Thursday, March 26, 2009

Week Ending March 29

Mon - 7 miles on the mill.

Tues - 8 miles easy on Horestooth trails (1,650 feet). Super slow due to nasty cold.

Weds - 9 miles at Horsetooth (1,200 feet). Really fatigued/sick on this run. Probably should have just stayed in bed.

Thurs - 8 miles on the mill. Felt much better, although anything in the sixes was still very labored.

Fri - 8 miles. 0:56. On the bike paths in town. Able to run a few faster miles.

Sat - 21 miles (1,300 feet) on the road. 2:44. Down to JJs, then north on Taft to Mulberry, west to Overland and back south to the stadium, up over the dam back to 38E and home.

Felt much better on this run. Bumped into Corey H as I was cresting the dam on the way home and we ran together for a bit. He had already been out for four hours when I saw him, with one more hour to get home. He's all paid up to do Leadman this year (Leadville 100 (bike and run), marathon, 10k, and Silver Rush 50) and looks to be depositing some serious training into the bank. Hopefully he'll have enough withdrawals available this summer to get him through. Thirty minutes later, on my final climb home, I bumped into Bryan G. Funny to see both these trail guys on the roads after having seen nothing of them on the trails all winter.

Sun - 14 road miles (700 feet). 1:46. Met a group from the Fort Collins Trail Runners at Maxwell. Ran the first eight miles of the Horsetooth Half Marathon course, looping back around on Overland to Maxwell for 14 miles with 700-800 feet of climbing through the opening couple of hills, and on Bingham. I'm always blown away by the views up on the northeast side of the reservoir. Today it was crystal clear out, the sun was blazing and the foothills looked beautiful blanketed in snow. Legs felt good from Saturday, so pushed a bit up the hills and in places elsewhere. Paced with Victoria F up the hills and on much of the flats. She's training for the half in three weeks and the Fort Collins Marathon in early May. I'd say she has a decent shot at winning one or both races. She was in the middle of a 20 miler and running strong.

Total: 75 miles (4,850 feet of vertical)

Although the weather and my health were conspiring against me this week, I still managed to get decent mileage in. For the same reasons, I didn't do much climbing, which is probably a good thing as I was able to up the pace a bit with road and treadmill runs. Beginning to feel like I am getting some leg speed back. The treadmill remains a chore, but it felt good to run roads and be able to open up a bit.

Running through a nasty cold is not a whole lot of fun, but on balance I would say it was worth it, especially in terms of building mental and intestinal fortitude. Sometimes the most rewarding runs are those that you get done despite major internal protest.

Did Somebody Say Spring?

Forced back onto the treadmill today. Plenty more snow in the forecast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Running Through a Sea of Phlegm

My son Alistair was kind enough to pass on a lingering cough that he's had for the last week or so. I thought I'd dodged the bullet, but started coming down with symptoms on Sunday. I've had a full-blown, throat-racking cough ever since, accompanied by nasal blockages and general phlegmy nastiness.

I love you buddy, but you got to stop passing on your germs!

This week is a pretty key week in my training cycle - falling four weeks out from a target 50-mile race (Fruita) and 12 weeks out from Big Horn - and I had really wanted to accumulate some big miles on top of 80+ miles last week.

So far I have struggled through a seven miler on the treadmill and an eight-mile hill run, which was a monumental struggle. Despite a general lack of energy yesterday on the hills, I was able to get around and found that the run helped clear a lot of the crap that had been blocking me up. I mean I was blowing out some trophy-sized rockets.

After getting out there and suffering through the run yesterday, I concluded that the benefits of the run outweighed the negatives of draining my body of the energy it needs to fight the virus. I figured there were three big benefits from yesterday's run:

1. My system felt like it was processing less oxygen and therefore might be simulating an altitude run. My breathing felt similar to runs I do at 10,000-11,000 feet.

2. I cleared a bunch of crap from my system and felt notably better for the next couple of hours, plus I worked up an appetite that had been lacking all day.

