Posts Tagged ‘hardrock’

Countdown to Hardrock

Wow, I can’t believe May is almost over. It’s been almost a month since I’ve had time to post any updates here. I’ve been too busy trying to keep up with work in between training and have been spending all of my spare time obsessing over weather reports, snow levels, maps, and split times.

Overall, May has been a great month. Unfortunately our record snow pack conditions have prevented me from getting up in elevation very far so I’ve tried to concentrated on increasing the quality of my training with a little better effort on my long runs, speed work, and strength training.

I started the month with a great 50 mile run with Victoria at Collegiate Peaks.

Victoria at the Collegiate Peaks 50 Miler

Got a couple good back to back long runs in with Nick’s Crosier Triple Bagger and the Round Up with Nick, Alex, Rob, Slush, Cat, and all the rest of the usual FCTR suspects.

Round Mountain Round Up

This weekend I got out to do some exploring to see how far up I could get from Dunraven. I made it up to 9750ft almost to Donner Pass before getting bogged down in solid shin deep snow. Hopefully the 80 degree days on the forecast this week will melt this off – I may make another attempt to get up and over the pass next weekend.

9750ft on the Donner Pass trail.

And here’s a really good reason that I should never attempt any solo route finding and probably shouldn’t ever enter the Barkley Marathons or any other race that requires the use of a map and compass. Nick and I tried to make it up Crosier via the Sullivan Gulch trailhead today just to try something new and have fun exploring. The trail disappeared after a mile and we spent the next several hours wandering around in circles in the fog. We "found" the trail again just by dumb luck. Our original plan to get in a nice 15-20 mile run ended up at 5.5 miles in just under 3 hours. Fail.

(Click here for a larger map.)

I’ve still managed to keep up with a regular running schedule with Animal House. This month I’ve been working with Mickey but he already has someone interested in adopting him. If it falls through, I’ll post more info about him later.

Mickey from Animal House.

Tomorrow is the start of the final count down to Hardrock. Next week is hell week. I’ll be running more than I plan to work to put in as many long, hard miles, as I can. After that I’ll scale back down to another 100 mile week before winding down a very gradual 3 week taper. If the race were next week, I think I could run it. So I’m feeling really good about having one more opportunity to push some quality training and several weeks to sharpen, taper, and rest up to be ready to go on July 8th.

Hardrock training

I took some time to look at the calendar this week and there really isn’t a lot of time left between now and Hardrock. So instead of resting or tapering or tuning up for next week’s Moab race, I decided I’d better get started on some more hill work.

Yesterday I went out and trudged up and down some of my usual routes in Horsetooth but only managed to squeeze out an average 260 feet of vertical gain per mile. Usually I’d consider this a pretty good workout but for Hardrock, I’ll need to run an average of 340 feet per mile. For 100 milers, I usually aim to run the same or slightly more vertical feet within a 100 mile training week. Since I don’t live at the base of Green or Bear mountain in Boulder and can only squeeze about 180 feet per mile out of my backyard trails here in Fort Collins, this is going to be a real challenge.

So today I went out to give Greyrock a try. I was expecting to run through some nasty snow but was pleasantly surprised to find the trail almost 100% clear and dry.

Not bad for February!

It’s still much lower elevation than Hardrock but it at least has the 340-350 feet per mile of vertical that I need. So until the snow melts and I can get higher up into the mountains, I’ll be spending a lot of time on Greyrock. By April or early May, I plan to tackle the full Greyrock 6-Pack. I still need to redeem myself after failing to complete the full Greyrock Quad with Eric and Terry in 2008. After a nasty fall, I skipped one final summit so I only managed to finish 3.75 laps. A full 6 laps should be enough to put that day behind me for good:-)

I’m still trying to figure out the rest of my plan for Hardrock. I’m sure it’ll include several trips down to Boulder for some inSanitas laps, Bear bagging, and repeats on Green. Pikes Peak might be a good option later in the spring if the weather cooperates. And until I can get up in elevation and find enough vertical feet to run, I’ll continue to supplement my trail running with speed work, hill intervals and tempo/time trials, and weight training. But preparing for Hardrock is uncharted territory for me so I’m open to any suggestions.