Sunday, February 28, 2016

Feb 22 - Feb 28

2/22, Monday - AM: Campus - 4mi, 0:28 || PM: Green Mtn - 6mi, 2600', 1:16
Campus loop in the morning. Green ended up being quite the blizzard and I was quite underdressed to be commuting there by bike. Thankfully I was able to get a friend with a truck to give me a ride to the bar then another to give me a ride back home.

2/23, Tuesday - AM: Treadmill - 7mi, 0:50 || PM: Bike Paths - 5.5mi, 0:35
In the morning I did a fartlek workout on the treadmill: 1mi (5:40), 1mi (5:30), 3x0.5mi (5:10 pace). In the evening I went out for another jaunt as I had to make a quick stop at the Engineering Center anyways.

2/24, Wednesday - Bike Paths - 8mi, 300', 1:03
Relaxed pace on the bike paths; saw Scott Jurek though (maybe, Tony says he'd be surprised if Scott was running so it could have been a false alarm)!

2/25, Thursday - Off
Sick (again!). Slept a ton and drank a ton of water, hopefully that helps.

2/26, Friday - 1st Flatiron & Green Mtn - 5 miles, 2700', 1:51
Biked to Chat and felt quite miserable running up so I resigned to just hike the dang thing; at least I was outside doing something today. The 1st was quite exciting with frequent ice fall on the upper reaches. Only the first pitch is in a gully which can be threatened so I made quick work of that. Pitches 3 through the end had a ton of running water which made hold selection a bit more judicious; the slot shortcut was absolutely soaking so I took the standard route. Hiked up to Green and descended very casually but it superb downhill conditions. Nice slow outing, I'm pretty sure I can run from home and do this route as fast or faster.

2/27, Saturday - Mt Meeker (13,911') - 11 miles, 4900', 5:21
Mt Meeker is a super rad mountain, but it gets almost zero attention since it falls 89ft short of the golden number; I'd been meaning to get up it all summer, but was always too lazy to add it to a Longs day. The winter short-cuts weren't quite all broken, so I ended up crawling a bit to avoid some heinous postholing. From Chasm Lake I cut straight south up the Iron Gates, a very loose gravel gully and gained the ridge to Meeker. It was mostly just boulder hopping until the final 100ft or so which had some fun, easy and somewhat exposed scrambling to the summit. Went down the Loft where I passed Bill and his son Derrick who are training for a bid on Denali (how's that for a graduation present!). Made a small detour to check out Chasm Lake and get a better view of some parties in Martha's before hiking back down.
Don't forget to turn around and check out Longs when you're heading up Meeker! That Ship's Prow ridge is just begging to be climbed, I'll have to look into that.
On the way down after the clouds moved in. The Iron Gates are the second scree gully from the left which joins the ridge. Meeker has a pretty cool east face too!
2/28, Sunday - Longs Pk - 11 miles, 5400', 6:27
Jack is a finely tuned machine and I'm just up high trying to cheat my way to extra hemoglobin. More Longs today, planned going up and down the Keyhole but Cables looked too inviting to not at least check out. It ended up being a tricky climb as snow covers the good foot holds but with barely enough for crampons to really bite into. Anyways, I made it through that, summitted and descended the Keyhole. First time on that route in a long time, I always forget just how long the Trough is, even going down. I put crampons back on for the Ledges then went traction free back to the TH.
For all the great pics of Longs, the summit is actually quite boring. Its so big (like 3 football fields) you really can't see much beyond it.

Week Totals:
57 miles

The week started off very poorly with more sickness mumbo-jumbo, but thankfully I was able to turn my health back around and polish off the weekend with two fantastic days in the alpine. Hopefully being at altitude for 10 hours this weekend will prop up my red blood cell count and I'll be able to keep Jack in sight. Mississippi 50 coming in hot next weekend!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Feb 15 - Feb 21

2/15, Monday - Off
Sick. Actually, happy that I'm sick as it hopefully means I'm not quite as burnt out I thought.

2/16, Tuesday - Scrambling - 8 miles, 2900', 2:34
Left from campus with Jack and missed the Regency but ended up on some rando flatironette right below the Hammerhead which we scrambled. We then went over to Dodge Block on the 2nd which has got to be a sandbagged rating for 5.6 because we both felt pretty gripped on the water slot before the tunnel (5.7-8? We were both in highly non-sticky rubber, which made the final exposed move pretty stressful). Finished with a cheater lap of the 1st via Atalanta then downclimbed the 2nd to avoid the ice.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

2/17, Wednesday - Scrambling - 9 miles, 2900', 3:02
Similar route to yesterday. Met Hillary at Chautauqua and we did the Regency/Royal Arch combo before tagging the Hammerhead. I was hoping convince her to try the south side of the 5th, but after downclimbing the fairly exposed Yodeling Moves on Hammerhead it might have been a good idea that we didn't. Finished with an easy lap up the Freeway. Running back home I apparently was averaging 5:45 miles (granted, its downhill) without much perceived effort. Glad to see some payoff of the speedwork I've been doing.

