May 12 – 1805/18/2014

5/12/2014
Mon – Green Mt. (2:02, 3000′)
Today felt like January, not May. There was a solid 2′ of snow on the summit of Green—enough to make running even downhill a chore—with more coming down the whole time. It’ll be gone soon enough; this kind of thing doesn’t really bother me too much, knowing that temps will be in the 80s later in the week.

5/13/2014
Tue-AM: South Boulder Loop+Kitt Field barefoot (2:05, 20mi, 700′)
With all the snow on the trails, it was easy to stick to my loose commitment to run some extended flat stuff once a week. My hip still feels most solid on even surfaces, so after two days of wobbling through the snow, I seemed like a good idea to retreat to the more predictable footing of the bike paths.
This is a pretty decent loop. The first 10mi were the same as last week, ending with the South Boulder Creek Trail at Marshall Rd just south of town. I averaged roughly 6:30s for the first half, hitting it in 65:30. On the way back towards downtown I added an extra mile by looping up Greenbriar to Gillaspie before joining into Table Mesa and getting back on the creek paths for a couple miles of barefoot on the turf at Kitt Field. I was able to pick up the pace in this section, hovering right at the 6-flat mark, until I lost my shoes for the turf running and clicked off a 5:50 and 5:40, just to keep things honest, finishing up the second 10miles of the run right at 1hr-flat.
The lay-running physiologist in me knows that a run like this falls pretty squarely into what Jack Daniels might call “quality-junk” mileage. It’s too slow for proper anaerobic threshold or “tempo” work (which, here at altitude, is probably more in the 5:20-30s range for me), but certainly too fast to be a proper “easy” run either. My rationalization is that running is more mental and intuitive than merely imparting a specific stress on a specific metabolic/cardiovascular system, and for ultras, it’s simply good to feel efficient at the comfortably-quick effort that 6min pace is for me. I suppose if my immediate goal races were of the typical North American 50mi variety—low-6hr endeavors on smooth trails with ~10k’ of vert—then I’d be concerned with doing a more specific tempo run each week.
PM: Run Colorado Group Run (Greenwood Village) (:33)
Easy jog on tired legs. This is a pretty cool weekly gathering, though, with Pete grilling sausages and easily 100 people showing up to get out and stretch the legs after work. And despite being the absolute heart of suburbia there was even some decent dirt to run on.

5/14/2014
Wed – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt+Seal Rock (2:45, 4500′)
Even after only a week or so off from scrambling, it’s always such a pleasure to get back on the rock and be moving efficiently, with full attention. While I was descending Bear Canyon today, I impulsively decided I also wanted to go check out Seal Rock, just south of the mouth of the canyon. This prominent, uniquely shaped flatiron on the face of Bear Peak has had my interest for quite some time, I’ve just never gotten around to actually climbing it. There’s a great access trail to ascend the 400-500′ up to its base off the Mesa Trail, and then it’s 800′ of classic flatiron scrambling up its north arete. Much of the terrain is quite easy, probably 4th Class or just a little harder, and the plethora of holds made it feel about like the Third Flatiron to me. Above the downclimb shoulder (the bend in the rock that gives it its seal shape), the rock gets a little steeper and thoughtful in a few spots, but soon after you’re standing on the large summit. The downclimb is just a reverse of the final 300′ or so of the route, back down to the shoulder, and then a short scramble northwest to the ground. I’ve been meaning to extend my flatiron explorations to the south for a long time—I’m at least familiar with most things between Skunk Canyon and Gregory Canyon—and Seal Rock was a great introduction, and being so close to Bear Canyon and Fern Canyon and unaffected by any seasonal closures, I’ll probably be tacking it onto the end of a lot of my runs going forward.

seal

Seal Rock on the right, The Goose on the left.

5/15/2014
Thu-AM: Green Mt. (2:00, 3000′)
Standard easy lap up Gregory Canyon and down Bear Canyon. The snow is melting at a pretty remarkable rate; should be able to do a pretty much snow-free long run this weekend.
PM: 2xFirst Flatiron+First Flatironette+The Spy (1:08, 2500′)
I wanted to get out for some concentrated scrambling this evening, so I did a couple Gerry Roach Classics on the First. Biked to Chat and did my usual lap up the standard East Face, tagging a 13min ascent. After downclimbing and descending back to the base via the trail, I linked the First Flatironette to The Spy, which is only 300′ or so, but is a great little sidewalk in the sky. From here, it’s only a couple minute uphill hike to get onto the North Arete of the First, an enjoyably airy variation to climbing that formation. My legs felt great and my scrambling was perfectly on-point, but I figured an hour was enough…still gotta be prudent with the hip.

