Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week Ending November 24

Monday - 6.5 miles (1,700') easy. Horsetooth. Nice casual jog up to the rock.

Tuesday - AM: 8 miles intervals. City Park workout with Jane's group. We were working the lake this morning with 2 x 1,200, 2 x 1,000 and a mile to finish. All fartleks except the mile: 4:03, 4:01, 3:19, 3:21, 5:24
PM: 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth. Shakeout jog up the mountain.

Weds - 6.5 miles (1,700') easy. Horsetooth. Just racking another summit.

Thurs 10 miles (1,400') hill tempo. Back on Centennial this week for 5 easy followed by 5 coming home hard on hilly asphalt bordering the east side of the reservoir. Fittingly, it was a cold one this morning with a good iced-over inch of crunch on the ground. Came back on the tempo side with Mike, who charitably waited for me to catch up a mile in. Mike moves south to Golden this weekend, and while this is only an hour or so down the road it nonetheless represents the loss of one of my more reliable training partners. We'll continue to seek out fun times in the great Colorado outdoors together, I am sure, but I'll certainly miss the week-to-week reliability of having a solid and similarly paced workout partner. We push each other frequently on the shorter stuff and we've ended up racing a few reps or tempo runs on more than one occasion, so it was nice to run and finish this one in lockstep. Sneaked in just under 33 minutes on a steady effort.

Fri - 6.5 miles (1,700') easy. Horsetooth. Got snagged a bit on my usual north-gap climbing route. The rock was all iced over, so I somewhat unceremoniously had to backtrack from the last couple of moves and retreat to the standard route.

Sat - Off. Failed to capitalize on the window for the day, so ended up with a goose egg.

Sun - 13 miles (4,300') peakbaggery. A little more action in the Poudre Park quad this morning, picking up peaks #21-24 out of the massive 25 that sit in the roughly 8 x 12 mile area surrounding Poudre Park. I'm pretty sure this is the the tightest concentration of peaks in Larimer County, made especially troublesome by the dotting of private land. Thankfully this wasy not an issue this morning. Anyway, on tap were four peaks north of the river and just west of Hewlett Gulch: 7,501', 7,432', 7,420', & 7,231'. Starting from the Hewlett trailhead, I ran downriver for a mile or so before starting up steeply for the summit of 7,231. As with many of the scrubber peaks in the foothills here, the hillside was littered with cactus and as hard as you try it is almost impossible to avoid some kind of impaling; needles still being pulled out days later. From the top of 7,231, a nice peak with good views north to Mummies/Med Bow, it was some pretty heavy bushwhacking into and out of a couple of drainages before I got on the east ridge of 7,420' where I conveniently found an old forest road to follow with fresh 4 x 4 tracks through the snow no less. I was on the summit in no time once out of the drainages, and from there I had a good view of the two remaining peaks, both relatively close. For 7,432, it was a 400 foot drop to the saddle with 7,420 and a reasonably simple hoof back up. Again the views up canyon to the snow-capped Divide were stellar. The one peak left on the morning was again straightforward, and while there were a couple of properties in the area, I was able to stay entirely on public land. Getting back to the Hewlett Trail took a good bit of creek bashing. At one creek confluence, I found the leftovers of a coyote or mountain lion kill, with some interesting prints in the snow to examine. There was definitely more than one type of animal getting nourishment from the deer, but I was disappointed not to see obvious cat prints. A couple hundred meters down creek, I eventually found the Hewlett trail and enjoyed a nice cruise back to the car. Fun morning.

Total: 55.5 miles (12,300')

Managed to get a couple of workouts in this week. Again, feeling like I'm missing a step at the moment, but really not too concerned as I'm just not trying that hard right now. Going through the motions to an extent, but as I enjoy the workouts I'd hesitate to use that language. Anyway, all exciting stuff I'm sure.

Quad Rock registration goes live December 1. Pete and I have things ready for that and are working hard to get sponsors lined up so we can make it another great race right here on the Front Range. The parks gave us a cap increase to 350, which is as big as we think we can reasonably grow the race without impacting negatively on the experience. If you want to test run parts of the course, then come out Dec 7 and run Chubby Cheeks. If you need a start address, then email me via the 'about me' link or find someone who's run it before. All welcome.

I got an invite from the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT) to come run a bunch of the races that make up this new tour. Apparently, I am ranked 15th in the world over the 100 mile distance, but if you take into account my miserable shorter distance performances in Europe over the last few years, then my 'general' ranking drops to 47th. I probably won't finish in the top 50 at the local Turkey Trot on Thursday.

Anyway, the invite promises exotic racing experiences in far flung places like Japan and Reunion Island off the southeast coast of Africa, with the potential for free travel and accommodation. I put in for a free entry to Western States. I'm not holding my breath.


  1. Hi Nick,

    I found your Blog recently and enjoy the way you explain and describe your trips throughout the mountains. It is so entertaining to read that i am even motivated to do some longer runs by myself! But right now I am in a decent shape concerning endurance, i run 2-3 times a week for about half an hour. I can only hardly motivate myself for longer trips.
    Do you maybe have some tips for training and mindset which makes it easier for me to run longer distances? Maybe your community even have some tips. :-)

    I look forward to any given advice