Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week Ending May 15

Mon - Noon: 9 miles (1,900') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Loggers - Carey Springs - Towers - Herrington - Spring Creek - Soderberg - home long.
PM: 8.5 miles (800') easy. Bluesky to Arthurs and back.

Tues - AM: 10 miles track. This workout was Sarah's suggestion and ended up being a nice mix of speed and stamina: 4 (1,600, 400). It's always so hard to get cranking at six in the morning, but then it's also great to be done with your workout by seven. Digits: 5:41, 75, 5:31, 75, 5:24, 75, 5:20, 73.
PM: 7 miles (1,600') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Herrington - Spring Creek - Soderberg - home long. Dead legs, sore throat, crappy run.

Weds - 8 miles (1,900') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Wathan - Rock - Audra - Southridge - home long. Holy hail batman. Hailed pretty much the entire run - think there might have been a mix of snow in there too.
PM: 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls long.

Thurs - 11 miles (1,500') hill tempo. Scared off the trails by two days of rain, my Thursday morning running partners outvoted my pitch for Bluesky in favor of our winter road route: the HTH 5 Mile Out and Back (HTH5MOaB). It was wet, kinda windy, but generally pleasant enough. Out with Scott, Sarah and Tim in a casual 40:38, then back in 31:25 (7:25, 6:17, 6:36, 5:40, 5:25). Doubled back to run the last half mile back in with Sarah.
PM - 8.5 miles easy. On the bike paths with the FCTR crew for the Thursday social run.

Fri - 13 miles (2,000') easy. From Bluesky TH, Bluesky - Valley - Arthurs TH - Arthurs Rock trail to summit - Howard - Mill Creek Link - Valley - Bluesky. Hot. Nice cruiser run.

Sat - 25 miles (3,700') easy. 3:31. Out and back from home to Devil's Backbone in Loveland via Bluesky. All three Loveland-side loops with Indian Summer both ways, then home long. Ran easy with Alex M to the Loveland Ridge, picked it up a touch coming home. Just the warm up for the main event tomorrow.

Sun - 30 miles (10,000'). Round Mountain ladder workout. 5:22 run time, 5:34 total with stops at TH. Okay, so Round Mountain (8,500') is an approximately 3,000' foot climb to the summit over the course of 4.75 miles from the trailhead. Conveniently there are mile markers to the summit, which when combined with the steady and steep climbing nature of the rocky singletrack makes for a great training hill. The plan for this particular morning was to out-and-back from each of the four mile markers, finishing up with a final run at the summit for 29 miles and just under 10k' of climbing (9,750'). As usual, we had a good group show up for the early 5:30 start, despite the socked-in snowy conditions. The goal going in was to run at a steadily decent clip all morning with a slight uptick in effort as the run progressed. An uphill pacing session, I guess. I took splits at each and every mile marker - up and down - to try and make sure I was sticking to the plan.

The up splits: Mile 1 <+580'> (12:43, 11:43, 11:14, 11:24, 11:16); mile 2 <+780'> (12:55, 12:25, 12:15 , 12:24); mile 3 <+460'> (11:41, 11:25, 11:07); mile 4 <+580'> (12:32, 11:45); final .75 <+480'> (10:49).

The down splits: Mile 1 (9:26, 8:45, 8:23, 8:43, 9:02); mile 2 (8:53, 8:19, 8:07, 8:10); mile 3 (10:03, 10:18, 10:17); mile 4 (9:15, 8:56); final .75 (8:21)

Ran the final summit lap in 57:21, a good 7 minutes off my PR, but given the previous 20 miles and 6,500' of climbing and descending, I felt like it was a pretty solid effort. Pooped out on the final 3/4 of a mile to the summit. Total climb on the day, including bonus climbing on the down laps, was exactly 10,000 feet (per my Highgear altimeter). Warmed down with a final half mile out and back to hit 5 figures on the climbing front and a nice round 30 miles on the morning.