5/16/2014
Fri – 1st Flatiron+Green+Seal Rock (1:57, 4000′)
Got out with Joe this morning for a fun tour of Green. It seems like it’s been a really long time since Joe and I have gone for a run together. I think it has. Starting out of Chautauqua in the morning is always a little rough as it’s uphill no matter how you cut it. By time we got to the base of the First we were already sweating and there were several parties out enjoying the big slab, including by buddy Timmy O’Neill, definitely one of the legends of the First (not to mention, just generally as a human, too). After running down Bear Canyon, I was excited to introduce Joe to Seal Rock, fellow slab-mongering scrunbler that he is, and it didn’t disappoint. Several times, Joe exclaimed, “I think this is better than the Fourth!”, referring to the Fourth Flatiron (which, incidentally, is where it previously ranked in our hierarchy of quality scrunbling objectives, behind the First, Third, and Fifth Flatirons). I agreed. It’s pretty satisfying when one discovers a delightful new wrinkle to the routine, right there in your backyard.

5/17/2014
Sat – 2xGreen->Walker->Eldo->SoBo Peak->Bear Peak->Fern->Green (5:36, 33mi, 12k’)
After last week’s less vert-focused long run, and with waiting for the fresh snow to consolidate in the high country, I opted for some low-altitude accumulated gain. Only an extra 2mi of distance, but I was able to cram in an extra 5k’, so, mission accomplished. On the initial two laps on Green Mt, I went up Gregory-Ranger both times to maximize the running and while I felt ok, my legs didn’t have quite the pep I’d hoped for, managing only a pair of 38min ascents. I’m definitely carrying a bit more accumulated fatigue than I was a week ago. Similarly, on the climb out of Walker Ranch my enthusiasm was waning but was slightly bolstered when I hit the same split for the climb as last week. Though slick and muddy, the grunt up Old Mesa was encouraging, and I committed to continuing the climb up Shadow Canyon to the summit of South Boulder Peak for an almost 3000′ continuous climb out of Eldorado Springs.

I haven’t been in Shadow Canyon since before the fire over there two years ago, and that’s a real shame because it’s a gem. Last fall’s flood increased the techy nature of the footing—to the point where it’s probably not fair to compare ascent times from before the flood—but I was really enjoying the variety provided by hiking the steeper, trickier stuff and the atmosphere while working back up through the inversion layer again was refreshingly damp and cool. Near the bottom of the climb, I caught up to Jason Antin, who I had seen earlier in the morning descending the Ranger Trail. We stopped for a quick chat, where I was once again reminded of the primary maxim in the Boulder outdoor community—no matter how tough/impressive/awesome you think you are, you can almost be assured that someone else is doing something even more impressive. Jason was in the midst of three laps on the three peaks, i.e. running the Mesa over from Chautauqua to Shadow Canyon, up to SoBo Peak, over Bear and Green, and back down to Chat for a 17mi/4500′ loop. Three times in a row. That’s a big day. Suddenly, my outing didn’t feel so proud, but I was definitely inspired. Thanks Jason!

The real treat was breaking out of the inversion just below the SoBo/Bear saddle and enjoying magnificent sun and views while tagging SoBo and Bear Peaks. On the summit of Bear, a small part of me wanted to just run the West Ridge of Bear over to Green—saving myself the particularly abusive descent down Fern Canyon and subsequently an extra 1000′ of vert going up Bear Canyon—but a Watermelon GU was enough to squash any doubts and I ripped the Fern descent with gusto before the slow grind back up to the final Green summit and descent of the day.

5/18/2014
Sun – 1st Flatiron+Green Mt. (2:12, 3000′)
I was definitely feeling yesterday’s vert in the ol’ pins this morning, so just tapped along at a very easy effort, enjoying the leisure of it all. I got there early enough that there was only one party on the First, along with plenty of cool breezes. In order for a little extra time, from the summit of Green I descended the Ranger Trail to the Chapman Drive drop down to the Red Lion Inn, a nice alternative if you’re looking for a more gradual, tech-free downhill.

self_propelled

Nothing more serious than a summit selfie. (#50, #922 lifetime)

Early Green summit from Saturday morning.