3. Although it took about six hours to convince myself to get out the door, in doing so I was able to scratch another little notch in the mental-fortitude bed post that I'll be able to draw from when times get tough in June at Big Horn.

Probably all bogus, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Week Ending March 22

Mon - 6 miles easy (750 feet). Milner. Legs felt surprisingly good after Salida Marathon on Saturday, despite a bit of soreness in the thighs and lower butt.

Tues - 8 miles easy/tempo (1,700 feet). 1:07. Started feeling pretty good once warmed up, so decided to push the pace a bit. Pushed hardest, but not too hard, on the downs. As much as I hate to push downhills in training, it is currently my biggest weakness, so have decided to start working the quads a bit more.

Weds - 10.5 miles (850 feet). 1:11:36. Out and back on Blue Sky trail to Coyote Ridge. Pushed relatively hard. 35:31 out, 36:00 back. With most of the climbing coming back, was happy to run relatively even splits. Over four minutes faster than the last time I ran this hard.

Thurs - 12 miles (2,500 feet). 1:54. Mill Creek route. Legs were heavy and tired from last two workouts, but was able to grind it out without too much misery. Saw a flock (gaggle?) of wild turkeys on the back side of Mill Creek. First turkey sightings for me in the park - beats rattlesnakes or cougars.

Fri - 27.5 miles (1,800 feet). 3:36. Original plan was to do 31 miles, but decided to nip things in the bud before I completely blew up. Out and back to JJs, then out and back on Redstone Canyon. Turned at the 5 mile marker on Redstone, rather than going all the way to 6.5. Was working on a bowl of cereal and four pieces of toast, so felt pretty run down over the last 7 or 8 miles. Only had one Cliff Shot (double espresso) and I'm still feeling sick (3 hours later) from it. Don't think gels are going to do it for me in long-distance races. Glad I'm finding that out now. 52:06 to JJs (7 miles); 50:21 to Horsetooth Mountain Park (6.5); 13:35 to Redstone (1.8); 40:24 to turn (5); 39:17 back (5); 20:19 home (2.3).

Sat - 9 miles (1,200 feet). 1:24. Spring Creek to Stout to Sawmill to Loggers to Carey Springs to Towers to Herrington to Spring Creek, Soderburg, Horsetooth and home. Legs heavy from Friday's run, but very little soreness. A lot of huffing and puffing in the early going.

Sun - 9.5 miles (3,000 feet). 2:00 ish, 1:10 up. Round Mountain with Chad. Took it pretty easy after a hard post-marathon week. Was feeling it on the way down.

Total: 82.5 miles (11,800 feet of vertical)

I wanted to build on a hard effort in Salida last weekend to get my body accustomed to running while fatigued. After feeling decent on a recovery run Monday, I decided to burn my legs with a couple of harder, faster workouts Tuesday and Wednesday and then tried to put in as many miles and vertical feet as my schedule allowed for the rest of the week. My diet was pretty poor, in that I didn't consume nearly enough calories, so I probably suffered a little more than I needed to, but I definitely got my legs working while fatigued, which was the main goal for the week.

The Fruita 50 is four weeks away now, so I want to get another big mileage week in this week, with a long run hopefully in the 30s. I'll probably cut back gradually from there to Fruita, but we'll see how it goes. I don't work from a structured training plan and pretty much take it day by day, so things often work out different than I envision at the beginning of the week.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Week Ending March 15

Mon - Off

Tue - 8 miles on the mill. 57:30

Weds - 8 miles (1,700 feet). 1:12. Horsetooth/Audra Culver route. Ran the Horsetooth trail section (700ft, 1.1 mile) at 85% in 8:39, which was just 18 seconds slower than my fastest attempt just over a month ago, during which I was full out. Felt in control the whole way, but still had to stop at the top for 10 seconds or so to catch my breath, but certainly could have gone faster, probably beating my time from last month. Encouraged by that. Will take another full-on shot a couple of weeks before SDU Fruita in April when I want to go under 8 minutes.

