Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September Spending/Miles

Cheap month with a check from the Breck Crest marathon. Spending per mile is now solidly under a dollar. Dublin threatens to blow that out of the water.

September Spending:

1st - To/From Track - $3
6th - Breckenridge Marathon To/From - $40
6th - Breck Crest Winnings - +$150
8th - To/From Track - $3
15th - Ghost Town Registration - $105
16th - To/From Track - $3
19th - To/From Jelm - $20
22nd - To/From Track - $3
29th - To/From Track - $3
30th - Silent Trails Reg - $20


Spending .................... $50
Mileage ....................... 309 (39,000')
Spending per mile ...... $0.16

YTD Totals


Jan ......... $456
Feb ......... $284
March ...... $30
April ........ $318
May ......... $498
June ........ $366
July ......... $106
August .... $178
Sept ........ $50
To date .... $2,278


Jan ................ 265 (33,000 feet)
Feb ................ 259.5 (40,350 feet)
March ........... 302 (32,050 feet)
April ............. 247.5 (31,300 feet)
May ............... 513 (67,000 feet)
June .............. 268 (46,150 feet)
July ............... 228 (50,650 feet)
August ........... 282 (56,700 feet)
September ..... 309 (39,000 feet)

To Date ......... 2,674 (396,00 feet)
Monthly Ave .. 297 (44,000 feet)

Spending per Mile: $0.85

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week Ending September 27

Mon - 6 miles from Soderburg TH to Arthurs TH and back. 45:10. (WCs)

noon - 8 miles easy (1,650'). Horsetooth/Audra. No watch. (Vas)

pm - 7.5 miles track. One mile warm-up, then 800 @ 2:59 and 2x (1,200, 800, 400) with 200 rest between reps and 400 between sets: 4:05, 2:40, 1:12, 3:59, 2:36, 1:15. Two-mile warm down. Legs were still sore and fatigued from Jelm, but managed to push through mentally and physically for a solid workout. This was actually a confidence builder, all things considered.

Weds - 9 miles easy (800'). No watch. Soderburg - Arthurs - Overlook - Well Gulch - West Valley - Soderburg. There are still a few sections of trail in Lory that I haven't run, and I hit a pretty sweet 1.5 mile section today. The Overlook trail is totally overgrown and gnarly with some nice little climbers and as the name suggests it offers some great views of the reservoir. Legs are still slow, but should come around with easy miles through the next ten days before Blue Sky. (WCs)

Thurs - 9 miles (1,500'). 1:19. Bobcat Ridge (Ginny - Powerline - Valley). Been a while since I've been out to Bobcat. I was reminded once again that I need to run more often there. The climb up Ginny trail is one of the mellowest around. The sweet, curvy, rocky singletrack is just a pleasure to run. Love it. (Vas)

Fri - 6 easy on Valley loop from Soderburg. No watch. (WCs)

Sat -
am 11 miles (2,000') w/3.4 hard up Towers (30:25). Ran from home with Eric, met Steve and Frank at Soderburg TH, ran hard to Towers then easy back home via Westridge - Horsetooth. (CLs)

pm 5 miles (1,600'). Hiked Horsetooth with Dana and Lisa, and 30lbs of Alistair on my back.

Sun - 13 miles easy (750') on Blue Sky Half course with Dan T and Brian T.

Total : 69.5 miles running & 5 hiking (8,300')

Slightly heavier mileage than planned, but most of it was pretty relaxed. Legs have been feeling good second half of the week. It felt good to hammer a hard run up Towers on Saturday and take over 90 seconds off my PR from June. All systems seem to be go for a good run at Blue Sky next weekend. Track on Tuesday this week and then nothing but super easy runs on the Blue Sky course.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Autumn Towers Time Trial: The Quest for Thirty

Last time out, there were six of us running Towers in search of a fastest known time. That day, Eric Bergman shot up in an impressive 30:47, setting a mark on the 3.4 mile, 1,800 foot grinder more than four minutes faster than Dan Turk's previous best. I was more than a minute off the pace in 31:56, but had the excuse that I was on the back end of a 500+ mile month (there's always an excuse).

