Sunday, April 4, 2010

Week Ending April 4 (WS - 11 weeks)

A little more action from Antelope Island. At the 25k turn.

Alistair running his own race

Mon - AM: 16.5 miles easy (2,000'). 2:30. With PI-S teammate Josh Brimhall at Bootleg Canyon (Henderson).
PM: 6.5 miles (1,000') easy up a canyon near Redrock Canyon.

Up yonder... a wash where the trail dead ended. I followed the wash for a while, but tired of it and turned around to retrace my steps back to the car.
Name the burger.
Best burgers in the West. A mouth full for sure.

Tues - AM: 10 miles easy at Cottonwood Valley in Redrock Natural Area. Ended up running with a guy called Peter after being laughed at for setting cairns to make sure I wouldn't get lost. No trail maps available anywhere so I was just making sure, despite the general openness of the area and presumed ease of navigation. Mileage is a total guess based on time out.

Black Velvet Canyon is a favorite for trad rock climbers. Peter was positively salivating as he was describing the various routes up the face.

Back at the trailhead

PM: 4.5 miles progression on the treadmill.

Weds - AM: 12.5 miles at Cottonwood Valley. Got lost near the end of my loop, but not majorly. Had to do a bit of bushwhacking to get back to the car, but the vegetation and landscape were pretty open so it was easy to get to where I needed to be.
PM - 8 miles @ 8:00 on the TM.

Month: 488 miles (70,000')

Thurs - AM: 12.5 miles (1,800') at Redstone Canyon with Josh. Randomly bumped into, and ran with, an employee of the Boulder Running Company along the way.
PM: 4.5 miles easy on the TM.

Fri - 7.5 miles (1,200'). Despite 11 hours and 800 miles of roadtrippin' from Las Vegas to the Fort, I managed to talk Dana and Alistair into letting me indulge with an early stop-off in St. George to meet and run with Wilderness Running owner, Stacy Young, on his local trails. I continued my clumsy week by falling twice, after stumbling through Monday's run with Josh at Bootleg Canyon, but really enjoyed the opportunity to run some great trail and also keep my current running streak alive. Stacy has a sweet set-up from his front door with miles of 'Zen' slickrock-type trails and an unknown number of dirt miles in the valley below. The views of Signal Mountain from the Zen trails were fantastic and got me excited at the prospect of getting up Fort Collins' Signal Peak in the next few weeks as the higher elevations open up.

So anyway, I ran with two friends on this trip out to the desert and we have all recently purchased homes in our various locales. The common denominator being proximity to trails. I think Stacy has the closest access, with maybe a .3-mile warm up, followed closely by Josh and myself with about a half mile to our respective trailheads. Location, location, location.

800 miles and not a single meltdown.

Sat - 11 miles (2,200'). Wow, haven't felt this tired on a run in I don't know how long. The legs never kicked into gear so I was stuck on the small cog the whole way around. Went Horsetooth - Westridge - 'secret trail' - Towers - Westridge - Horsetooth - Audra - Southridge - home. I had planned some bonus mileage and vertical but kept the route direct as I was feeling so beat.
PM - 5.5 miles setting up T&H course with Alex M. at Pineridge.

Sun - AM: 5 miles on the Pineridge T&H course to make sure markings were still okay. Last race in the 09/10 series, so five months off for me. Decent turnout (20 runners) given it was Easter. My neighbor Amy showed everyone how it was done, running the fastest time of the day, beating Felix by two one-hundredths of a second.

Katie P and her very large dog, Griffin.
Club president Paul Patterson sets off in this handicapped race. If you look closely at the left cone, you'll see that Griffin mistook it for a tree trunk!
Ten-time Leadville finisher Jonathan Zeif sets off. All photos: Felix Wong

PM: 12 miles easy (2,700'). Service drive to bench - Falls - Spring Creek - Soderburg - Horsetooth - Westridge loop via Towers/secret trail - Horsetooth - Audra - Southridge back up to Horsetooth intersection and down via Horsetooth. Home the long way. Heading out to Towers on Westridge, I bumped into a couple of runners and their dog who was laying in a patch of snow. Concerned that the dog might be dehydrated (which she wasn't - just likes snow), I stopped to chat. Turns out the runners were from out of town (Boulder and Ouray) and had checked out this here bloggy for some trail beta. Turns out the girl's name is Audra, which is also the name of a connector trail at Horsetooth that I ply on a regular basis, and the pair were off to get a picture of Audra and Audra. Always great to see runners out enjoying the park, especially those from out of town.

Total: 116 miles (11,900')

Another solid week with some great variety and runs in three different states. Got to love that. I put in 488 miles in March, which is a few short of the mileage I ran last May before Bighorn, and a number I hope to eclipse in May of this year. Currently at five straight 100-mile weeks, and I was definitely feeling it at times this week. The run on Saturday was pure torture, but then Sunday I felt great, and so it goes. Right and left Achilles have been giving me a bit of grief, but more of a simmer than a full-on inferno. Will look to run in the 100-mile range again in the week upcoming and then take a down week leading up to Fruita.


  1. I am hoping that header photo is behind us. Nice on the miles. Very very nice.

  2. Nice vacation! Yeah, trails are frustratingly close to clear here up around 7500-8K+ but in that nasty skating rink stage depending when you get out...

  3. Love the consistency. Looking strong. I ran the World of Hurt race in Bootleg Canyon in '08. Nice trails. I love the summit where you can look off at Vegas in the distance. And yes, those trails encourage stumbling.

    Keep it up!

  4. George - I'm betting there's a least one more dump left, but yeah, should probably look to get something a little more spring-like up top.

    Patrick - My running at Horsetooth is between 5,700' and 7,300', and as of yesterday we were about 90% clear. Champing at the bit for those 8-11k elevations to fully open up. Can't be long now.

  5. Matt, yeah, there are some great views of Lake Mead from the Boulder City TH too. Nice trails, but a little too twisty, turny and rocky for my tastes.

  6. Hey Nick, glad to see you're doing well. John and I have set a date for our wedding - the 11th Sept....a week before the Great North Run if you're interested!!! Would be great to see you, Dana and Alistair but totally understand if you can't make it....

  7. Alistair is growing faster than you can run, old man!
    You're knocking out some great miles. Nice photos.