Thurs - 6 miles (600 feet). 48.30. Milner Mountain Loop. Easy effort.

Friday - 1 mile jog. Wanted a longer easy run here, but after the course recon fiasco was happy to get anything in at all.

Sat - Salida Marathon (3,500 feet). 3:24. Third.

Sun - Off. Wanted to get out for an easy effort to work out some of the lactic acid, but never found the time.

Total: 51.2 miles (5,800 vertical)

Wanted to get a few more miles in, but a decent week on balance. Picked up a few nutritional lessons from the run in Salida, which I hope to apply next month at the Spring Desert Ultra. I also realized that I need to get more long tempo runs done in the coming weeks, in addition to shorter intervals. Didn't feel as sharp as I wanted to in Salida, but was happy with how comfortable the climb felt. Not quite sure how I am going to improve my downhill form without risking injury. Guess I'll just live with it for the time being.

Salida Marathon - A Run Through Time

Coming into Salida, I didn't really know what to expect from the day. I had no idea who would be running and had scant information on the course, so I was anxious to get to the 8 am check-in to see who I recognized.

Pretty much the first person I saw as we were pulling up to the registration cabin was Ryan Burch, so I knew for sure I'd have my work cut out. A few minutes later, I recognized the tall, skinny frame of Keri Nelson and was thinking a chicking was a strong possibility. Keri is one of the top two or three female mountain runners in the country, and in addition to winning pretty much everything she entered in the female division last year, she won the Leadville Marathon outright in a very impressive 3:59 (15 minutes faster than I ran it in '07). Milling around at the start line, I bumped into Nick Pedatella (winner of the Silver Rush 50, Boulder 100 and just a few minutes back on me at the Steamboat 50). I thought I recognized Tim Parr as well, and Ryan confirmed that it was indeed Tim, at which point I knew that any hope of a win was essentially gone. Tim is a very impressive runner and has already run a 2:28 road marathon (Houston) this year. Minutes before the gun then, second had pretty much become my goal.

Chad and I drove the course the day before - which turned out to be an adventure in itself - so I had a pretty good idea of what was ahead. The county road (Ute Trail) to the turnaround in the ghost town of Turret begins with a very steady climb of about 2,000 feet over seven or eight miles. It is hard-packed dirt and in great condition; perfect running. Once to the turn-off to Turret (mile 8.5) the course loses some elevation before scrambling up probably the steepest grade of the race to a brief plateau, which afforded breathtaking views of the Collegiate Peaks, and I do mean breathtaking. The skies were crystal clear and the huge muscular snow-capped peaks stood out in sharp contrast to the deep blue Colorado sky. From here the course drops off probably 500-600 feet over two miles into Turret and the 12.5-mile turn. The course backtracks up out of Turret and back onto the Ute Trail descending to a hard left turn at about 17-18 miles. And this is where the drive got interesting.

Collegiate Peaks. Credit: Airic Payne

The jeep track looked harmless enough from the Ute Trail, and continued that way through 3 or 4 miles of rolling hills, before beginning a very steep, rocky descent back to Salida. Not only was it steep, loose and rocky but it was only just wide enough for the Xterra's wheel base with sharp drop-offs on either side. After driving entirely too fast through much of this, I pinched a flat on the driver's front, and we were faced with the task of jacking the car on soft, rocky sloping terrain - far from ideal. We ended up finding a large flat rock to sit the jack on, after deciding that the results of the first jack-up looked way too precarious. Thankfully, the car was stable enough this time that we were able to get the lug nuts off without rocking the car off the jack - which would have been disastrous. We got the spare on in short order and got back on with the task at hand - to which we were now fully committed as there was absolutely nowhere to turn around.

Chad spotted me through most of the worst and we inched our way through the two or three miles of remaining jeep track. To say that we were relieved to be down would be an understatement. This is by far the toughest off-road test the banana has been through, and despite the shortcomings of the driver, it performed fantastically.

