Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Summary

Since I've got the numbers, I thought I would share them.  Total miles ended up at 2281 with approximately 65 miles of climbing.  The breakdown:

1274 trail miles (48 miles climbed, 281 hours)
190 treadmill miles (14 miles climbed)
97 track miles (no climbing)
720 road miles (estimated 3 miles climbing)
129 resistance workouts (weights/plyometrics, about 100 hours)

Prominent Summits:

Longs Peak (14,255ft)
Comanche Peak (12,690ft)
Signal Mountain, 3 times (11,253ft)
Lookout Mountain (10,597ft)
West White Pine Mountain (10,302ft)
Crosier Mountain, 3 times one day (9216ft)
Sheep (Round) Mountain (8458ft)
Horsetooth Rock, 7 times (7208ft)
Arthurs Rock, 3 times (6772ft)

I ended up my year today with 15 miles of urban trail (road) around Fort Collins in the snow and single digits (welcome Winter).  I'm really happy with the total numbers.  As I pointed out in a previous post, my miles are pretty low compared to a lot of my trail running peers.  Of course since that post a month ago I went out and did 270 miles in December (my biggest month).  As all trail runners know, however, all miles are not created equal.  Pete recently posted his 100th vertical mile of 2010 and that is a number that I put more value to than horizontal miles.  Maybe I will shoot for 100 in 2011, but it will be tough.  I'm going to have to convert more of those road miles to trail miles but that is not always feasible.  I am trying to make an effort to do more short trail runs at harder efforts.  For example, I plan to make the Horsetooth Summit time trial a regular personal challenge.

It's been a great year of discovering new trails and I hope to continue that trend in 2011.  I will assume Hard Rock to be my goal race this summer until I hear otherwise from the February 5 lottery.  There is also a long list of runs and adventures that don't involve a registration fee or racing bib that I hope to slowly make my way through.  As a kid, my Dad and I used to joke how we wanted to fish every pond and lake in Maine.  Impossible!  Now I feel the same way about trying to explore every trail in Colorado.

I am thankful to go another year injury-free (not counting the everyday muscle soreness of this 40 year old body).  I think the resistance training is key to this.  I am also lucky to have the support of a wonderful wife and two girls who let Dad disappear into the mountains for hours on end and then lets his stinky, sweaty body back in the house upon his return.

2010, you are done!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Anti-minimalist shoe

I took another shot at a sub 30 minute Horsetooth summit today, the result a 31:05.  This was a new PR, but I still know I can do better.  I tried to chase "Proud Daddy" Clark up the hill today and maybe went out a little too fast (10:14 split at mile 1).  Anyway, Nick lowered the standard today with a smokin' 23:50 (details here).  On our return loop through the park, Nick commented on my shoes and how I probably could shave a good minute with something more lightweight.  The North Face Ultra 106 Goretex (shown above) were a great shoe for me last winter (actually the 104's last year) as I trudged through snow-covered trails for several months.  So I got a new pair for this winter, but haven't really needed them yet (I prefer the Brooks Cascadias).  No doubt these shoes are monsters, so I decided to weigh my shoes this afternoon and found my size 13 Ultras to be a whopping 20.8 ounces per shoe.  Not a complete dry weight with a little sweat still on them, but still heavier than I thought.  I figure if I run through the winter in these boots I'll have the leg strength to fly over the San Juan mountains come July 8.  However, next time I go for a Horsetooth summit PR in dry conditions like today, I'll probably throw on my beat up Cascadias (size 12.5, 14.7 ounces).

After today's run, I realized that December will actually be my highest mileage month of the year.  I guess the increased opportunity to get out on the trails this month combined with the fact that these trails could be buried in snow any day (like tomorrow) has motivated me to rack up some trail miles.

