Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Summary

Numbers, numbers, numbers.  Part of me doesn't want to log another statistic and just go out and run.  But in the end, I do like to compare my progress over past years.  Then I figure it is good to share the numbers since I also like to see what others do in their training.  My non-running friends still can't believe me when I say I know many people who run nearly twice the mileage that I do.  Really it is just finding that balance that works for you individually, so I have no intentions of ever trying to break 3000 miles or some other magic number.  Besides, "total miles" is not that important of a statistic when it comes to trail running.  So here are the numbers for me in 2011.

2400 total miles with 83 miles of climbing (2010: 2281, 65)

Trail: 126 runs, 1717 miles, 66 miles vertical, 373 hours
Road:  45 runs, 320 miles, 1 mile vertical
Treadmill:  40 workouts, 190 miles, 16 miles vertical
Track: 30 workouts, 173 miles
Weight room:  119 workouts (approx 100 hours)
Rest days: 128

Monthly breakdown
January: 221 miles, 6.5 miles vertical
Februrary:  208, 6.2
March:       211, 6.3
April:         244, 7.9
May:          225, 8.2
June:          251, 7.2
July:           177, 6.4
August:      172, 6.5
September: 118, 4.6
October:     188, 6.7
November: 187, 6.3
December: 198, 10.3

Pretty consistent year with really only one down month in September.  I guess it was only fitting that I ended up exactly at 2400 miles for the year (didn't plan that) since I seem to hover around 200 miles a month.  With over 10 miles of vertical in December I think it is safe to say that Hardrock training has already begun.

Summits tagged in 2011:

Horsetooth Rock (elev 7208ft), 26 times
Arthurs Rock (elev 6772ft), 8 times
Round Mountain (elev 8458ft), 4 times
Greyrock Mountain (elev 7613ft), 3 times
Pikes Peak (elev 14,115ft)
Mount Meeker (elev 13,911ft)
West White Pine Mountain (elev 10,302ft)
Crosier Mountain (elev 9216ft)

Final reflections on 2011:

I'm really happy to see another year where I have been able to set a bunch of personal training records despite another year of wear and tear on the body.  This year was by far my biggest year of trail running.  At 373 hours (over an hour per day average on a trail), I feel like I am finally taking full advantage of the great resources I have here in Fort Collins and doing what I love to do most.  Winning my first race ever was a huge highlight for me as I thought it probably never would happen.  But it was no comparison to the biggest highlight of my running year, which was completing the last quarter mile of the Black Hills 100 with my daughter Madison.

Looking ahead to 2012:

Obviously, the Hardrock 100 will be the focus for my next 7 months.  Not that I needed any extra motivation to get out and run up mountains, but I know how privileged I am to be able to compete in this epic event and I want to give it everything I've got.  I have also put the Pikes Peak Marathon on my 2012 schedule.  I feel I still have a much better race in me for that mountain and if the rumours are true, I would love to witness what could be one of the most historical events in the sport of mountain running.  Kilian vs. Matt?

Racing is really just a tiny morsel of my trail running life and, as always, I look forward to exploring many new trails and summitting new peaks in 2012.  It is fantastic to see the trail running community here in Fort Collins continue to thrive and grow.  I expect the new Quad Rock races in May to be a true celebration of this.  Finally, I greatly appreciate the friendships and support of the other trail runners I have gotten to know over the past few years.  Happy New Year and see you on the trail!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chubby Cheeks 2011

Another great day on the trails with old and new friends at the 2nd annual Chubby Cheeks.  I don't know the exact numbers, but I'm guessing we had somewhere around 50 runners today.  They came from all along the Front Range from Laramie, Wyoming down to Colorado Springs (CRUD showing up strong again) and as far west as Aspen.

