Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jan 25 - Jan 31

1/25, Monday - AM: Creek Path - 6 miles, 200', 0:44 || PM: Green Mtn - 10 miles, 2900', 1:43
Easy run in the morning around town and RMR run in the evening where I ran from home. On the way home my right calf which was already pretty sore really started to hurt so I walked the last mile or so home.

1/26, Tuesday - Creek Path - 9 miles, 200', 1:01
4 x 10min hard, 3:30 rest with Jack. Kept the intervals at about 6 flat each with a couple miles splits coming in sub-6, something I haven't done in a very long time. By the end of the fourth interval my calf was so shredded I couldn't even jog easy, so I was walking home again. Hopefully, tomorrow's cross-training on the bike will ease the tightness.

1/27, Wednesday - Bike: Boulder Reservoir Loop - 21 miles, 1:12, 700'
Kept the gears low hoping to flush out my calf, it felt a little twitchy on the ride home but never fully flared up.

1/28, Thursday - AM: 1st Flatiron, 3rd Flatiron, Green Mtn, 2nd Flatiron - 9 miles, 3900', 2:36 || PM: 1st Flatiron, 3rd Flatiron, Green Mtn, 2nd Flatiron - 5 miles, 3700', 2:15
Same run twice today, except in the morning I ran from home on icy trails and in the evening I biked to Chautauqua to run on slushy trails (60F today!). I felt fantastic on the 1st clocking a 16min and a 14min ascent then skipped down to the 3rd where everyone was out getting in final climbs before it closes on Monday. The route up to Green from the 3rd is less obvious and a bit more technical; oddly, I did it better in the morning. Downclimbed the 2nd (in a PR 7:37 in the morning) to avoid the ice on the trails; my microspikes broke and are so dull they hardly do anything anyways. Calf felt great today, which is why I felt okay doubling.

1/29, Friday - AM: Logan Mill - 22 miles, 2600', 3:12 || PM: 1st Flatiron, 2nd Flatiron - 2 miles, 1600', 0:50
Tried out a new loop today, Creek/Fourmile/Logan-Mill/Sugarloaf/Creek. The upper mile or so of the creek path was glassy ice so I got slowed down a lot there, but running up Fourmile is always as good as road running gets. Logan Mill is a steep, dirt and switch-backed road connecting Fourmile Canyon to Sugarloaf; it was nice and quiet this morning, I only saw two cars on the 4 miles of winding dirt. Running down the shoulder of Sugarloaf Rd I slipped on some ice and fell...on the road...embarrassing. Taking the Betasso Link back down to Boulder Canyon, I just had to carefully scoot over a bit more ice before striding out the last couple miles. Calf felt 8.5/10, that's a good sign. In the evening I did an easy lap up the 1st (13:44, fastest in a long while) then descended by downclimbing the 2nd (7:25, PR), oddly I felt quite strong on the climb.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

1/30, Saturday - Gold Hill - 24 miles, 3300', 4:06
I ended up flipping over the handlebars last night on my bike (tightened the front brake too much) so I had descent bruise on my hip. Between that and yesterday's run, I was hurting start to finish. As yesterday I felt I could just float up the climbs, today every step was a concerted effort. Near the top of the Sunshine Canyon climb, the wind hit in full force which thrashed me about. I descended super slowly with my hip bruise hurting with each step (it never got worse so I'm not too concerned). About halfway down the sheriff stopped me to tell me to watch out for the wind uprooting and blowing burnt trees into the road off hillside. That's like saying "this area is under siege by catapults, keep an eye out," you can't dodge a flying tree trunk and thankfully I didn't see any!

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

1/31, Sunday - AM: Mt Sanitas - 11 miles, 1600, 1:38 || PM: Streets - 4 miles, 0:34
BRC group run. Last night's pathetic snowfall gave just enough of a dusting to suppress the ice, legs felt pretty good after the first 20 minutes, but energy was a little low. The hike up the ridge definitely loosened my hip bruise up so I was able to actually run a steady clip back home. The actual snow arrived in the evening so I enjoyed a rather peaceful trot to get the mileage to three digits.

Week Totals:
102 miles

Good first week of honest training for long and flat but still managed 20k' of vert as a result of squeezing in 6 flatties on Thursday. Hope to keep building the volume for another 1-2 weeks before toning it down. Who knew all this flat mileage could be fun?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jan 18 - Jan 24 & A Somewhat Brief Raison D'Etre for Scrambling

1/18, Monday - Off
One last day completely in recovery mode.