We camped just outside of town, down by the river. Neither of us slept at all well, and both decided that the prospect of running a marathon sounded far from fun, especially with the temps in the low teens. Thankfully, a cup of coffee and a couple of vistis to the toilet had me in a much more positive frame of mind, and when the sun started peeking up over the mountains shortly before the off, all the pieces seemed to be falling into place.

From the gun, a group of four half marathoners and Tim Parr set off at a pretty strong pace. I settled in with Ryan, clicking off low seven-minute miles through the opening climb. The road offered long views of the runners ahead. Two of the half marathoners had gapped Tim, and the other two were equally spaced between Tim, Ryan and I. We picked off one of them before their 6.5 mile turnaround, which we passed in close to 48 minutes. It seemed like we were pretty much keeping pace with Tim and he was in view the whole way up to the 8.5 mile Turret turn-off, which we passed in 1:01. I don't think Tim knew he had company until he stopped for a brief bit of bladder relief before the last steep climb to Turret. He saw us coming and took off like a jack rabbit. The last time I saw him before the finish was as he was heading back from Turret, with maybe a 3 to 4 minute lead. He looked really strong. Ryan gapped me a bit on the descent to Turret and had about a minute on me at the turn, which I went through in 1:31.

As usual the descent beat me up pretty good, and I was beginning to feel like I'd be happy with a third-place finish as I was climbing back out of Turret watching Ryan grow his lead. Nick Pedatella was looking good in fourth, probably five minutes or so back on me, with another guy I didn't recognize in close pursuit followed shortly after by Keri who was looking focused and strong - pretty much the opposite of how I was feeling at this stage. The grind out of Turret wasn't as bad as I had anticipated and before I knew it we were back on the Ute Trail at the 16.5 mile point. I concentrated on maintaining a strong pace through the descent to the jeep-track turn, and was surprised to catch sight of Ryan who looked like he had about four minutes on me.

I was starting to get a few cramp twinges in my right thigh and knew that I would have to slow down or face the consequences. I was not prepared for the hot, sunny day and would have benefited from some salt caps to fend off the cramping. I was also dealing with a bit of a side stitch and my groin was beginning to scream at me. Third, I was beginning to think, would most definitely be a result at this stage. I knew the worst of the course was to come, but I would have to get through a couple more rolling climbs first. I focused on maintaining a pace that wouldn't lead me into a cramping abyss, and was pretty much reduced to a crawl on the last few climbs. I was also spending a lot of time looking over my shoulder for oncoming runners.

Credit: Chaffee County Runners ('08 race)

As expected, the descent was grueling, slow and painful. I chuckled to myself as I passed the rock we had jacked the truck up on. I had been eagerly awaiting this point as I knew it was no more than four miles into the finish from here. I continued my over-the-shoulder vigilance through the remaining miles and was surprised that nobody was coming into view. By the time I got back to the county road, a mile or so from the finish, I was confident that third was in the bag. However, one last look over my shoulder revealed that I was indeed being caught. I made out the skinny frame of Nick and put on the jets to make sure he didn't catch me. Fortunately he was about as far back on me as I had to the finish line. I crossed in 3:24 and change feeling pretty well beat up. Nick crossed a minute later, followed by Rick Hessek and Keri, maybe 20 minutes later. She looked like she'd had a rough return leg. Total elevation gain according to my watch was about 3,500 feet, but it's not the ups that get you in this one, it's most definitely the downs.

Ryan and Tim must have killed the descent, posting 3:11 and 3:03 finish times respectively. Tim crushed the course record, while Ryan was just two minutes back on the previous mark. Having set a goal of getting in under 3:30, I was happy with my time, but couldn't help thinking that I could easily have gone under 3:20 if I'd had salt with me. Lesson learned.

Chaffee County Runners do a great job putting on this event. It is super low key, the course is well marked, the aid stations well stocked and the post-race stews were a treat. To top it all off, I received a wonderful print of an old mine shaft made by John Macmanus, a local artist and member of the race committee, for my third-place finish. Salida was shining in all its glory today, and it seems like a great place to hang out, browse the local artisan stores and launch into the mountains.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Salida, Two Days Away

Leaving for Salida tomorrow. Picking up Chad in Loveland around noon from where we'll make the three-hour trip to Chaffee County. We're planning on camping on the course not far from the start, and will probably do a recon drive through as much of the course as possible once we get there.