2/18, Thursday - 1st Flatiron - 6 miles, 2000', 1:29
The weather was phenomenal so I took off from campus for a lunch run. I had planned on just running around on trails but the 1st just looked too inviting. The scramble took a bit longer (~25min, on dry rock, no less) in my non-sticky-rubber and extra-cushioned new kicks but it made the subsequent romp back down and onto Kohler-Mesa quite smooth. I guess I can't totally slam the cushy shoes until I've really given them a chance.

2/19, Friday - 1st Flatiron, Green Mtn, Seal - 9 miles, 4300', 2:35
The wind was quite powerful so I gave in and drove to Chautauqua. I had to pause a few times on the 1st to breathe on my hands and tuck them in my shorts to try and get them to warm up, but they ended up being essentially numb the whole scramble. After tagging Green I went down Bear Canyon and scrambled the Seal, which I would frequent far more often were it not so randomly isolated on the Nebel Horn. The 4th class rating Roach gives this rock is fairly sandbagged, it felt more 5.4 (as its listed on, so I spent more time -- particularly on the downclimb -- then I had planned, so I skipped tagging Bear. I took Enchanted Mesa back down to add in some distance and avoid the pounding of Bluebell Road.

2/20, Saturday - Off
For some reason I had actually zero motivation to even go outside today. Seems like some resurgence of Monday's sickness. Decided to just take off to make myself as ready to go as possible tomorrow.

2/21, Sunday - Longs Peak + Mt Lady Washington- 11 miles, 5500', 7:46
Gave another try at the NW Gully with Kendrick and Peter. They were kindly up for a third round with Longs this month (I couldn't skip class Wednesday to join them for their successful summit), to help me get my February tick mark. The winds were much kinder and we enjoyed relatively tame conditions to the Keyhole although my hands were completely numb at the shelter. After putting on the puffy coat (and every other article of clothing I had) and holding my hands in my pants for 10 minutes I completely regained feeling and we set off through the Keyhole. The climb itself was only a tiny section of 5th class hidden in a few hundred feet of 3rd/4th class scrambling. We soloed the ascent but broke out the rope for rapping down Cables. We were making good time so we decided to traverse the ridge from Chasm View over to Mt Lady Washington, to find out Kendrick had never been on top! Fun stuff.
Peter followed by a hiding Kendrick coming up the gully before the "crux".
Views of Glacier Gorge were...memorable.
The "crux", its an easy 5.1 (which is a pretty generous rating). The standard route goes through the cave formed by the pancake-like rocks, but I elected to climb around it so as to avoid becoming some cave dwelling troll.
View of Mt Lady Washington (left) and Chasm Lake from the bottom of the Cables rappel.
Peter leading the way up with me following with my school backpack; you'd think an Ultimate Direction guy could remedy this issue. ;) Photo by Kendrick
A very mellow week. I fell down the stairs with a cup of barely-not-boiling tea and oatmeal which gave me some nasty burns on my hip and arm plus some hard bruising on my back; so that, with getting sick sorta had me out of commission. Luckily, I was able to get up Longs on Sunday to somewhat salvage the week.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Feb 1 - Feb 14

2/1, Monday - AM: Creek - 5 miles, 0:41 || PM: Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:55
The snow was blowing all day long. The morning run felt quite peaceful but the traction was so bad that I ended up with terrible average pace. I the evening I did the usual Green loop with RMR in the now several inches of snow. Without much of a base-layer it was bit choppy but my new La Sportiva Crossover GTX shoes worked perfectly on their first outing. The real highlight (or lowlight) was biking to and from the Southern Sun afterwards. Getting to the bar wasn't too bad but coming home took about an hour (usually takes 10 minutes) due to the snow. I could just never get any traction in the sugary snow.

2/2, Tuesday - Green Mtn - 5 miles, 2800', 3:10
If you want to know really how bad conditions were today, check out that time. It took me 3 hours to go 5 miles! I biked up with my ski poles roped to my back and took the 1st Flatiron access trail to the summit in snow that in places reached hip deep. Luckily, school had been canceled because it took forever. On the descent I broke my pole in some rocks and tore a finger on my glove so I was pretty angry between how slow it went and my broken equipment. Nevertheless, I'm always happy to get out there in the snow.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

2/3, Wednesday - Treadmill - 9 miles, 1:06
Too cold and snowy to run fast right now so Jack and I took shelter in the rec center for a workout. 1 x 20min then 3 x 5min. My pace for most of the intervals was somewhere between 5:50 and 6:30 min/mi. I felt okay but nothing special and definitely could not keep my magic carpet moving as fast as Jack's.

