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Weekly Summary: March 15-2103/21/2010

(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.

Total
-Miles: 152
-Hours: 21h 41min
-Vertical: 23,700′
2010 Summits (Day 80)
Green: 85
Bear: 2

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:


            

25 responses to “Weekly Summary: March 15-21”

  1. Michael Owen says:

    Right on man. Hopefully that MRI report comes back good.

  2. GZ says:

    Okay, lots of good stuff in here but you nabbed me with the front and the back end of the post.

    On the front end … I am a fan 9in a warped way) of Lindens, so I am very interested in the back road to NCAR. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I have just never run that. I like the idea of it because it is closer than Linden.

    To the back end of your post … guys like Scott and Galen were doing Lindens for their speedwork. 2:18 for the Ascent. So it works.

    Nothing to up the ante more and keep you honest when you don’t want to do it like a group. I’d be up for mixing it up if you want (although it feels early for me), but I am sure you could recruit any number of partners.

  3. nmp says:

    Depending on where you live, or easy flat runs you may consider the south boulder creek trail/bobolink. It is fine crushed gravel and much nicer then the other paths around town (in my opinion).

  4. Ivan says:

    Thats a mammoth week, Anton!
    Congratulations on the back recovery.

    In regards to speedwork, it still amazes me when you say things like “…there is a definite part of me that simply doesn’t feel disciplined enough to give up…the comfort and joy of the mountains”.

    To ordinary folk, being undisciplined means not doing any training. Full-stop.

    On a final note, good choice with the Temper Trap (living in australia at the moment, and still dont have massive exposure, lets hope your reccomendation gets them more popularity)

  5. Anton says:

    Mike-
    Nice 5K PR this week. Now go get that sub-15!

    George-
    When I was writing about “speedwork” I was thinking more along the lines of flat mile repeats, tempos, etc. But,hill repeats have been in my mind too, and, obviously, speedwork works. It’s just a matter of me balancing in my mind what I want to be doing with sacrificing a little for more results-oriented thinking.

    The hill I was looking at isn’t the NCAR road–it’s that dirt/gravel one right behind NOAA, kind of next to the cemetary. I like it mostly because it’s closer than Lindens (can run there for a warm-up), and because the soft surface will be nicer on the knees running back down it. Some group sessions on there could be fun, but I agree, hill repeats tend to get me in shape VERY quickly, and while I want to run fast on May 1st, I have bigger goals later.

    But mostly, if that calf is healed, you just need to get up in the peaks! I was saying just that to Brandon while descending Flag Rd yesterday.

    Nick-
    I agree, SoBo Creek is nice, but it’s still about a 3mi bike ride from where I live. I’m just lazy and like to do runs from my doorstep (especially two-a-day flat shake-outs). I’m mostly just spoiled, but, still a little baffled as to why people think running IN Boulder itself is so great…seriously, if I was an elite road/track guy and didn’t like the steep gnarly stuff so much, I’d train in the Springs or Flagstaff–WAY more proximal mellow dirt.

    T

  6. vis says:

    Nice week. One question: If The Temper Trap is in the top three as far as live shows go–I’m assuming they’re third, or you would have said top two or numero uno–who are the other two?

  7. Koll says:

    That dirt hill behind NOAA is called the Boom-a-rang hill. A good hill for repeats.

  8. Charlie says:

    All the best things come out of Australia!

    I see they have installed you as favourite at Miwok already so good luck!

  9. Footfeathers says:

    Good point, Tony, if you’re an elite an want softer, flat surface Boulder’s best bets are the Res and S. Boulder Creek trails.

    With Miwok in sight, speed circles around Walker Ranch would be my routine. You’re primed and ready to do Miwok right. Are you shooting for Mackey’s record? Looking at other stuff, I think you have a good shot at it. The weather here has been great and the course should be fast (read: the rainy season is done and it will be dry until Thanksgiving).
    tim

  10. Great to see you tearing it up again and great bumping into you Saturday, I was sorry to have to bail (but wife loyalty always trumps time with the running buds ;)).

    Let’s get out this week.

  11. GZ says:

    I think the Boulder thing is the mix of history, the hills, Magnolia, the university, blah, blah, blah. But yeah, there are other places … that are much cheaper too.

    Yeah, I need to get on the hills. I have avoided the big mountain climbs this winter because I don’t feel I get as much out of that sort of shlog through the snow thing. I probably would have started to sneak out there over the last few weeks, but my calf issue has put a damper on that. I’d be up for the flat stuff too. I’d probably be a little better matched with you on that stuff versus hills anyway.

    Definitely will look to check out the NOAA hill.

    I had no idea you could read whatever language that is.

  12. GZ says:

    I think the Boulder thing is the mix of history, the hills, Magnolia, the university, blah, blah, blah. But yeah, there are other places … that are much cheaper too.

    Yeah, I need to get on the hills. I have avoided the big mountain climbs this winter because I don’t feel I get as much out of that sort of shlog through the snow thing. I probably would have started to sneak out there over the last few weeks, but my calf issue has put a damper on that. I’d be up for the flat stuff too. I’d probably be a little better matched with you on that stuff versus hills anyway.

    Definitely will look to check out the NOAA hill.

  13. wiglebot says:

    I read these posts and something tells me that when you get shirt-less you get way faster.

    There lies the secret to your speedwork.

  14. KB says:

    The Boomerang road is indeed a great place for hill repeats. I live immediately south of there and run it often. It also tends to dry out quickly. My current favorite quick time trial is the Boomerang road to Woods Quarry (start at the gate, finish at the last huge tree before you arrive at Woods). The route is somewhat obvious, or I can explain offline. I have run it in 14 mins, for you definitely less, and it makes for a nice loop over to Skunk, or NCAR.

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