 miles - before a rest week. Then it's one more high-mileage week before a short, 5-day taper into Hagg Lake.

Do I shell for a pair of Inov8 Baregrip 200's? Those monster lugs would do a lot in the shoe-sucking Hagg mud, and I have to imagine that they'd come in handy here in the Spring when the trails turn to sticky clay.

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