Event Schedule


May 26 – June 106/01/2014

Mon – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt. (2:07, 3000′)
Legs had already come around a lot this morning after Jemez this weekend; felt quite a bit better than I expected. The First was predictably busy on this gorgeous holiday, with a number of parties making their ways up the face. Took the long, mellow cruise down to Red Lion Inn and Boulder Canyon as my descent. Right after the run I hopped in the Roost and cranked out the 9hr drive to see my parents in Nebraska. It was full-on summer mode when I got there—green and fragrant and humid with thunderstorms flashing in the distance and a brilliant sunset firing up the western horizon. I think May is the best month of the year back in Nebraska.

Tue-AM: Nebraska-Liska Loop (2:33, 22mi, 1500′)
This is the classic for me back in Nebraska. Sure, a big part of liking it is the intense nostalgia it evokes—especially in the prototypical summertime conditions I had this morning of 80s and humidity—but it also strings together a big loop of the best little backroads (all dirt/gravel, of course) near my house while dropping into and then climbing back out of the Verdigre Creek Valley. My legs were still carrying some fatigue from the weekend, so I slotted into a comfortable 6:55ish pace and kept it there the whole way with the exception of a 5:50 last mile. The heat and humidity were really getting to me about 16 miles in, but a quick drink and dunk at a garden faucet saved the day. Great run.
PM: Niobrara State Park “Lunch Loop” (:40, 5mi, 500′)
This was an easy evening jog of another hometown classic for me. Back when I was a wrangler and lifeguard out at the State Park, my buddy Drew and I (he was the only other XC runner at my high school) would religiously run this circuit over our lunch break. I was typically only 4hr or so removed from my 10-15mi morning run, and we were always suffering through the peak heat of the day, but the memories are fond. Tonight, I closed out the evening picnicking with my parents at the Park’s high point. Grilled brats, potato salad, cantaloupe, and poppyseed cake–it doesn’t get any better.

Wed-AM: Nebraska-Tom McManigal Loop (2:06, 16mi, 1000′)
Easy recovery jog after yesterday’s longer run. Still hot and humid. Coming from the dry, thin air of Colorado, it’s easy to forget about humidity. After a run like this, my shorts are completely soaked with sweat, like I’d jumped in the creek.
PM: Nebraska Pastures (1:03, 8mi, 500′)
After an arduous afternoon waging war with an old apple tree stump using only shovels and an axe, I was surprised to still have plenty of energy for this leisurely evening outing. Not a cloud in the sky, though, so I definitely got my Vitamin D quotient today.

Thu-AM: Nebraska Pastures (1:08, 8mi, 700′)
Beautiful sunrise jog before driving back to Boulder. Without my usual 1hr+ of time that I take between waking up and heading out for a run, this run was necessarily slow. But watching the sun come up over Nebraska’s vast horizon is a pleasure always worth indulging.
PM: 1st Flatiron+Green Mt. (1:56, 3000′)
I don’t know what it is, but my legs always feel magnificent after the 9hr drive back from Nebraska, even when it was in today’s 90F degree heat sans air conditioning. By time I made it to Boulder there was judicious cloud cover and temps were perfect for running. After a couple of minutes shaking the kinks out on the run up to Chautauqua, I felt positively Olympic and virtually bounded my way up the First Flatiron and Green Mt, resulting in my fastest ascent splits so far this season. And with the least effort. Coming down Bear Canyon I experienced a pretty major bonk—I thought I’d eaten enough in the car, but apparently not—but soon came out of it and even chased a fox down the Mesa Trail for a while. Glorious evening.

Fri – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt+barefoot (2:07, 3000′)
After last night’s outing, I decided to sign up for the Golden Gate Canyon Dirty 30 this weekend, so I kept the effort pleasurably mellow this morning. It started sprinkling briefly as I was downclimbing the back of the First—I was glad to not have that happen while I was on the face. Rounded out the run with 15min of barefoot over on the Casey Elementary turf. My first time barefootin’ there, but I suspect I’ll be hitting it more in the future.

Sat – Golden Gate Canyon Dirty 30 50K+ (4:47:12, 32mi, 7500′)
The big miles this week kept my general pep pretty low all week long, but Thursday night’s run convinced me that this race would make for a fun long run. From the first step, Dan Gorman (a surprise 4th in the Moab Red Hot 55K’s deep field back in February) took charge and was clearly a man with a purpose. After gamely, reluctantly giving chase for a half mile or so (there was $100 up for grabs for the first person to the first aid station at 5mi) I knew my mileage-heavy legs didn’t have that kind of speed today and I settled into a much more comfortable rhythm, cruising along at my intended steady long run effort.

The next 25mi or so were pretty uneventful. The course offered up a surprising mix of trail: buffed out cruiser, douche-grade double-track, rubbly cobbles, and even some brief, scrambly little granite summit ridges. All in all, much more engaging than your average 50K course, I would say. Unfortunately for my tired pegs, nearly every step of it required a run, but that’s also what I came for, so no complaining. At each aid station the time gap up to Dan stayed at a remarkably consistent 3min, but at the 23mi aid station I finally admitted to myself that if I wanted to win I was going to have to take some initiative, make a move, and actually treat this like a race—I’d been hoping for a second-half fade on Dan’s part that would let me take the win without too much added effort.

