Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 19 - April 24

4/18, Monday - Timber Trail - 7 miles, 1300', 1:19
With Hillary at a horribly early hour in For Collins. Muddy initially but got to be punchy snow up higher. This was my first time on the Quad Rock 50 trails, looks like a lot of runnable climbs, yikes. Finished up by cycling ~20 miles back to Boulder from her work.

4/19, Tuesday - AM: Mesa Trail - 6 miles, 1600', 1:16 || PM: Royal Arch - 4 miles, 2200', 0:55
Had a nice ride by headlight up to NCAR (900' in 5 miles) before suffering through a miserable excursion on the Mesa trail. Terrible snow. Luckily, the high temps turned most of it to slush or water for a muddy Salomon group run to Royal Arch in the evening. Managed to sneak in a loop of scrambling up the East Face and down the West while waiting to regroup.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

4/20, Wednesday - AM: 30min Tempo - 9 miles, 1:00 || PM: Mt Sanitas - 12 miles, 2000', 1:50
In the morning I got towed by Kory on a hard 30 minute effort on the creek path. The goal was to hold 6:00 min/mi and the result was 5:55 min/mi, so I was quite pleased. Plus, I finally broke 18:00 in the 5km with a 17:53 in the first half (before I slowed down)! At night, I went out for a casual jog up and down the swoop on Sanitas under the full moon.

4/21, Thursday - AM: Poorman & Mt Sanitas - 14 miles, 1900', 2:03
Really stiff legs so I wore compression on my calves. Went easy up Boulder Canyon - Fourmile - Poorman's before heading up the swoop to Sanitas and down the East Ridge. Descending felt like a chore on my legs but the energy was good.

4/22, Friday - AM: 1st & 2nd Flatirons - 3 miles, 1600', 1:03 || PM: Green Mtn & Flagstaff Mtn - 9 miles, 2800', 1:48
Really tired. Up the 1st down the 2nd in the morning then failed to keep up with Hillary up Green and Flagstaff in the evening.

4/23, Saturday - 1st Flatiron, Green Mtn, SoBo Pk, Bear Pk - 19 miles, 5800', 4:05
Had a fun time trying out a twist on the more popular backside loop. After going through the motions of the usual backside route (well, the way I do it, 1st>Green>Flagstaff Rd>Myers Gulch>Walker Ranch) I left the Walker Ranch trail and hiked up a fine ridge to South Boulder Pk's summit. I stopped for a long while on the summit then tagged Bear before trotting down Bear Canyon and Enchated Mesa to add a bit more mileage.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

4/24, Sunday - Jack's Peak (8,826) - Running: 4 miles, 1500', 1:14 - Biking: 35 miles, 2600', 2:05
I biked from home into Coal Creek Canyon but then realized I had barely studied at all where I should start hiking up. Eventually, I pulled over at "Chapel in the Hills" church where I hid my bike in the trees and changed into running shoes and shorts. Initially I found a fantastic trail but it petered out and soon I bushwhacking up in punchy snow. I didn't realize that I would be nearing 9k' but it makes sense now why I encountered the snow I did. Clearly, I only vaguely knew where I was but my goal was Crescent Peak. I ended up being too far west and didn't feel like dealing with the snow I could see to its summit. So, I settled on a nearby sub-peak whose name I only learned from the summit register. I descended the southeast slope off of Jack's and found a dirt road (which I will certainly use later to bag Crescent and Coal Creek Peaks) which I ran down to the road. The wind jerked me around on the ride home but at least this time it was downhill. Duathlons are fun!

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

Week Totals:
91 miles

Happy about the high volume week, I felt fantastic until Friday but I expected that given the days prior. I've heard somewhere that volume should peak 3 weeks out for optimal performance which (if true) will have me in a good position for Quadrock. I used salted white rice for my solid fuels this week and they worked just like gels, so there is a bunch of money I can save!

As an aside I read a couple related articles this week that I found especially relevant. They each offer somewhat differing opinions of which I agree and disagree with some of each.

Is Social Media Screwing Over Explorers?

Confessions of a Spray Queen

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 11 - April 18

4/11, Monday - Off
Tired, sore legs.

