Monday, May 10, 2010

Week Ending May 9 (WS - 7 Weeks)

Mon - Noon: 7 miles (800'). Super easy on Valley Trails.
PM: 7 miles easy at Pineridge, last two with Dana/Alistair (on his bike).

Tues - Noon: 5 miles easy (1,000'). Super easy again. Falls loop.
PM - 6.5 miles (1,200'). Super easy again with FCTR group.

Weds - Noon: 9 miles (2,300'). Horsetooth/Audra long route. Easy again. Felt a bit of pep.

Thurs - Noon: 5 miles easy (1,000'). Falls loop.
PM: 9.5 miles (1,800). Towers Road handicap. 2.5 miles to Soderburg TH, then hard effort on Towers. Up in a surprisingly easy PR and new FKT (29:27). Legs definitely felt fresher than they have in a while after a couple of very easy days. That combined with the fact that I had Eric pushing me from the start, I was able to maintain a consistently strong effort up the hill. Eric PR'd, going under 30 mins and the old FKT, ten seconds back on me. Still didn't feel like I was in overdrive, so starting to think that 28:xx, maybe even 27-high, is in the cards this summer once I drop the mileage post WS100 and focus on quality Pikes training.

Fri - Noon: 9 miles (2,300'). Horsetooth/Audra long route. Easy, easy.

Sat - 25.5 miles (8,200'). Crosier Triple Bagger with Mike. An out and back from each of three trailheads to the top of Crosier Mountain (9,250'). Went at a moderate yet steady effort the whole way on this one. Climbs go: 3150', 2500', 2200', over 5, 3.8, and 4 mile legs respectively. Half mile, 500' summit grunts in 9:08, 7:57, 7:30.

Mike hits the summit

Summit elev.

Requisite summit shot.
Total climb on the day.

Not that I really need a watch to give me a visual representation of what I've just run, but strangely satisfying to look at.

Sun - 18.5 miles (1,000'). From home, 14 miles to Laporte via 38e/Centennial/Foothills trail/Laporte Ave/Overland, then hooked in to the Fort Collins Marathon on the bike paths at the 21.5-mile point. Stopped at the 23-mile point to chat with Bryan and Dan Goding, who were out watching on their bikes, then ran with Sam Malmberg for a bit before stopping again to chat with Brooks Williams who was waiting for his Dad to come by. Saw Pete coming soon after, so jumped back in and ran the last three miles at 6:40 trying to keep a clear path for him through the half marathoners. I counted 50+ in the last mile alone, which is not an ideal set-up for front-running marathoners by any stretch of the imagination. Pete cruised to a huge PR, finishing 13th, right on his 2:54 goal and chopping exactly an hour off his time from two years ago. Solid.

Pete bringing it. Photo: Mike Hinterberg

Ran with Alistair in the kids race, followed by lunch and a stroll with Dana and Alistair in town, then out for a three-hour hike at Horsetooth with Alistair, Chad & Isaac. Fun day.

Total: 102 miles (19,600').

So this was a good week. Turned a bit of a corner on Tuesday after indulging a bit here about feeling tired. Took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday super easy, and by Thursday felt rested enough for a hard effort up Towers, where I shaved a chunk of time from my PR. Easy on Friday, then a big day of climbing and descending at a comfortable pace on Saturday, followed by a beautiful Sunday morning running the reservoir roads into the very north end of town, hopping in on a little marathon action, running with my son, celebrating Mother's Day with the family at the Stonehouse, and then giving Mom the afternoon off with a long hike up to Horsetooth.

It didn't feel like I was pushing the miles at all this week. I was planning a big weekend, so took that as an opportunity to rest midweek. Feeling a little sore in a few spots today - but in a good way - so will go easy again through the week, I think, and then run hard on Friday and hopefully do something long on Saturday or Sunday. We'll see. Anyway, four more weeks to iron out the fitness before the heavy lifting is done, and then 20 taper days to make sure the hay in the barn is dry enough to eat (mixing my metaphors, and stealing a line from AJW).