According to a recent email from the race diretcor, the course looks to be clear of snow and ice, although the weather forecast is calling for snow and rain for much of the day tomorrow, so we'll see what we end up with. The course looks to be a steady 2,000 foot climb through the first eight miles or so, with rolling hills to the 12-mile turn around back to the jeep-track turn-off, from where the course drops and returns to Salida. The worst underfoot conditions, assuming no snow, are on this section with some pretty loose and steep sections, according to Jeff O who has run the course a number of times.

I'm hoping last year's winner, Ryan Burch, will be there as we're pretty equally matched pace-wise. However, with no published entrant list, there is no way of knowing who'll be there, so the only goal is to get under 3:30 and to get a good read on my current level of fitness. Good luck to anyone reading who's going to be racing.

Also, good luck to all Way Too Cool runners racing this weekend. This one is shaping up to be an all out sprint. When you've got the likes of Scott Jaime hoping for a top ten finish, you know it's going to be fast.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pikes Peak

The scene at the top in '08. Credit: Ted Mahon

Registration for the Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon begins tomorrow.

From what I understand, it is as much a race to get registered as it is to run the thing. If I run it, I think I would rather do the ascent than the full to avoid hammering my body through the 13 miles and 8,000 feet of descent. However, demand for the 1,800 ascent places has been so great in recent years that it supposedly fills in minutes. If I fail to get into the ascent when registration opens in the morning it would mean trying again in the afternoon for one of 800 marathon spots when that registration comes online. I guess I'll have to make up my mind pretty quick about whether or not to register for the marathon if I fail to get into the ascent, but I think I'll just wait for next year.

Anyway, the point of the post is to remind people of the looming registration. So good luck to anyone reading and setting up to register tomorrow.

Edit: Turns out the ascent wave I is typically the last to sell out (1-2 months), and it is the marathon and wave-II-ascent registrations that require lightning-fast keyboard skills. I'm now thinking I may try and register for the marathon. Anyway, much more informed Pikes registration info here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week Ending March 8

Mon - 10.5 miles easy (800 ft). 1:27. On the Blue Sky trail. Felt sluggish and generally lethargic.

Tues - 12 miles (2,500 ft). 1:49. Mill Creek route. Felt slow and sluggish again.

Weds - 9 miles. 1:04. Crazy windy outside again, so jumped on the mill for an interval session. Warmed up with two at 7mph, then did 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 at 10mph (max on my underpowered mill) with 1 lap between each interval at 8 mph. One mile cool down at 7mph. I don't know if my mill is poorly calibrated, but 6 minute miles on it feel harder than they usually do at the track. Maybe I'm just not in racing shape yet after a winter of running hills at a slow pace.

Thurs - 9 miles (1,300 feet). 1:19. Spring Creek to Stout to Sawmill to Loggers to Carey Springs to Towers to Herrington to Spring Creek, Soderburg, Horsetooth and home. Felt fresh and strong. Took it easy, pushing in places.

Fri - 8.5 miles on the mill. 60 mins. In wanting to lay off the hills, I am pretty much forced onto the treadmill as there is very little flat out my front door, and certainly no sustained flat. I am growing to appreciate the treadmill as I use it more, even if the first couple of miles are always excruciating. Anyway, I wanted 60 minutes easy today, but after two miles I was so bored I had to start playing around and decided to do a progression-type fartlek instead. Starting at 8mph, I cranked it up .5 per mile, holding 10mph for a mile and a half before dropping back down to 7:30s for ten minutes, and finishing up with a lap each at 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10, 9, 8.

Sat - 9 miles easy at Deer Mountain with Chad (1,800 ft).

Sun am - 13 miles easy around Horsetooth with Pete, Kemp, Alex and Mary (2,500 feet).
Sun pm - 4 miles easy with Alene, Jeff and Felix around City Park cemetery.