About a week ago I got an email from Steve Folkerts stating that he had shaved 11 seconds of the FKT, posting a new mark of 30:36. As soon as I got that email, I was motivated to get a group together for a shot at 30 minutes.

So this morning Eric was back as was Frank Antonelli and another local speedster, Steve Saleeby. The four of us met at around 8:00 and kind of lingered at the trailhead, procrastinating on the task at hand, knowing that 30 minutes of self-inflicted pain lay ahead. Eventually, we summoned the gumption to get the grind underway and headed out on the short .45 mile connector to Towers from Soderburg, making the turn at 2:40. From there the real work began and much like last time out, Eric assumed the lead. I hit the Stout intersection at 8:30 and the second Herrington intersection at 16:45.

In June, it was evident that Eric was stronger than me and barring a blow up I wasn't going to reel him in; today the gap was a steady five to ten seconds with Eric pulling ahead a bit on the super-steep stuff and me catching back up as the grade eased.

By the Mill Creek intersection at 3 miles or so, the gap was still the same and by the end of the short stretch of slight downhill to the last grind, I was pretty much on Eric's shoulder. The clock read 27:07 as I glanced at it, with maybe .4 of a mile to go. Unfortunately, that last .4 of a mile was straight uphill to the summit. I knew I was going to PR, and possibly break Steve's time, but was unsure if I could overtake Eric or drop under 30. As it turned out, Eric was able to rebuild his cushion on the last grind, topping out in 30:15, shaving another 20 seconds off the FKT, with me 10 seconds back in 30:25.

Both of us went under Steve F's time, but we both also came up short of breaking the 30-minute barrier. Steve Saleeby came in under 32 minutes and Frank at around 33 minutes.

The sub-30 is only a matter of time, the question is who's gonna get it?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Week Ending September 20

Mon - 8 miles easy (1,650'). No watch. Felt ridiculously tired on this run.

- Noon. 6 miles easy. No watch. Soderburg to Arthurs and back. (Vas)

- PM. 6 miles track. Two mile warm-up, then 6x800 (2:43, 2:35, 2:40, 2:41, 2:40, 2:37) and one mile warm down. Still feeling pretty tired, but managed to put in a decent effort.

Weds - 10.5 miles easy. 1:28. From Soderburg to Lory Visitor Center and back. Still feeling tired, but better 20 minutes in. (Vas)

- Noon. 8 miles easy (1,650'). No watch. Finally feeling like the fatigue fog is starting to lift ... for now. (Vas).
- PM. 6 miles easy. 50:00. Soderburg to Arthur's and back. (WCs)

Fri - 11 miles easy. Soderburg to Lory Visitor's Center and back. No watch. (WCs)

Sat - 13 miles (2,500'). 2.5 mile warm up, then 10.5 up and down Jelm. (CLs)

Sun - 6 miles recovery.

Total: 75 miles (5,800')

Running a hard downhill hurts - the next day. My original plan for Sunday was to get up early and knock out 20 miles on Blue Sky before the family was out of bed, but I woke up to my alarm feeling very stiff, so promptly turned it off and rolled over. The rest of the day I was running errands/doing chores thinking about maybe getting the run done 'later'. With an hour of sunlight left, I finally found some motivation and got out for a six-mile recovery run. A bit disappointing, but I really don't think I would have gotten much out of going long, other than the need for more recovery time through the week.

So with three races that I want to run hard coming up over the next five weeks (Blue Sky, Silent Trails, Dublin) I have decided to start my taper for Dublin this week, which means I'll be focused on recovery and key workouts and not sweating the mileage. Highly unconventional to start a marathon taper five weeks out, but with this crazy run of races that I have set up for myself, I see no other option.

