It's already five days into 2015, and things are already heating up (literally, if you are paying attention to today's weather compared to the past two weeks). 2014 turned out to be a good year, and I was able to accomplish several of my goals: finish the G & T Challenge, run and rank in the US Skyrunning series, get back into climbing and boulder V9/10, have some adventures, and run some races. The one goal that I failed on was doing Nolans, which as I look back now, other then the logistical and planning errors, was also hampered by the G & T challenge. In fact, a lot of my other goals were slightly compromised by the challenge, simply because I never got to have a week off, a down week, or anything similar. Although such a challenge didn't wear me out, it certainly didn't keep a spring in my step or allow for proper rest and tapers. I've only been "running" for three years consistently, so I don't have the logs to compare to over the years to see just how 2014 stacked up, but here are some numbers.
Vertical Gain: 713,897'
Peaks: 184 summits, 71 14ers, 27 13ers, and a bunch of others
Vertical Gain: 521,943'
See here, no stats, but a narrative recap.
I want to say that I'm getting faster/stronger, but it is hard to tell that from the numbers. I don't have PR times at set distances to see if I have actually improved, but I want to say that the numbers support my perceived gains: in 2014 I was able to run 420.27 miles further, with 191,954' more of gain, in only 160.11 hours more time. My average miles per hour, however was slower: 5.6 in 2014 and 6.8 in 2013. Perhaps that extra 191,954' of gain explains that.
Plans for 2015 are still in the works, but they involve running the US Skyrunning Ultra series, with an aim for top 5 overall, attempting Nolans again (early summer), doing some other races, and climbing V12 if possible. I will be a master this year, so we will see if that means anything. I believe I have a good shot at the US Skyrunning series since it will be a major focus, and I won't have the G & T challenge to slow my leg speed down. As for Nolans, well, we will see, although I'm more confident then last year with more experience under my belt. Climbing V12 should be possible if everything stays on track, as I am now back to my 2011 strength, and V10s are regularly within my range. As for other races, I'm planning on the Sourdough snowshoe 30K, the Twin Mountain Trudge, and then trying to figure out a spring that will benefit an early Nolans attempt. I'm currently thinking something like 24 hours of Utah (March 21-22) for the all day effort experience, Desert Rats 25 miler (April 18), Collegiate Peaks 50 (May 2), then give it a go early June. I would prefer some more mountainous races, but there doesn't seem to be any around.
I wrote a recap of the 2014 Ultra Performances of the Year by Colorado runners for Colorado Runner Magazine. A lot of amazing races and performances last year, and I hope to keep track again and put together an even more comprehensive list next year.
Obviously, I run a lot at sunrise, but that is a perfect time to get out and get in a solid run up the mountain. Hence, my sunrise heavy photos.
Finally, another set of very interesting and informative articles on running and endurance performance.
- Nutrition and the Adaptation to Endurance Training
- A Step Towards Personalized Sports Nutrition: Carbohydrate Intake During Exercise
- Dietary Nitrate Supplementation and Exercise Performance
- New Insights into the Interaction of Carbohydrate and Fat Metabolism During Exercise