May 19

February, March, and April 2015

“Running”

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Horsetooth south summit

X-ray

Round Mountain Trail

Longs from Crosier

Nice day for a hike

It’s been a rough Spring. With near-constant pain in my left knee, I’ve really struggled to do much running at all. What little running I have done has been quite painful for the most part. I was able to do a lot of walking and hiking (which are less painful), and a fair bit of cycling (which is also less painful). The good news is that my knee is finally starting to feel a bit better in May (though still not great).

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist Total Ascent Avg Ascent
January 27 274.15 miles 10.15 miles 34486.2 feet 1277.27 feet
February 10 86.31 miles 8.63 miles 12141.1 feet 1214.11 feet
March 12 57.27 miles 4.77 miles 12320.9 feet 1026.74 feet
April 12 96.01 miles 8. miles 14028.9 feet 1169.07 feet
Total 61 513.74 miles 8.42 miles 72977. feet 1196.34 feet

Running 2015 4


Cycling

Freak snowstorm on the way to school

Guard rail rash

Buckhorn Canyon

I transitioned to a new training log, and I don’t have all my historical cycling data imported yet. So here’s February, March, and April 2015:

313 miles, 21h30m, 21,926 ft ascent, max speed 51.4 mph.

May 18

Canyonlands

Canyonlands NP

I wasn’t super familiar with Canyonlands National Park before my trip to Moab, UT in February. Even though I was a bit short on time, I had to pay a quick visit on the Sunday morning after the Red Hot 55K before I headed back home. In short, I was blown away.

In the park is the confluence of the Colorado River and the Green River. The two rivers form deep canyons that, with no bridges within the park’s boundaries, separate the park into three separate districts that are quite a long drive apart from each other. So I just visited the Island in the Sky District closest to Moab.

Canyonlands NP

Canyonlands NP

I drove the entire length of the road in that district, stopping at every overlook to stretch my sore legs and take in the scenery.

Mesa Arch

Canyonlands NP

Canyonlands NP

Canyonlands NP

Canyonlands NP

Leap

Canyonlands NP

Canyonlands NP

The 3 miles I hiked did wonders for my legs after the race and before the long drive home. What should have been a 6 hour drive turned into 11 as I got caught in a whiteout blizzard crossing the Rockies before I even reached the weekend ski traffic that was all headed back to Denver at the same time. So my afternoon and evening weren’t nearly as pleasant as my morning.

Anyway, I anticipate returning to Canyonlands at some point in the future. With a bit more time I’d love to see the other two districts of the park as well.

Mar 11

Not So Red Hot

Rise and shine

It’s coming up on one month ago that I ran my first race of the year, Moab’s Red Hot 55K. It didn’t go well and that was a bitter pill to swallow. I was well prepared. During my last long run, two weeks before the race, I noticed some minor knee pain. This is not unusual. By that evening I couldn’t walk downstairs. This is unusual. Then two days later I caught the flu and that lasted for two weeks, right through the race.

Moab Red Hot start

Moab Red Hot first climb

Moab Red Hot early miles

Moab Red Hot first slickrock

Despite the constant knee pain and the illness I decided to run anyway, even though I was pretty sure it would be a disaster. Within the first two miles, my suspicions were confirmed when I noticed my heart rate was through the roof for the pace I was running. The best decision I could have made at that point would be to slow down and jog the next 32 miles (or until my knee pain became too unbearable and drop out). I, of course, did not make that decision. I continued on at the same pace, with the same higher-than-normal heart rate until I crashed and burned around mile 20.

Moab Red Hot slickrock

Terry

Moab Red Hot sand

Moab Red Hot

Moab Red Hot finish

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Beaten

The last 14 miles were a complete sufferfest. Dehydration, fatigue, sunburn (even in February a desert is still a desert) all conspired against me. I really took a beating out there. At this point nothing will change my rotten performance. All I can really do is try to learn from my mistakes and do better next time.

Whenever that might be.

In the four weeks since the race I’ve run a total of 12 miles because my knee pain is so intense. I haven’t had to deal with pain like this in a decade. My running plans for the year are no longer a matter of how well I can run at my big races, but if I can even run them at all.