Blue Sky is shaping up to be quite the race, and out of the three is the one I am most focused on. However, at Silent Trails I would really like to give Michael Huntington a good race in our tie-breaker in the Laramie Triple Crown (unless someone else shows up and beats us both). I'm still planning on giving the sub-2:40 a go at Dublin, but at this stage think it's a long shot, with 2:42/43 being a more realistic goal.

However things play out over the next five weeks, it's already been a great season for me and if I can eek out a win at BS or ST, or meet time goals at Dublin, it will be gravy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jelm Mountain Race

It's a bit of a haul to get up to some of the southern Wyoming races, but it's always worth it because the running community up in Laramie/Cheyenne is super friendly and they never fail to put on great races. Besides, the drive up 287 is such a beautiful one that the hour+ flies by.

Jelm Mountain is 25 miles southeast of Laramie and the drive down was as stunning - if not more - than the drive north on 287. Jelm is visible from miles away, so I was able to get a good look at the impending climb. It was somewhat intimidating, but then most mountains are when you know you're about to run up them as hard as you can.

Got to the start location and immediately saw Sam Malmberg and Michael Huntington, two road and track speedsters who on any flat run would destroy me. The mountain, as ever, was the equalizer, but any thoughts of an easy tempo run were instantly dismissed.

I've developed a few simmering rivalries through the course of the season, and today solidified a couple of those. I raced Michael in May at the Pilot Hill 25k in Laramie, and beat him by 30 seconds after being out-climbed by a minute or two. The fact that I can even hang with a guy like Michael kind of blows me away as he is a former UW track star and sub 31 10k guy. On a good day, I can run close to 35 minutes.

Sam was a high school standout in Nebraska and has a low 2:30 marathon PR. I was able to get the better of him at the Leadville Marathon earlier in the summer, after being left in his wake on the climb up to Mosquito Pass. In Leadville, as at Pilot Hill against Michael, it was on the descents that I got the upper hand.

Jelm is 5.25 miles up and 5.25 straight back down, with a net gain of 2,040' and a cumulative gain of an extra few hundred feet once you add in the short climbs on the way down. The track was a forest-type road and was in generally great condition, but included some loosely strewn rock and soft, sandy patches.

From the gun, as usual, Sam blazed the pace. I sat on his shoulder for the first quarter mile, but let him go, content just to keep him in sight. I knew that if I was close by the turn, I could probably pick him off on the drop. Michael eased by me a mile or so later, just as he had at Pilot Hill, and sat 20 seconds or so behind Sam for the next two to three miles, before passing him a half mile from the summit. I was just trying to stay in contact, hoping that I would have the legs on the drop to claw back the minute I had given up on the climb.

The view with under a mile to go. Photo: UW Physics

Thinking about the data before the race (5.25 miles and 2k climbing), I figured I could run sub eights to the summit and be on Greg Schabran's 2002 course-record pace. Greg had run 42:30 up, but I was way slower - hitting the split at 44:23. Not knowing the course, I assumed it would be a relatively even and easy grade up, but as it turned out there were a couple of major grunts, which really slowed the pace.

The Observatory at the top is in view for most of the run. Photo: SURAP

After finding my downhill legs through the first two minutes of the drop, I let rip and was soon passing Sam and locking my sights on Michael. It was evident that I was eating into his lead on the steeper pitches but pretty much holding pace on sections where a total loss of control was less likely. By the two-to-go point I was close enough to Michael that I was thinking through my strategy for overtaking and hopefully getting a lock on first. I decided the best course of action was to blow by him on a steeper pitch and try to build a big enough gap that he'd settle in for second.

Soon after devising my plan, the requisite drop came into view and I put the hammer down, hoping desperately that I wouldn't pick up a stray rock and go flying arse over tit for what would have been a really nasty spill. I took the lead halfway through the 100-meter screamer, and continued to push at full tilt as the grade evened out.