I took off with the early 7am wave knowing that the pace would be a little slower than last year when we had clear and dry trails.  I was expecting to be out there about 8 hours today for the 50K (7000+ feet of climbing) and I was just about right.  In fact, no one went under 6 hours on the 50K this year.  I pretty much ran the first 14 miles to Arthurs Rock with my CRUD friend Rick (early favorite for the Quad Rock 50) and off and on with fellow FCTRs Kyle and Sarah.  Plus a few other out-of-towners who I was glad to play tour guide for.  Unfortunately, everyone opted for shorter courses so I ran alone for the next 7 miles around Lory State Park until getting back to Arthurs trailhead and our one aid station.  I hung out there for quite a while chatting with our awesome aid station volunteers, and then quickly lots of familiar faces started to accumulate from the various start times and course options.  I finally convinced the crew that it was getting a little too chilly standing around, so I took off with Pete and a strong group of 8am 50Kers.  I pushed along with them for a few miles before realizing I was working harder than I really wanted to today.  It wasn't long from there, however, until we were all back at Nick's warm house drinking beers, stuffing our faces, and giving our best excuses for running slow this year.  I thought the trails were just perfect today, but I don't think everyone agreed with me.

Huge thanks to Nick and family for opening their home again to a bunch of smelly runners.  I hope everyone had as much fun out there as I did today and it was great seeing you all!  I'm already looking forward to Ponderous Posterior in January.

All photos here.

On top of my favorite rock.

Rick Hessek crushing the climb on Stout Trail.

Kyle and Sarah trudging through Mill Creek Trail.

Rick and Brad enjoying the scenic Howard Trail.

Taking in the views from Arthur's Rock.

Aaron fixing everyone up at Arthurs Aid.

Top 50K woman Shannon finishing strong on Westridge Trail.

Complete certifiable results below (Young Money's 50K course record performance of 3 hours flat under review due to accusations of severe short-cutting of the course)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Latest Chubby Conditions

No waist deep snow drifts or breaking trail like on Sunday.  Conditions actually were pretty good today.  Some ankle deep fluffy stuff, some nice compacted snow, some bare and dry trails, and not much mud or ice.  If the temps stay cool as expected until Saturday, we should be in pretty good shape for the 2nd annual El Chubbo.

Well Gulch Trail

Overlook Trail

Valley Trail

Mill Creek Link Trail

Howard Trail

Timber Trail

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Silverton Bound

I felt such a calmness as I stood atop Horsetooth Rock this morning.  Fort Collins sitting below me in a frozen quietness.  The first light of the day exposing the glorious snow-covered Front Range.  I often like to pause and spend a few moments soaking it all in and thinking about how lucky I am to enjoy these Colorado mountains on my well-travelled feet.  The Hardrock lottery would be later in the morning and while I was hoping this would be the year, I told myself I really can't be disappointed if the outcome didn't go in my favor.  These Colorado mountains would still be here for me to enjoy regardless.  Well, as it turns out, I am #4 on the wait list.  I will be in Silverton on July 13, 2012, ready for the experience of a lifetime.

Enjoy a few pics from the morning.  Trail conditions will be a little different this year for Chubby Cheeks, but really just an excuse to run a little slower and take in the awesome scenery.  At least no one should have to break trail by Saturday (I took care of a fair amount of that this morning).

Fort Collins is going "ultra" on May 12, 2012 (should be snow-free).  Registration for the Quad Rock 50 (and 25-mile option) opens this Wednesday, December 7.

Audra Culver Trail

Westridge Trail

Mill Creek Trail

Getting the legs "Hardrock-ready"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hardrock Odds Updated

I just got my hands on some data courtesy of Hardrock legend Blake Wood.  These were the data I was missing when I approximated the odds of getting into Hardrock a couple of weeks ago (posted here), although it turned out that my assumptions then were not that far off.

As of November 28:
32 automatic entries taken from the capped field of 140
278 applicants with 1 ticket
219 applicants with 2 tickets
73 applicants with 3 tickets
30 applicants with 4 tickets
12 applicants with 5 tickets
14 applicants with 6 tickets

There are 1199 tickets in the hat for the remaining 108 spots.  Hopefully, not too many more applicants came in before today's deadline.  I doubt there will be enough to lower these odds very much.  So using the methods outlined in my earlier post, and assuming 30 get into the race from the wait list, here are your chances:

1 ticket = 12.2% chance of being at the starting line in Silverton on 7/13/2012
2 tickets = 22.9%
3 tickets = 32.3%
4 tickets = 40.6%
5 tickets = 47.9%
6 tickets = 54.2%

Drawing starts this Sunday at 10am MST.