Still feeling a little sore from the weekend ski trip. Just a nice and easy shake-out on the mill as temperatures continue to drop.
Sit-ups & push-ups (1 set)
AM Food - Granola Cereal + Banana + Coffee
Lunch - Sandwich (turkey & cheese) + Sun Chips + Apple + 2 Clementines
PM Food - 2 Burritos (1 wheat + 1 corn tortilla) with lean beef, rice, & salsa
Tuesday, February 1st - 4.5 Miles in 44:57 - Treadmill (AM)
Another easy shake-out on the mill. It's been a while since I've gotten up early and got a short run in. I woke up surprisingly easy at 4:50 AM and felt ready to go after my run.
Sit-ups & push-ups (1 set)
AM Food - Wheat bagel with homemade strawberry jam + Banana + Granola Bar + Coffee
Lunch - Blackened Redfish with Rice & Ice Tea
Mid-afternoon - Trailmix
PM Food - Spicy Chicken Pasta from the Pumphouse + Beer
Wednesday, February 2nd - 6.5 Miles 55:10 - Treadmill (Late PM)
Another nice and easy run on the mill, just not wanting to battle the negative double digit temperatures. This should be the last night of the extreme cold and tomorrow will become more manageable. I'm taking it pretty easy this week as I contemplating the Skyline Traverse for Saturday. Just as I say that, a friend invited me backcountry skiing on Saturday morning. Oh, decisions, decisions.
Today was a bit of a heavy day as far as food is concerned:
AM Food - Wheat bagel with jam + Coffee x 2
Late AM - Coffee
Lunch - BBQ Chicken Wrap + Fries + Cantaloupe
Midafternoon - Banana
PM Food - Wheat pasta with peppers & tomatoes + 2 slices of wheat bread
Thursday, February 3rd - Off
Decided to take the day off, since Christine is heading out of town early tomorrow morning.
Friday, February 4th - Total 8.44 Miles
3.0 Miles in 25:54 - Treadmill (AM)
After waking up at 3 AM so that I could get Christine to the airport, I only had enough time to get a few miles in before heading off to work.
5.44 Miles in 44:57 @ 271 vert ft - McIntosh Loop (PM)
I was able to get out of work and watch a nice sunset as I ran around the lake before meeting a friend at Oskar Blues. It was a beautiful evening to be out, especially since I've spent so much time on the mill this week.
AM - Bagel with Jam + Banana x 2 + Coffee x 2
Lunch - Spinach Lasagna + Apple
PM - Burger + Sweet Potato Fries + Beer (Oskar Blues)!
Saturday: 3523 vert ft on the day (skiing + running)
3.0 Miles @ 2030 vertical feet - Telemark Skiing (AM)
I decided to head up to Rocky Mountain National Park for some skiing with friends rather than try my luck at the Skyline Traverse. The weather forecast wasn't stellar, and I don't think my legs are ready for a proper go at it. I want to be able to actually run this and feel good doing so.
My friend Micah and I met up with 4 other folks in Lyons at the Barking Dog. After a blueberry muffin and a coffee to go, we headed up Hwy 36. It's interesting how different the skiing experience was today compared to last weekend, yet it was just as enjoyable. Last weekend was a more focused effort, while today was considerably more laid back. It's nice to head up to the mountains without an agenda or timetable. Sometimes it's good just to go with the flow, stop, look around at the scenery, take a deep breath, and just be.
We decided to stay below treeline, as the wind seemed to be blowing fairly hard and we wanted to enjoy our day as much as possible. We made 2 loops on the same run, getting fresh tracks through the small fur trees that have grown in the old ski runs at Hidden Valley. There was plenty of new snow and you couldn't help but smile after each turn. There was good conversation, no end to the sarcasm, and plenty of high-fives to go around. It was good day!
11.07 Miles in 1:44:41 @ 1493 vertical feet - Picture Rock (PM)
After stopping at the house for a quick drink of water and a change of clothes, I headed out the door again for a different snow sport. Donning my recently purchased MT101's, and Microspikes, I headed up the trail to log a few more miles on the day. Immediately I could feel the morning of skiing in my legs and soon a glance at my watch confirmed what I had suspected! It wasn't going to be a PR day. Despite my snails pace up and down the hill, I was captured by the beauty of the falling snow and the solitude of the trail. I finished up the run just before sunset. As I drove back home, I felt that I had truly made the most of this day, spending it all in the midst of mountains!
AM - Blueberry muffin + Coffee x 2
Late AM - Banana
Lunch - Tortilla with Nutella + Chips & salsa + Coffee
PM - Burrito with beef, rice & salsa + Christine's homemade chocolate chip cookies
Sunday: 6.11 Miles in 1:32:00 @ 2626 vertical feet - Green Mountain
If I were heading to Green Mountain to gain confidence in my fitness, I picked the wrong day. If I were heading there to strengthen my mental fortitude, then I picked the right day. Let's not live in the past!
With a coat of fresh snow (Boulder has about 6 inches and I'm guessing the upper stretches of Green had even more), I headed up Gregory. Besides feeling some stiffness from the previous days effort, I initially didn't feel too bad. I could tell my time was drastically reduced due to the snow conditions, but I didn't realize how much at first. When I arrived at the Ranger Station, I checked my watch at 22 minutes from the Gregory Trailhead. That's basically when my mind began drifting between one of the following thoughts: "this deep snow is making me work for every step and I'm still struggling!" to "could my fitness be that much worse than the last time I ran this mountain?"
After I passed the junction of Greenman, things got dramatically worse. The trail was even less traveled and the snow seemed to be getting deeper. It was basically as if I took one step forward and a half step back. The additional effort and difficult footing forced me to hike a few sections which I was upset about. I would assume run slower than hike, but my body just couldn't hold on. Despite the intersperced hikes, I continued up and finally reached the summit in 52 minutes.
It wasn't the day for a personal best, but it was a great day to challenge the mind. I truly enjoyed the views from the top and the achievement of just getting there. Then it was on the fun part....the descent! I'm not sure I've run that amount of vertical in the amount of fresh snow before, but for a while, I turned off my running brain and turned on my skiing brain. What fun it was to run down the mountain! It was very much like being 7 years old again!