Mon - 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls loop. Tired.
Tues - AM: 9.5 miles intervals. Small group again, but overjoyed to be running in the snow (for what it was worth). Workout was 5 x City Park mile (1.04), with 1st and last steady and middle three fartlek - quarter mile jog between + 1-2 min standing rest. Ran with Chris M for all five and felt horribly sluggish: 5:35 (5:22), 5:34 (:21), 5:41 (:27), 5:38 (:25), 5:37 (:24).
PM: 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls loop.
Weds - Noon: 6 miles (600') easy. Valley trails, Soderberg to Arthurs and back.
PM: 4 miles easy on the bike paths before FCRC board meeting. Mileage padding.
Thurs - AM: 10.5 miles (1,200') easy. Early morning jaunt on Bluesky/Indian Summer with Slush, Celeste, Ziggy, Sarah and AlWesir. Nice crisp morning with another beautiful sunrise over Coyote Ridge. Notched things a touch over the last couple. Some good banter as always.
PM: 10 miles (2,100') Towers. 29:37. Eased into this one, hitting the road (.45) 20 seconds slower than last time, and taking it relatively easy on the grunts with the intention of gassing the shallower grades. The Stout split was 8:50 and Herrington 16:45, which means I made up about 20 seconds over the last 13 minutes versus two weeks ago. I ended up 4 seconds slower on what felt like a much more controlled effort with significantly less discomfort. One of these days I'll solve the riddle and put all the pieces together.
Fri - Noon: 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls loop.
PM: 6 miles (600') easy. O&B Soderberg to Arthurs on Valley Trails.
Sat - AM: 21 miles (7,000'). Round Mountain ladder. This was the second outing of the Fort Collins Trail Runners' Spring Vertical Series and a repeat of last year's inaugural version, dubbed the Round Up. Total workout calls for an out and back from each of the four mile markers on the way up to the Round Mtn summit, followed by a final summit push (4.75 miles, 3,000') for a total of 29 miles & 9,500 feet. I decided to eschew the mile 4 O & B as I didn't want to overdo things with Lake Sonoma coming up next weekend. I also decided to take things super easy for the first three out and backs, before taking a harder run at the summit to finish things off. Ended up wavering between hard and 'can't be bothered' for the summit run, which ended up being surprisingly quick, just a couple minutes off my PR (50:24) at 52:23. I think we had an impressive 13 runners show up for the 5:30 pre-dawn push-off and then lots more as the morning progressed. Great sunrise over Alexander Mtn coming down from mile two. Total outing was 4:11, or 3:59 not including TH pit stops.
The up splits:
Mile 1 <+580'> (13:47, 12:40, 11:21, 10:22); mile 2
<+780'> (13:46, 12:25, 11:42); mile 3 <+460'>
(11:54, 10:21); mile 4 <+580'> (10:51); final .75
The down splits:
Mile 1 (11:36, 9:15, 8:47, 9:56); mile 2 (9:03, 8:38, 9:36);
mile 3 (10:29, 11:04); mile 4 (11:04); final .75 (6:45)
Sun - AM: 8 miles (900') easy on Bluesky. Been a while since I've been on a run and thinking about snakes, but with as warm as it's been I found myself scanning this morning.
Total: 90 miles (15,400')
Took things a little easier this week on the running front, with a short run Sunday and an abbreviated Round Mountain ladder on Saturday. This disciplined behavior is an attempt to freshen the legs up a bit for the Lake Sonoma 50 next weekend, which will be my only 50 miler before Western States in June. It comes about halfway into my training block so an easier seven or eight days leading up to it seems reasonable enough. I feel pretty good right now, so I'd like to think I've got as a good a shot as anyone toeing the line.
Speaking of deep fields, Pete and I are pretty excited about the crew that will be assembling May 12 right here in Fort Collins for the Quad Rock 50. In the men's race we've got the JFK 50 record holder coming out to test his chops on a mountain 50 as he gets ready for Western States in June. He'll be up against last year's top U.S. finisher at UTMB, the third place finisher from this year's Way Too Cool and American River, and a host of Front Range speedsters who know the trails well. My money's on Burch, but I've been wrong before.
We've got a strong women's race too, with PI teammate Becky Wheeler perhaps the favorite on paper, but I'm betting she'll be pushed hard by Steamboat 50 winner Jenny Pierce, recent Salida winner Leila DeGrave, and some local Fort Collins women who are probably too modest to want to be named. My money's on Steph Lynn - pretty sure I've got that one right.
But it's not all about the front of the pack. Hell no, it's about the personal challenge. We've put together a tough course with a challenging cut-off, but we're betting that anyone with the requisite determination and mental fortitude will be able to get it done if they really want to. Pete went out and ran the full monty a couple of weekends ago (in the midst of 700-mile month). Based on his experience, he put together a 14-hour pacing plan. Check it out. And then come out next Saturday and run the loop for yourselves on the 'official course preview.' We'll have lots of local runners on hand (who may or may not know where they're going), which means good company at a range of different paces.
Wish I could be there for that one, but I'll be out getting my hide whooped in wine country USA