4/12, Tuesday - Anemone Ridge & Mt Sanitas - 8 miles, 2200', 1:28
Easy with Hillary. All runnable grades besides the short and steep hike up to Anemone, then Lions Lair and down Dakota Ridge.

4/13, Wednesday - 1st, 2nd, Morning After, Challenger, 5th, Fist, Green - 8 miles, 5100', 3:11
Nice day of scrambling in weather that seemed like summer, shirtless from the start. Kept a steady pace, being sure to maintain a quick uphill running cadence rather than my usual power hiking. The thought of an ant swarm (which happened to a friend last week) made me momentarily back off on the MA roof, but then moved through it just fine. Took the EM connector for a bit of honest uphill running at the end.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

4/14, Thursday - 2 x Walker Ranch - 15 miles, 3,400', 2:15
First lap easy with Hillary and Leonard at sunrise. Leonard's knee was feeling a bit rough so he sat out the 2nd lap which we tempo'd. The opening downhill sprint does a number on your quads then its a mix of rollers, climbs and descents for the next 6 miles. I thought I could sneak in under 1hr but found that to be just out of reach -- finished in 1:01:27.

4/15, Friday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2800', 1:26
Initially Hillary and I wanted to do Mt Meeker super early before class but the 3:30AM alarm was met with hostility so we enjoyed some extra sleep and did Green in the evening. Used the middle route to get some bonus vert, but we hiked almost every step in the cool misty weather.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

4/16, Saturday - Sanitas - Poorman - Betasso - Flagstaff Loop - 20 miles, 4000', 3:27
This turned out to be a great loop with a good mix of some steep (Sanitas), road (Fourmile & Sunshine canyons), singletrack (Betasso) and dirt road (Chapman up Flagstaff). Snow was falling at an alarming pace and by the end we were knee deep on top of Flagstaff and elected to wimp out on slogging up Green.

4/17, Sunday - Concrete - 10 miles, 1:06
In order to allow the paths to melt out a bit I waited to run in the afternoon, which also meant I had a whole dining-hall-full amount of food in my stomach. Felt really good the whole time, averaging 6:40's without much effort. One of those days.

Week Totals:
69 miles

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mar 28 - Apr 10

3/28, Monday - AM: Bike - 21 miles, 700', 1:03 || PM: Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 2:02
Easy bike to Neva Rd in the morning then hiked up Green with poles with a few others who didn't feel like running quick to stay easy on the ITB.

3/29, Tuesday - 2 x Mt Sanitas - 5 miles, 2700', 1:22
Lap 1 with poles and my knee felt great so I went without for the next lap and felt good again.

3/30, Wednesday - AM: Flagstaff Rd - 15 miles, 2:01, 2500'
Trails are still wet snow misery so the vert had to come on the road. Tempo run up Super-Flagstaff from Chautauqua with Hillary and Rachel.

3/31, Thursday - 3 x Mt Sanitas - 8 miles, 3900', 2:15 || PM: Bike - 18 miles
Stuck to Sanitas repeats one more day to guarentee non-slogging trails. Knee felt a little tired by the 3rd so I skipped my planned fourth. Tried biking in the evening but I didn't dress warm enough so I turned around early.

4/1, Friday - AM: 1st Flatiron, Green Mtn - 5 miles, 2700', 1:51 || PM: 1st & 2nd Flatirons - 3 miles, 1500', 0:56
Tried the new Salomon rubber on the Speedcross Pro, out on the 1st and was quite pleased at its stickiness. Followed some postholes to the summit. After picking up the rest of my gear in the afternoon I took the Salomon Wings SG out for a scramble in the evening, and was simialrly pleased with their effectiveness on rock. The rubber is definitely as sticky or stickier than the dot-rubber and Sportiva's I had been using previously.

