The 'Rado - Part 1 (Training, August 5 - 11)

After a few great days in my new home of Bloomington, Indiana, I jetted off to Colorado, twelve days of mountain running on tap.  I stayed in Boulder for most of the first week, exploring local peaks in good company before heading to the Carbondale and Aspen areas for the weekend.  The coming week finds me in Breckenridge, scoping out the UROC course.  This trip has featured a great number of runs with Eric Senseman, Brian Condon, and Cassie Scallon—all Wisconsin natives or transplants—so we had a little Midwest thing going on.  Others include my Salomon teammates Kerrie Bruxvoordt, Ashley Arnold, and Gina Lucrezi; Trent Briney, Mike Ambrose, Jackie Palmer, and a group of folks from the Rocky Mountain Runners.

I ended up with 104 miles on the week, which was plenty, given the 20,000+ feet of climbing (and descending) we did.  And the altitude.  All in all, I was pretty happy with the week's training.  I got some nice practice on technical trails and some good altitude training—both of which should help for next month's UROC 100k.  The photos below are Eric's; he took some nice ones.

Monday: AM - 8 miles easy
Flat run on the rail trails in Bloomington before flying out to Colorado.

Tuesday: AM - 18 miles moderate, 4000' vert
Climbed Mt. Audobon (13er) with Cassie, Eric, and Brian. Pushed it a bit on various sections of the climb and descent, and felt surprisingly good running in the 10,000'-13,000' range. Took a digger on the descent, banging up my knee and my hip—a bit painful when running, but I should be OK.

Wednesday: AM - 10 miles moderate; Functional Strength Routine 1
Ran on some dirt roads and trails around the reservoir w/ Eric and Brian.
PM - 6 miles easy
Night run with Cassie, Eric, and Brian; rolling trails around north Boulder.

Thursday: AM - 11 miles moderate, 4000' vert
In Boulder: Ranger Trail to Greenman to the summit of Green Mountain, then the connection to Bear Peak, Fern Canyon to Mesa out.
PM - 9 miles moderate, ~2200' vert
Joined the Rocky Mountain Runners for 'Thrash It Thursday'—this week's edition: a climb up Magnolia Road from the canyon (and the run back down). Dinner at Sherpa's afterwards was out sweet reward.

Friday: AM - 7 miles easy, ~1800' vert
Trent Briney joined our crew for an early one on Sanitas and off the back side.

Saturday: PM - 7 miles easy
Cassie and I joined our teammates Gina and Ashley for an easy run on rolling singletrack in their backyard of Carbondale, CO.

Sunday: AM - 27 miles moderate, ~7,800' vert
Ran the Aspen Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells Wilderness with Eric, Brian, and Kerrie.  It's a challenging 27 mile loop with four passes over 12,000 feet, but we didn't push it too hard.  It was the first time on the loop for all of us as well, so we took time to appreciate the views, stop to eat food on the passes, take some wrong turns, etc.  We completed the whole thing in 7 hours, 8 minutes.  The FKT here was set last year by Rickey Gates (report)—a very stout 4h35m26s.  It would be fun to come back to run this loop fast sometime.

Total: 104 miles, 20,000' vert, 1x FS

A little backwards running... better for conversation (?)

From the summit of Mt. Audubon, storms on the way

Morning run on The Res

A foggy Bear Peak summit

And the Aspen Four Pass Loop...

The Maroon Bells

Wildflowers near Buckskin Pass

Buckskin Pass

More wildflowers past Buckskin

Cruisin' downhill out of Buckskin

North Fork crossing (barefooting it)

No words

Hoofing it to Frigid Air Pass (no. 3)

Chillin' on top of Frigid Air Pass

Off the backside of Frigid Air (my favorite view of the day)

Finishing the run