2/4, Thursday - Mt Sanitas - 7 miles, 1500', 1:06
School was busy since yesterday morning but I finally got a quick run in.

2/5, Friday - Gold Hill - 24 miles, 3300', 3:44
After getting squashed on this route last week I did it again in order to please Tony and Alberto who both said I went way too slow. It was cold heading up in the morning, but my legs felt good despite my numb fingers and wind battered cheeks. The descent passed normally until I reached the upper creek path which doesn't get city maintenance. All of the snow from the road had been plowed onto the path and almost nobody had tracked it out yet. Being day 3 after the storm I plunged knee deep at times for a couple miles (which ruined my mile average) until I reached the maintenance area where I could cleanly run back home.

2/6, Saturday - Ski: Loveland - 11 miles, 4100', 4:41
Finally got out on some AT skis. Its certainly not doing me any favors for Mississippi training, but it was a good time on the demo setup. I did 2 and a half laps from the base of Loveland up to the divide, or "Route B". I felt like death the whole time (not enough calories, sleep, water, rest...oops), so I only did a half lap on the last one.

2/7, Sunday - Mt Sanitas - 9 miles, 1500', 1:35
Still well behind on sleep but I felt a bit more fresh today until the ice climb up Sanitas; I hiked everything uphill. Huge turnout for the group run which meant the doughnuts and coffee were gone in a blink of an eye. Even cooler was that I won the raffle for guessing the cumulative score of both teams in the Superbowl (34), so I won a free pair of shoes and the Broncos won. Great day.

Pre-run group pic, clearly Guy likes being cold.
Week Totals (only running):
65 miles

Really light on the vertical this week (though including skiing the total gets to a slightly better 16k). School got really busy mid-week and then I stayed up too late for the early mornings on the weekend, so its my own fault I didn't have as a high volume as I should have. One month to Mississippi.

2/8, Monday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:30
RMR Monday. Snow was perfect for descending, almost PR conditions.

2/9, Tuesday - 2 x 5km - 11 miles, 200', 1:19 || PM: La Sportiva - 7 miles, 0:50
Doing speedwork alone is tough, its so nice to have someone else there that you can go back and forth with. Anyways, this morning I was on my lonesome on the creek path. Temperatures were high 30's which was perfect for a workout. I split 19:11 for the first 5km and 18:54 for the second with a 10 minute easy run between them. Went out for the La Sportiva group run in the evening, which ended up being a bit quicker with ~5 of the miles being at 6:50 pace, legs felt okay though, so I went with it.

2/10, Wednesday - 1st Flatiron + Green Mtn - 5 miles, 2800', 1:34
Given the nice weather, I left our crew of Hillary, Lassen, Cat, Derek and Clare to go up the 1st in an effort to hone my scrambling skills a bit before tomorrow. It really wasn't too bad aside from a few spots where I couldn't just mindlessly follow the usual holds. They passed me coming down just below the summit, so after tagging my summit I pushed the downhill just enough to catch back up.

A photo posted by Ryan Lassen (@rlassen) on

2/11, Thursday - Longs Peak - 6 miles, 3000', 3:06
Kendrick, Peter and I went out hoping to summit via the NW Couloir but got turned around by biblical winds which were so strong any forward progress required crawling. We turned around on the shoulder of Lady Washington in 50+mph winds with gusts around 70mph, the summit gusts would have taken me all the way to Kansas!

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

2/12, Friday - 2nd Flatiron + Green Mtn - 10 miles, 3000', 2:13
Easy up the 2nd to Green with Hillary. She was nervous about the scramble but never even questioned any move besides getting a little spooked on the jump. Met Ryan and Cat on the way down Gregory Canyon.

2/13, Saturday - North Boulder Roads - 18 miles, 800', 2:05
Met Jack early in the fog but he had already ran 5 miles around the Res. We did an 18 miles lollipop loop on dirt roads at a quicker-than-I-wanted pace of 6:57. He then continued to round off his mileage to 30 (averaging 7:04's!) after I bailed off at 18.

2/14, Sunday - Fourmile Canyon - 20 miles, 1700', 3:30
Back to back long run with Jack again. Most startling was that Jack wasn't even remotely tired after yesterday's onslaught of miles and speed; he might have a shot at Western States ticket at Gorge if his MS50 goes well and he has a good race. Anyways, I felt super unmotivated and tired to the point where I was just running with eyes closed hoping to just get it over with and that my headache would go away.. At a certain point I decided to call it and trot back down rather than fight the un-winnable battle with my mind.

Week Totals:
84 miles

Feeling a bit overtrained and missing out on sleep, calories and such lately which is probably a result of averaging 17hrs/80mi/17,000ft for the last 4 weeks without a rest day. Hopefully I can get out of this slump quick for MS50, then I'd like to try and take a week or two completely off (not even biking or scrambling, which is HARD to do. What do I do with time, then?).