Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dec 7 - Dec 20

12/7, Monday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500'
Got out for a quick study break for a fun trip up the hill. I used spikes going up but I enjoy I nice sloppy downhill so I wore my worn and lug-less Salomon Ultra Sense Pro for a more exhilarating way down.

12/8 - 12/10 -  Finals
Minimal sleeping; maximal coding, writing and reading.

12/11, Friday - 2nd-1st-3rd-2nd Flatirons - 6 miles, 3700', 2:44
Snow was predicted for the evening so I felt even more compelled to scramble aside from not being outside for the last four days. Free for All on the 2nd, Direct on the 1st then the North side on the 3rd. I had planned on meeting Eric over at the Regency but his work lasted longer than expected. Instead, I went over to the 2nd and did a tempo effort up the Freeway. I clocked it at 7:12, 45 seconds off PR pace. Yikes!

12/12, Saturday - Green Mtn & Bear Pk - 14 miles, 4700', 3:11
From home (I've been biking to Chautauqua a lot lately) up the 1st/2nd trail to Green. While on my down Bear Canyon I slipped on some ice and fell on my back. The impact ended up destroying the water bottle I had in my back waistband, in effect detonating a water balloon in my trousers. Great, now I'm wet and thirsty. Coming off of Bear without traction was quite the spectacle, I fell probably 10 to 15 times, guiding my slide from hitting trees and rocks, fun stuff. Not wanting to freeze running home I picked up the pace (20:50 5k, which for me, is fast) which in the falling snow gathered quite the accumulation of ice on my eye-lashes and hair.

12/13, Sunday - Aborted Green - 6 miles, 1100', 1:02
Started heading up Saddle Rock feeling terribly so I turned around for a pleasant jog home. The day was brightened, however, by a fantastic session of bouldering in the evening.

Week Totals:
32 miles

Good grades or good training, some weeks you have to make a choice. Allegedly, I'll be a fully functioning human being after just one more semester of school. Terrifying.

12/14, Monday - AM: Quandary Pk - 7 miles, 3400', 2:47 || PM: Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:20
Got up to the high country in the morning with Ford and Jack for a blustery ascent in the high mountains.My gear choice was generally good, I would have liked poles for balance and a face covering in the 35-40mph winds but with a bit of perseverance we made the summit just fine. RMR Green in the evening to top things off.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

12/15, Tuesday - Green Mtn - 10 miles, 3000', 2:55
A mammoth dumping of snow fell over the night -- enough to cancel finals -- so I headed up to Green. I was breaking trail most of the way up in the knee deep snow, so the going was insanely slow. A few minutes after I got to the top Ryan showed up following my vaguely broken trail, so we enjoyed the sugary fall back down, but the snow still provided plenty of resistance even with gravity on our side.

A photo posted by Ryan Lassen (@rlassen) on

12/16, Wednesday - Green Mtn - 10 miles, 3100', 2:48
Surprisingly, conditions were worse than yesterday. The wind had destroyed any broken trail and replaced it with a crunchier more consolidated drift system that seemed to follow the trail. Somehow, even leaving at 9AM I was the first tracks again so I was swimming up and down again. I've learned to just take it easy with bad conditions like this though, there isn't much you can do to go faster.

12/17, Thursday - Green Mtn - 9 miles, 3000', 1:48
Looks like I'm stuck in this groove again. Good. The trench was a little better today, so I was able to make the climb in ~50min, as opposed to the miserable 1:20 it took the previous couple days. The improved conditions are most apparent comparing to yesterday's time! Went for a quick downhill, but didn't quite PR, nor get any closer to Jeff's CR down (I found out later from Jeff that TK went sub-14min pre-flood!). Snowy downhills bombs are too fun to pass up, though.

12/18, Friday - 4 x Green Mtn - 17 miles, 9300', 5:21
I started off pretty frustrated that the wind had destroyed yet another perfectly good trench and that it was I once again who first to arrive and do the dirty work (come on Boulder!). Anyways after the first lap a bunch more people came through and generally cleared things out. Also after lap one, I dropped my car key inside my spare tire on the back of my car, so I wasted a good 10 to 15 minutes delicately extracting the key with twig I fixed into a hook. On good pace vert-wise, hoping to top 10k', but I definitely didn't want to do a fifth lap nor did I care enough to do another 30 minute loop for the extra 700ft.

12/19, Saturday - 4 x Bear Pk - 17 miles, 10000', 5:41
Although I felt horrible on the first lap, it ended up being the fastest lap. The approach from Cragmoor is quite horrible being around 8% grade I feel compelled to run all of it, but its quite hard for me to maintain a run on that with tired legs. Today's fuel was a jar of nutella and a spoon I stashed at the bottom.

12/20, Sunday - 5 x Mt Sanitas - 15 miles, 6100', 4:19
Finished off a tough week with repeats on Sanitas until the BRC group run caught me on lap 5, then I finished off with them so I could get some free breakfast back at the store. Trails were pretty icy, but I still resisted wearing spikes. Only fell once -- which was before sunrise -- so I call that a success.