Colorado River canyon sunset

On a more positive note, this was my first trip to Utah. While many miles of the course were flat sandy and rocky desert with not much to look at, much more of the course was incredibly beautiful terrain (still sandy and rocky) with views of two national parks and a high mountain range. I was blown away by some of the views. During the race I met in person a friend from Fort Collins who I’d only previously known online. And after the race I ran into Cousin Don, an old friend from Illinois. On the whole, the weekend was great. It was really only about four hours of it that completely sucked.

Feb 22

Arches

I was out in Moab, Utah last weekend for the Red Hot 55K. I’d never been to Utah before (well, at least not outside the Salt Lake City airport). On Friday afternoon I took a whirlwind tour of Arches National Park. While it wasn’t the most impressive national park I’ve experienced, it was worth the visit. There’s plenty to see. It probably would have been more impressive if I wasn’t there the day before the race and I had time to do some actual hiking rather than short walks from my car.

Arches NP

Arches NP

Arches NP

Arches NP

Arches NP

Arches NP

Feb 12

January 2015

Running

Epic ice beard

FCTR kids trail run

Remember to live.

Rise and shine

Foothills sunrise

Dam

Deer

Rock Trail

Rock

January was quite a month, running-wise. Despite actually taking several days off to deal with a strained quadricep, I still ended the month with my highest total running mileage ever (and I’m pretty sure that includes when I was running competitively in college, though I don’t have the records to back that up). Furthermore, the last seven days in January I ran 96 miles, which is by far the most I’ve ever run in a week.

Heading into my first race of the year (Moab Red Hot 55K) on Valentine’s Day, things seemed to be going well. Of course, I was running on borrowed time. The entire month of February I’ve had severe knee pain and I’ve hardly run at all. I’m going to run the race and then I’ll probably have to take some serious time to recover.

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist Total Ascent Avg Ascent
January 27 274.15 miles 10.15 miles 34486.2 feet 1277.27 feet
Total 27 274.15 miles 10.15 miles 34486.2 feet 1277.27 feet

Running 2015 1


Skiing

Slope

Skate ski

Eldora

Twin Twisted Tree Trail

I went downhill skiing for the first time in 20 years. Additionally I had a few good cross country ski outings while the snow was here. I bought a pair of skate skis at a used sporting goods store and taught myself how to skate ski (I’ve only ever done classic style previously). I also took a trip to the nordic center at Eldora Ski Area for my first time on groomed trails (including some serious climbing). Good times.

Jan 28

2014 Racing Recap

My race performances have been on a steady upward trajectory since I returned to running in 2007 after a years-long break while dealing with torn cartilage in my left knee. 2012 was a breakthrough year. 2013 was even better. 2014, despite a small hiccup, may have been even better still.

The hiccup of which I speak was the fact that we moved across the country from (effectively) sea-level to one mile above. From one of the least fit states in the country to the most fit state in the country. From an area with less competition to an area with more competition. From an area with relatively easy terrain to an area with quite difficult terrain. You get the idea. I may have been a moderately sized fish in a small pond before, but that’s no longer the case.

The year started well, with a 1st place in a 10 mile trail race (ShITR). Next came a 2nd place in a 9 mile trail race (Nippy Niner). Then came a pretty remarkable span of 43 days where I set personal best times for 50 miles (Land Between the Lakes), 5K (Take Steps for Kids), marathon (Go! Saint Louis), 50K (Double Chubb). I ran two of those PRs in a superhero costume.

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Photo courtesy of Lori Vohsen

River's Edge Trail

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Photo courtesy of Shannon Drohan

We made the move to Colorado in May. My first 4 races here (Pilot Hill 25K, Leadville Trail Marathon, Mount Werner 50K, Peach Festival 5K) were pretty rough. After spending the summer acclimating to the altitude I feel like I finally nailed it by finishing 3rd at the Black Squirrel Trail Half Marathon. Then came another dip, with a mediocre cyclocross race and a somewhat disappointing finish at the Blue Sky Trail Marathon. I bounced back with a very close 2nd place in a cyclocross race, then a 1st at the Forest Glen 50K in Illinois, then a speedy finish at the Allerton Trail Run in Illinois.