1/19, Tuesday - Bike: Boulder Res - 20 miles, 800', 1:11
An easy but cold ride around the reservoir. It was good to get the legs moving, even if it was minimal.

1/20, Wednesday - Bike: Boulder Res - 26 miles, 1200', 1:31
Generally the same ride as yesterday but I stretched the loop a bit wider for the extra miles. I tried wearing plastic grocery bags over my socks today, and my feet never entered the ice blocks state they did yesterday. So, that was a huge plus.

1/21, Thursday - Bike: Lee Hill + Lefthand Canyon - 24 miles, 3000', 1:42
I had thought about going up to Ward today, but with lower Lefthand Canyon being closed I had to start with Lee Hill, which was plenty for an re-intronductory workload for my legs. I then turned around early and dispatched Lee Hill once more.

1/22, Friday - 1st Flatiron + Green Mtn
Ran from home. The 1st was covered in ice on its lower bits, so I was forced onto a new route a few feet up and to the north. Amazing how much slower you go when you don't have every hold memorized, ascent in 38min (as opposed to the usual 15). Finished up to Green before taking a long meandering route home and finishing with a few 6:30 miles on the creek path.
A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on
1/23, Saturday - 1st Flatiron, Green Mtn, Regency, Royal Arch, Lost Flatironette, 2nd Flatiron, 3rd Flatiron - 14 miles, 6100', 5:46
The Flatirons were wonderfully dry so I took to the slabs once more. By following some kick-steps I was on my usual route with only a very small detour. I was also astounded at just how well my La Sportiva Mutants stuck to the rock, just about as well as climbing rubber (it also helps that the lugs are getting worn quite a bit). After summitting Green, I did some actual running down Bear Canyon. Hoped to scramble the Front Porch, but the access trail was still buried in snow so I headed over to the Regency/Royal Arch linkup. The 5.6 downclimb on the west face still slows me down, I need some more laps over there. I missed the turnoff for the Hammerhead and instead climbed the Lost Flatironette, which isn't a classic but is a harder difficulty (5.3). I then ran back over to Chautauqua to meet Guy to do the 2nd and 3rd. He had clearly not been on a rock in a very long time as our 3rd Flatiron split alone was around 40 minutes (downclimb not included). Not expecting to be out for 6 hours, 13oz of total water and a couple gels left me parched and speeding down to the dining hall on my bike afterwards.
A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on
1/24, Sunday - South Boulder Loop - 14 miles, 400', 1:45
Steady pace around the South Boulder bike paths. Felt descent all things considered, held 7min pace for the meat of the run, then peppered in a 20:30 5k at the end for fun, with 5 to 10 minute warm up and warm-downs at "yogging" pace, or something.

I would have prefered to take more time off from last weekend, but with Mississippi 50 in 6 weeks, I really don't have that sort of time to lounge about. The bike rides were good run substitutes, I'll have to focus on sneaking those in here and there. Next week I'll unfortunately be doing both a flat workout and a flat long-ish run. I've also decided on some goals I'd like to shoot for this year: 100 ascents of the 1st Flatiron and 2,500 miles of both running and biking. These volume goals are always tough as they are determined as much by health, weather and random variables as they are sheer effort towards the goal. Getchyer' sufferin' on (smartly)!


I was asked this week about "soloing" in the Flatirons. I had a quick safe response, but when thinking about it, I find the answer much more complicated. I really hate trying to answer questions about that so simply because (as you may read) it is not so simple. First, to get the short preface out of the way, climbing is an inherently dangerous activity regardless of style, but the use of ropes will almost always make it more safe. Despite my own ventures on rock I don't necessarily recommend others to follow suit unless they feel comfortable themselves doing so. I certainly look at other's solos and speed climbs as other's may look at a solo of the 1st Flatiron. Secondly, I use quotes when I say "soloing" because it the realm of rock climbing as a whole, the routes I "solo" are extremely easy routes (thus why I go almost always without rope). If given a rope and a harness I would argue most anyone could at the very least flounder their way up. I also have the luxury of more ambitious friends who will evaluate routes and relay the beta to me so I'm not going in blind.

