Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week Ending July 12

Mon - 8 miles (1,650 feet) easy. 1:17/ Horsetooth/Audra route. (CLs)

Tues - 4.5 miles track. 800 warm up (3:03); 3 x 1,600 (5:37 (3:00), 5:40 (2:53), 5:40); one mile warm down. Felt decent - much better than 5k race on July 4. Ran mile repeats at 85% or so.

Weds - 7 miles easy (1,500) with Chad. (WCs)

Thurs - 8 miles (1,650). 1:08. Worked the downs in prep for Leadville and also to make sure the Wildcats are going to work without too much slippage on the downs. (WCs)

Fri - 5 miles easy in Leadville (500). (WCs)

Sat - 26 miles. Leadville Marathon (6,000 feet). 3:54. (WCs)

Sun - 9 miles. Hiked Mount Elbert, ran down. 3:10. (4,500 feet).

Total: 68 miles (15,800 feet of vertical gain).

Wow, big climb week at high altitude. Despite all the hills I climb in training, I felt like the climbing was my main weakness during the Leadville Marathon this weekend. Was reduced to a walk for at least 20% of the climb up Mosquito, and in places through the last few grunts of the race. Yes, this is a tough, energy-zapping race, but I really thought my climbing would be stronger. Perhaps the one positive on the climb front was that I was climbing harder and deeper through the last quarter than the two guys I was racing for fourth, so maybe it all evened out and I would have been in bigger trouble late if I'd pushed Mosquito harder.

I still feel like I'm missing a certain zip in my stride since Bighorn. Everything feels okay, just a general lack of energy and desire to push hard. Burnout? Could be.


  1. Nick,
    I'm sure you know this, but I'd guess your climbing "weakness" at Leadville is due to the elevation. When I trained for Imogene last summer I was up at RMNP at least once per week, getting up to 12K regularly--there's a big difference between that and 6Kish at Horsetooth. Even though I'd been training at Horsetooth pretty hard, the higher elevation was definitely a lot tougher.

    As anecdotal evidence: I beat one local runner at Imogene by several minutes last year, even though he crushes me in races around FC. He said he did all his hills at Horsetooth/Poudre Canyon and hadn't done any high elevation stuff leading up to Imogene.


  2. Kyle - Thanks for the thought. You know, I always underplay, or simply forget about/ignore, the realities of running at high altitude. I guess I really haven't been training that much above 7/8k most of the year, and you're right, there is a huge difference between running and training at 6/7k and running/training at 10k+.

    However, my anecdotal evidence on how poor my climbing was last weekend is the fact that I was running most of the race with a guy from Eaton, who I know for a fact hasn't been training much higher than the 5k Eaton sits at. He would consistently outrun me on the climbs (until he bonked at 20/21 miles), despite the fact that I outran him handily on the climbs through Horsetooth during the trail 8/half last month.

    Maybe his body is genetically better suited to running at high altitude than mine, but I'm concluding that it boils down to residual fatigue from BH and the lack of a proper recovery period (more because that's what I want to believe than anything else).

    With all that said, the guy who won the race lives in Breckenridge, which probably helps account, in part, for his very impressive win. Quite obviously a high-altitude guy. Second lives in Leadville, while third lives at 8k in Gunnison. Appears to be something of a trend there.

    BTW - did you not pay the bill for your website address?