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Tree line

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Photo by Ski Town Photography

1.5 miles

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Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography

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Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography

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Forest Glen 50K
Photo courtesy of Cousin Don

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Photo courtesy of Allerton Park Trail Run

I put in some big climbing (over 21,000 feet) the week of Thanksgiving, then I was the 1st (only?) finisher of the Chubby Cheeks 50K in December.

Comparing results from recent years, things look good.

  • 2012: 26 races, 18 top tens, 9 podiums, 3 wins, 4 PRs
  • 2013: 23 races, 21 top tens, 13 podiums, 5 wins, 4 PRs
  • 2014: 18 races, 11 top tens, 8 podiums, 4 wins, 6 PRs

Looking ahead to 2015 I’m planning to do fewer races, but the races I will run are going to be doozies. So far on my plate are Moab Red Hot 55K, Quad Rock 50 mile, and Neversummer 100K. Realistically, I’m not expecting to win many more races. But I am looking forward to running well in some really hard races against some great competition at some pretty incredible locations.

Jan 28

December 2014

Running

Horsetooth Rock Trail

Horsetooth summit

State line

Trailhead

Dusk

Home among these mountaintops

December was a very easy month. Aside from the fat-ass 50K I didn’t run a whole lot (relatively speaking). The runs were short(ish) and easy. There were several days off for travel and a few for being sick. By the end of the month I felt recharged and ready to get after my training in January.

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist Total Ascent Avg Ascent
January 19 192.03 miles 10.11 miles 9620. feet 506.32 feet
February 19 227.4 miles 11.97 miles 12301. feet 647.42 feet
March 17 192.96 miles 11.35 miles 10819. feet 636.41 feet
April 15 155.13 miles 10.34 miles 10947. feet 729.8 feet
May 24 252.5 miles 10.52 miles 20364. feet 848.5 feet
June 21 224.48 miles 10.69 miles 33782. feet 1608.67 feet
July 18 201.09 miles 11.17 miles 33696. feet 1872. feet
August 19 212.37 miles 11.18 miles 28465. feet 1498.16 feet
September 17 180.49 miles 10.62 miles 23117. feet 1359.82 feet
October 15 147.11 miles 9.81 miles 13376. feet 891.73 feet
November 23 206.79 miles 8.99 miles 46985. feet 2042.83 feet
December 19 171.59 miles 9.03 miles 23836. feet 1254.53 feet
Total 226 2363.94 miles 10.46 miles 267308. feet 1182.78 feet

Running 2014 12

Jan 15

Chubby Cheeks 50K

Chubby Cheeks start

In mid-December I ran the Chubby Cheeks 50K. This is a fat-ass event (no entry fee, no bib number, pseudo-race, organized group run) that takes place on the trails of Horsetooth Mountain Open Space and Lory State Park. I hadn’t run long in two months, so I was eager to complete the full 50K rather than one of the shorter options (22 & 26 miles). At the starting line I overheard one of the other runners apologize to his acquaintance that he was only going to run the marathon distance that day.

I love Colorado.

Sunrise

Horsetooth Rock Trail

South Ridge Trail

Audra Culver Trail

I started off with a group of three guys I knew and one guy I just met. We ran together up the mountain at a leisurely pace and stopped at the top for a while to soak in the view.

RMNP

Horsetooth summit

Horsetooth summit

We picked up the pace a bit on the way down before hitting bottom and starting the second ascent. The second descent was again fast. At the bottom the other 4 guys split off for the 22 mile turnaround while I soldiered on alone, now blasting music on my iPod.

Spring Creek Trail

Howard Trail

Arthurs Rock

I stopped for a bit at the top of Arthurs Rock before somewhat uncharacteristically bombing the next descent as well. Another trip halfway up the mountain and back down left me at the marathon turnaround point. I arrived there at the same time as a guy I knew (who started later) so we ran together for a few miles. He said he felt bad as we started the last trip up the mountain so I was on my own again.

Timber Trail

West Ridge Trail

I was moving pretty slow by this point. I’ve climbed the mountain twice in one run before, but not more than that. This event included 4½ ascents of the mountain and by the last climb I was pretty tired, though still in good spirits. I descended one final time and began the half mile journey back to the starting line, which was at the nearby home of the organizer (Nick).