Knowing that Michael had much better leg speed than me, I was just hoping he was burned from the climb. As it turned out, he hung about ten meters back on me, gaining as the grade eased and falling back on the steeper stuff.

Prior to the race, I had warmed up over the first/last mile of the course, and I knew that there was one last bump of maybe 80 feet to climb before the last 400 meters down to the finish. I figured that if Michael had anything left, this was where he would come at me. However, I failed to push the climb hard enough - I was hurting pretty bad at this point - and by the crest had Michael right on my shoulder. He was flying, but I managed to find the extra gear I needed to stay competitive. With 50 meters to go, I was still holding first, but knew in my heart of hearts that I would never be able to hold Michael in a sprint. He hit his top gear with 30 meters to go and breezed by me. I tried desperately to find one last ounce of power, but it just wasn't there, and I dropped it all the way back down to first gear and actually walked across the line - seven seconds behind Michael and 40 seconds slower than the course record. Sam came in two to three minutes later to round out the top three. I think my drop of 27:13 is a record, so I'll take that.



So, Michael and I are now one and one in the Laramie Triple Crown with the rubber match to come at the Silent Trails 10 miler up in the Medicine Bow National Forest in the Happy Jack area. Unfortunately, the race comes six days after my rubber match against Johannes Rudolph in the Blue Sky Marathon, but hopefully I won't be too beat up (yeah, I know, lining up the excuses early!).

A big thanks to Patrick Eastman and all the others at the High Plains Harriers for putting on such a great race and race series. If you haven't run up in southern Wyoming, you really should get up there for some of their races, which, while small, are competitive and just a bag of fun. Oh, and somebody always has a beer on hand post race. Thanks, Jeff!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2010 Races, Tick Tock

The 2009 season is far from over, but I have learned quickly that you need to be organized and ahead of the game in the world of trail running if you want to get into popular or tightly capped races. I have a number of such events that I want to run in 2010; in fact, I just registered for my first 2010 race this morning: The Ghost Town 38.5 mile, which is held somewhere in New Mexico, nine hours south of FoCo.

I was just perusing the website yesterday, and learned that registration for the last 40 spots was to open this morning. Wow, good timing, as this thing will likely sell out today, a full four months before the event is due to take place - crazy. It is capped at 75 runners, with first dibs being offered to previous runners - 35 decided to return. After reading and hearing a number of rave reviews from last year, I decided that I wanted in, despite the hefty $99 entry fee.

So what else? Well, if I can remember to be online Jan 1, then I am definitely going to register for the San Juan Solstice 50, which is one of those runs that any self-respecting mountain runner should run at least once, or at least that is what I am told. This one sells out on the day - a full six months before the event. In February, I hope to run the Red Hot 50k - another one that sells out quickly - or the 50/100 mile event in Huntsville, TX (Rocky Raccoon), an event that mercifully does not have a cap.

I am definitely thinking of running a California event, and had originally planned on Way Too Cool (50K), but I'm just not prepared to add to the drama of a race that sold out in under ten minutes last year. I mean how good can an event be? So instead, I'm thinking that the Miwok 100k is more my kind of thing: lots of climbing and lots of miles. In addition, I know the race director and her significant other and have wanted to run their event for quite some time. Plus, it took over a month to sell out last year, which is a better fit for my procrastinative nature.

What else? Well, I have pretty much committed in my mind to doing another 100 miler (for my sins), but I'm having a hard time with the logistics of lotteries and such like. My first choice would be Western States, but as most are no doubt aware, the chances of getting in through the lottery are not good. However, the up side is that I would find out if I am in or not (Dec 15) before having to put my name into the hat for Hardrock, which does its lottery in early January. If, as is likely, I fail to get into both events, then the default is Leadville, an event that will take anyone with a pulse and $225 (in '09).

