I don’t like apologizing for my content, as this journal of my running exploits is just a sandbox for my thoughts. Though, I’m currently lacking the interest to write all that much, as my creativity is being stoked elsewhere. Particularly, I’m devoting much of my free time and thoughts to the design and stitching of an upcycled t-shirt hydration vest. I’ve done a few iterations on a couple of shirts, and am really impressed by the ease of construction and functionality. I’m hoping to have a working model to debut next week at ECSCA 50K. I’m also musing about winter expedition equipment to keep me self-propelling above the snow. I haven’t quite gotten saw to plastic yet, as I’m saving this project until after my race.
The process of design is so fulfilling and enriching in my life, yet it also takes a stronghold on my psyche. Creation is all consuming. When my design brain gets going, I can sit for hours, skipping meals, ignoring distractions, and developing the imaginations in my head. It’s a beautiful thing, though something I’m glad I don’t do full time for a living. I’m sure I’d be a much more irritable, tired, and hungry person and an awful runner 🙂
With that said, here are some tidbits from this week of running. This was my final high effort week (67-miles & 9,800-ft of vert) giving me a one week taper before Saturday’s Endurance Challenge 50K in the Marin Headlands of California. I decided to implement a “test” training schedule including one hard day, followed by two easy days. This is a training strategy the HOKA Naz Elite team employs. So this week, I went hard on Monday (Chimpex), Thursday (PlayGldn), and Sunday (White Ranch). I felt my focus on the hard days was much better than in the past. The two in-between days gave me a chance to disconnect from all running commitments and not worry about not running.
Return from St Louis. Julia and I got back to Golden around 11AM, and I had the day off from work. That meant two things: work on hydration vest and get in a long run. I continued stitching up a vest, but promised myself that I’d get it the door to run by 3p.
I was ready to go just after 3p, sporting my new pack, two soft flasks filled with a mix of Gatorade and Hammer gel, and my headlamp tucked away for the tail end of the run. I set out for downtown Golden to drop off my ballot then continued under Highway 6 and up the Chimney Gulch trail. I was amped for a new adventure.
I planned to cover the Chimpex route – a climb up Lookout Mountain via Chimney Gulch, then continue from the top of Apex trail all the way down to its head. I was just shy of 9 miles when I made it to the Apex parking lot. From there I turned around and retraced my steps back home. This was an up-down-up-down route that is hard to come by in the Colorado foothills. I really enjoyed the challenge of the 2nd climb.
The best part of the day was the twilight just before the sun tucked behind the mountains. There’s something primal about covering ground at dusk, and the way your eyes adjust to the dimly lit terrain. The final descent was pretty slow as my headlamp never lit the trail enough to keep me from kicking rocks with my flippers!
Run commute to work. I asked Julia if she’s going to pursue a coach for next year. We haven’t made any race plans for next season other than the Wings For Life World Run in May 2018 – more on that in a later post (!!!). Yes, she may consider a coach next year.
Another easy day. I went up STM with Julia and took some video of her climbing and descending the trail. She planned to send it to a Chiropractor Physical Therapist at Total Health Solutions in Golden where she had an appointment later in the day. Julia is focused on getting her body primed to conquer the ECSCA 50K course! The chiropractor offered some tips on running form to reduce her back pain. The doctor also did some dry needling to clear up the passageways of muscle contraction. I was glad she made it in to the appointment, as I’ve been hankering to go as well. It’s going to be my off-season treat: a visit to the chiropractor. Oh joy.
I was inspired by Julia’s gait videos, so I took my lunch break to the Mine’s Track for some gait filming of my own.
So many things to work on!!
Another hard day had arrived! I took advantage of the PlayGldn camaraderie and busted out a 40-minute hard effort on Dino Ridge completing four reps of the hill. Working hard both up and down yields a fantastically exhausting workout.
After work, I took to the trail of South Table Mesa for an easy-paced, hour-long run into the weekend!
No running! I took the full day off, except for some playground fun. We celebrated an early Thanksgiving feast with my family in Louisville, CO.
I was up early for a 7AM start at White Ranch. I executed a hard-efforted, 2-hour lap of White Ranch Open Space. After the 14-mile loop, I added in a 3-mile tempo push on Pine Ridge road. This was to simulate the faster road finish of ECSCA, in which racers will cross the Golden Gate Bridge! I had a marvelous run and cannot wait to race next week!
San Francisco, here we come!