Comfort, I think is the most important thing to have. Comfort means you have a level head and are able to asses situations with rationale. The Flatirons, while being generally quite easy climbing, offer some incredible positions where there is a lot air beneath you (i.e. exposed). The worst thing you could possibly do is have a panic attack 500ft above the ground. Its that whole concept of standing on the edge of a cliff you suddenly lose faith in your ability to stand, even though on normal ground you wouldn't think twice. Just imagine if you were on a ladder 500ft up, how would you feel? Oddly, when you take away the safety net any doubt is magnified even with movements you otherwise don't think about. With just over 370 logged routes of scrambling, I've garnered a certain degree of comfort and practice on the Flatirons where even when dodging water or ice I feel alright.

That brings me to my second point, which is that it is a very personal choice. Rope or no rope there are always risks. In the Flatirons, bolts and available protection are so few and far between that half the time even with a rope, you're going to fall 30ft or more. I also personally believe that it is irresponsible to be soloing above your limit (you know when you are), especially when you have people whose lives depend on your own. In the movie (and book "Into Thin Air" by Krakauer, which is far better) "Everest" hearing about a father whose family's well-being depends on his job abandons said job to climb above 8,000 meters, this is precisely the irresponsibility I think about. Myself being a single, childless guy (as grim as this may sound) would not cause such an impact of the worst were to happen. And sure, the argument can be made that no one should climb unroped at all.

All of that said, the reason to be unroped is far from some deep desire for danger. The Flatirons are one-of-a-kind and world class formations which are some of the most enjoyable pices of rock to scramble. The feeling of pure freedom while moving efficiently unburdened by rope (which immensely slows and weighs you down, its like snow boots versus running shoes) is fantastic. To anyone considering getting into scrambling the Flatirons I cannot more highly recommend doing nothing but the Freeway on the 2nd Flatiron at least 20 times before even thinking about another rock. Even better, ask somebody to guide you up the route for the first time. An easy mistake is to drift too soon to the nearby 1st which is considerably harder; this is what I did and I regret doing that because at that time I wasn't mentally ready. Its not physically hard per se, but again, confidence and comfort is key. On the other hand, I've taken friends up the 1st solo for their first time because I knew they possessed the necessary abilities to reach the top safely. As Bill Wright says, "It is supposed to be fun." If you're scared, or too challenged it isn't fun.

Seriously, an entire book could probably be written on this subject but it really does boil down to a personal choice and people are going to do whatever they want in the end. If you really, really want to on-site solo a 5.6 or 5.7  for your first climb, just go do it, because you will anyways. Just understand what your getting yourself into. In the end, having the requisite skills opens up a whole world of possibility. Scrambling in the Flatirons is specifically the reason I can't imagine leaving Boulder.
My all time favorite image of the Flatirons. Art by Phil Lewis

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Birthday Challenge - 10 x Green Mtn

Over the month of December I dedicated several days to lapping up and down mountains in preparation for a day of 22,000ft in a day for my 22nd birthday. The most logical place to do this is on Green Mountain. Although Fern Canyon is indisputably the steepest line in Boulder the long relatively flat approach from any road where I could stash food and water in my car eliminated it from the list of viable options. Thus, the plan was to get 22,000ft by parking at Gregory Canyon TH where I could do laps of the 4.4 mile/2400ft out and back up Amphitheater-Saddle Rock to Green Mtn. The second issue I found is that I needed 9.3 laps for 22,000ft so instead it seemed more logical to round up to  an even10.

On my last long training run last weekend I coincidentally crossed paths with Homie, the only other guy to finish 10 laps of Green in a day that I know of. From him I found out that he averaged 25 minute descents and wide ranging ascents which finally totaled about 16 hours. I hadn't necessarily planned on any time goals, but now armed with this knowledge my competitive spirit felt compelled to rise to the occasion.

Thankfully, the first week of class is always pretty easy so I was able to score several nights with 10 hours of sleep. Along with taking Wed-Fri completely off I was rested and fresh legged when I woke at 3AM Saturday morning. I brought gummy bears, honey, nutella, chips, mini heath bars and bananas and filled up most every water bottle I own. I started off in tights, two shirts, a windbreaker, gloves and a buff, which I would remain in all day. For my feet I used the La Sportiva Mutants (great for steep) and donned microspikes for the trail which had metamorphasized into a bobsled course over the past week. I had I had posted in our RMR group about my plans and knew several people coming out but didn't expect company at 4AM.
Not posed just having a bite to eat on the Green Mountain
 summit boulder. Photo: Eric
As I was about to trot into the darkness Jeff swung into the spot next to me and we were off a minute later. I started off too fast, but not too too fast like I did when I did my 6 laps during training. We returned to the parking lot to find Eric, Jon and Hillary waiting to join, Kendrick and Alberto arrived on #3 then Ryan, Cat and Dan joined on #4. I mostly prefer to keep to myself on runs of any distance or variety but the presence of others gives me a massive boost in motivation and responsible to deliver on the effort. The first 4 laps pass casually as darkness turns to light; they are merely the introduction for the back half (plus one).