Early morning summit view from Green on Saturday. Spectacular.

18 Responses to “May 12 – 18”

  1. Daniel says:

    Wow a serious come back as far as training goes. Sounds like you found your grove or at least a solid foundation. And what a mix too! Scrambling/Fast Road Running/Proper Mountain Summits. I think the diversity will pay off in the end.

    Curious are you still going to keep up with your Trad Climbing? Either indoor or outdoor? I notice you were you were getting much stronger in that area as well.

    • anton says:

      Hey Daniel – Unfortunately, this time of year running starts taking precedence (especially when I’m healthy), so while I certainly hope to get out for some pitches here and there this summer, it won’t be anywhere near as regular as it is during the off-season. Oh yeah, and definitely nothing in the gym until the weather turns again this fall.

  2. Daniel says:

    Forgot to mention…stellar Song/Band!

  3. tim says:

    Awesome week! I’m a shoe dork so I was wondering what those are in the pic. Resolution isn’t that great but it looks like the 110 v1 upper on the 110 v2 mid/outsole/last. Or…. at least it doesn’t look like the NL-1 last. What’s up with the compression socks? For warmth or are you finding them useful otherwise? Keep up the awesome training weeks!!

    • anton says:

      Hi Tim – Close. It’s the 110v1 upper on a super old-school RX Terrain outsole with a generic sheet EVA midsole (makes it easiest to mate the upper and the outsole). It is the NL-1 last still. I really like the fell-style studs this time of year for mud/snow and will be using them a bunch up high in the coming weeks with the consolidated spring snow above tree-line. Compression sleeves were for both snow and some sore/tight lower legs due to the increase in mileage/vert.

  4. tim says:

    Very cool. Thanks for the info…. I geek out on shoe stuff! Have a blast up high coming up!!

  5. Dave says:

    Nice week of running! The views of the cloud tops on Saturday morning were spectacular, and I was kicking myself for not brining my camera up Green, but it appears you saved me the trouble. Thanks!

  6. Coach Dion says:

    20 miles in 2h05 I wouldn’t call it junk miles for a guy like you… it’s been some time since you did a “tempo” running and your legs just need to get back into the grove of the faster turn over. I just a race this weekend and while I would beat a lot of the guys over a more runable route (I do more running that scrambling) they kicked my butt because it was up a mountain (twice) and there was lots of scrambling. A couple more of those style runs and the pace will come back to were you want it.

  7. […] Anton is back to doing some solid training. […]

  8. Brett says:

    Very cool to see you’ll be toeing the line at Jemez. I’ll be well behind you and Joe, but will definitely be keeping tabs on you guys when I pass the aid stations. Hope the body holds up for you throughout the race.

  9. Rich says:

    Anton,

    I’d say your Tuesday run is actually a great stimulus as the effort is likely between 90-95% of your marathon pace. While you are not training for a marathon, steady efforts like that are incredibly beneficial for your speed-endurance and efficiency. Actually, the workout you did is a staple in Renato Canova’s (biggest name in distance coaching right now) marathon build-up where he has his athletes do 35-40k @ 90-95% MP.

    Stay healthy and good luck at Jemez.

    Cheers.

  10. Bro Brian says:

    Peace….was wondering if you have a sense of your stride per minute when knocking out 6 min miles. Tx

    • anton says:

      Brian, I would guess that it’s in its usual ~90 strides/min rate…speed is generally created through increased stride length and I try to keep a high cadence no matter what pace I’m going.

  11. Jackie Lai says:

    So happy for you! You know it’s not magic, you just have to stay humble enough to take a day off when you need it.

  12. Pat says:

    Anton, awesome week! I met you in Sprouts on Friday, and evidently you gave me some extra motivation for my saturday run. Chautauqua to Eldo via Mesa, and up Fern to Bear Peak. Thanks for being such a great motivation. Let me know if you ever want to put my lungs to the test!

    Cheers

  13. Josh says:

    Anton, I have a question about your tactic on elevation gain. Are you going to directly summit the mountain in an A-B path, or do you traverse. What is your prefered elevation grade change? I noticed the pictures where your paddle walking straight up, but am curious how often that is the goal? I live in Colorado now and have both options availabe, and am curious on what is more beneficial.

  14. tim says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

  15. wow gold says:

    Purchased wow gold for my friend and she loves them.

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