Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week Ending November 14

Mon - Noon: 6 miles (500') easy. Valley.
PM: 4.5 miles (700') easy. Falls loop.

Tues - Noon: 4.5 miles (700') easy. Falls loop.
PM: 10 miles track. Temps dropped today and we got our first bit of snow of the season up at 6,000', but it was just rain in town. At the track in the dark, the weather was actually pretty pleasant. Dakota, Frank and David had already started their workouts, but they hopped in with Chris and I as we got started with the first set of 400s. Workout went 6x400, 4x800, 6x400 with 200 between intervals and 600 between sets. 1 mile w-u, 2 mile c-d. Goal was 75 on 400s and 2:40 on 800s: 77, 76, 74, 74, 74, 73; 2:39, 2:39, 2:40, 2:40; 75, 76, 75, 76, 74, 74. Felt sluggish and uncoordinated. Had to work a bit for the last three 400s, but got 'em done. Another trip to the oval successfully in the books, however, I still feel like a lumbering mountain jogger out there.

Weds - 8 miles (1,600') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Sawmill - Loggers - Herrington, Spring Creek, Soderberg - home.

Thurs - AM: 8 miles (2,200'). Towers easy (39:00). Got out for the first real snow run of the fall/winter season. Two to three inches of soft pow-pow overnight so blazed the trail up Towers with five others from the FCTR group. Really quite nice out, but donned the ballet gear anyway.
PM: 8 miles easy with FCTR social gang in the snow around Pineridge.

Fri - 11 miles easy (2,400') with Aaron. Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Loggers - Carey Springs - Towers - Secret Trail - Westridge - Southridge - Soderberg. Bit of crunch and slop in places from Wednesday snow, but beautiful bluebird day out. Cracked the whip on Aaron up the last couple of grunts on Towers.

Sat - 19 miles (2,000') w/ 2x6 miles @ tempo. 2:15. Jogged the 2 miles down to Redstone Canyon with Dakota from my house, then we went 6:30, 6:25, 6:22, 6:30, 7:00, 6:38, 6:36 up the hill, jogging the last half mile out and back, before going 6:22, 6:21, 6:16, 6:10, 6:01, 5:48 back down to 38e. Warmed down via Milner Mountain and took the long way up and around my neighborhood. Tough workout.

Sun - 12.5 miles (3,100') easy w/Aaron. To south summit of Horsetooth, then Westridge - Mill Creek - Loggers - Carey Springs - Towers - Herrington - Spring Creek - Soderberg. Plenty of snow still on the ground. Beautiful out.

Total: 91.5 miles (13,200')

Another good week, although slightly heavier mileage and vertical than planned. Couple of strong workouts in there with another successful trip to the oval on Tuesday and a hard tempo effort at Redstone on Saturday. Rest of the week was mainly jogging.

Will look to put in another higher mileage week before backing off the week of the FoCo Turkey trot, a rendition of which I have yet to miss since moving to Colorado. I have seen an improvement over the 4 mile course each year I have raced, so to keep the streak alive I intend to treat it as a mini-goal race. Pretty confident that I'll go faster than the 22 flat I ran last year. I also feel like I may have my first semi-legitimate shot at taking down Top American in a road race, so want to maximize those chances by starting somewhat fresh.

Exciting stuff setting up for the North Face 50. There appear to be some legitimately fast road guys going up against 4 or 5 of the best endurance trail guys in the country, one or two of the better European ultra guys, and even the best mountain runner of our generation thrown in to the mix. The list is deep on all fronts, and really, it looks like a major toss up, which should make for some seriously good racing. Kind of wish I was heading out there, except it's in December (!) and I was done racing a couple of months ago. Still, it'll be fun to watch from the sidelines. As will the women's race, by the way, which looks to be almost as intriguing.

Predictions? No clue in the men's race, except to say that I think the winner will come from the ranks of the ultra specialists. I'm pulling for recent FoCo arrival, and training partner, Dakota Jones to register the upset. The women's race looks to be between Kami Semick and Ellie Greenwood, with perhaps Devon Crosby Helms, Meghan Arbogast and Tracey Garneau having an outside shot too. Having said that, there are a bunch of other ladies who could be in contention, in what looks to be a refreshingly competitive women's field.


  1. Sir Nick,
    Do you use a Garmin for the run data?
    And who is the best mountain runner of our generation? Carpenter?


