Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Summary

Another month not quite as planned.  A week off with strep throat, a forest fire, and the continuing busy life where often I have to make the choice of sleep or run.  Somehow I stumble into about the same monthly totals regardless of how I get there.  A model of consistent inconsistency I guess.

I'll give another plug for the Nick Seaman 5K.  Same time, same place, but a different day.  The race was postponed to this Saturday (6/2) due to the fire smoke.  I've been putting down my fastest times on the track in a long time, so watch out.

The plan for June.  A lot of time up high in the mountains, I hope.

The numbers for May:

207 total miles with 38616 feet of vertical

Trail (13 runs), 161 miles, 35961 feet, 34 hours
Track (4), 24 miles, 3 hours
Road (2), 16 miles, 2 hours
Treadmill (1), 6 miles, 2655 feet, 1 hour
Weight Room (8), 6 hours
Rest Days (11)

Total Hours 46

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Signal Mountain

The views don't get much better than atop of Signal Mountain, especially with a fresh blanket of snow.  Some very welcome moisture for our region.  I had my work cut out for me on this first trip to the alpine in a while, not because of the snow but because of the thousands of downed trees.  The remnants of some crazy weather and microbursts last November.  A lot of work will need to be done to clear the trail from just above Bulwark Ridge, about 3 miles from the trailhead, all the way up to treeline.   I just tried to find the path of least resistance.  I ditched my plan to run to Pingree Park and back (a double Signal crossing) and instead played around the summits of Signal and South Signal for a while before bushwacking back down.  Just a spectacular morning up there!

The ugly:

The not-so ugly:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Quad Rock

What a day!  Yes it was cold.  Yes it was long.  And I heard the hills were relentless, but I already knew that.  I let some 200 plus other trail runners enjoy those hills on Saturday at the first of let's hope many Quad Rock 50 and 25 mile races.

As soon as race directors Pete and Nick informed me that this long-overdue event was about to become a reality, I couldn't wait to be a part of helping to show off some of the best running trails around.  It was nice to hear all the positive comments from the runners about our trails that we probably take for granted.  It was also reassuring to hear how difficult they thought the course was, making me think these are also pretty good training grounds.  When world-class ultrarunner Dave Riddle tells me post-race that he's never raced anything close to this difficulty in his life, it puts a smile on my face.  I then inform him that many of us search for bigger and steeper mountains on the weekends.  Kudos to Dave for gutting it out to a 5th place finish.

What was most awesome about my day, however, was teaming up with some great people and providing support to the runners at the Horsetooth Aid Station.  We got to help both our 25 and 50 mile runners early in the morning at 10 miles in, then for the many brave folks making the return loop, we got to see them again at mile 40.  Since running in my first ultra event, I have always been amazed by the support of the volunteers.  It is what really makes these events special.  So I was more than glad to try to return the favor.

Thank you Kevin, Chris, Lisa, Molly, Ashley, Betsy, Dale, Beth, Shana, and Dick (our awesome LCSAR rep).  We had over 200 pass through our aid station in the morning.  We then had 99 come back to mile 40 in the 50 mile race.  What is most cool is that all 99 made it to the finish line.  Great work team!

All of my photos from the Horsetooth Aid Station can be seen here

Race Results here

Your Quad Rock 50 Winner!  Ryan Burch defends the home turf.

All prepped for a long, cold day.  Bring on the runners.

Horsetooth Rock is up there somewhere.

Dick and Lisa fixing up some warm goodness.

JT better bring his "A" game to Hardrock or drinks will be on him.

Make yourself comfortable at Horsetooth Aid Station.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Moonlight on the Rockies (Another Crosier Triple)

In what has now become a spring training ritual, I took on the Crosier Triple this morning.  This consists of 3 summits of the 9200+ foot Crosier Mountain from 3 different trailheads, in one run.  I figured this would be a good measuring stick for me since this was my third May in a row of taking on this 25-mile adventure with close to 7800 feet of climbing.  I was pretty happy with the result (my fastest despite a very conservative effort).

Getting an early start under the moonlight, I was treated to a spectacular view on my first summit (about an hour before sunrise).  What became very evident as the run continued is that we need some moisture.  All of the snow on this mountain is long-gone, all the streams are dried up, and there wasn't a single muddy step on any of the trails.  I am glad it is raining out now.

Congrats to my better half for taking on her first ultra on Saturday at the Greenland 50K.  Tough conditions out there in the heat and not a speck of shade to be found on those trails.

Deanne and little pacers around mile 25 just before calling it a day.

The Crosier Triple profile:

GPS data here