Mon noon - 13.5 miles (2,500 feet). 1:59. Mill Creek route.
pm - 4 miles easy at Pineridge. 0:34.
Tues pm - 25 miles (4,000 feet). 3:55. Horsetooth to Arthur's and Visitor Center via Horsetooth - Westridge - Mill Creek - Howard - Timber - West Valley - Nomad - Towers - Stout - Spring Creek - Falls - home. Pretty hot and blustery out.
This one got old by the top of Arthur's Rock, but I persevered and plodded out the miles. Legs are really beginning to feel the increased mileage, but just got to grind it out until the end of May to give myself a shot at Big Horn. Ate a Cliff Shot Double Espresso for the second time ever with the exact same result: nausea. Cliff Shots are officially out of the running for BH. Hammer gels seem to be working best for me in terms of tolerance, but they still get old after six or seven. Nutrition remains a concern, but I'm sure I'll figure out some kind of plan. Bumped into Corey H (King of the Horsetooth Trail Half) at the Arthur's TH. Sounds like he's on course for his Leadman goals.
Weds noon - 8 miles easy (1,650 feet). 1:14. Audra/Horsetooth route.
am - 4 miles at Pineridge. 0:29.
Thurs noon - 9 miles (1,200 feet).1:20. Horsetooth - Spring Creek - Stout - Sawmill - Loggers - Carey Springs - Towers - Herrington - Spring Creek - Soderburg - Horsetooth - home.
pm - 11 miles (3,000 feet). Mile repeats on Horsetooth trail with Dan, Pete and Alex from Fort Collins Trail Runners group. Splits were 8:31, 8:20, 8:40 to Southridge turn and 12:00, 11:30, 11:35 miles. Sounds slow, but this is a steep trail with a ton of steps and some tricky footing. Really surprised at the ease and speed of first split to first Southridge turn. The last time, in February, when I timed this, I did it in 8:21 and pushed hard; today I felt so controlled I only glanced at my watch out of curiosity and was surprised to be just 10 seconds off. Second climb I pushed a little harder, but certainly not 100% and went 8:20. Encouraging. I feel very strong right now.
Fri - 8 miles (1,650 feet). 1:15. Easy on Horsetooth/Audra.
pm - 6.5 miles (400 feet). 0:52. Soderburg to Arthur's and back, easy.
Sat noon - 10 miles (2,800 feet). Up and down Crosier Mountain from Drake TH - super easy - 2:00 total: 1:10 up & 0:50 down. Not exactly the easy day I had planned prior to Crazy Legs 10k, but it was so beautiful out, and with an unexpected three-hour window of free time opening up, I had to go check out the stunning views of Estes and Rocky Mountain National Park from on high. I did, however, take the run very easy - even walked in a few steeper spots. Just under 8 minutes for the final half mile, 500 foot scramble to the top.
Sun - 19.5 miles (2,000 feet). Two-mile warm up, 10k race, then 11 miles back home on Blue Sky with Bryan and Dan.
Total: 118.5 miles with 19,000 feet of vertical climbing.
This was a monster week for me, and my legs are starting to feel like they can handle the increased mileage. Feeling so strong at the 10k today was a real confidence builder as I look forward to Big Horn in June. I'm not saying that I'm racing Big Horn to win, because there's some significant talent in the field, but I'm beginning to feel like I may have a shot.
I've got two more weeks of big mileage before June 1 when I plan to drop the miles significantly and concentrate on upping the intensity and resting.