I steadily held a consistent pace with Eric (who was predicting an implosion and who critiques any and all ambitions I have regarding Nolan's, which he has finished himself so I just have to shut up and take it), he's definitely the guy I want to have with me and he has promised 5-7 laps. I feel most compelled to remain strong in his presence as its his approval on any big mountain project that means the most; this is a day I can show my mettle. He calls it at 5 laps though (after my 6th) and my sensei for the day is now gone. With him Cat, Jeff and Kendrick (I actually have no idea when he snuck away) also left. I tried convincing Cat to do more since we actually share the exact same birthdate but she insisted rocky, technical trail glazed in ice wasn't safe for her barely healed ankle. True.
Feeling way better than I look, I was focused on chomping on some frozen Clif ShotBlocks, the ever cheerful Hillary found this particularly funny. Photo: Ryan
By lap 7, the crew was now Ryan, Dan, Mike and Andy (Mike and Andy joining us sometime around #6). I was given a minor mental boost when we passed Anton and Tim within a few minutes of each other. Its just like when I speed up whenever I see Sage on the bike path.My legs were sending those twitchy signals of an impending cramp and right at the spring, a crippling cramp outbreak had me writhing on the ground for a few minutes. My quads were expectedly battered while my toes and arches had been crammed into tight microspikes for over a marathon. After stretching and downing some sodium and amino acids, I took off my microspikes (the top half of the mountain was ice-free) to give my feet some relative rest.
Dan celebrating being done with a big day while I contemplate what (if any) strength remains in my mind and body. Photo: Clare
Lap 8 passed in a similar fashion of slow but constant movement while trying to minimize any cramping episodes. As we finished the descent I knew everyone currently running would be going home and I feared I could be alone for the final two laps, which would be in the dark. Thankfully, waiting in the parking lot was Clare in road shoes with Yak Traks. I usually avoid spikes at all cost, but today the ice was hard, unforgiving and covered most every rock on the bottom half of the mountain. Yak Traks are a joke for these conditions and road shoes can't even stick to dirt very well. Nevertheless, we ascended and I felt a second wind and was able to reach the summit without any cramping episodes. We passed Kendrick on the way down who had mysteriously rejoined for the finale where he was hoping to see some carnage (see below pic).
Getting every last drop of water while Kendrick laughs at my misery. Photo: Clare
I couldn't tell you what exactly went wrong on lap 10, but I had nothing left in me. The only guess I have is that it was now decidedly nighttime (again). I had made a point to maintain constant movement all day, but I found myself resting against trees to catch my breath several times. Staggering near the top, my stomach felt nauseous (likely from the thousands of calories of sugar I had eaten), I knelt on the ground for a while before gathering myself and willing myself to the top. The thought of any taste was repulsive, I've heard about this a lot before but never experienced it myself. I was able to choke down the rest of my water before casually making our way back down.
Broken and defeated. Photo: Kendrick
My final time was 14:45:46, distance was 45 miles, and vertical gain was 24,500ft. I averaged each lap to be 1:28, lap 10 was 1:46 and the fastest was the first at 1:11. I tried to push all day, and it was just as mentally exhausting as it was physically. 24 hours seems unimaginably difficult, though I would certainly ease off the pace quite a bit. Still, I'm not interested. It was a great day hanging out with tons of friends (even if I stay quiet) and a huge learning experience to build off of.
Okay, this is more how I felt. Photo: Clare

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Jan 4 - Jan 10

1/4, Monday - AM: Streets - 4 miles, 0:30 || PM: Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:13
Easy run around campus to start the day then met up with RMR for the weekly Green. I felt really good heading up Green which was nice after a workout yesterday.

1/5, Tuesday - Mt Sanitas - 12 miles, 1900', 1:59
Up and down Lion's Lair with Jack and Kory. I knew I would be lagging behind on such runnable terrain so I quietly enjoyed my run as the caboose up the smooth trail. Jack was also feeling off today so after Kory branched off we were able to ease the pace on the way home.

