(Green, looking natty with a fresh coat of sparkle this weekend.)
03-15-2010 Mon-AM: 14 miles (2:11) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800′ A surprising 4+” of new snow that I was breaking trail through made for a slow climb. PM: 7 miles (1:03) Mesa-Skunk Canyon+1mi barefoot Ran slow and easy with Jocelyn on exceedingly sloppy trails. Added on at Kitt at the end. Ran down that dirt road behind NOAA and observed that it would make for some pretty sweet hill repeats: 266ft in .44 mile according to MapMyRun.com. MapMyRun says Linden’s are 266ft in .53 mile.
03-16-2010 Tue-AM: 15 miles (2:16) Green Mt. Ranger-Bear Canyon, 3000′ Pretty tired this morning, but outstanding sunrise.
03-17-2010 Wed-AM: 28 miles (4:10) Green Mt.-Bear Pk-Green Mt., 6500′ Did the three climbs (2800′, 1200′, and 2500′, respectively) in 38:50, 26:00 (lots of snow on the ridge), and 35:30. Just an average day energy-wise, but it’s been WAY TOO LONG since I’ve had the pleasure of spending a whole morning in the mountains, so a pretty exceptional day overall. +65F
03-18-210 Thu-AM: 8 miles (1:02) Skunk-Kitt Loop+4mi barefoot Early morning before mid-term with Jocelyn. Nice and easy. PM: 14 miles (2:04) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800′ A pretty sluggish run, as expected. Shirtless the entire way, so I just enjoyed the sun knowing it would be snowing soon.
03-19-2010 Fri-AM: 14 miles (2:17) Green Mt. up/down Greg-Ranger, 2800′ Wow. By far the slowest climb of the year (49:15) because I was wading through a foot of new powder, laying fresh tracks. Incredible morning to be in the mountains. Snowing so hard. PM: 6 miles (:46) Boulder Creek Path Easy jog in the still-falling snow. Stopped off at the grocery store on the way home to pick up some milk and tea.
03-20-2010 Sat-AM: 16 miles (2:28) Green Mt. up Gregory-Flagstaff Road- West Ridge; down Ranger-Flagstaff Road, 3000′ Ridiculous amounts of snow on the mountain today, but brilliant sunshine. Bailed onto the road half-way up and then descended with Jeff and Brandon. Legs felt really good, but the snow was consistently knee-deep and waist deep at times. Awesome day. PM: 7 miles (:55) South Boulder Creek Path
03-21-2010 Sun-AM: 15 miles (2:16) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800′ Good trail to the cabin but then lots of unconsolidated snow up on the Ranger trail. Beautiful Spring day. PM: 8 miles (:58) Skunk Creek Loop x 2 Very relaxed jog in the afternoon sunshine. It’s great to get out and just cruise effortlessly sometimes. Shirtless, flat terrain, 7-8min/mile…on runs like this there is a definite kinesthetic joy. However, it is also on runs like these that I really miss living in Colorado Springs or Flagstaff where there are endless opportunities for flattish, dirt runs right from downtown. This entire run was on paved bike paths; I’ve been defaulting to laps on Kitt Field for soft surface stuff, but there was a women’s lacrosse game this afternoon. Not sure why every “trail” in Boulder proper has to be cement. Even so, I kicked off my slippers to do the last two miles barefoot–even though it was on pavement–because it just felt right in the context of the afternoon.
A few images from running on Green this weekend in the aftermath of Friday’s blizzard: .
(Bear Peak and South Boulder Peak, from Green’s west ridge.)
(Breaking trail through knee-deep powder on Green’s west ridge.)
(Peeking through to the Indian Peaks.)
(Triumphant on summit #84: look at that blue sky!)
(Green and the backside of the First Flatiron from Flagstaff Road.)
This was a very good week of running. After a less-than-stellar previous week, I got a simple sacroilliac joint adjustment from Jeremy that dramatically improved my back and allowed me to rebound well. Of course, I was pleased to complete the mid-week long run, but the challenge will now be to gradually lengthen that over the next month in preparation for Miwok on May 1st.
On Friday I finally got an MRI for my knee. Jeremy had been recommending this for a while because we’ve essentially exhausted the conservative treatment measures on my knee, and if, as I build the long run, the knee pain comes back in a significant way, we’ll be in a more informed position as to what sort of action we should take. Basically, he wanted to be sure that there isn’t some kind of structural defect (such as a meniscus tear) that would make administering something like a cortisone shot completely pointless. I’ll be getting a report on the MRI early this week, so I’m hoping for good news (i.e. I’ve only been dealing with stubborn patellar tendonitis, not any cartilage issues) there.
The other thing I’ll be considering in my build-up to Miwok is the inclusion of some kind of speedwork. I haven’t decided completely on that yet, as, per usual, it’s always much more motivating to head out for a climb up Green Mt. than for a tempo on the Creek Path or intervals on a track somewhere. Of course, over the past few years Matt Carpenter has chided me repeatedly about not wanting to do the “not fun” stuff in race preparation, and he’s mostly right. The last time I did any significant speedwork was in my build-up for the American River 50 in 2008. In that case, I completed four straight weeks of one workout per week (the progression of which can be seen here), generally focusing on mile repeats and longer tempo runs. Granted, even that was a pretty minimal amount of structured fast running.
Logically, I know I should do speedwork to become a better runner. Emotionally, I am still having a difficult time justifying it to myself. I remember the confidence it gave me to be able to comfortably cruise low-6s pace for the first 25 miles at American River two years ago and I know that the increased efficiency and confidence that comes along with that is likely to benefit me in nearly any type of race situation. However, there is a definite part of me that simply doesn’t feel disciplined enough to give up–even for one day a week–the comfort and joy of the mountains. We’ll see what I end up deciding.
Finally, last night I had the pleasure of seeing The Temper Trap at the Fox Theater here in Boulder–a simple five minute bike ride from my house. These Australians rose to prominence with the inclusion of their song “Sweet Disposition” on the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack last year, and while I was somewhat coerced into going to the show (and a little apprehensive about their at times U2-esque guitar work), the live performance was absolutely top-notch. Like, making the top three of any show I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend seeing them live, but in the meantime, here are a couple videos that don’t even really do them justice: