Didn’t post last week’s training – pretty routine stuff. 40′ish running, and a good bike ride. I did start working out on the rowing machine and I am surprisingly loving that. It seems to be a great compliment to running and kicks your butt without breaking you down too much. Working my way down to a sub-20 5,000 meter before too long.
This week = holyfreakinghotdamnwheredidthatcomefrom?!?!?
Busted out my biggest ever non-race week with 18.5 hours of running and two rowing sessions. I felt primed to go big and everything worked out as I had a few days off (had to use or loose some vacation), no travel plans, good weather, and good legs. I felt stronger at the end of the week than I did at the beginning.
Monday – 24.4 run
Dropped the kids off at school and ran a couple of loops in the Highlands Ranch backcountry. Cold and miserable day, but the forecast was looking much better later in the week so I got though it.
Had about 90 seconds of sunshine just after dawn, then it went dark for the rest of the day.
Face too frozen to smile.
Tuesday – 5k row, 20.3 run
Rowed early, then got out for a nice long one to Chatfield and back. I was happy with my consistent pace after a creaky first mile.
Wednesday – 22.1
Feeling it now. Calves are thrashed. Ran up Sharptail into a 1,000mph headwind. Had some goober on the lens, but caught this crow bothering a raptor.
Thursday – 12.6 run
Up and out early before dawn to jog an easy 4 and loosen up a little. Then out with the dog for 1.5. After that, we headed to Castle Rock to run in our 7th consecutive Turkey Trot together as a family. I looped back after I finished and walked the last half with my girls. My legs felt ok to run hard, they just wouldn’t go as fast as I wanted. Averaged 6:58.
Friday – 5k row, 11.3 run
Back to work. Steady lunch run.
Saturday – 21.2 run
Met up with Woody, Joe, Jim, and Pat for a long one in the Roxborough area. I jogged over to Sharptail from my house and then ran with the guys up and over Carpenter Peak. I dropped down into Waterton while they continued up to Indian Creek. Fantastic morning for a run and it was great to get out with the guys for a bit. I suffered up the Carpenter climb like I knew I would, but I was super happy with how good I felt otherwise. Wish I had the time to go longer, but had to be home by 11:00 to do lunch and then shoot our family pics.
My daughter teases that I ran out of leg paint.
Gotta take a running mirror shot coming down Waterton.
Nice buck in the canyon.
Decided to take some family pics while our mountain-child was in town with us. Shot this with an 85mm so the camera was a fair distance away. Hitting the timer and then sprinting into position was no easy task for my worked legs.
Sunday – 2.3
Out with the dog, then drove Malcolm back up to Leadville. Felt like I could have done another 20.
Nice sunset over Halo Ridge and Mount of the Holy Cross. Malcolm and I hiked that route back in July. I think most people would like the second shot more than the first, but I really like the light on the ridge in that first one. They were taken 12 minutes apart.
Total – 114.1 run (10,344′ climbing), 0 bike, 10,000 meters rowing, 19:21
We’ve been running the Turkey Trot in Castle Rock as a family since 2007. It has been a great tradition for us. I can’t believe how seven years has flown by in so many ways.
So thankful to be a Dad to such great kids.
I put a good effort into my race, but just couldn’t turn the legs over as fast as I would have liked. Probably has something to do with the 24 miler I ran on Monday, or the 20 miles on Tuesday, or 22 yesterday. At the very least I wanted to get a sub-7 average and managed that with a 6:58, but my heart rate only averaged 165. Sure sign of tired legs.
It was a great way to start the day.
This was one of my most satisfying races ever. Only it wasn’t a race. Not a real one, anyway.
I finished the Leadville 100 on a Sunday morning in late August. Happy to cross the line for the 5th time in a row, but disappointed with my lackluster result. I still had a lot left in the tank.
I went for a 2.5 mile walk on Monday, a 4 mile jog on Tuesday, then rolled straight back into training for my next race. The Bear Chase 50 miler, six weeks away.
Last year I attended the race for the first time to crew for my buddy, Stu – and take some photos. I ended up getting a few published in Ultrarunning Magazine, which I thought was cool given it was my first ever attempt at shooting a trail race.
Things have never lined up for me to do this race until now. It’s not an incredible mountain journey, but it offers a very well organized event on a fairly fast course. I was looking for a new 50 mile PR and trained for it with a mini-cycle of recover, build, and taper that played out with weeks of 44, 60, 80, 62, and 28 miles following Leadville. The first four weeks each included a long run in the 20-27 mile range.