Today's run:
Horsetooth Rock Trail (with Southridge shortcut near top): 2.34 miles to summit (31:05)
Return via Wathen, Spring Creek, Horsetooth Falls
7.32 miles total with 1813 feet vertical (GPS data here)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lory Rescue Mission

I was out on the trails of Lory State Park today and came upon this deer lying down on the Howard Trail.  I could have sworn it was mumbling something that sounded like "damn Chubby Cheeks course".  So I asked the deer if he was a member of team CRUD.  But honestly, the poor animal couldn't get up.  Division of Wildlife had already been informed by the time I could let them know.  No other carnage was found on the CC course.  It's been fun reading the various reports and seeing the pictures from all the great people that turned out on Saturday.
Today's rather scattered 17 miles (2824 feet of vertical) can be viewed here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chubby Cheeks 50K (6:26:36)

Well the long-awaited event finally arrived and it certainly didn't dissapoint.  I evened up my score with this course with a pretty strong run today, but more importantly got to spend some time on the trails with some old and new friends.  I don't know if Horsetooth and Lory Parks has ever had this many accomplished trail runners out on the trails all at one time before.  We had near perfect trail conditions on a nice crisp December day.  Big thanks to Nick for hosting the first (we hope of many) Chubby Cheeks (aka El Chubbo Grande, Chubster, Chubbapalooza, ...) Fort Collins Fat-Ass.

Some more pictures from the day can be seen here

GPS data here

Garmin had the 50K course at 31.36 miles with 6858 feet of climbing.

Pete Stevenson tearing up the course today.

No shortage of climbing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chubby Cheeks Teaser

I'll let the picture describe the current course conditions.  Barely any snow up here in Fort Collins and another beautiful day on the trails.  The CC course is just about prepped for the big event.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FoCo R2R2R

Sunrise from Horsetooth Rock (summit 1)
 I was looking for about 4 hours today on the Horsetooth and Lory trails with a good amount of climbing.  What I ended up doing was a first for me.  I'll call it Fort Collins' version of R2R2R (Horsetooth Rock to Arthurs Rock to Horsetooth Rock).  I didn't take the most direct route in either direction and instead made a nice loop of it.  I usually don't even bother to tag these summits, but I have kind of been on a summit tagging binge lately.  Just under 20 miles for the day and just over 5000 feet of climbing.  Trail conditions are perfect right now for El Chubbo.

Today's Course:
Southridge-Audra Culver-Horsetooth Rock (to summit)-Westridge-Towers-Mill Creek-Howard-Arthurs Rock (to summit)-Valley-Sawmill-Loggers-Herrington-Spring Creek-Wathen-Horsetooth Rock (to summit)-Southridge.

Start/Finish at Horsetooth Mountain Trailhead.

GPS data here

Horsetooth Rock as viewed from Arthurs Rock (summit 2)

Arthurs Rock in the distant as viewed from Horsetooth Rock (summit 3)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

2000 Miles

While many trail and ultrarunners are posting double the mileage that I am, I actually take a little pride in being able to participate and compete (faster than some) in this sport on just 2000 miles in 11 months. I hit mile 2000 on November 29. I attribute this to quality over quantity and to cross-training. That being said, I am continually trying to tweak some things to get better. I am now trying to work in some more hard efforts on the trail at shorter distances. Like a few days ago, I made another attempt for a Horsetooth Summit PR using a slight course change (little bit longer, but maybe faster?) based on Nick's suggestion. The result was 33 minutes flat (a little over a minute slower than my last attempt). The thought was that by using more service road and less singletrack, the climbing pace could be upped a little. However, I actually feel like a better climber on the singletrack. I'll make many more attempts using all of the different course options so I'll eventually figure it out.

Big race outside of San Francisco this morning with $10,000 up for grabs at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-miler. A strong international presence at this one as Spain's Miguel Heras won for the men in 6:47 and New Zealand's Anna Frost took 1st woman in 7:45. Congrats to new Fort Collins resident Dakota Jones who took 4th place with a 7:02. See what these Fort Collins trails can do for you, and he's just 19 years old!

Today's run:
9.2 miles, 2477 feet climbing

Horsetooth Rock/Southridge/Horsetooth Rock (summit in 33:00)/Westridge/Spring Creek/Wathen/Horsetooth Rock.

Start/Finish at Horsetooth Mountain Trailhead.

GPS data here.

A frosty morning on the mountain.