week of sept 23rd thru sept 29th, 2013 (mile marker 12)

Monday the 23rd

perch #42 on the year. 4.5 miles, :56. +650′ vert. Painstakingly slow (MAT of 147 bpm)–a lot of walking–but trying to take the long view (could I run/walk this pace for 27 hours? hmm…probably). great weather this morning.

Tuesday

rest day

Wednesday

perch #43. +600′ vert. 6 miles.  Time trial (from trail head to Perch–1.75 mile ascent)…19:26.47. not bad. first time under 20 minutes in about a year. warmed-up for 1.25 miles from house to TH then steadily turned it up. ran out of energy 3/4 of the way. probably gave away about 30 secs in hiking but it’ll do for now. had to rest for 4+ minutes at the top to catch my breath then strolled back down, staying below MAT (147). great run–used The Stick last night on my trigger points and i’m feeling pretty good.

Thursday

“Nimbus” jog with Maya around the neighborhood (~1.25 miles) before some core exercises and push-ups.  More work needed here…

Friday

rest day–drove up to Frisco with Kels and Maya. Slept in Larry–20 degrees and blowing snow–in anticipation of seeing some of the best trail runners in the world battled it out the next day at UROC.  

Saturday

+2,500′ vert. 8.5 miles. ~4 hours of hiking and scootin’.  Great morning hike out of the Copper Mtn area (onto the Colorado and Continental Divide Trails) with Kels up to a saddle at ~12,500′ asl to see some  amazing runners do their thing–in 8″ of snow. Kilian! Venga Venga Venga! Definitely inspiring to see, despite freezing toes and 20 degree temps. Snow…sunshine…yellow and orange aspens! Autumnal Colorado!  Grateful for a partner who’s into epic outings like this one. Thanks Kels!

Sunday

7 miles, 1:37, +1,700′ vert. up to the Towers above horsetooth rez. great morning hike/jog/run.

Weekly Totals:

27.5 foot miles, ~8:15. +5450′ vertical gain.  

Snoozed a little more than I would have liked during the week but made up for it over the weekend.  A fair amount of vertical too. Made it over the 100 mile mark for the month of September–a pretty fair start to training.  Highlights of the week: time trial to the perch went well, awesome weekend with Kels in the high mountains, jog up to the Towers on Sunday…legs feelin’ pretty solid.

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recovery drink (mile marker 11.9)

I often come home from a jog or ride and make a “protein recovery smoothie” in the VitaMix (greatest kitchen appliance ever) as I’ve read that the hour or so after your workout is the best time to give those muscles some protein.  Apparently this is when they’re the most receptive,  according to “science”. Who am I to doubt this conventional wisdom? (see: Galileo and Darwin)

Anywho, I usually make these elixirs with:  banana (potassium), spinach and/or kale (vegetables are good for you), beets (legal EPO), yogurt (mmm…for the protein and creaminess), blueberries (good for you), almonds (protein), a great veggie-based multi-vitamin protein powder (chocolate flavored), some ice, some water.  Bah-da-bing! Soak it up, muscles!  So yesterday I thought: hey, doesn’t Rocky drink raw eggs for protein? Don’t eggs (and other foods) lose a lot of their nutritional value when you cook them? Hmm…how could I make a protein shake with more protein?

Yep…I did.  I cracked a large, free-range egg and plopped it right into the VitaMix (after already adding said ingredients). I made a video of it but the blog-machine said the file was too big to post it.  Trust me, it was both awesome and a little weird.  Here’s a picture after the first sip:

my face says: “eyyy…not bad!”

My muscles need all the help they can get.  Cheers to a year of beet and egg smoothies! Ha!

week of sept 16th thru sept 22nd, 2013 (mile marker 10)

Monday the 16th

4.5 miles, 46 minutes, negligible vertical gain. A decent tempo run with Duder: 10 minute warm-up, 10 minute zone 4, 2 minute cool down. repeat.   Felt good to get the legs turnin’ over a little quicker.

Tuesday

perch #41 on the year. 6 miles, 1:15, +600′ vertical. Stayed in the MAT (max aerobic threshold) zone–which is about a zone 3. it was tough–felt really slow. a lot of stop and go, but great to get back to the standard perch run. things are dryin’ out.

Wednesday

rest day

Thursday

Bike ride–14.5 miles toward Lory State Park.  :58.  A few big hills.  Great late-afternoon ride after feeling lousy yesterday (perhaps the result of a crazy-painful massage at Amara which undoubtedly unleashed poisons that were trapped in my muscles. lethargic and flu-ish all day yesterday. today…better. )

Friday

rest day–wanted to go at it but body said no.  too early in the year to ignore that feeling.