Week Totals:
92 miles

Well, that's 8 Green's, 4 Bear's, 6 Sanitas and 1 Quandary in a hard week. I'm pleased.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Nov 30 - Dec 6

A few recovery days out, along with one slightly bigger day to bag a bunch of scrambling before the first big snow which would drape the flatirons in snow much of which will stay put for the season.

11/20, Friday - Third Flatiron - 4 miles, 1800', 1:48
Snow was predicted for this evening so Jack and I headed up for an easy scramble. Finding the true base of the 3rd on its south side far damp to gain traction, we skirted around to the standard east bench start and found a drier surface to ascend. Afterwards, we made a quick mounting of Tomato Rock.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on
11/22, Sunday - 4th Flatiron, Green Mtn, 2nd Flatiron - 5 miles, 2600', 2:51
The snow that did fall ended up being rather pathetic, so Jack and I set out for the 4th. Jack had never been up the 4th before and he was welcomed with rather treacherous conditions. The first piece was dry enough, but the entrance to the hanging garden on the second piece was guarded by veneer of ice. The third piece was essentially unclimbable, we ended up wallowing up a small trench on the north side filled with powdery snow. We finished up to Green and split for myself to downclimb the 2nd and Jack to take the trail.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on
11/25, Wednesday - Achean Pronouncement, Primal Rib, Regency, Royal Arch, Hammerhead, Third Flatiron, Chase the Sun, 2nd Flatiron - 9 miles, 4500', 4:40
Anton had told me a month or so ago that something was wrong with me since I said I didn't like Achean Pronouncement (AP) and Primal Rib (PR). Today I trialed his recommendation of switching the order to AP-PR. The start to AP is a bit tricky for me but the remaining scramble was pleasant. The main difference was the short connecting schwack to PR which made the sharp arete all the more enjoyable. Coming off PR I blindly followed Porch Alley out to the Mesa trail so rather than ascending Satan's Slab and the Fist I resigned to loop around to the main Flatirons rather than retrace my steps. The next scrambles of the Regency, Royal Arch, Hammerhead the temperature began to sharply drop; the final loop of the 3rd, Chase the Sun and a downclimb of the second was very cold.
A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on
11/28, Saturday - Flatiron Loop - 3 miles, 1500', 0:52
I met Kory at Chautauqua and he dragged me up to behind the 1st where I then lead then descent down to the Amphitheater. As is typical when I run with Kory, I'm displeased with focus on speed of ascent and he is displeased with the technicality and trail (or lack thereof) quality I select.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on
Recovery had generally gone well, sleep deprivation long compensated for as well as energy. The only ailment I currently had was some tightness in my right knee where the quadriceps connect. I was planning on taking more time easy. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), I don't do well with time off nor following plans.

11/30, Monday - Green Mtn - 8 miles, 3,000', 1:45
RMR Green night and I decided to work harder on the up than my usual Monday effort. Downhills were perfect without spikes in the ice-free packed snow.

12/1, Tuesday - Off
Went bouldering at the rec, but felt like a sack of rocks so I headed home early.

12/2, Wednesday - Green Mtn - 7 miles, 3,600', 2:02
Planning on meeting Jack, Kory and Joe on Green, I opted to start early and bag more vert rather than lag behind the speedsters. Took the 1st/2nd trail up, descended to the Amphitheater, ascended Saddle Rock, descended EM Greenman then finished up Ranger where after one extra down and up repeat they joined me on top. Another fun descent.
A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on
12/3, Thursday - 2 x Green Mtn - 10 miles, 4,800', 2:20
Two laps up and down Saddle Rock. An early start meant I was descending off lap 1 before the sun even rose. Second lap felt too hard.

12/4, Friday - Off

12/5, Saturday - 4 x Bear Pk - 21 miles, 11,100ft, 6:47
Parked at Cragmoor and ran/hiked 4 laps up and down Fern Canyon. I crossed paths with Bill and Mark and then a slew of RMR on the 1st lap. On the second I did the summit ridge with Simon which we hit way too hard for a long effort. The final two laps were a long blur only memorable by getting Ryan Smith's TNF50 update texts. Jack was heading to Bear and tried to convince me to do a 5th, but I was all out of food and quite tired. Definitely not in shape right now.

12/6, Sunday - Climbing
Went sport climbing in Boulder Canyon with Jack. Jack had been telling me about "The Young and the Rackless" for a while now and with him not training for a race, my ankles working and the weather prime, we took advantage of the rare opporunity. My arm strength (which isn't anything to be proud of normally) is terrible right now after betting a bit ambitious on a friendly monthly push-up challenge, so I was frustrated-ly stuck on the first crux, but otherwise made it through alright.
A photo posted by Jack Daly (@jdalyy) on

Week Totals:
45 miles

Slowly getting back to the rhythm of training. Time to move focus from present objectives to those many, many weeks away. I'll likely have a slightly lighter volume until after Christmas with family, finals and so forth; looking forward to get properly back in training mode. The more hard and terrible the winter the more glorious the summer. Hopefully, otherwise I'll be putting myself through a lot of unnecessary misery.