1/6, Wednesday - Longs Peak - 14 miles, 5900', 10:21
I had decided about a month ago that I would "someday" like to summit Longs in winter but had assumed it could (and likely would) be years before that happened. Kendrick mentioned some interest in checking it out on Monday and the weather looked immaculate: no recent snow, no wind and clear skies. After purchasing a pair of crampons (of which I was already overdue to purchase) and borrowing a pair of New Balance WT110 shoes I was ready. It ended up being a technically mellow day, we took the Loft/Clark's Arrow up and down following tracks we heard were already in place. With route finding out of the way we just had to do it. Super slow time, we ran maybe 40 steps and mainly just enjoyed checking off a big goal for both of us.
Layer of clouds flowing over the Indian Peak and Wild Basin
A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on
1/7, Thursday - Mt Sanitas - 10 miles, 1700', 1:31
Met up with the RMR group run up Sanitas. We took the ridge up then down the backside while flurries of snow moved in. Eggnog flavored gelato afterwards was one of the best tastes I have tasted.

1/8, Friday - Green Mtn - 10 miles, 3000', 2:01
Jack and I did an easy ascent of Green by the Amphitheater-Saddle Rock trails. Well, at certain point he wanted to go faster so he ran on ahead while I hiked most everything. With the fresh snow and tired legs I got pretty exhausted from any extended uphill running. On the way down we dropped into a gully just north of the 2nd Flatiron where we found iced over slabs that would drop you off into pillows of powder. So we were sliding on our bums for most of that including the bottom 10 or so feet of the actual 2nd Flatiron. I didn't expect it to be that fun, but I'll be going back there after future fresh snow.

1/9, Saturday - Skyline - 24 miles, 7800', 5:15
Eh. I wanted to the Skyline (Sanitas-Flagstaff-Green-Bear-South Boulder) as an out and back but between starting late, running low on water and overestimating my fitness it didn't get done today. Sanitas felt way too hard, then I forgot to chug water at the Eben G. fountain so I dug way too far into what I was carrying and was practically out by the time I was on Bear. So after tagging South Boulder I shuffled down Shadow Canyon and took the Mesa Trail back into town. I kind-of felt like a weakling for giving in so easily, though; as Eric Lee said "Never gonna finish Nolans with that kind of attitude." Ah well, I'll do better another day (hopefully).
A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on
1/10, Sunday - Campus Loop - 4 miles, 0:28, 200'
Easy loop around campus in the evening. Just something to get my legs moving a bit.

Week Totals:
83 miles

Good week of training punctuated by the trip up Longs. I think I'll be good to go next Saturday for 10 laps of Green, but its going to be a real mental battle more than anything -- I'm quite sure of that. Physically, I think I'm about as prepared as I could realistically hope to be, should be fun.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dec 21 - Jan 3

12/21, Monday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:17
RMR Green, usual fun stuff.

12/22, Tuesday - Bouldering - 1:30
Ice evasion

12/23, Wednesday - Bouldering - 3:00
I almost crushed a small Chinese child when they shot out of the rec center lobby into the climbing area. Simultaneously, I finished up an overhanging route and my feet swung just above the child's head. Had the timing been even slightly different I easily could have let go and came crashing down. The parent's didn't speak English but I gave them a look with which I tried to convey "for both of us, please keep control your children."

12/24, Thursday - Off
The eve.

12/25, Friday - Off
The day.

12/26, Satuday - Mt Sanitas - 10 miles, 1900', 1:39
In an effort to overcome the Christmas feasting and deal with the effects of such, I chose Sanitas as a fair alternative. Up the south-ridge, down the swoop.

12/27, Sunday - Mt Sanitas - 10 miles, 1700', 1:30
BRC group run in the cold. Well, it was relatively hot in the sun wearing a coat, but the shade was quite chipper. The most fun thing was seeing Ryan Smith have a terrible day and be struggling to stay with the group. He regularly casually crushes us with an iron fist. I wouldn't normally wish this upon someone, but its a wee bit amusing to easily stride out in front of a runner of his internationally competitive caliber.

Week Totals:
26 miles

Recovery and holidays. Good bouldering sessions among the inactivity.

12/28, Monday - 6 x Green Mtn - 26 miles, 14300', 8:12
Rough. Parked at Gregory and met Hillary for a far too quick first lap, I felt like I easily could have broke 40min since everything grade felt runnable. Serendipitously, Dan finished locking up his bike right when we go back down; he joined me for the next two laps which were (min up/min down) 44/20 and 46/23. I realized then that I hadn't been eating enough and I was getting really cold, so I ate probably four or five-hundred calories and bundled up. Of course, that meant I was using all my energy for digestion while ascending, making for quite a terrible time of 56min up. On lap 5 I wasn't feeling particularly better and I had to turn around 100ft below the summit to (narrowly) catch the RMR group run. I would have had no chance of catching up to them, totally beat. While I was by no means fast, it was much easier to latch onto someone and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other rather than being alone in the darkness.
Mega-uncomfortable celebratory 6 summit pic. Haven't been taking many pics lately, since its been too cold to keep an iPhone battery happy.
12/29 - 12/31 - Off
Family in town, recovery and laziness.

