Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week Ending Nov. 15

Mon - Off

Tues - 9 miles (1,900'). HTH course in 58:32. Legs felt good heading to the park, so I decided to time-trial the Horsetooth Mtn 8-mile race course. Earlier in the year, I raced the course in 53:57, and today I was hoping to get around in under an hour at tempo pace. I probably worked a little harder than tempo to get around in 58:32. Based on how I was feeling, I definitely feel like I've lost a step or two from the summer, but not a huge amount. This sets up well for a big winter of base miles, followed by some spring sharpening and then more miles as I build to whatever 100-mile race becomes the focus for 2010. Splits: Service drive to trail: 7:35, 2-mile point: 19:30, to Towers: 35:00, to loop end: 53:05.

Weds - 6 miles easy (1,600'). No watch. Straight up and down Horsetooth from home. Coming back down the service drive, heard the familiar sound of a rattler rattling. Not quite sure what had him stressed, probably me, but until I get bitten by one of these bad boys (knock on wood) I will continue to find them fascinating. Very surprised to see snakes out this late in the season, but I guess they're a bit confused by the mild autumn weather. This one was in the rocks to the side of the trail probably looking for a hole for winter - definitely wouldn't have seen him if he wasn't rattling.

Thurs - 8.5 miles easy, w/1 mile of downhill silliness (2,200). 1:17. Home - Soderburg service drive - Spring Creek - Towers - Westridge - Horsetooth - Home. I nearly always run down Spring Creek, but went up today. Turns out it is one of the better climbs in the park. Probably 1,000' from bottom (intersection w/Soderburg) to top (Towers) in just over 2 miles with a good mix of grunt and steady. Anyway, so I'm out on an easy run, enjoying the day when a young guy comes flying by me towards the end of my run - right at the top of the Horsetooth Rock Trail where it intersects with Wathan. I didn't recognize him and chatted for a bit, but he was in a definite hurry so I let him go and wished him well. As I went by the Westridge turn-off I decided his pace down the technical singletrack looked fun, so I decided to play trail race and hit the gas. He probably had two switchbacks on me at the top of the drop, and it took me until the last switchback before Soderburg to catch him (half a mile). Silly but fun.

Fri - 6 miles easy (1,600'). No watch. Straight up and down Horsetooth.

Sat - 6 miles easy (2,000'). West White Pine.

Sun - 14.5 miles easy, but hard (3,000'). 2:30. Horsetooth outer loop. Yet another slog, breaking tracks in the snow. There had already been traffic as far as Towers from Westridge, so it could have been worse, but Mill Creek, Loggers, Sawmill were all untouched, as were Stout and Spring Creek after I hooked back in off Towers. Managed to complete the planned route without wussing out, so success of sorts, but 20 mins slower than last week and way harder. Felt pretty drained when it was all said and done. Getting tired of the snow already.

Total: 50 miles (12,200'). Another week of hills.


  1. Nice hill work. Considering you've probably done 12,000' of ascent & descent all the climbing has been done in more like 25 miles - you're pushing an average of a 10% grade.
    How are the buttons on your Axis holding up? We've replaced the Axis with a watch more geared twards trailrunning - if the Axis is giving you any problems, I'm sure a replacement can be sent.

  2. Yeah, pretty much no choice with regards to hills where I live - unless I want to run roads, which I don't. Good thing I enjoy running (slowly) uphill.

    On the Axis, I haven't had the guts to take the back off the watch yet, as my last two (non-Highgear) watches I destroyed when trying to fix them. The 'mode' button is still as described before - needs pressure applied in just the right place to work. It makes changing mode on the run close to impossible, but is okay when I am not moving and can focus.

    So what features does the Axis replacement have to make it more trail-run focused? One thing I would love is if the chrono and altimeter were synched so that when you hit stop on the chrono, it automatically stopped the accumulated climb function on the altimeter. Accumulated drop would be nice too.

  3. The Axis' replacement is the Axio Max. You are right on with what you think would make the Axis a better trail/mountain running watch - the Axio Max's chrono and altimeter are combined and work together. The only draw back is that the Axio Max does not have the lap/split option in the CHRONO. It does however, have 10 "runs" that can be saved. You can use these "runs" as laps as well; it's only a matter of pressing a button 2 times instead of one button once.
    So, for the good stuff - in the CHRONO mode the current altitude is always displayed and when you start the chrono it starts the ACC ascent. You cannot see real time ACC ascent, you only see the real time running chrono as well as the current altitude. When you stop and save the "run" you will have the following data - Starting Altitude, ACC Ascent, Highest Altitude reached for that "run" and, of course, duration of the "run." And, yes, if you stop the chrono during a run, it will not record any climbing done during that time. The Axio Max also has a great set of alarms, 2 altitude alarms, a hydration alarm, this is basically a countdown/repeat timer. When this alarm sounds, the word DRINK is displayed on your screen. There's a REST alarm, this is another countdown/repeat timer that will say AWAKE on the screen when it sounds, and there are 2 daily alarms.
    Let me know what you think and I can set you up with the return info. if the Axio Max is something you'd like to try. GZ took me for a run up Green a few months ago and I believe the Axio Max I was wearing showed 2,100' of ACC ascent.