Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Month in Review (May)

5/2010: 238.4 miles
5/2011: 192.2 miles
5/2012: 216.5 miles
5/2013: 223.6 miles

Dare I say that summer has finally arrived in Lake County? The high this weekend is forecast to be 70F. The leaves are budding on the aspens, the snow is melting, and the increased traffic on Harrison has started to make left hand turns prohibitively frustrating. It's hard to believe that just last Wednesday I was caught in a snow storm at the top of Elk Run. I seriously considered transferring my running socks from my feet to my hands to use as makeshift mittens. Ah, Leadville. Mountain livin' at its finest.

Descending into Twin Lakes; Hope Pass in the distance.

May was a great month of training. I can't really think of much I'd do differently given the chance (except the obvious adjustments I should have made for Sage Burner). While May's mileage was right where I wanted it to be, the wintery spring weather kept me from getting as much vertical as I have in the past. Last year I had run Quad Rock and climbed a few 14ers/13ers by this point. Now that some of the higher elevation trails are starting to melt out, I hope to focus a bit more on elevation gain in June and July.

Yellow=bike, green=long, bold=race

I have a running/biking streak going that extends all the way back to early April, when I returned from my trip to the Grand Canyon. I'm kind of surprised about that. It was one of my goals this year to run more frequent, shorter runs, so I'm obviously succeeding at that. But I certainly didn't plan on running every single day. It just kind of happened. I guess that I've found that the streak helps motivate me to get out the door. The decision isn't whether or not to run, but which route to run and at what intensity. I still ask myself, "What is the purpose of this run? Why am I running today?" and two or three times a week the answer is usually "To recover", or "To keep my legs loose". My long runs are always at a conversational pace (though there's rarely any one to talk to besides myself). I probably only really push myself on one or two runs per week, usually on a hilly route, and sometimes only in one direction. All things considered, my weekly mileage isn't especially high so I'm not too worried.

My biggest fear, of course, is coming down with another case of ITBS. My best explanation for why I came down with it during the 100 last year is that I must have tightened up during my 3 week taper, when I started spacing out my runs more and drastically dropping my mileage. So I'm hoping all these extra 3-5 mile runs are helping to keep me loose. (Well, looser anyway.)

So, I've got about 8 weeks of training left before my taper begins. I think I've got the "50 mile week" thing pretty much figured out. Given my schedule, however, it's tricky for me to do much more. I'm not even sure what I would do if I had the time. A second long run, I guess? That's pretty much impossible unless I take a day off from work (which is not out of the question, but certainly not an every week occurrence). I could start tacking on 5 miles to my long runs, bringing them up to 25 or so. Alternatively, I could also increase the vertical. That will probably just happen naturally as the peaks start melting out. Maybe I could sneak in a 10 miler on Friday with a little bit more intensity thrown in? Or maybe a quick mid-week 14er? Or a mid-week speed work session? I feel like I've got to make a few adjustments or I might plateau around the end of June. Of course, there was a fair amount of weekly see-sawing in my mileage totals last year in June and July. So, even just sticking to my current, relatively consistent training schedule will probably be an improvement.

I'm sad that I won't be running the San Juan Solstice 50 this year. It's only a few weeks away. It's such a fun, grueling race, but I really felt like I should cut back a little bit on my racing this year. Damn, it'll be hard to replace that 13,000 ft of vertical! But... I'm planning on running some epic local routes in the months ahead, which will certainly give me something to look forward to. Also, skipping the race gives me the opportunity to run the Leadville Marathon on fresh legs for the first time since '10. It'll be fun to see if I can pull off another PR there...

Overall, I'm very, very happy with where my fitness is right now. I'm just looking for the best way to kick it up a notch as I enter my peak training period.

On the Colorado Trail this weekend.


  1. freaky but I took the exact same pictures this weekend on the CT! was so amazing out there.

  2. Nice job on the training! You're getting in shape, man. Not to jinx you, but I'm thinking now that you've got nutrition dialed in, you'll do something down towards 27...26...(or lower!) this August. I'll be there cheering you on (or pacing, if needed).
    I have Bighorn coming up next weekend, and after that I just want to do a ton of peaks to get ready for TMR in August. Let's try to schedule some together - making sure they fit with your training for the 100. Longs Peak is calling....

  3. Hey Alex! I hope your training's going well, too! Man, I wish I could join you for Bighorn. Now that summer's arrived things are entering "crazy mode" with Christina's job, making Wyoming a bit of out reach. But, yeah, let's try to do some 14ers together this summer. I bet I can make it down for Longs one of these days. And, of course, I'd love to have you as a pacer/crew if you're up for it! Stay in touch!