The race’s last 10mi features a nice summit of Windy Mt—the route’s only proper peak—and I pushed a little extra on this climb to close the gap to only 30sec or so at the top (where there’s a short, convenient out-n-back). I pulled out the downhilling chops on the drop and ran the last 3mi of the race with a little extra frantic energy in order to secure the win. I felt a little bad for just hovering all day while letting Dan lead a short distance up, but I was really just trying to win with as little effort as possible. I was heartened to learn upon finishing that this year’s course was a solid 2mi longer than last year’s…Mr. Vargo is certainly a speedster, and I had 165 miles on my legs in the previous seven days, but a nearly 30min spanking would’ve been a little hard to stomach.

The post-race scene was a pleasant surprise, too. Catching up with friends, a perfect creek for soaking the legs and washing the salt off, quality live tunes from The Railsplitters, grilled brats and burgers, and copious brews (albeit 3.2) from Boulder Brewing Co. were a perfect coda to the morning’s trail time.

Sun – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt. (2:09, 3000′)
Ran up to Chautauqua with Scott for a pleasant recovery lap on the hill. I scrambled up the First, navigating several roped parties on this weekend morning, while Scott made quick work of the adjacent zig-zags before we marched to the top of the mountain and descended the Red Lion Rd into Boulder Canyon. Getting out with Jurker can be awkward sometimes because our respective skillsets are so mismatched—I relish the steep and techy, both up and down, while Scott’s long legs dominate me on the gradual downhills and smooth surfaces—but it was good to carve out a chance to catch up amidst Jurker’s often hectic travel schedule. Ended up at 144mi/2oh44m/23,7oo’ on the week. So, faster miles, but less vert = Nebraska.


What NE lacks in topography it gains back in twilight theatrics.

The mighty Missouri River.

The mighty Missouri River.

Niobrara River Valley in back.

Niobrara River Valley in back.

Dirty 30 start. Photo: Chris Gerber.

Dirty 30 start. Photo: Chris Gerber.

A hat tip to Leon for pointing me in these guys’ direction last fall.

21 responses to “May 26 – June 1”

  1. Omar says:

    Welcome back to the competition!! I saw from your event schedule that you will partecipate to the Lavaredo Ultra Trail, in Italy! I’m an italian fan of you then I’m so happy that you decided to run a race in Italy.
    May I ask you if you ever heard about Tor des Geants?

  2. David Hill says:

    Inspiring stuff TK; it will be interesting to see what you can do when you actually taper down and are rested for a race.

  3. CJ says:

    Really awesome to see you get into a consistent training groove again. Keep doing all the little things to stay healthy amid that high mileage

  4. Logan says:

    Dude, not to be vain or anything, but I noticed in another shot in last weeks blog that you are carrying some serious muscle definition in the limbs and pegs as apposed to the general gaunt physique that all of us other long distance runners carry so well. I am assuming it is accredited to your time in the gym? Just thought I would throw that out there. Keep it up Tony. Congrats on the back to back wins dude!

  5. Robert says:

    Glad to see you’re back to your old ways TK. Best of luck on the rest of your season dude!

  6. Eric says:

    Great week Tony, but can we collectively agree to purge “douche-grade” from trail running vocabulary? Although I’m sure most people using it don’t mean to be sexist, it’s bad for the image of the sport. Equating easy hills with products used by women implies that women are soft and weak. Saying it was an easy hill works just as well.

  7. Greg says:

    Get on Strava!

  8. Steve P says:

    Tony, nice seeing you cruise through the Last Chance Saloon, sorry about all the folks under the tarp, but a great move by you up the hill avoided any collisions.
    Best of luck this Summer.
    I now have a hankerin’ for brats…and I don’t eat meat!

    • anton says:

      Hey Steve,

      Brats are the best. Thanks for all your help at Jemez; probably see you down in Silverton next month?

  9. Daniel says:

    Um….your second win with only a few months of serious training after a long break with injuries. It just reinforces the idea that muscle memory in terms of leg turn over and lung capacity is still strong with you, with room to grow.

    I really think 2014 will be a great year for you!

    • anton says:

      Daniel – thanks for the vote of confidence. I wish I had “several months” of training in these ol’ legs. Several weeks is more accurate. I like to think my nearly 20 years of base earns me some points, though.

  10. konrad says:

    Great shot of you and your folks. All of our parents provided our real “base training”. Always good to go home.

  11. Daniel says:

    Touche! Several weeks, well that makes my vote even more true. To come off the bench and take two wins is a good boost in confidence.

  12. Alex says:

    It’s great to see you back on track!
    I’ll race the baby-LUT (cortina trail), if you need anything while in Italy, just drop a line!

  13. Rob says:


    So your from Nebraska, you have to a have a little past in some upland bird hunting? I was thinking you need to get into that “persistance hunting” they have in the National Geographic Magazine. I know a guy up in Montana that will run down elk after pursuing for 25-30miles. I figured I would throw that at you for your retirement years haha.

  14. Leon says:

    A hat tip right back your way, TK, for inspiration on the regular. Am REALLY stoked to hear/see that you’re back in form and, most importantly, in a better place mentally and emotionally because of it. Sunny skies, bluebird days, and hours/miles in the high country, my friend!

  15. Jason E. says:

    btw: New Little Dragon is out! Nabuma Rubberband.

  16. Lloyd says:

    I see you don’t use the power of social websites like FB on your blog.
    You can get huge traffic from social sites on autopilot using one
    useful app, for more details search in google for:
    Alufi’s Social Automation

Leave a Reply