Total - 75 miles (8,900 vertical).

Ran more than planned this week as I have been feeling so good physically. I decided early in the week to revert back to the original mini-taper plan for Salida. Will take all runs easy this week, with a quality session on Weds.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Deer Mountain

Took a trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park today to run up and around Deer Mountain. The park is only 40 minutes from my house so no excuses not to get up there and take advantage of it.

Met Chad at six and we carpooled the 25 miles or so up to the park. We were greeted by snow about half way to Estes and by the time we got to the park, it looked like a couple of inches had accumulated. I bitched about being tired of running on snow-laden trails, which is a bit silly because we've had barely any snow all winter. The elk were out in force once we got into the park.

The Deer Mountain trailhead is at about 8,800 feet. As we were zig-zagging our way up a steep meadow in the early going, a bunch of elk came into view and we got to watch a couple of impressive bulls run at full tilt across the trail 20 meters ahead of us. Its amazing how gracefully these animals negotiate mountainous terrain - if only I had their form!

Through the rest of the climb the snow continued to fall and the dusting on top of the trail covered rutted ice underneath, making the going underfoot very treacherous. Despite the snow, it was a perfect morning; not much below freezing and totally still. The trail topped out at the 10,013-foot summit, which sat in the trees. There are supposed to be great views of the Continental Divide from the plateau near the top but we were shrouded in mist, so missed that.

Just a short, but steep, spur to the top.

Chad hanging out at 10,013 feet.

We had originally planned to do the full loop for 12 to 13 miles, but the trail heading on from the peak was deep in snow. It didn't look like it had seen any traffic in quite a while so we turned around and headed back the way we had come. Despite taking it super easy on the way down, we both managed to take a couple of spills. Some kind of traction device would definitely have helped.

It was just six miles out and back so we decided to try and tack on some miles on the lower trails, hooking up with a trail to the Aspenglen campground. After a couple of miles of on and off running on terrain that was at times icy and slopy, at times decent, and at other times drifted deep in snow, we quit and ran back to the car on rte 34 for nine hard-earned miles and maybe 2,000 feet of climbing.

On the way back down, near Drake, we saw a bunch of big horn sheep hanging out by the side of the road, as they tend to do.

The snow made its way down to Fort Collins by the afternoon, finally giving us a bit of much-needed moisture.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fort Collins Running Club: Best Value in Town

Dana and I have been managing the Tortoise and Hare (T&H) racing series for the Fort Collins Running Club for a couple of years now, and it has always been great value, especially for members. This year, the ante has been upped, and I think the board's decision to make all races free for members has made this series perhaps the best value in Northern Colorado, if not the country.

The T&H is a series of five handicapped races that get longer as the series progresses, from 4k to 10k. Runners' previous times are run through an algorithm that spits out predicted times for the next race in addition to a handicap that in theory gives every runner an equal chance of being first across the finish line. Points are awarded to the top ten finishers and accumulated through the series. At the end of the series, the top three in the standings win checks of $30, $20 and $10 made out to the local running store of their choice. That's right, members get the chance to make 60 bucks (two series per year) plus enjoy ten free races. The club is essentially paying its members to get out there and race while socializing with like-minded individuals.

At the start/finish of the Spring Creek 6k

And there's more. Not only do members get to race for free on the first Sunday of every month, but they are also treated to a free post-race breakfast at Gibbs Bagel, all for $20 in annual membership dues. And the benefits don't end there. Membership also gets you a subscription to Colorado Runner, a 15 percent discount at Fort Collins' two running stores (Foot of the Rockies and Runners Roost), $15 off the entry to the Horsetooth Half Marathon and $5 off the July 4th FireKracker 5k (both owned by the club), and a free Christmas brunch at Avogadro's Number. I am sure you would be hard pressed to find a better running deal anywhere in the country.

