Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Agile Fox Friday Foto – 06.15.2012

After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to let it stand as a post of its own.  I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week.  No recycling.  I am doing this to keep me engaged in building my photography skills, and to make me work harder to get fresh shots.  Click here to see my previous Friday Foto posts.

Roxborough State Park is on the small side for a state park, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in scenery.  The dramatic red rock formations are the highlight, rising like the spine of a prehistoric monster swimming beneath the earth’s crust.  Although the park is adjacent to a housing development and a golf course, it feels very remote and is noticeably quiet.  Horses and bikes are not allowed, this is a park for hiking with several trails of varying difficulty to choose from.  I run there fairly often, but it’s rare to spot another runner.

Wildlife is plentiful in the park.  There is a thriving deer population, and I have spotted two different black bears on two different evenings in just the past week.  Rattlesnakes are present, as well as raptors like owls, hawks, and Golden Eagles.

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Roxborough in June
f/9, 55mm, 1/400 @ 100 ISO

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2012 Training Log – Week 22

Decent week.  Another 70 miles with a few harder efforts and a bit more time on the trails than I am usually able to get.  Feeling strong, but need to work out a few kinks that are holding me back.


Monday
8.2 miles

Boneyard workout. Laps are 1.2 miles. I did one easy, one hard, one easy, one hard, one easy. First hard effort was way too hot. Blew up at .93 and threw in the towel while on a 6:20 average pace. Ran steady on the second effort and completed my fastest lap there at a 6:55 average. Tough little course to run fast on (tight, twisty, lumpy, chunky, bumpy, hilly).


Tuesday
16 miles

Crazy wind in the afternoon, so I headed to Deer Creek Open Space thinking it would be somewhat sheltered and it was.  Got in almost 3 hours of slow but steady climbing and descending on the trails.  So-so run, I was 3 minutes off my best ascent time to the top of Red Mesa.  During the climb, I passed a group of 4 guys hiking.  Immediately afterwards the trail looped around a stand of scrub oak so I was out of sight (but not that far away).  One of the hikers said, “Did you see that guy’s calves??  Daaaaamn!”  That made me laugh because I was drenched in sweat and feeling fat and slow with calves that were about to explode.

 

On the drive home I went past a bad rollover accident on C-470.  The Flight for Life helicopter was just lifting off when I got there.  The sunset was beautiful, but the carnage below was a good reminder of how fast things can go bad.


Wednesday
7 miles

I felt more worked over than normal after last night’s run at Deer Creek, so I expected today to be a sucky grind.  It actually turned out to be a pleasant outing on a beautiful morning.  The calves felt better than they have in quite a while, and the pace (while not very fast) was decent and consistent the whole way.  Nice run.

Got some pics of a balloon launch over Chatfield on the way to work.


Thursday
11.25 miles

2 mile warmup, 6 mile hilly tempo medium effort (157 avg) @ 7:29 pace, 3 mile cool down. Felt better than I thought I would, but not as good as I would like (common theme lately).

Went for an evening drive up to Roxborough State Park.

Can you spot the bear??

My ladies were glad to see me return from taking bear pictures still in one piece.


Friday
7.7 miles

Very easy laps at the Boneyard.


Saturday
21 miles

Decided at about 9pm last night to go up to Pine Valley Ranch and get in on the group training run being put on by the North Fork 50 RDs. There was a good turnout with around 25 people showing up.

We started at 8am and did the last 20 miles of the 50 mile course. It was a hot one, hitting 88 degrees by the time we finished. I had all kinds of drama with my calves getting so tight by 2 miles into it that both feet went entirely numb from the ankles down. I plodded through the discomfort, topping out on the first climb in about 7th place. Once the grade eased and we started hitting some descents, the calves relaxed a little and I started feeling really good. I passed all but one guy on the downhill (the guy in front had hit it pretty hard right from the start and was way out in front). We had to keep stopping and pulling off the trail for horses and riders coming in the opposite direction – there was some sort of equestrian event going on. Everyone was very cool about it, though.

Our little pack consolidated after the singletrack descent and rolled together on the dirt road into the aid station at mile 11. We caught the early leader just as we pulled in. I guess I’m making this sound like a race – it wasn’t, but it sort of felt somewhere between a training run and a race. Good practice, anyway.

I left the aid station first and headed up the final 1,000′ climb. It wasn’t that steep, but it was exposed and starting to get quite warm. One guy passed me and went on to run well to the finish. The early leader passed me also, but I passed him back just before the top and managed to come in as the second finisher for what that is worth (not much).

I was having excruciating foot pain during the final climb. I think maybe from the lack of circulation earlier? I was moaning in pain as I shuffled along – not fun. It wasn’t really impact related. Going up a smooth but shallow 1-2% grade was the worst. It seemed like my calves were stretching the plantar fascia to the limit and the balls of my feet were on fire. Once I hit the downhill, things got a little better.

The run was a mixed bag. My fitness seemed decent, but I keep having way too many mechanical issues.

Spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with my daughter and counting butterflies while my wife went on a hike.


Sunday

OFF


Total: 71 miles / 11:27

The Agile Fox Friday Foto – 06.08.2012

After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to let it stand as a post of its own.  I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week.  No recycling.  I am doing this to keep me engaged in building my photography skills, and to make me work harder to get fresh shots.  Click here to see my previous Friday Foto posts.

The high mountains of Colorado are a thunderstorm nursery.  Like the laboratory of a mad scientist, elements are combined and incubated until a monster is born.  In a routine that plays itself out almost every summer day, the monster – lurching along at first – gathers its strength and glides like a shadow out onto the plains.  Demonstrating domination over the land with lightning bolts, thunder, darkness, wind, rain, and hail.

We were fortunate to be observing this monster from a distance last Saturday.  Had we been a couple of miles further south, our enjoyable day together hiking Mt. Bierstadt would have been remembered for much different reasons.  This storm went on to rip the roofs off houses, snap power poles, and destroy the canopy over the pumps at a gas station.

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Frankenstorm
f/9, 55mm, 1/400 @ 100 ISO