4/2, Saturday - Longs Peak - 10 miles, 5800', 10:45
Whew that's a long day. Hillary was super stoked to get up Longs in the snow but hadn't had a ton of experience on snow so it was pretty slow going after we got up the Loft. The traverse from Keplinger's to the homestretch was extremely soft too, so that didn't help. Somehow missed the turn tot the narrows going down (Keyhole route), so we did a bunch of extra vert looking for the bulls-eyes that were mostly covered with snow. After being able to glissade quite a bit in the trough we had to put crampons back on for Ledges which almost entirely buried under several feet of snow. Even the Boulderfield was pretty fat with snow.
Traversing across Keplingers, which was sort of dry, unlike the slabs above.
A little off route going down the Homestretch to the Narrows.
Running and sliding down the Trough was a highlight of the day and some of the most fun I've ever had on Longs. Looking forward to getting in a glissade of the Loft!
4/3, Sunday - 1st & 2nd Flatirons, Green Mtn - 5 miles, 3000', 2:00
Randomly met Kyle while parking my bike so did the whole thing together. After the 1st we downclimbed half of Freeway before cutting over to Free for All, which I'm calling Free for Some. Hike to Green then descended perfect snow back down. Probably could have had a shot at PR'ing the descent in these conditions.

Week Totals (running):
61 miles

Week Totals (biking):
95 miles

Perfect week back feeling generally over the ITB injury -- Ginna really saved me there! I think a 1/3 biking and 2/3 running approach is great balance to get in higher volume and staying healthy. Then by sprinkling in one higher intensity workout a week I think I have a good plan heading into Quad Rock 50, which is coming up fairly quickly!

4/4, Monday - AM: Bear Pk & Green Mtn - 11 miles, 4000', 2:05 || PM: Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:56
Woke up a bit later than planned so I essentially chugged some coffee flew up to the TH on my bike and tempo'ed the whole thing right back to my bike to bomb back home to grab some food and shower before class. Managed a 16:30 descent down Green even with a quick stop to talk with TK who professed to have "zero injuries" today. Standard RMR Green at night, big crew with some new folks so it was a bit slower than usual.

4/5, Tuesday - AM: Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:42 || PM: Salomon Group Run - 3 miles, 1500', 1:06
Easy Green with Hillary in the morning, easy again in the evening with the new Salomon Tuesday group run. Snuck away real quick to downclimb the 2nd before rejoining the group.

Climbing around the back of the 2nd to get a picture of the huge group that showed up! Photo: Nicklaus Combs
4/6, Wednesday - Green Mtn - 8 miles, 2800', 1:46
Went for a tempo effort up the moderately graded Bear Canyon. There turned out to still be quite a bit of lingering ice so I couldn't get quite the rhythm I wanted to;  I then slipped on a wet log and fell completely into the creek! After cursing a few times I was back on my feet and at least tried to give it a good effort whenever conditions allowed. Descended a serpentine route down the frontside.

4/7, Thursday - Climbing Boulder Canyon
One 5.9 warm-up then a couple laps on a 5.10b which really tested me.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

4/8, Friday - Bear Pk & Green Mtn - 10 miles, 4100', 2:02
Cruise up Bear Pk at a good clip with Andrew then ran down the West Ridge which is still holding awkward snow patches. He had class earlier so he ran down Bear Canyon while I continued up to the summit of Green. I descended an essentially straight line down the East side of Green to avoid ice and finished only a couple minutes after Andrew drove off.

4/9, Saturday - 1st, 2nd, Morning After, Challenger, Green, SoBo, Bear, Regency, Royal Arch, 5th, Fist, Green - 15 miles, 8000', 5:28
Just felt like binging a bunch of peaks and slabs. I was able to pull through the 5.7 overhang on Morning After without pause, which would be the highlight of the morning. Felt strong until I started running again en route to the Regency after stopping to chat with some friends out cragging on Dinosaur Rock.Heat really got to me on the 2nd ascent of Green, so I was munching on snowballs on the hike from the Fist to Green.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

4/10, Sunday - Sobo, Bear, Green - 21 miles, 8400', 6:05
Starting from Bear Canyon trailhead we did out and backs up Shadow Canyon (to Sobo), Fern Canyon (to Bear) and then up the 1st/2nd trail and down Bear Canyon for Green. Super easy pace all day had me feeling fresh.

A photo posted by Cordis Hall (@cordisimo) on

Week Totals:
82 miles

Big week and feeling good. Nice test on the ITB this weekend with longer days and felt tired but never painful at all.