Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fortnight Ending April 21

Week Ending April 14

Mon - noon: 7.5 miles (1,900') easy. Horsetooth South Summit with the Wesir. First south summit in a while. Down via Slush's Slit.

Tues - PM: 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls loop.

Weds - Noon: 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls loop.

Thurs - PM: 3 miles (700') easy. Mini Falls loop from the parking lot.

Fri - Noon: 3.5 miles (700') easy. Last miles of Lake Sonoma out and back with Burch, Yassine, Jake, Bill, Todd and Cassie. Good to see the last couple of miles of the course to refresh the memory, and hilariously comical to watch Yassine leap over a rattler and hear Cassie scream full force and stop dead in her tracks. I would see (and jump over) another, smaller version the next day on the race course.

Sat - 50.5 miles (10,000') race. Lake Sonoma 50 (6:53, 10th). Race report coming, but kind of blah race, if I'm honest. Legs flat all day.

Sun - AM: 11.5 miles easy with Jake. Same loop as I did after last year's Lake Sonoma with Meghan and Thornley on super scenic rolling roads: vineyards and quaint bridges galore. Kinda creaky to get going and heavy legs for all of the run, but opened up a bit as we found our stride.

Total: 86 miles (15,300')

I was really hoping to run something in the 6:45 range or better at Sonoma, but ended up finding myself in damage-control mode from about mile 20 onwards after a start that was simply too aggressive on a set of pins that felt weirdly off and leaden. Nonetheless, you take the lessons learned (run within yourself early) and move on. Hopefully, I'll get a race report up for Sonoma in the next day or two. Kind of wishing I'd not taken things so easy in the days leading up, as I think the one-week taper thing does more damage than good - I should know better. My general rule of thumb on the taper is that the legs will feel awful the first week, regain some pop on the second week and feel awesome and ready to deliver after the third week. So for me it has to be all (three weeks) or nothing, I guess.

Week Ending April 28

Mon - Off

Tues - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth north summit in full-on winter conditions, ski goggles and everything. A burly wind on top and even the start of a cornice with all the driving snow. Complete sock-in and easily the harshest conditions I've faced up there all winter ... er ... spring.

Weds - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth north summit in deep, deep snow. Had to plow through waist deep powder to get the summit. Put in some tracks on the summit ridge that would trench out nicely over the next few days.

Thurs - 8 miles (2,200') easy. Falls loop, then Horsetooth north summit. Up with a handful of folks from the FCTR crew. Came down postholing via Audra and took a full on superman fall trying to shortcut in front of Wesir as we stomped the descent. Fun times.

Fri - 10 miles (2,700') slogging. Horsetooth north summit (49) with Wesir, then slogging on Westridge & Spring Creek through still virgin snow to mark a section of the Horsetooth Marathon course. Several days of thaw and freeze had put a couple of really nasty crust layers in the snow, which made for some pretty painful tracks. Almost reneged on my Grim Reaper promise, but Brian guilted me into making the turn for the extra 200' of vertical - an unnecessary in-the-neighborhood turn that I haven't missed since the start of this year's 100-mile cycle.

Sat - 5 miles (1,100') easy. Snuck in a quick 5 on crunchy trails on the Falls loop before Dana took off out of town for the weekend.

Sun - 28 miles (2,500') race. Horsetooth Trail Marathon (2:58, 1st). Decided last minute to jump in on this one for a variety of different reasons, but mainly because I love the Horsetooth Half event and thought it would be cool to celebrate the 40th anniversary by running the inaugural full marathon, which essentially goes from my house to the New Belgium brewery via Horsetooth Mountain. I mean, c'mon. Descending Towers (miles 5-8) my legs were feeling like they did at mile 30 in Lake Sonoma the weekend previously. Needless to say, the final 18 miles were a lesson in slog'baggery.

Total: 61 miles (11,500')

Two weeks then with relatively low mileage and two longer races. Neither race did much to inspire confidence in my overall fitness and durability, but by the same token, the Sonoma race suggests that I'm in similar shape to last year when I felt like I peaked in May, rather than in June for Western States as intended. So with that said, I feel like I am in a decent place with regards to Western States and the Grand Slam, especially if I can get a really solid block of training taken care of in May.

In other news, registration for the sixth annual Bluesky Marathon (Oct 6) and the (new) Black Squirrel Half (Aug 31) have opened up for those interested in a couple of really fun local trail races later in the summer/early fall. Registration discounts are available for those who sign up for both through the Black & Blue Double option. And while Quad Rock is officially sold out, we have had emails from runners that can't make it and are looking to transfer entries, so if you're looking for a late entry into either the 25 mile or 50 mile race then sign up for the wait list and we'll get you transferred over to the start list. 


  1. slog'baggery. nice to know i can always count on you, clarkie, for particularly fresh neologisms.

    1. neologisms: and you, Tony, for words that I have to look up in the dictionary.

  2. While you were at Sonoma, I was getting my ass handed to me running 46M at my 50k pace in the Big Ditch. Gonna place myself comfortably in the back as I figure out a better 50M pace at your little race. See you then!

  3. Shelby, I think everyone gets their ass handed to them running the GC.

    Go out easy at QR, get over the 5th climb (Mill Creek) and then let it roll. That's about as good advice as I've got.

  4. But wasn't your 'taper' for LS50 only a few days? I dunno, I saw your top 10 without taking your foot off the gas beforehand and thought 'he's gotta be happy with that'. And then same with the followup marathon...

    1. Brett - Taper was Tues through Fri, I guess. Not massively disappointed, but you always want to see a better performance than the year before. The course was a touch faster this year, too.

      On the marathon, that one was pretty painful to be honest and was kinda stupid for me to be doing, but with it being the first marathon in CO after Boston, starting a half mile from my house, the New Belgium party after the race ... I just felt like I needed to run it. Anyway, no more racing until June.

  5. What kind of drugs will you be testing for at Black Squirrel? There's a Phish show the night before...

    1. Ha, can't imagine anything consumed at a Phish gig is going to do much to enhance your performance. Just watch out for strange furry animals jumping out on the trail.

  6. Worth pointing out that Nick's brother achieved one of his running goals by completing the London Marathon last Sunday in well under three hours. Details on the London Marathon site.