Mon - 6.5 miles (1,700') easy. Horsetooth south summit. Scouted around for the route that I had intended to take Alistair up on Sunday. I now have that properly dialed so he should be good next time we venture up there.
Tues - 9.5 miles track. Switched the Tuesday workout to the morning now that Tuesday Night Track is over for the season. Warmed up in the dark with Mike and Sarah before beginning one of my more pathetic track workouts in recent memory. Drill was 4x400 (w/200 jog between reps), 600 jog, 2xmile (w/400 jog between), 800 jog, 2x800 (w/400). So this was 4 miles of work with the mile repeats targeted at my desired T-Day 4 mile pace (5:20), and 400s and 800s a little quicker. The result was: 74, 74, 73, 73, 5:27, 5:33, 2:41, 2:39. So, yeah, I could barely hold 5:20 pace on the 800s and the miles were just a disaster. If I had to offer an excuse, I'd say that I'm still in recovery mode from UROC (10 days prior), but I prefer Mike's excuse that the air was exceptionally thick that morning. If I had a coach, then I'm sure I wouldn't have been at the track - I certainly would have advised anyone I was coaching to stay away so soon after a long race, especially considering the 'off season' factor - but I don't have a coach and hence do stupid things based on desire rather than method. Ah well.
Weds - 6.5 miles (1,600') easy. Early AM Horsetooth south summit with Mike and Wesir. Went up the crack just south of Slush's Slit, taking the S-Curve variation to the right rather than the more vertical direct route. Good to see Mike getting back on the horse. Nice crisp morning.
Thurs - AM: 10 miles (1,400') easy. Bluesky/Indian Summer out and back mostly with Mike, but also some company from Celeste and Sarah. Tripped, fell and lost my shades in the dark on the way out; found them on the way back; never wore them. Gorgeous morning.
PM: 7 miles (1,700') steady. Towers in 33:17. Easy through to Herrington (19:20), then picked it up a bit through the second half. Lights for the return trip.
Fri - 6 miles (1,600') easy. Horsetooth north summit via standard trail.
Sat - AM: 10.5 miles (1,300') race. Up in the Happy Jack area of Laramie County (WY) for the Silent Trails 10 miler, one of my favorite races of the year. Predictably enough, the weather was miserable, but nonetheless it was significantly better than last year's white-out conditions. Ended up running a few ticks slower than two years ago (in perfect conditions) and five to six minutes quicker than last year. Jason Delaney broke his own course record, running a fast 1:06 low, beating me by a good five minutes. Frustratingly, I ran 10-40 seconds behind Horsecow for much of the race but just couldn't reel him in. That won't happen Dec 6.
PM: 2.5 miles (800') peakbaggery. Mike and I decided that we'd pick off a couple of the northerly Larimer County peaks on our way back from the race. The original plan was to do Table Mountain and Red Mountain, but our attempts to drive up close to Table were stymied by more than one gate. I was under the impression that county roads were public access, but that apparently isn't the case as the county road approach to Table Mountain was aggressively gated and signed. We hoofed a ridge to the east of the gate, following a fence line, to get a view of Table but the distance to the summit was too great for the available time that I had on hand, so we backtracked to the car. On a whim, we tried another road to the south off Hwy 287, but came up against two more gates. Tail between legs, we headed further south for Red Mountain, which we had beta on and knew to be a short up and down. Indeed it was a short and relatively easy summit, even if we did manage to get a bit turned around on the return trip - running three-quarters of a mile the wrong way on the access road, before turning around and retracing. Upon our return, we discovered that a nasty note had been left under the windshield wiper of my car stating in no uncertain terms that we were not welcome back. For the record, we breached no fences and ignored no signs in gaining the summit, but evidently we were on private property. Ho hum.
Sun - AM: 1.5 miles setting up the T&H course. Record turnout for the first race of the season, but everything went about as well as I could have hoped for, despite 90 individual start times and 60 new runners to establish handicaps for.
PM: 4 miles (2,600') scrambling. Headed down to Boulder with Wesir and the family for a spot of scrambling on the famed Boulder flatirons. Met up with Andy Gindler at NCAR and then headed up Skunk Canyon to do two of the four 1,000 foot ribs on the north side of the canyon. After a moderate bushwhack to the base of Angel's Way (5.3), we donned rock shoes and headed up. It's been a year or two since I last put on a pair of rock shoes, and quite frankly I haven't missed them. The scrambling up this first route was sustained but quite straightforward with a couple of moves here and there to keep things interesting. From the top, we switched out shoes and then shot back down the canyon to the base of Stairway to Heaven (5.2), a similar but probably easier climb - mostly in class 3/4 territory. There are features absolutely everywhere on these slabs, so there are really only a couple of spots where you have to stop and think. Descent off the rock was overgrown with cacti, a couple of which made their presence known by puncturing my shoes and feet. Back to NCAR and then out to a brewpub for beers and burgers at a joint that was overrun with bikers (the human-powered variety).
Total: 64 miles (12,700')
A fun week with some running, racing, summits and climbing.