Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week Ending Jan 5

Mon - 10 miles (800') easy. Ran out to Clowes Wood between Canterbury and Whitstable in more rain and heavy winds. Last run of the UK trip. Pretty fitting.

Tues - Off. Travel day back home for New Year's Eve. In bed by 9:00.

January: 345.5 miles (51,900)
February: 309 (47,900')
March: 438.5 (68,800')
April: 362.5 (68,700')
May: 423.5 (84,400')
June: 412.5 (72,500')
July: 238 (42,300')
August: 238 (40,700')
September: 181 (47,600')
October: 163.5 (38,600')
November: 215 (60,900')
December: 283.5 (48,200)

Total: 3,610.5 (672,500') 
Ave: 301 (56,041')

2012 Total: 4,118.5 (714,600')
2011 Total: 4,264 (729,400')
2010 Total: 4,100 (655,850')
2009 Total: 3,451 (486,600')


Weds - AM: 10 miles (2,500') easy. Made it up to the top of Horsetooth in the dark to catch the first sunrise of the year. Totally clouded over so didn't see much in the way of sun, but it felt great to be running uphill again. From Horsetooth, ran around Westridge for a Spring Creek descent. Tacked on the Grim Reaper hill in my neighborhood, which officially puts me in the 100-mile training season.

A bit of color poked through to the south on a cold and windy start to the 2014 Horsetooth bagging season.
PM: 7 miles (1,800') easy. Got out and nabbed another Horsetooth just before sunset.

Thurs - AM: 10 miles (1,400') hill tempo: Becca, Celeste, Ziggy and Lee for the Centennial out and back. Enjoyed a nice cruise out, then came back in a very comfortable 31:22. Keeping true to the goal of my Thursday morning tempo sessions this year, I kept this one where it was supposed to be and avoided the temptation to run as hard as possible. Ran the back five right on the digits from the last time I did this workout three weeks ago and it felt significantly more comfortable. Progress. 7:25, 6:30, 6:32, 5:36, 5:18.
PM: 7 miles (1,700') steady. First Towers session of the year. My quads felt sore from the morning workout and are clearly in need of serious seasoning before things start getting serious again. Ran with Sam Malmberg at an effort that was a little harder than I had planned. Legs were definitely tired, which made the 34 flat feel more like a 31.

Fri: 10 miles (2,500') easy w/Tony S. Horsetooth summit, then Westridge, Secret, Towers, Spring Creek, Soderberg. Beautiful day: shorts and a T. Sore quads still from yesterday's road workout.

Sat: 13 miles (3,500') peakbaggery. Headed north with Jason and Andy to the Eagle's Nest Open Space, a little used Larimer County natural area off Red Feather Lakes Road. There are a couple of ranked peaks out there, 6,975' and Livermore Mountain, that are accessible from Eagle's Nest, so the morning's mission was to bag those two and perhaps a couple of others further west if time allowed. Despite the six inches or so of snow that had fallen overnight in my neighborhood, west of Fort Collins, the conditions to the north were considerably better with the snow essentially tapering off by the time we reached the Red Feather turn-off. The four-mile run out to the base of 6,975' was of the rolling variety and involved a mix of Larimer, NFS and undetermined property on good double track. The steep, burned-out, north facing slope of 6,975' offered a fun, but slick 800' scramble to the socked-in top. We imagined the views south to the Poudre Canyon, before heading in a direction we thought appropriate to get on Livermore Mtn (7,504'). I had some cliff notes for directions and was glad to have them considering there was very limited visibility. The run/hike up Livermore was very straightforward as it turned out. From the top, we followed the gentle northeast ridge back down to the double track at the base of 6,975' and then enjoyed a nice run back to the trailhead. Total mileage on this one was approximately 12.5 with 3,000 feet of vertical gain. It would have been nice to check this area out with better visibility, so I might have to return one of these days to climb the aesthetic but unranked Eagle's Nest Rock - which we passed up in favor of heading west to take in ranked Manhead Mountain (7,980') before time was up on the morning.

For Manhead, we entered the Glacier View neighborhood via 'Gate 10' and took that all the way south to the base of the rock, which actually lies on a small parcel of National Forest land, despite being surrounded by private property. Out here, there had been a good bit of snow which made the short climb up Manhead a little more interesting. This one was only 400 feet or so of ascent, but required a climbing move or two on the route Andy charted up a couple of chimneys. Again we had to imagine the views from the top before descending on slick slabby rock back to the car. Fun morning.

Manhead from the north on a different day. Photo: Joe Grim
Sun - AM: 1 mile easy setting up the Edora Park 8k course. Frigid again.

Some of the 28 who showed up for a second single digit T&H in a row.  
Trying to stay warm waiting for runners to finish. Not quite an NFL sideline heater, but that thing pumps out some warmth. 
PM: 7.5 miles (1,800') easy. Grabbed a nice snowy Horsetooth summit (4) with Danny B on a cold but sunny early afternoon. There had been lots of traffic before us in the day and a half since the most recent snowfall, so there was a decently packed track to follow all the way to the summit. Crisp and clear from the top and good to see a couple of familiar faces on the way back down.

Total: 75.5 miles (16,000')

Good week on balance. Flicked the switch proper January 1 and now consider myself to be back in full-on training mode. I feel decently rested from the summer and I'm looking forward to another fun year out and about in the hills.

Ended up with 152 Horsetooth summits on the year, in addition to a now 146 other Larimer County ranked peaks, which leaves me with just 109 left to get. Of course, I've bagged most of the low-hanging fruit within easy striking distance of home, so the remainder may take a little longer to snag.

The Horsetooth haul was good, but not as good The Erskine who tagged the top 164 times in 2013. He wins a six pack from yours truly. That will not be repeated in 2014.

Quad Rock registrations are off to a strong start and it's looking like we'll fill sometime in February. We have an increased cap this year and will register 400 runners, but such is the demand these days for long outings on the trails that we'll still likely fill at record pace.

What else? Hmm, not a great deal really. Mileage this year was down on years past, due in most part to running the Grand Slam. Yes, you race lots of miles, but you also end up spending tons of time on your tush trying to recover. July to November this year were all under 250 miles, which I consider to be low mileage months. And so it goes. Won't do that again anytime soon.


  1. Nick, off to new York this Saturday and back in London next Thursday. Looking to run on Sunday and Wednesday. Anything else to run around other than central park? Thanks

    1. Alex - I used to enjoy running the East River bridges. You can put together a good route taking in the Brooklyn, Manhattan and 59th street bridges if you bring a good map. Otherwise, a fun long run would be to run around Manhattan. I can't remember exactly how long that one is, but I want to say 22 miles or so. There are bike paths running north/south on the east and west sides, but not sure if it connects all the way north. You might have to run east/west on 125th or something.

      Van Cortlandt Park up in the Bronx is a classic XC venue and there are some good trails out there. Also some trails up in Inwood in the northwest corner of Manhattan. Catch a subway up to the George Washington Bridge and run over to New Jersey to run the trails in the Palisades. You can easily get a 20 mile north/south loop there with killer views over the Hudson.

      Also, check out the NYRR website for weekend races in Central Park. Have fun!

  2. Nick, thanks really appreciate the options. Will review and assess my options. Did not realise what fun one can have. Cheers Alex