My weight was still 10 pounds higher than it should be, but otherwise I was feeling fit and ready to smash my 8:44 PR. I was even entertaining thoughts of going sub-8, but now I’m getting ahead of myself.
Mother nature threw a MAJOR wrench into the works a couple of weeks before race day with epic flooding along the Colorado Front Range. The small reservoir at the park where the race is held was massively enlarged and a good portion of the course was submerged under 20+ feet of water! Check out Jeff’s post to see what things looked liked after the water receeded. The pics of the huge cottonwood trees barely reaching above the water line are incredible.
In an impressive display of quick thinking, teamwork, and dedication – David, Ben, and the rest of the organizing crew secured permission and mapped out an alternate course. The race was on!
Until it was not.
On the day before the race, it rained some more. All. day. long.
Thankfully, there was no new flooding danger or damage. The trail was very soggy, though – which is problematic for a loop race like this as several hundred runners will be covering the same ground over and over again. In the interest of avoiding excessive damage to the trail system, the park officials made the call to have the race postponed from Saturday to Sunday. The forecast looked sunny and warm for Saturday, so the trails would have a good day to dry out.
The postponement was a possibility that I didn’t see coming. I was all systems ‘go’ Friday night. Bags packed, shoes ready, 4:00 AM alarm set. I happened to check my phone one last time before going off to bed and saw this Facebook post that stopped me in my tracks:
Normally it might not have been that big of deal, but this particular Sunday was a no-go for me. What to do?
I sort of had this fuzzy idea of maybe just going for an all-day run somewhere, then that kind of morphed into thinking why not just do my own race? Line up, start running when the clock hits 07:00, and don’t stop until I’ve covered 50 miles. Treat it exactly the same as I would if it were a real race. When my wife suggested Greenland Open Space as the venue, I was sold. It has a nice rolling 8 mile loop that would be perfect for what I was after. I started my final preparations before going to bed and laying there thinking to myself that this idea probably sounded a lot better in my head than it would turn out in reality. All I could do is try.
I wasn’t worried about going the distance, I was worried about doing it in a decent time. I didn’t want a repeat of my two previous slog-fest 50 milers this year. I knew I just had to lock into my pace, and let my training do its job.
I backed my car into the parking spot closest to the trail entrance before dawn and set up my aid station in the trunk. I would stop here every lap and refill my bottle, plus grab any snacks or gels that I needed. The clock would be running the whole time, so I tried to arrange everything in an efficient manner.
At about 5 minutes to 7:00, I was ready. Just enough time to swing my arms back and forth in the cold morning air, look around at the huge empty parking lot, shake my head, squeeze my eyelids shut, and put my finger on the start button of my watch.
I headed north on the road away from the park, planning to do a 2 mile out and back before coming back for 6 laps of the 8 mile loop. I felt good. Optimistic, even.
I hadn’t been on the Greenland trail for over 5 years. I missed a turn right off the bat that would have allowed me to bypass a climb and run a flatter route along the western perimeter. Oh, well. I stuck with my mistake and kept the climb in the mix for the duration. It’s not like the course was a ball-breaker, but it was a little more hilly than I remembered. Sandy, too. A bit slower than I was planning on, but whatever.
After completing the first lap I crested the final hill where the parking lot comes into view. It was packed! Music blaring, pop-up tents, and huuuuge horse trailers were everywhere. I guess there was some sort of organized ride going on and I would have to contend with horse traffic on the trails for a good chunk of the morning. It ended up slowing me down a few times as I would have to pull off the trail for a few minutes to let them all pass. Thankfully they stuck together, so once I was clear I didn’t have to deal with it for the rest of a given lap.
I altered the direction of my loops on the 3rd lap so I could run longer without crossing paths with them again.
Back to the run – my legs ached way more then usual for some reason, but I was able to run through it. I had one aid station stop that was 1:30 and the rest were all under a minute.
I zoned out and didn’t even bother hooking up my iPod. There was a steady south wind blowing that made things tough for a while. Once the horses disappeared, it was just me and my breathing to break the silence.
I had originally hoped to get close to 8 hours, but couldn’t quite squeak under 8.5. Still a 10 minute PR and a very satisfying effort on the trail. Other than pulling over for horses or to water the plants, I was running the entire time.
I liked the do it yourself approach. I got my ‘race’ in and put my training to good use. I wasn’t too sure about the idea when I finished, but now that some time has passed I could totally see doing this type of thing again. Maybe next time 100??