Beyond that, I'll fill the rest of the calendar as I go. I think most of the other races I am interested in running are either not on my radar yet, or have much more reasonable entry requirements, i.e., you don't have to commit a half year in advance.

The clock is already ticking on 2010 events people. Better start planning now.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week Ending Sept 13

Mon - Off

Tues -
noon: 5 miles easy at Horsetooth (700') (Vas)

pm: 4 miles track. Legs were feeling super tired after Sunday's marathon, but I went to the track anyway and mostly ran easy. One mile warm up @ 6:00, then 800, 400, 400 with 200 easy between and 1,600 (400 easy), 800, 400, 400 with 200 easy: 2:54, 1:28, 1:23, 5:57, 2:52, 1:23, 1:20.

Weds - 8 miles easy (1,650'). Horsetooth/Audra. (WCs)

Thurs - 10.5 miles easy. Soderburg to Lory Visitor Center and back on Nomad/Valley trails. 1:28. (WCs)

Fri - 8 miles easy (1,650'). Horsetooth/Audra. 1:14.

Sat - 21 miles (2,500'). 3:13. Out with Dennis, Alex A and Jim from FCTR. After feeling lethargic and fatigued all week, I actually felt pretty good on this run. From home ran 2.5 down to Soderburg TH to meet the guys and then 13.1 on Blue Sky Half course and back home via Towers - Herrington - Spring Creek - Horsetooth. (WCs)

Sun -
am: 11 miles (2,000'). 1:50. Home to Soderburg - Towers - Spring Creek - Horsetooth - home. Out with Pete, Alex M, J.Z. and others from FCTR. (Vas)

pm - 9.5 miles (3,000'). 1:34. Round Mountain. Started out easy on this one. Picked it up after two miles and pushed hard last .75. Ran pretty hard on the way down. Up: 57:10 (12:46, 12:55, 10:58, 11:34, 8:56); down: 37:15 (5:33, 7:15, 9:03, 7:28, 7:50). (Vas)

Total: 77 miles (11,500')

Felt really tired in the legs through the week after Sunday's Breck Crest effort, so pretty much just jogged around. Started feeling good half way round on the Saturday 21-mile run, and felt great after. Decided to double for Sunday and pushed out 20 more miles with lots of climbing, ending with hard miles the last three up Round. The 57:10 was actually my second fastest time up Round, and felt much, much easier than the 58 something I ran earlier in the year, which was the first time I time-trialed it.

Running Jelm Mountain up in Wyoming next weekend (5 up, 5 down with 2k of climbing). Should be a fun race, as they normally are in SoWY. The CR is 1:10:59, so I'll probably take a stab at that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Notes on Upcoming Races

The Fort Collins Running Club (FCRC) race series, known commonly as the Tortoise and Hare (T&H), will begin with a 3.8 mile trail race on October 4. The series has been modified from its familiar five-race format to include a total of seven races over one series, with a racer's five best results counting towards his or her cumulative series total.

As noted in a previous post, this series has to be one of the best running deals in the state. If you are a member of the club ($20 individual, $30 family) the races are free - well actually we pay you, because the club buys breakfast from the Rocky Mountain Bagel Works (sponsor of the FireKracker 5k) after the race. In addition, the top five finishers over the series receive checks to one of the two local running stores in town to the tune of $85, $50, $30, $20, $15 (in addition to the 15% discount that all club members enjoy at Runners Roost or Foot of the Rockies). Better yet, the T&H is a handicapped series, meaning everyone has an equal shot at scooping the loot, regardless of age, sex or ability.

The focus of this series, and FCRC more broadly, is participation, but it is always nice to add an extra element of competition and a shot at a free pair of shoes. As an added bonus to an already mind-blowing deal, each and every race will be wheel measured (with the exception of the trail race, which is GPS measured), ensuring an accurate course. We have designed the series in such a way that distances build towards the Club's Horsetooth Half Marathon, with the longest run - 10 miles - coming just two weeks before Fort Collins' biggest, best and most scenic 13.1 miler.