Melissa and Will were headed to the after-event party and they passed me right at the end. Will got out and ran with me to the finish line. At 6h35m I definitely didn’t set the course ablaze, but I wasn’t really trying to run fast. This was a nice comfortable (at times) training run. With 7,500 ft of climbing it turned out to be the most I’ve ever climbed in a single day.

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Despite the nice weather, apparently nobody else was stupid enough to run the full 50K that day. So I “won” by default. After a couple hours at the party two other runners finished the 50K, though I think they added a few miles by getting lost at one point.

It was a good way to end a good year: running with friends, running alone, climbing the mountain over and over again, running fast, running slow, walking, completing a nice long run just because I can, yet not killing myself in the process. It was only after the run that I realized that this was mostly the same course as the Quad Rock 50 mile race I’m running next May, which makes me even more glad I was able to do this run.

Dec 12

November 2014

Running

Rob

After a month of racing in October, I took the first week of November pretty easy. I intended to take the second week of November pretty easy too, but I ended up running 50 miles with 9,000 feet of climbing. I suck at the offseason.

I took the week of Thanksgiving off work, but our internet connection was out the entire week, so I spent some time running in the mountains. Most weeks I do about 7,000-8,000 feet of climbing. There was a week in June when I did 9,900 feet of climbing, and two weeks in July where I had 9,500 feet of climbing. The week in November I took off work and had no internet service I ran 21,000 feet of climbing over 68 miles (with a rest day that comes out to 3,500 feet per day). Each day I kept expecting to feel dead tired and not be able to move, but I actually felt stronger each day and the running got easier as the week progressed.

Monday: Grayrock Mountain.

Grayrock

Tuesday: Green Mountain and Bear Mountain.

Green Mountain and Boulder

Wednesday: Horsetooth Mountain x 2.

Sunset over the Rockies

Thursday: Off.

Thanksgiving dinner

Friday: Horsetooth Mountain x 2.

Horsetooth early

Saturday: Horsetooth Mountain x 2.

Sunset over RMNP

Sunday: Arthur’s Rock

Cloudy Arthurs Rock Trail

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist Total Ascent Avg Ascent
January 19 192.03 miles 10.11 miles 9620. feet 506.32 feet
February 19 227.4 miles 11.97 miles 12301. feet 647.42 feet
March 17 192.96 miles 11.35 miles 10819. feet 636.41 feet
April 15 155.2 miles 10.35 miles 10947. feet 729.8 feet
May 24 252.5 miles 10.52 miles 20364. feet 848.5 feet
June 21 224.51 miles 10.69 miles 33782. feet 1608.67 feet
July 18 201.09 miles 11.17 miles 33696. feet 1872. feet
August 19 212.37 miles 11.18 miles 28465. feet 1498.16 feet
September 17 180.49 miles 10.62 miles 23117. feet 1359.82 feet
October 15 147.11 miles 9.81 miles 13376. feet 891.73 feet
November 23 206.79 miles 8.99 miles 46985. feet 2042.83 feet
Total 207 2192.45 miles 10.59 miles 243472. feet 1176.19 feet

Running 2014 11


Cycling

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist Total Ascent Avg Ascent
January 4 64.74 miles 16.19 miles 1114. feet 278.5 feet
February 1 15.9 miles 15.9 miles 0. feet 0. feet
March 2 51.18 miles 25.59 miles 2115. feet 1057.5 feet
April 6 148.91 miles 24.82 miles 6250. feet 1041.67 feet
May 4 73.05 miles 18.26 miles 2810. feet 702.5 feet
June 4 70.06 miles 17.52 miles 4901. feet 1225.25 feet
July 4 62.47 miles 15.62 miles 2986. feet 746.5 feet
August 9 151.9 miles 16.88 miles 6942. feet 771.33 feet
September 12 168.17 miles 14.01 miles 8381. feet 698.42 feet
October 2 19.09 miles 9.54 miles 784. feet 392. feet
November 1 11.66 miles 11.66 miles 827. feet 827. feet
Total 49 837.13 miles 17.08 miles 37110. feet 757.35 feet