So while I was much more relaxed about volume this week, I would be a liar if I said I wasn't targeting 100 miles. If nothing else, it represents my tenth straight week in triple-digit land. Obviously the fixation with banging out 100-mile weeks is as much psychological as it is anything else, but then racing 100 miles is probably as much mental as it is physical, so the confidence factor is huge. On that note, I'd say that right now I'm feeling as physically and mentally tough as I have throughout this whole process, so I'm hoping that I can ride these last few weeks out and bring it all with me come race day - all while trying to keep the rest of life's challenges and duties (which get short shrift on this blog) in some kind of balance.


  1. Hey Nick,

    I was the guy that said "Are you Nick Clark?" on the bike path. Been reading your blog for a little while, didn't want to pass up the opportunity to say hi (which I don't think I actually did as I ran by). So...hi. :)

    What do you know about the Blue Sky 50k? I'm thinking of signing up. The course pics are few, but it looks nice. Trying to decide on a marathon/50k for the fall - preferably on trails.

    Take care,

  2. Hey Shaun - thanks for the shout out, and hi. Congrats on your run this weekend.

    This I can tell you about the Blue Sky 50k: it is not happening this year. Partly my fault, as I have been badgering the organizers all winter into choosing between the marathon and the 50k. The races are so similar in distance and route that it seemed a little silly to chop up the field between the two races. Anyway, the race committee decided to ditch the 50k and keep to their original race - the marathon.

    The marathon is a great event, and the course is a lot more challenging than it appears on paper. The route is 100% dirt and 90% singletrack. Definitely recommended.

  3. That's some serious vertical on 25.5 miles. Thanks for posting that ;-)

  4. Nick - A big "attaboy" to Alistair out there - he was killing it - and had to be top ten in an impressive field of kiddos. Although I think he is now out of the running for the "never been chicked" award.:-( Better to get it over with early - a good life lesson. By the way, That's my son in the red shirt hanging onto the side of your hat)!

  5. Nick,
    I was thinking of a Crosier Triple this weekend and actually checked your old post from last year when you and Burch did it in just under 5 hours. After seeing your blog today, now I gotta do it (need a change of scenery from the Htooth/Lory/BlueSky). Hopefully this snowstorm will melt away by the weekend. Wanted to let you know I saw a mtn lion on Stout at 5am (in the dark) 2 weeks ago. After a brief stand off, no harm done. I guess that is why most don't start their runs at 4am like I typically do. Sounds like training for WS shaping up well for you and Pete. We (FoCos) are expecting big things from you guys (not like you won't have a little competition out there). Thanks for sharing your trail adventures.

    Brother Pine
    BH100 minus 6 weeks

  6. Rick - thanks for helping me figure out how to use the watch properly, doh! I'd previously figured the route was closer to 7k, so I'll take the bonus.

    Travis - yeah, it was a fun event for the kids. I can't believe how many were out there running. Looks like your boy had a blast too. See you tonight if you're planning on being at Reservoir Ridge.

    BP - The climbs on Crosier are just reasonable enough on the mileage front that doing all three seems manageable as you go one by one, and then when you're done it turns out to be a pretty significant outing. Great views of the Estes valley/mountains from the top - only Signal is better in my opinion among the lower-elev peaks.

    Thanks for the heads up on cat activity. I only ever see the evidence - there was a half eaten deer leg just off the main Reservoir Ridge trail last week, and there was the upper half of a carcass on Spring Creek (near Stout) sitting there last year for weeks. Saw a gnawed out neck this weekend on Crosier too, not to mention this at my neighbors house last year. Through the winter, I'll see tracks up on Westridge, so no doubt in my mind that they're out there watching. Not quite sure what I would do face to face though. Sounds like you were pretty calm about the whole interaction. I figure there's enough deer at Horsetooth to keep them from dropping their standards and eating a runner. Not much meat on these bones.

    We'll see on that WS thing. Pete looks to be in great shape, so he'll definitely surprise a few people.

  7. Cool run on Crosier, great route and good workout. You're setting up really strong for WS, not to mention Green and Jemez.
    Thanks for waiting for me! I didn't know I was on video, or I would have done something cooler (e.g., vomit on command, which is what I felt like doing???) Mostly, though, thanks for sharing a good run.

    Cool to see you and Pete out on Sunday as well. Cheers!