PM: 5.5 miles at Pineridge taking down T&H course markings. Felt great.
Tues - Noon: 9 miles (2,200'). Horsetooth/Audra long route. Wind, wind, wind. Felt like a sandstorm on exposed sections.
PM: 5.5 miles on Pineridge again. Ran hard last two miles. I suppose I'll take wind over snow, but boy was it blustery out. More hair-on-chest points for getting out twice, I guess.
Weds - Noon: 9 miles (2,200'). Horsetooth/Audra long route. Slushy after a bit of snow overnight. Beautiful out, felt great and cruised at a good clip.
PM: 5.5 miles easy at Pineridge.
Thurs - Noon: 9 miles easy (2,200'). Horsetooth/Audra long route. Went super easy with Towers TT later in the day in mind.
PM: 10.5 miles. Towers hard (1,800). 3.5 mile warm-up, followed by Towers TT.
Fri - Noon: 8.5 miles (2,100') easy. Horsetooth/Audra long route, home short way. Right achilles was hurting.
PM: 4 miles easy. A lap of Pineridge. Ran with Alex M on the back side - he actually reminded me today (4/15) that I did this run last week, so I get a few bonus miles that I forgot about. Like finding five dollars in a winter jacket that you haven't worn for six months.
Sat - AM: 20 miles (5,500'). 3:40. Met Josh, who was in Denver from Vegas, and Scott J at the Centennial TH in Boulder - a middle ground between Fort Collins, Denver and Highlands Ranch - and got out for a mellow tour of the Boulder mountain trails.
None of us have much knowledge of the trails up there, so we did a lot of stopping and starting, in addition to slipping and sliding on some treacherous sections of ice on a traversing trail mid-way up Green Mtn. We started with an easy ascent of Sanitas (20:30) and then scrambled down and back around before heading south on a bunch of trails I don't remember the names of.
The trails are packed with runners in Boulder and we bumped into a cast of characters on our way around, including a guy I had bumped into last weekend at Horsetooth - Audra's friend - then the brother of the RD for Fruita who's going to be taking pictures next weekend, and teammate Darcy Africa with her husband Bob who had hired a babysitter so they could get out for a run together - nice.
The Boulder Mountain trails are extensive and fun, but damn there's a lot of intersections and steep stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love me some gnarly climbing, but I think I prefer what Horsetooth and Lory have to offer in terms of variety and rhythm when it comes to day-in, day-out running. I guess the ice didn't help today. As Scott pointed out on his blog, we never really got much of a rhythm going with all the looking at maps and dealing with ice, but it was certainly fun to be out enjoying some good conversation and a patch-worked long run.
Sun - AM: 12 miles (1,600') at Bobcat Ridge with Eric. I always enjoy running Bobcat because the trails are so nice and the climb on Ginny is at a perfect uphill cruise grade. Took a detour to the top of the Powerline climb to scout out the Longs route a bit and then took it easy coming down.
A goal for this summer is to run to the top of Longs (second snow-capped peak to right of closer peaks) from my house via dirt. That's gonna involve some fence hopping. This shot is from the gate at end of the Power Trail at Bobcat Ridge, and the road in the foreground is one of a few private ones that I'll have to negotiate to get out to Longs.
Rest of day: Taxes (ugh). Maybe a run if I find the time.
Total: 107.5 (20,000').
Good to get a harder effort in there this week, and hopefully in the weeks following. I'll probably load the front end next week, and then take it easy Thursday and Friday in preparation for Fruita, which is setting up to be a pretty good race competition-wise. I'd be surprised if Andy Skurka's CR doesn't go down, but really I'm just looking forward to getting out on the beautiful course and mixing it up with Ryan B, Duncan C, Nick P, Dakota Jones and company. I'll probably do a pre-race look at the field over at RunColo.com later in the week.
Andy Henshaw, who narrowly beat me at Salida the other weekend, had a very solid run out in California at the American River 50 on Saturday. He told me after the race in Salida that he was shooting for a 5:50, and honestly I didn't think he had much of a shot, but he got pretty close - running 5:56. And just so we're clear on what a time like that takes: he ran a 2:45 marathon on the bike paths, followed by a 3:10 24 miler on rolling trails. Oh yeah, and he beat Olympic hopeful Max King convincingly. I know he trained hard for this bad boy, posting some ridiculous pavement long runs of 30-40 miles at 6:30-6:40 pace, so I've got to tip my hat to the guy for the discipline, but not my cup of tea, that's for sure.