I've been RD'ing this series now for a couple of years, and finally talked the board into including a trail race in the series. With weather and other concerns in mind, we have made the 3.8-mile trail trip around Pineridge Reservoir the first race in the series.

Pineridge at dusk. Photo: James Leveille

This is a great opportunity for those looking to explore the world of trail racing. The distance is manageable, the footing varied (crushed gravel and singletrack), and there are a sprinkling of rolling hills to keep you honest. It's also a great race for more experienced trail runners looking to set an inaugural course record (and FKT) for others to take a stab at in future years.

The rest of the series looks like this:

Oct 4 Pineridge 3.8 miles (from Pineridge parking lot, not Maxwell)
Nov 1 Warren Park 5k
Dec 6 Edora Park 8k
Jan 3 Rolland Moore 4k
Feb 7 Lee Martinez 10k
Mar 7 Cottonwood Glen 12k
Apr 4 TBA 10 mile

Another (free) race I am excited to draw people's attention to is an out-of-state tour around Utah's beautiful Zion National Park. Pure Zion is an inaugural race being put on by the fine folks at Wilderness Running as a means of giving back to the running community and trail running more specifically. The guys at Wilderness Running operate out of St. George, Utah, and offer nothing ... nothing ... but trail running gear. Their expertise in the field is unsurpassed, and their pricing is as competitive as the more generic retailers of trail running gear (especially if you use the coupon code advertised on the right sidebar of this blog).

I love red dirt! Photo: Wilderness Running

The run is set for November 7, and will include a 20-mile course and a 15-mile course. Like the T&H, the emphasis is on participation and an appreciation of the beautiful places we trail runners get to suffer in. This inaugural event is a test run for both Wilderness Running and the Park Service issuing their permit, so space is very limited - act fast. More details here:

One last race note: The Fort Collins Trail Runners' Blue Sky Marathon (half, 'thon, 50k) is 100 percent sold out, but there is a bib exchange for those hoping to get in. Contact the race committee if you want to run, and they'll do their best to hook you up with someone who has an entry but can't make the race.

Looking north to Fort Collins on the Blue Sky Trail

The colors are starting to turn. Get out there and enjoy!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Breckenridge Mountain Marathon

I was up at 4:00 this morning for a quick trip to Breckenridge for the 14th running of the Breckenridge Mountain Marathon. I ran in the 13th iteration of this event last year, but after being directed down the wrong path at the second-to-last aid station I ended up running somewhere in the vicinity of 30 miles, so I was back this year for a spot of redemption and another trip across Breckenridge's outstanding skyline.

There's no doubting this race's credentials as a mountain marathon. Not only are there two big climbs of approximately 3,000' and 1,500', but this thing starts at 9,500' and spends significant time up above treeline in the 12,000' to 12,500' zone. Lung-busting stuff. Better yet, however, it offers incredible views of surrounding peaks, while also offering a wide variety of mountain footing, from blanketed pine-needle trail to extended stretches of talus hopping to marshy tundra running, with lots of extra rock and root action thrown in. A technical, yet varied course with some fun and extended screaming descents. Nice!

Getting ready for the off (all pics: Charlie Woodcock)

And they're off

From the off I ran with Bryan Goding and watched the early pace-setters settle in. The race starts with about a half mile through town, before hooking into a short stretch of singletrack. By the time we hit dirt, there were five guys ahead of me. Bryan Dayton was setting the pace with another guy I didn't recognize (might have been Chris Grauch), and he was followed by a guy in a green running singlet and Johannes Rudolph in his now-familiar orange singlet - the same one I failed to reel in for the three miles from A-Frame at Pikes Peak a few weeks back.

