Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week Ending July 22

Mon - 9.5 miles (1,600') easy. Horsetooth summit via the Rock trail, then down to Bluesky TH on 38e for 3.5 more with Dana to Towers and back. Bombed the descent from H'tooth to Bluesky as I was running late.

Tues - noon: 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls loop. Took a big digger 100 yards up the trail, landing rather painfully (and bloodily) on my chin. Came home and could barely chew, my jaw was so jacked from the fall. Ouch. 
PM: 5.5 miles track. Warmed up a mile with Alistair, then workout was 2k open followed by 8 x 400 on 70-73 secs rest. Still missing a step it would seem: 77, 75, 76, 75, 74, 74, 74, 74.

Weds - 7.5 miles (1,500') hard. Short on time, I went hard up Horsetooth and came down hard on Wathan/Soderberg.

Thurs - Noon: 11.5 miles (2,500') easy. To Soderberg TH on 38e/Shoreline, then Towers - Secret Trail - Westridge - Rock - Horsetooth Summit - Audra - Southridge.
PM: 6.5 miles easy with folks from FCTR. 

Fri - Noon: 8.5 miles (2,000') easy. Horsetooth summit (Southrdige/Audra) - Wathan, Soderberg.

Sat - 25 miles (6,000') hills. From my campsite near the South Mount Elbert TH, ran down to meet Mike Aish, now-retired pro track runner, marathoner and Olympian who's decided to take a stab at the Leadville 100 - a bucket-list race for him. We went from the Twin Lakes aid area to Winfield and back. Although the run in and of itself was pretty crap - dead legs from the get go - the chance to run with Mike was thoroughly entertaining. We had a couple of stops on top of Hope and at Winfield, and essentially hiked the return climb, but it was good to work through some fatigue. Running time from Twin Lakes and back was around 3:55; a good bit under Ryan's time from last year. But that doesn't say a whole lot, given relative conditions. Nonetheless, it was good to get a feel for where race pace will be.  

Sun - 16.5 miles (1,200') easy. With Mike from the campsite above TL to the Colorado Trail where we joined the course at the true South Elbert TH. Cruised conversationally all the way to the Fish Hatchery in about 2:05. This run felt tons better than yesterday, but it was mostly cruiser stuff on some very friendly surfaces. Leadville is definitely a running race with all the forest road and buff trail, so it's key to be training that right now if I'm going to do well there. Thinking I'll try and stay off the vertical a bit next week and get some miles done in Redstone Canyon. Good stuff again with Mike.

Total: 95.5 miles (15,800')

I went pretty easy through the early part of the week, mainly due to time constraints. I then struggled a fair bit on Saturday, but these are the weeks you have to grind out with the race getting close. I've now seen the full Leadville course with the Twin Lakes to Fish Hatchery section filled in, and wow, it's a whole lot of high altitude running, with two big climbs and three smaller ones. This one will be interesting.

It was fun running with Mike this weekend. He's a super-talented runner, who has a 2:13 marathon to his credit and Olympic-standard 10k speed, so it'll be good TV to see how it unfolds for him at Leadville. He's definitely there to compete, so we'll see. The roads will definitely be good for him.

Off to Salt Lake City next weekend for some fun and games at the Speedgoat 50. Hope I bring my climbing legs.


  1. Nick: Wow, solid week. A few of us are meeting on Monday, July 30 for a Hope Pass run, starting at Twin Lakes and going to Winfield and back. Let me know if you're interested.

    Also, are you going to do the night run from Fish to the finish on August 4? As you know, Brandon is organizing it. I'm questionable--depends on how my legs are feeling.

    A lot of people describe Leadville as a "runner's race," and it is compared to a race like Hardrock, but, as you wrote in your post, it does involve a few nice climbs and is all high altitude. I think Leadville is a damn-tough race. The Powerline climb can crush you if you're not ready for it.


  2. Wyatt - Monday seems unlikely, but I do plan on making it out for Brandon's night run Aug 4.

    I was looking at that Powerline climb as we were running out to the Fish Hatchery, and while it looked benign enough, I'm certainly not going to be underestimating it on race day.

    Hope to see you on the 4th.

  3. I remember racing against Mike Aish in my first college cross country meet- that was a real wake up call that I wasn't in high school anymore.

    Have fun at Speedgoat, plus Leadville. And UROC.

    I hear you ran into my old running buddy, Paul Petersen, who just moved to Ft. Collins from Utah. You should whup him in a 5k sometime to keep him humble.

    1. Thanks, John. Think I'm going to race a 5k in Leadville on the 4th. Tell Paul to come up and race that one. We'd both be lucky to break 18 minutes.

  4. Seems to me a recent winner at Speedgoat should get at least a little respect in the buildup to this year's race. Not getting it at IRunFar :). I have you in the mix with KJ, Krupicka, and the like. But save some for Leadville.

  5. Nice work at Hard Rock and Western. Enjoying the blog.

  6. Can you please post this trailer on your website for an Ultra running broadcast series? We're psyched to get the word out!

    Crushing Hope Trailer

    About this video
    "Two Time Olympian Mike Aish has a goal in the summer of 2012: to compete in the Leadville 100, a one hundred Mile foot race in the mountains of Colorado. This is Mike's first Ultra Marathon, follow him as he seeks advice from experienced mentors and Hometown Sole Inc and GoDu Productions create an eight commercial half hour episode series for broadcast television."