Mon - 9 miles (2,000'). HTH course. 1:49. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the fun meter this was a double zero minus. Snow was rutted, crusty and icy on the service drive and Horsetooth Trail. Westridge was just a complete nightmare with the snow horribly drifted, wet and slippery. Reduced to a hike for a lot of this. Trails are out at least until I get back from the UK in the new year.
Tues - 19 miles easy (1,200'). 2:27. Road loop from home via 38e to Taft - Prospect - Overland - Centennial - 38e. Out the door with a 14 mile out-and-back to JJs in mind, but decided after a few minutes to rack some more miles by tacking on a loop behind the stadium. No water/fuel. Was starving by the time I got home. Opened the fridge and started eating. Stopped about an hour later.
Weds - 12.5 miles (900') harder than I wanted on Redstone Canyon. 1.30. Was waiting for a work call all day and just as I was about to head out the door for a planned 16 miles, the call came in. After the call, I ended up with just 90 minutes to get a run done before I had to pick up Alistair from daycare. Frustrated, I went harder than planned on Redstone to max the mileage - probably not the best idea after going long on Tuesday. 7's up the hill and 6:30s back.
Noon - 18.5 miles easy (1,400'). 2:35. Redstone/Milner. Had a choice at 18 miles today: take it to the pain cave on tired legs by tacking 6 miles and 1,500' of climbing to the end of the run on icy trails or go home. I went home. A little disappointing to fold like that, but I stopped and thought about it too long at the Horsetooth parking lot. Should have followed the ultra mantra and kept on moving.
PM - 3.5 miles. Casual run before the Fort Collins Running Club Xmas potluck. Fun times.
Fri - 13.75 miles (1,100'). 1:48. Out and back to Redstone 4-mile marker, then Milner. 8s up, 7:30s back. Legs (quads mainly) were definitely achy today, but still had zip when asked. That's how I want them to feel 50 miles in at Bandera.
Sat - 13.75 miles (1,100'). 1:50. Same route as yesterday with Eric Bergman (Towers FKT holder). Eric and his wife both work for the Department of Wildlife, and he was telling me about a mountain lion study his wife is involved with.
Apparently they collared one in Boulder a couple of weeks ago and have been tracking its recent movements - five readings with one info beam down a day. In a two-week span the cat went from Boulder up to Laramie, hugging the foothills, and then headed back south (not enough tree cover on the Laramie plains), and apparently it was resident in the Horsetooth area as we were out on our run. I've definitely seen prints up there, but never met one face to face (thankfully ... I think).
Sun - 5 miles easy. Three laps of university loop in Canterbury. We were supposed to be leaving for the UK at 5:00 on Saturday afternoon, but 20 minutes from getting to Denver International we learned that our flight had been delayed five, yes five, hours because of snow in London, which meant our arrival would be pushed back to 3:00 pm on Sunday. After customs, baggage and a slow drive home on icy roads, we didn't get to Canterbury until 6:00 pm, which essentially torpedoed my goal of hitting 100 miles for the week. There was really no point in going any longer than the five shake-out miles I ended up doing, as I was tired, grouchy and ready to eat the venison my mom was cooking for dinner. So 95 miles it was.
Total: 95 miles (7,700'). One more big mileage week to come before I back off to get ready for Bandera. Planning a 24/25-miler to Ramsgate on public footpaths along the River Stour with my brother on Tuesday, then back-to-back races Dec 26, 27 before I taper down to get ready for a shot at qualifying for Western States. Felt like the legs absorbed the jump in mileage pretty well this week, so I am hopeful that the distance won't be a major factor at Bandera, but you never know with these longer races.