  2. Matt - I use a Highgear altimeter watch for vert, and pretty much know mileage for every route on my local trails.

    If Mount Washington is the measure of a mountain runner, then the greatest of our generation is Kiwi Jonathan Wyatt, by quite a margin. However, I would wager that Matt C is the greatest high-altitude mountain runner in recent history. With that said, I (and many others) would love to see what Kilian Jornet could do on, say, Pikes Peak.

  3. Of course. I should've guessed knowing he was entered. Definitely a case of wishful thinking, that MC was SF-bound!

    Following GZ has given me a little perspective on recent Pikes; I do wonder why more truly greats (like Wyatt) haven't run Pikes against MC (certainly I am not saying that MC is running against slouches by any stretch); any thoughts? And now as MC is in the twilight, too bad Tony or Kilian, et al, didn't go toe-to-toe with the Manitou monster.

  4. Not sure on Pikes. Might be the altitude factor, purse may not be generous enough. That said, there have been plenty of great runners who have come and been humbled over the years. Then dudes like Glenn Randall come out of seemingly nowhere and destroy a world class field. Mountain running at altitude is unpredictable, to say the least.

    On Tony and Pikes, I'm pretty sure he'll be taking a stab at it soon enough, and I'm pretty sure that in hindsight he wishes it would have been this year. MC was there for the taking.

  5. WS100 the world champion ultra? Hmm, NF50 has a pretty good case to be made based on their entry list.

  6. Talked with Mackey on Saturday and he thinks Jonathan Wyatt will win. Can't wait to watch it online.... wait, do they have it online

  7. It was a few years back, but Wyatt does have a 2:13 marathon, and I can't imagine him coming to something like this in less than top form.
    Who are some of the fast roadies to watch?

  8. GZ - I think the 50-mile distance makes the race a little more accessible to non-ultra guys, plus the entry procedure is not nearly as convoluted as WS. I would agree that the field is more competitive at NF50, but for the 100-mile distance there is no race in this country more competitive than WS, yet.

    Scott - I just don't see Wyatt winning. He doesn't seem to be as unbeatable as he was a few years ago, and against this competition I think it's going to be hard for a first-time 50 miler (I'm assuming this is his first ultra) to run the perfect race. As you know, it takes a while to figure out all the variables.

    Rick - Justin has a piece coming out soon for RT that will have the complete run-down, but among the returning guys, you have Chris Lundstrom and Uli Steidl who are both sub-2:20 runners. I believe there are a couple of other mid-2:20 guys on the start list too. Then there is Olympic marathoner Jonathan Wyatt (2:17 Athens)...

  9. oh sure, put my name next to all your easy runs. just wait until chubby cheeks, your legs will be tired and i'm in full-on taper mode.

    and i'm taking the shortcuts.

  10. NF50 still taking registrations? Top off a potential UROY year? Yes? Just kidding, I know you have your priorities. Plus you got to taper for Chubby Cheeks. Dakota all the way! FoCo rules this year!

  11. Lumbering mountain jogger??? I don't think you can really classify pulling down 74 second 400's as lumbering or jogging, especially knocking them off after that many previous 400's and 800's. That seems pretty dang fast to me, and most lumbering mountain joggers I know (myself included for sure) wouldn't have been able to currently pull off that track workout. Nicely done...kind of wish we were going to be in town for the FoCo 4 miler again this year to see all the action and to watch my wife beat you this time:)...but we'll be in Utah doing a much less competitive 5K.

    As far as predictions, I'm kind of leaning toward placing my bet on Tony at this point. The dude just has such a sick mileage bank. I realize that didn't end up sealing the deal at WS, but if I were to bet I'd probably put my money on him. Would be really cool to see Dakota just throw down a huge W there though and show everyone how a teenager can get it done...(is he still in his teens?)

  12. Ha - talking smack for your wife, I like it. However, I'm pretty sure I'd come out ahead again. Hoping to get out in front of the action in the women's race this year, anyway.

    Tony is as good a bet as any, but only if he can lay off the mileage from here on in. Guys (and gals) in the sport of ultrarunning are so hardwired to pound out mileage that they have a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot by significantly underestimating the taper. I think Tony is probably the poster boy for that. If I'm remembering correctly, he ran something like 160 miles in the second-to-last week before Leadville. Madness!

  13. :) she probably doesn't like me doing that. (but I can't talk it for myself so I have to have someone to talk it for!) Yeah...I think you would have had her for sure again this year...I doubt she would have gone under 22 at the current moment.

    I agree on the mileage just from observation.