1/1, Friday - Bear Pk - 6 miles, 3000', 1:20
Easy up Fern Canyon from NCAR. Went for a quick descent after I had heard of great snow conditions for running downhills. Ended up going from the summit to the mesa trail in a belligerently reckless 10:46 to descend the 2,100ft in 1.2 miles. On the perfect day of coordination and snow-pack it can go under 10min.

1/2, Saturday - Creek Path - 4.5 miles, 0:33
First installment of many flatter faster runs. My energy felt great today, but my legs aren't quite all there yet from 6 laps of Green and yesterday's hard descent. Went to the gym afterwards for some climbing and strength work. Negligible vertical gain.

1/3, Sunday - Fourmile Canyon - 11 miles, 600', 1:16
First workout in a long while. After a couple miles to warm-up, I did 3 by 8 minutes with 2:45 rest. Unfortunately the upper stretches of the creek path were a pitted ice rink, so my effort wasn't quite reflected in the pace for those (the uphill in particular) intervals. The middle interval had me heading up Fourmile Canyon where the plowed road had much nicer traction.

Week Totals:
47 miles

Looking back it was actually a pretty fun and surprisingly productive week. I couldn't feel at all that I had done a marathon with 14k' of climbing nor descended nearly 3k' at about triple my usual speed on Sunday's workout (though I could Saturday). I'll be planning on a higher volume next week heading into my birthday celebration of stupidity. I think I've done enough repeat sessions this month for my legs to have the strength so I'll hope to knock out some Missippi 50 training next week too.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year Review

I keep pretty meticulous track of all of my data and with my spreadsheet getting its final formatting at the beginning of the year, I now have a (my first ever complete) documentation of a years worth of uniformly formatted and logged data. In other words, the opportunities are endless.

First off, some general volume totals for running,
     2,489 miles
     878,514 feet of climbing
     720:37 (30 days) time on feet

for biking,
     1391 miles
     feet of climbing
     time in the saddle

For summits,
     246 summits, 46 unique
     37 Fourteeners, 15 unique
     13 Thirteeners, 12 unique
     11 Twelvers, 11 unique
     126 Green,
     19 Bear
     4 South Boulder
     5 Flagstaff
     27 Sanitas

For scrambling.
     261 total routes, 46 unique
     5.3 average difficulty rating

In comparison to last year, I believe every single statistic is better excluding South Boulder Peak summits. I climbed over 500,000 more feet, ran 1,100 more miles and was out for 240 more hours. It would be silly to go through the improvement in each facet, but I'm very proud of the year I had. The performance I would say is my best would be my all-out effort up and down Longs in 2:35 (although, I know I can still take 5-10min off), hardest day would be Achonee to Navajo traverse (purely due to a serious absence of calories). The worst day (where I was actually going for something better, not just a training day) would be when I tried the Double Quinfecta, again largely due to a lack of nutrition/hydration. It seems I need to work on my nutrition and hydration strategies, which often simply means bringing them.
The Little Bear-Blanca traverse was absolutely one of my favorite days this year.
Looking back I also feel like I sort of lost a sense of direction or any goal to work specifically towards. I was very set on giving a go at the Chicago Basin in-a-day route, but when I got down there, reported snow conditions forced me to change my plans and I never established a new goal. I'm all for getting out and simply enjoying myself, but I feel like I could have done something really cool this year, and instead sort of squandered it on several kind-of cool things. That being said, I'm starting to plan out next year from a high level view. I'm thinking only 1 or 2 races, but a few bigger objectives to always keep in mind. Without giving away the whole plan, I 'd like to do a big birthday run (which will be mostly hiking, big surprise), a flat, low-landed and swampy long actual run (Mississippi 50), then spend most summer weekends memorizing routes in the Sawatch to put together one hopefully successful Nolan's 14 effort in late August or early September, after which a Tour de Flatirons would end things nicely. Lastly would be another go at a 100 miler, of course, in the form of a fun-run.
A basin to someday be traversed, but hopefully a bit higher by a more direct route.