The Round Mountain Ladder: 29 miles, 10k'. Courtesy: Pete Stevenson

Final descent. Photo: Rob Erskine.

Punch drunk on vertical: Mr Awesome (Slush). Photo: Alex May.

Pete showing off the Hardrock beard. Photo: Rob Erskine.

Total: 135 miles (24,400').

Another big week (biggest ever in fact) with just three more to go before I start a gradual three-week taper for WS/HR. Today's workout was maybe not the best idea with Jemez just around the corner, but got to keep my eye on the dueling Western States/Hardrock goals. Will definitely take things easy this week in getting ready for Jemez.

Looks like Kilian ran well for the win at the NF100k in Australia against some decent competition this weekend. Tony is running again, and most everyone else on the WS100 start list looks to be in killer shape. Gonna be a barn burner.

Switching things up this week for the Towers workout with a run at Horsetooth Rock. We'll meet at the Upper Horsetooth parking lot at the usual time (a few ticks before six) with the usual handicapping. Choose your route: 3.3 - 3.6 miles & 1,500' climb depending on your route choices.


  1. Good God, man. That's one hell of a week.

  2. That graph is awesome, and must have made it all worthwhile!

  3. You made it look too easy out there today.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Nick,

    You look extremely prepared to meet your goals this year...And you have set a great example for how talented runners can be a huge part of the overall running community by having a great attitude and encouraging all levels to get out and run.

    You are amazing. Thanks for making it easy to follow your exploits and adventures.


    PS...Sorry for the deleted post above...not sure what happened there...

  6. You're an animal. That is one he'll of a week.

  7. Stupid iPhone auto know what I mean.

  8. Damn, this seems like an insane workout schedule.

  9. Not that I am comparing...but I usually feel good about my week until I read your report. A "totally different level" comes to mind.

  10. Wow Nick. Huge week. Wish I could chase you around at Jemez on Saturday. Maybe next year.

  11. Another great week Nick. Really pumped to see how things play out the next couple weeks!

  12. Mike, I'm not much for charts and gadgets, but yes, strangely satisfying to look at the vert graph after an epic hill workout. Can't wait 'til your back in The Fort!

    John - thanks for the kind words. I don't consider myself a particularly talented runner, but I work hard at what I do and it's nice to see the dividends. I attribute much of my consistency to the thriving running community we have here in Fort Collins, and I can assure you that I get way more out of the community than I put in.

    Dylan - too bad, man. Hope you're still planning on doing the 50k. If so, see you out there!

  13. Wow! 135 miles. That's 90 miles more than my biggest ever week. Post injury recuperation I hope to get to 60 mile weeks later this year which still less than half! 15.30 at WS 100?.......

  14. Alex - beating Jurek's best time at States would be awesome. 15:30 would get that done, I believe. No idea how realistic that is though. Anything under 16 and I'll be stoked.

    Good luck with the recovery!

  15. Kinda looks like the Speedgoat graph, I wonder how many rocks you ran over. :-) Awesome!

  16. Jemez should be fairly interesting - especially with the rapture occurring during the race ( Maybe if you run sub-8 you will finish before the end of the world ;)

  17. Snr Meltzer - surely not as many rocks as you covered at Masanutten, but a fair few. Save a spot for me at Speedgoat - seems like it would be a good training race for UTMB!

    Nick: Hmm, the rapture. And this time they're sure they've got it right. It's the day before my birthday (remember that as we're driving south), so at least I'll get one more of those.

  18. Door's always open Nick, just let me know.

    Good luck at Jemez again!

  19. I wanna be like you when I grow up! lol. I envy the scenery you get to run in as well. Keep up the awesome posts, they keep me going! :)

  20. Nick man! Nice little CR you set down there in NM! Cha-ching!

  21. Thanks, Scott. Chasing shadows all day. Just enough left in the tank to reel in Kyle's ghost. 30 seconds. That was it. Does that mean I go 23:22 in July?

  22. Nick - yes..... if you skip WS....

  23. Nice job at Jemez. I guess I will have to settle up with you on that six pack soon.