The singletrack soon gave way to a rocky forest road which took us the first three or four miles towards our first crossing of the Tenmile Range. By the top of forest road, there were just four of us in the lead pack. I sat at the back of the pack for most of the climb, but jumped ahead as we got close to our turn onto the singletrack that would take us above treeline and up onto the crestline with all its stunning mountain vistas. The going here got very steep, but was still mostly running with a few stretches of power-hiking.

Once up on the crest, I probably had a minute or two on Johannes and Bryan (who, as it turned out, was running the half marathon), with others out of sight. As soon as the climb tapered off, I hit the gas hard to see if I could drop Johannes through the technical stuff. I didn't look back until the end of this two-mile stretch of rocks and marsh, but on a tight set of climbing switchbacks before the first big drop I was able to get a 'five-minute view' and could see that I'd put three or four minutes on Johannes with the only other guy in sight a long way back.

After peaking-out on the switchbacks, the course headed downhill ... fast, on some pretty rocky trail. I pushed as hard as I could here to build my lead. Johannes is a fast marathoner (low 2:30s), so I knew that if I was going to win this thing it would have to happen on the technical stuff, as there was four to five miles of fast and well groomed trail waiting at the end of the race.

By the time I bottomed out and started climbing again, I was able to take a few glances back and figured that I had at a minimum four minutes on Johannes. I was still feeling strong, so continued to press through the second big climb and its long traverses. This section is probably my favorite part of the whole course, as not only does it offer great views, but the terrain is classic Colorado mountain trail with nasty stretches of talus trail combined with skinny climbing singletrack cut into the side of the mountain, before dropping off on some sweet traverses into the woods and then screaming through 2,000' of heavily rooted descent.

With nine miles to go, I hit the aid station where it all went wrong last year, pushing through without stopping, while switching back into climbing mode. I knew these last miles were where I could lose my grip on the lead. The trail smoothed out and the grade never got too steep in either direction, just a rolling net downhill all the way back into town.

Last few miles

While I felt like I had a good grip on first, you never know in trail racing so I kept pushing as hard as I could, and ended up finishing in 3:29 (a 19 minute CR on the new course). Johannes came in ten minutes later (3:39), followed by Chris Grauch, who edged out Saul Aguilar by seven seconds for the third paid place.

Top three in the marathon

I picked up 150 bones for my troubles and came away feeling like I'm getting back into great mountain running shape, which considering I'm supposed to be focused on running a road marathon is pretty meaningless, but it sure felt good to be able to push that hard through the early going and not pay too dearly at the end. Another fun day in the mountains.

Week Ending Sept 6

Mon - 8 miles (1,650'). 1:11. Horsetooth/Audra with Steve F. (CLs)

Noon - 8 miles (1,650'). 1:12. Horsetooth/Audra. (Vas)
pm - 5 miles track. No warm up. 1,000, then 6-8-10-8-6 with 200 recovery: 3:25 then 1:59, 2:49, 3:24, 2:47, 2:02. Not feeling it at all, so ran at 5k(ish) pace.

Weds - 8 miles easy (1,650'). No watch. Horsetooth/Audra. (Vas)

Thurs - 8 miles easy (1,650').1:15. Horsetooth/Audra. (Vas)

Fri - 8 miles easy (1,650'). 1:14. Horsetooth/Audra. (WCs)

Sat - 13 miles easy (600'). From Soderburg TH to Indian Summer on Blue Sky and back. Out with a small group from the Fort Collins Trail Runners at a very easy pace. (Vas)

Sun - Breckenridge Marathon (4,600'). (CLs)

Total: 82 miles (13,500')

Wildcats: 190 miles
Crosslites: 162 miles
Vasque: 181 miles

This was a solid week on the mileage and climbing front. I decided to not taper for the race Sunday, but just push out some easy paced runs through most of the week. I came away from the race feeling like I'm starting to get into decent shape again. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to motivate myself to get out on the roads much for Dublin, but I'll keep doing a weekly track workout and then hope that I find a day or two where a hard LT session on asphalt sounds like something I want to do.