Cycling 2014 11


Walking & Hiking

Arthurs Rock

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist
January 11 27.72 miles 2.52 miles
February 11 26.8 miles 2.44 miles
March 11 32.72 miles 2.97 miles
April 23 64.33 miles 2.8 miles
May 20 57.9 miles 2.9 miles
June 12 32.55 miles 2.71 miles
July 12 39.98 miles 3.33 miles
August 0 0 0
September 0 0 0
October 8 26.61 miles 3.33 miles
November 3 9.19 miles 3.06 miles
Total 111 317.8 miles 2.86 miles

Cross Country Skiing

Old man winter

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist Total Ascent Avg Ascent
January 2 6.85 miles 3.42 miles 352. feet 176. feet
February 1 4.24 miles 4.24 miles 294. feet 294. feet
March 0 0 0 0 0
April 0 0 0 0 0
May 0 0 0 0 0
June 0 0 0 0 0
July 0 0 0 0 0
August 0 0 0 0 0
September 0 0 0 0 0
October 0 0 0 0 0
November 1 5.63 miles 5.63 miles 351. feet 351. feet
Total 4 16.72 miles 4.18 miles 997. feet 249.25 feet
Nov 11

October 2014

Running

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Photo by Erin Bibeau Photography

Lots of racing, with lots of great racing weather. Melissa won a 50K, then the next weekend I won a 50K. I raced every weekend in October, and with the tapering, recovering, and traveling this ended up being my lightest training month of the year. I ended October tired of racing. I essentially took a week off, then I was ready to start training again.

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist Total Ascent Avg Ascent
January 19 192.03 miles 10.11 miles 9620. feet 506.32 feet
February 19 227.4 miles 11.97 miles 12301. feet 647.42 feet
March 17 192.96 miles 11.35 miles 10819. feet 636.41 feet
April 15 155.2 miles 10.35 miles 10947. feet 729.8 feet
May 24 252.5 miles 10.52 miles 20364. feet 848.5 feet
June 21 224.51 miles 10.69 miles 33782. feet 1608.67 feet
July 18 201.09 miles 11.17 miles 33696. feet 1872. feet
August 19 212.37 miles 11.18 miles 28465. feet 1498.16 feet
September 17 180.49 miles 10.62 miles 23117. feet 1359.82 feet
October 15 147.11 miles 9.81 miles 13376. feet 891.73 feet
Total 184 1985.66 miles 10.79 miles 196487. feet 1067.86 feet

Running 2014 10


Cycling

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Only two bike rides (not counting all the days I ride Will to school) and one of them was a race that went pretty well for me.

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist Total Ascent Avg Ascent
January 4 64.74 miles 16.19 miles 1114. feet 278.5 feet
February 1 15.9 miles 15.9 miles 0. feet 0. feet
March 2 51.18 miles 25.59 miles 2115. feet 1057.5 feet
April 6 148.91 miles 24.82 miles 6250. feet 1041.67 feet
May 4 73.05 miles 18.26 miles 2810. feet 702.5 feet
June 4 70.06 miles 17.52 miles 4901. feet 1225.25 feet
July 4 62.47 miles 15.62 miles 2986. feet 746.5 feet
August 9 151.9 miles 16.88 miles 6942. feet 771.33 feet
September 12 168.17 miles 14.01 miles 8381. feet 698.42 feet
October 2 19.09 miles 9.54 miles 784. feet 392. feet
Total 48 825.47 miles 17.2 miles 36283. feet 755.9 feet

Cycling 2014 10


Walking & Hiking

Horsetooth

Month Workouts Total Dist Avg Dist
January 11 27.72 miles 2.52 miles
February 11 26.8 miles 2.44 miles
March 11 32.72 miles 2.97 miles
April 23 64.33 miles 2.8 miles
May 20 57.9 miles 2.9 miles
June 12 32.55 miles 2.71 miles
July 12 39.98 miles 3.33 miles
August 0 0 0
September 0 0 0
October 8 26.61 miles 3.33 miles
Total 108 308.61 miles 2.86 miles