Any local runners looking to get in a monthly speed workout for next to no cost should consider joining the club. Also, check out Felix Wong's website for a blow-by-blow account of last weekend's race, in addition to his archived reports from months and years prior.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Week Ending March 1

Mon - Off

Tues - 8 miles (1,650 ft). 1:12. Was going to take Tuesday off as well, but it was such a nice day out that I really wanted to get out and see how things felt. After slight soreness through the first couple of miles, the groin felt the best it has in weeks once warmed up. This is the fourth run I have done, including a 22 miler on Sunday, since starting my stretching and strengthening program, and remarkably things have gotten better than I ever could have hoped for in such a short period of time.

Weds - 8 miles (1,650 ft). 1:15. Another promising run with little groin pain once warmed up.

Thurs - 10.5 miles (850ft). 1:15:48. Out and back on the Blue Sky trail to the Coyote Ridge intersection from home. 37:00 out and 38:48 back. The majority of the climbing is in the last two miles, so I was pretty happy to run relatively even splits at a decent clip.

Fri - 10 miles. 1:15. Ridiculously windy outside, so ran 10 on the mill. Started out doing a mile at 7mph, then increased by 0.1 each lap to 10mph, dropping 0.5 per lap from there to 8mph for the last mile and a half. Although only a 7:30 average, the steady build up in pace turned out to be a good workout. I got the idea from a workout Scott Jaime wrote about on his website this week. It's called the 'cut down' or 'Kenyan' and you're supposed to hold the max pace once you hit it for however much time is left of the 75 minute run. I didn't want to push my luck so backed down after maxing out at 10mph.

Sat - 15 miles (5,000 ft). 3:20ish. Two loops up to Greyrock with Eric, Pete, Kyle, Katy C and Brian.

Sun - 2 miles. Setting up Tortoise & Hare 6k course.

Total.............. 53.5 miles with 9,150 feet of vertical
Feb. Total.... 259.5 miles with 40,350 feet of vertical

With a late decision to run Greyrock on Saturday, I ran more vertical than I had planned for the week, but managed to keep the mileage where I wanted it with two weeks to the Salida Marathon. My groin has been pretty good the whole week and the stretching really seems to help. I was a bit sore after running Greyrock on Saturday so was satisfied with a real easy two miles Sunday morning while setting up the Spring Creek 6k for the Fort Collins Running Club's Tortoise & Hare series.

Feb spending

Looks like the early season is proving to be a bit more expensive than I expected. Just trying to do my bit for the running sector of the economy.

Feb 6 - New altimeter watch (Highgear Axis). $73. I finally caved and got myself a techno-watch. Tired of trying to figure out vertical gain from maps, I had been wanting an altimeter watch for a while. The Axis not only provides elevation readings based on barometric pressure, but also gives accumulated gain over a run, in addition to other features such as a compass, thermometer, barometric gauge, weather forecast and 100-lap chrono. Oh, and it tells the time and has an alarm too. Got it new off ebay for less than half the retail price of $150.
Feb 7 - 50 miles to Bobcat Ridge via Stove Prairie @ $1.7 per gallon = $4.
Feb 10 - Chiropractor visit. $30 copay.
Feb 16 - Chiropractor visit. $30 copay. Felt good after the readjustments, but the chiropractor wanted me to sign up for a three-month program of treatments with the purchase of almost $300 in exercise equipment on top. Took a pass. There's a full-blown recession on, man!
Feb 19 - Salida Marathon Reg. $40
Feb 20 - Picked up at Devil's Backbone. 20 miles = $1.50
Feb 21 - Asics Kahana II from Sports Authority. $52. These are working out to be decent shoes with great support, although not great on technical terrain.
Feb 22 - Vasque Velocity from Wilderness Running. $51. Another heavy and supportive shoe, but much better on technical terrain than the Asics. Got these at a steal after trying the same shoe at REI for size. REI wanted $120.
Feb 28 - 35 miles to and from Vern's Place = $2.50


Car miles: $8
Race Fees: $40
Shoes: $103
Gear: $73
Doc: $60

Jan ......... $456
Feb ......... $284
To date ... $740