Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Is Done

May Is Done

Well, that was a wet month! Although I had plans on getting up into the high country and starting to get on the Nolan's course this past month, that did not materialize due to the insane amount of rain and snow we received. The snowpack actually increased during the month as opposed to the usual melting that begins. So, I was limited to the Front Range peaks, banging out laps on Green Mountain with a few faster runs tossed in here and there. Overall, despite a crimp in the plans, things turned out OK. I did 291.1 miles and 63,415' of gain (with the same in descent). That is right about where I want to be, although I would have hoped to have more of it at altitude.

I did get in a couple good sessions for the Skyrunning series at altitude, with a 10 mile tempo at 10,000' and a 10K at 10,000', along with some stuff down on the plains, mostly surges of 30 secs. to 1 min. during a run. Playing the balance between trying to build for Nolan's while also keeping some speed for the Skyrunning is certainly hard, but I think as long as I get in one or perhaps two good speed sessions per week I will be alright. We will see as the races approach.

 Went to the Flatirons Running event with Kara Goucher. She is obviously better and more used to taking photos then me. I had an English class with her at CU back in '95 - neither one of us could remember what it was other than the fact that we hated it.
 Got to meet and run with Meb Keflezighi also. Pretty cool. His shakeout run was at 7:20 pace. I could obviously crush him with my stature and girth, if I could catch him! ;)

 I was pretty proud of this photo, simply because I was able to hold the camera steady enough to do a mega-zoom after running Green Mountain. My heartrate recovers pretty fast I guess.

 Green had about 5 different streams running down the mountain, something that you hardly ever see. So despite all the rain, the mountain has been pretty magical.
 Standard after run legs for the past month.

 Snow on the Brainard road. Still tons of it. Won't be melting out until mid-June.
This is the road to Long Lake and Mitchell Lake trailheads. Not even close yet!

So, despite everything, a fairly descent month. I backed off on the climbing, only able to get in a couple days a week due to life factors, but I was able to maintain my fitness, which was good. I'm hovering around the V9 grade right now in 2-3 attempts, with onsights at V5-6 on a regular basis. I was really happy to be able to go and do an old circuit of mine up on Flagstaff that involves 4 V4s, 3 V5s, 2 V6s, a V7, and a bunch of moderates without any problem. This is more a backburner this summer as my primary goals are Nolan's and the Skyrunning series, but I do want to keep my strength up as I have projects in mind come fall.

As for living, we are still both living in our VW Rabbit. Life is good up at 9,000' on the Peak to Peak. If anyone needs a housesitter, let me know! ;)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Training In The Rain - The Adventure Begins

Training In The Rain - The Adventure Begins

Originally a celebration of the running, climbing, and telemark skiing adventures that Tara and I took part in, this blog has morphed from one of primarily climbing FAs on obscure pebbles to backcountry powder posts, to trail running adventures in Colorado. Every once and awhile I'd throw in a link to a new article I read in some science journal about running, or I discuss some of my training. However, I never really said much, or opened up much of my life to the outside world. Let's face it, I'm not an extrovert and I've always been very humble. But I've been thinking lately that I have a lot to share and tell, and perhaps I should not keep so quiet about what I am up to or my opinions or thoughts. Also, as I've read other blogs over the years, I've noticed that the one's I enjoy reading the most are the most transparent and open. So, in a new turn for me, I'm going to try and talk more about my life in general - with a focus on my goals and how I am going about achieving them.

May has been wet. Too wet. The high country is still snowed in, Tara and I don't have any tele boots that fit, and so we are relegated to dealing with the rain and the local hills. As my two primary goals for this summer are Nolan's and the US Skyrunning series, I've been trying to get in the right training during this deluge. On top of that, we ended up moving into a VW Rabbit on April 25. Not ideal, but as part of the adventure we have embraced it and found it to be fairly OK - what is not to love living in a 50 square foot mobile home?

The idea originally was to start getting into the high peaks in May, with the hopes of getting on parts of the Nolan's course as well. That plan was quickly denied by mother nature. Instead, it has been simply a chore to keep up with training in some reasonable fashion while dealing with the non-stop rain. That means trying to get in as much vert. as possible, while still getting in one or two faster days during the week.

The other day I came across this 100 miler training plan that looks pretty much like what I have been doing, except that I don't have the volume and have focused on increasing vert. in May instead of volume. I think it's a solid plan, although I will work on emphasizing vert and volume in June and July, with the two Sky races coming July 17 and August 1. Then it will be Nolans with the final Sky race in October.

If you want to follow along on our journey this summer, there are a couple ways. I'll try and post regularly here (and be as open and transparent about the process), but you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Strava. Now for some photos of the past four weeks of fun!

 I don't have any photos of myself prior to 2011, but a friend posted this one on my Facebook wall earlier. I took my buddy up a solo climb of the north face of Long's Peak under almost ideal conditions. I don't think he went on any more climbs with me after...
 The start of the rains... somewhere above Golden in the mist.
 The second night in the Rabbit, still fresh snow on the ground at 9,000'
 Sunrise run above Denver.
 The view from one of our secret spots.
 Tucked in for the night...

 Alpine glow - the best view for waking up.
 Rainy mist at Chautauqua - back at the start of May, but now a common scene.

 It snowed one night, but we were warm and ended up running up Sanitas.

 The standard Amphitheater trail these days... a small stream.
 Longs on the one clear morning we have had since 2009....
 Watching storm clouds from our nightly perch.
 Passing time...
 This guy walked about four feet in front of us one evening... very cool.
 The view from a ten mile tempo run at 10,000' on an open/closed road.
 Morning on the Boulder peaks before the rains came...
 I train at EarthTreks in Golden. Best climbing gym around, and these adjustable systems boards are killer.

 Sunrise on the Flatirons...

Your standard image for the past month... wet, rainy trails.