Saturday

hike with Kels and Duder at Lory.  Timber trail: 6.25 miles, +1500′ vert. 3 hours. Kelsea set a strong, steady pace.

Sunday

6.25 miles, 1:15. +1,000′ vert.  Random/new route with Duder.  stayed under MAT zone until the rain/lightning/scariness. Scared enough to run a 6-minute mile toward the end. lol…that’s about as fast as I can go!  good to get the legs movin’.

Weekly Totals:

23 foot miles, 14.5 bike miles. ~7:15. ~3,300′ vertical gain

A little all over the place this week.  Some running, some sprinting, some tempo effort, some hiking,  biking, feeling good, feeling bad.  Glad the trails are dried up. Fall is definitely in the air–best time of year!  Staying the course*.

*getting myself into overall-good shape/health without pushing too much for the next 2-3 months in preparation for the big throw-down/build-up in miles beginning in January/February. 

Leadville. (mile marker 9.0)

The small town of Leadville, Colorado, which boasts of being the “highest town in America” sits at 10,200 feet above sea level.  Besides the ‘altitude factor’ (yes, the air is a bit thinner up there), there is a simple, gritty, wide-open feeling I get when I’m there.  Leadville is surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in Colorado, and the Rockies for that matter.  It is a beautiful and daunting place.

The LT100 was born out of the despair surrounding the Climax Mine closure that put most Leadville residents out of work in the early ’80s.  For a real sense of what this race is about, I suggest this short 5 minute video featuring the winner of the race a couple years ago. If you’re even more interested: click here to go to the Unofficial website which has a map and profile of the race;  here’s a great article about the experience as well; or find yourself a copy of the book Born to Run which features the LT100 and is a great adventure story.

elbert, massive
       Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, from just outside Leadville

But why run it?

There’s really not a definitive reason why.  It’s not really rational, I know that.  Here’s my best attempt at defining the Why:

Simply put, the LT100 represents the ultimate physical and mental challenge for me.  Yes, I know Mom, I don’t have children.  🙂 Seeking out this type of challenge (running really long distances) has provided me with many things: time in nature; solitude to think and enjoy silence; a feeling of freedom and connectedness to the moment; a chance to test myself and push my physical and mental boundaries; whittle life down to the basics.

Really, it comes down to a question I was once asked, by an old fern–I mean friend.  He was quoting a Mary Oliver poem:

“…Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

One. Wild. Precious. Life.

Well? What will you do?  I’ve continued to ask, and re-ask myself this over the course of the last ten years or so, and many times the answer is different.  Some parts of the answer remain the same:  To hold Kelsea’s hand.  To sit in silence for a while.  To be kind.

For the next while, I’m simply adding:  To move. With purpose.  To move with purpose over mountains.  To give it everything.  To expect nothing.

week of sept 9th thru sept 15th, 2013 (mile marker 8.2)

Monday the 9th

Perch #40 on the year. 3.5 miles, 570′ vertical gain. Easy-medium effort (zone 3). felt pretty solid.

Tuesday

Intervals: Perch should have been closed–lots of rain, mud. warmed-up, did three interval sets (to the top of zone 4), with cool-downs in between. easy jog home the last mile.  4.57 miles total. Minimal vertical gain (~250′).

Wednesday

1.0 miles, 12 minutes in zone 2. Nice and easy Nimbus (‘barefoot’ shoes) jog around the neighborhood.

Thursday

3.2 miles, ~250′ vert.  Still raining after three days–crazy–perch still closed. easy run with Duder this morning. keepin’ things relaxed. might pick it up tomorrow.

Friday

7.7 miles, +750′ vertical gain. First longish run in a bit. Stayed in HR zone 3 for all but the top of the hill to the Rez (on the road). got the run in between the storms. floodin’ ever’where.  

Saturday

3.2 miles. nice walk with the fam.  kept it easy. back at it tomorrow.

Sunday

Oh goooood…more rain. 3.2 miles to the gate again, zone 3ish.  HRM wasn’t working at first.  

Weekly Totals:

26.4 foot miles, +~2000′ vert.

Kind of a ‘meh’ week, with tons of rain, sloppy/closed trail and thus not a lot of climbing.  Got up to the Rez once via the road and otherwise stuck to zone 3 on the HRM.  Looking forward to a drier week (maybe back up to the Perch by later in the week when it opens).  Reading more about Max Aerobic Threshold (mine being around 147 bpm).  Liking the “numbers and figurin’s” part of the heart rate monitor training.