Saturday, April 25, 2015

Recovery, Reflections and Plans

Apparently, a week has passed since I raced last weekend? Huh, the days have been blurring together with the culmination of finals. I felt basically normal on Tuesday aside from slightly lower energy levels. I took Sunday and Tuesday completely off; I did do Green with RMR on Monday, but since Sage was in Boston and Smith is on his taper, there was no race-horse leading the charge. Looking back, I guess I'm somewhat bitter that I didn't go faster. I was able to give the last mile a 7 minute-ish effort without too much resistance. Its hard to grapple with mentally, but at miles 22 through 28, I need to understand that there isn't that much ground left and I get give more gas. Not to say I'm disappointed at all though, just thinking.
Before I slowed down to 2nd
Oddly, the race has left me feeling somewhat empty. I don't have anything (running/scrambling/hiking-wise) on my schedule until the high peaks melt. The past few days I've gone back to the typical schedule of a flatiron and Green a day. On a shorter day last week I managed the 1st Flatiron car-to-car in 47 minutes, taking the downhill casually. I split 17:30 on the rock with a 2:45 downclimb. In a true concerted effort I want to break 40 minutes, maybe I could manage that by the end of 2015. I'm not sure what the rules are for Satan's Minions (besides no falling), but I do admit I use some tricksy routes to eliminate some switchbacks.

This morning I did a longer effort doing two full laps of Green via the 1st Flatiron and downclimbing the 2nd in a huge PR of 8:08 on lap two. Its fun, really fun actually. The only thing missing is a sense of adventure and remoteness that I really can't feel in Boulder much anymore. Bear Peak and its surrounding scrambles are definitely less trafficked and quieter but they are just far enough away that running from home is about 14 miles minimum so its much easier physically and logistically to just go to Green. I generally refuse to drive unless I'm running errands after or taking people. No need to add to the smog or waste money on gas (don't even get me started on parking in Boulder). These are also the easiest miles I get on my routes, so they are a nice warm up/down.
CU and Boulder from the slabs
Races in the end are most significant as an evaluation of the training. Well, sort of. I view my training as for fun. If I really wanted to get fast I wouldn't eat family size boxes of cinnamon toast crunch and mac n' cheese so often. I do eat a lot of fruits and veggies too, but I binge on the junk all too often. What's life without fun? I could do intervals and fartleks a few times a week and get noticeably better, but I'd rather go on group runs and spend my mornings negotiating flatirons than puking in a track-side trashcan to save 10 seconds in a race I paid too much for.

The last few months have been the best of my life with respect to running. There is as much value in repetition as there is exploration and experimentation. On a singular mountain this translates to an understanding of topology and therefore a greater ability to navigate to anywhere desired. Conditions can change a 1:45 run into a 3 hour slog. Dark nights, early mornings, blizzards, heat, ice and snow all become so interesting.
On the road for mountains last summer
So, summer? That's right around the corner, huh? I suppose, firstly, I need a job or something. Other than that, the world (or state more realistically) is open. I'm still set on Chicago Basin, having instantly convinced my friend Jack to join me when I brought up the subject. Other than that, some ideas are the Grand Teton (Owen-Spalding, 5.4), Bells/Crestone/Little-Bear-Blanca Traverse (all 4th or easy 5th), Vestal Peak (Wham, 5.4), Glacier Gorge or Wild Basin (easy besides Pagoda West Ridge, massively exposed 5.6), Cables on Longs (5.4). So that's "some" ideas. No way I'll do all of those, but they're all on my radar right now.
The Tetons
I found a 100 miler I'm interested in. It has a 50 too, but I feel a big draw from a 100. I really have know idea, and I'll need to get some advice from those more experienced before I jump into something like that. I just remember being at 40 or so miles in the 50, its a unique place mentally (and of course physically too, but that's just predictably painful). Really the main drawback is cost. It would be in September on labor day weekend, just before school really starts. Its on my mind.
Trails in the area of the "maybe" hundo

1 comment:

  1. Very nice reflection post. Big plans and lots of adventures to ponder, I can't wait to read along. You should come down to the grand canyon so we can R2R2R that bad boy