Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week ending Mar 3

Sunday: 12 miles, Foothills trail and Reservoir Ridge, 2500ft of gain. Since I didn't do a long run yesterday, I decided to get a head-start on this week's mileage with a relaxed morning run on the hogbacks above Fort Collins. I had to bust out my light wind jacket and some ear warmers to shield me from the brisk northerly winds. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun was especially strong, painting the snow-covered foothills pink and orange at sunrise.

Monday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1500ft of gain; 4 miles, Centennial Drive, 1000ft of gain. Cranked out a very early run this morning to enjoy the transition from nighttime to twilight to sunrise, something I miss from deep winter around here. I'm happy that we'll be springing forward soon, so I can enjoy the sunrise at a more reasonable time. Second run of the day was my evening road run up to the reservoir dam, this time in Vibram Sprints. I'd like to start reincorporating these ultra-minimalist shoes into my schedule on my road runs, just to keep my form in check. The downhill on Dixon Canyon felt a little wonky in Vibrams - just going to have to get comfortable with them again.

Tuesday: Off. Strengthening exercises and lots of self-massage today.

Wednesday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1500ft of gain; 5 miles, Foothills trail, 1000ft of gain. A morning with temperatures above freezing? Spring seems to have arrived. I felt energized on this morning's run so I knocked it out about 4 minutes faster than normal - although most of that was on the ascent. Second run of the day was pretty fast for the terrain, at just under 7:00/mile. It was a really warm day, so for the first time in a long time, I shared the trail with 10 mountain bikers and a host of runners and hikers. Left knee felt a little hot and tweaky while I was sitting at the desk today - classic runner's knee. Spent the night icing, massaging, and stretching.

Thursday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1500ft of gain. Gusty northerly winds made 30 degrees feel more like 20, and slowed me down quite a bit on the outbound leg of the run, though the wind wasn't enough to make whitecaps on the reservoir. Left knee still has that faint, dull soreness, so I iced the hell out of it afterward. It didn't feel irritated while I was at my desk, so it looks like it might be on its way out.

Friday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1500ft of gain. Knee didn't feel sore during or after the run today - either it was runner's knee nipped in the bud, or some leftover damage from Hagg. Anyway, I ran another "record time" for this particular loop today. I'm finally getting to the point where I'm not groggy at the start of these morning runs.

Saturday: 24 miles, Horsetooth Mountain and Lory State Park, 5000ft of gain. Starting at the Horsetooth Mountain trailhead, I went to the top of Towers via Spring Creek, descended Towers and did an out-and-back in the valley to the northern edge of Lory, came back up Towers and took Stout to Horsetooth Falls, and then went back up (and down) Horsetooth Mountain via the South Ridge fire road. That last climb up Horsetooth, which I thought would burn me out, was fast. Total intake: 1 Gu, 30oz. water, 2 salt caps.

 The strikingly-red hogbacks in the meadows.

 Frozen mud - 13 degrees will do that!

 Long's Peak with a cap cloud in the distance from Stout trail.

Some interesting clouds forming around the jet stream - palm leaves, insect wings?

Mileage: 76
Elevation gain: 15,500ft

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