Monday, December 26, 2011

Week Summary: Dec 19 - 25

12-19-2011
Mon-AM: 1:13, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. Nice morning.

12-20-2011
Tue-AM: 1:14, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Same as yesterday; all hiking, but put in a solid effort, which I haven't done for a while.

12-21-2011
Wed-AM: 1:29, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st/2nd access.  Getting to be some super icy spots on the mountain.
PM: 1:14, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. Timed it perfectly as light snowflakes chased me all the way down the mountain and shortly after I got back to my bike and returned to my apartment the snowstorm had started in earnest.

12-22-2011
Thu-AM: 2:12, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Woke to epic amounts of snow (18-24"?).  The streets were a total mess, so I ran (!) to Baseline before slogging up and down the 1st Saddle route. Took me 1:05 to get up but an incredible morning on the mountain with snow dumping down. Running the down would've been very tough even if I'd wanted to because there was so much snow. Also ran the 9min back to the house on the streets; shin was good!

12-23-2011
Fri-AM: 2:11, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st Saddle. Ran the 14min to Chat and then wallowed my way to the summit, breaking fresh trail all the way from the base of the 2nd Flatiron to upper Greenman. Slalomed/fell/ran my way down the mountain in 19:45 before also running the 12min back home on the streets. Shin felt really good.
PM: 1:43, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. Biked to Baseline with snowshoes and poles on my back, which I used for the hike up and down the mountain. Only my third time ever snowshoeing, and it was...interesting.  The Kahtoola Flightdecks actually handle impressively well, but they're a pretty small platform. Wore the snowshoes so that I wasn't at all tempted to do any running.  Gorgeous evening.

12-24-2011
Sat-AM: 1:34, 2800' ~ Green Mt. (Descent Time Trial)
Up 1st Saddle and down Greenman-Saddlerock-Amphi.  43min worth of running.
PM: 1:32, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle with the snowshoes again. Was unavoidably delayed in hitting the road for Nebraska, so went for another trip up the mountain. Remarkably warm afternoon made for some very good packing conditions on much of the trail and I got the stowing/strapping/pack strategy dialed for the snowshoes and the poles so that riding a bike isn't an issue at all.  Felt way more confident and nimble with the s-shoes and poles today when compared to yesterday.

12-25-2011
Sun-AM: :35 ~ Pastures/Hills, Nebraska
Awesome cross-country run through the hills and hollows on my family's farm.  There is zero snow at home right now, which combined with the middle-of-winter lack of vegetation (grass, brush) made for excellent conditions to strike out in whatever direction I wanted and run fell-style over the hills.  My shin seemed good for about 30min or so, but then the last 5min might have been a touch too much for it.

Hours: 13h25min
Vert: 21,000'


The Third.
Finally above the boulder field.
Back of the Third.
Avalanche (!) on the slab.
View from slab: First & Second Flatirons and Boulder.
Seated on the top: much steeper than it looks here.
#176


And if you have a little angst (go to 1:00 on the first vid to get to the music); I can never get enough of The Walkmen but understand it can be an acquired taste:



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Morning Green Descent

Got out pretty early this morning before hitting the road for what is sure to be a long day/evening of driving home to Nebraska to see my parents for Christmas.  I ran the 15min of streets to the Gregory lot and then trudged to the summit via the First Saddle route.  For some reason I wore my absolute dullest pair of Microspikes (the "spikes" are worn down to flat nubs) this morning, so I wasn't getting great purchase in the punchy and somewhat loose snow, but I was still impressed at how relatively well the trail had set up overnight, even compared to yesterday evening.  This was enough to convince me to go for a fast time on the descent via the standard frontside route of Greenman-Saddlerock-Amphitheater, inspired by Homie's antics of the past month or so.

I took off strong right from the top and it was a total kamikaze blast careening through switchbacks, leaping down drops and swinging around trees all with very little concern for catching a toe or tripping on anything; I was anaerobic pretty much the entire way down, with the unstable, soft footing definitely making me work harder than usual.  I've actually never gone all-out on a Green descent, snow conditions or not, so didn't really know what to expect, but summit post to Amphi/Baseline junction post was 14:08 with another 6 seconds to the Gregory lot pavement for a 14:14.  I would say that I was taking some pretty wild risks and was definitely out-of-control at times, but with all the deep powder everywhere it never felt that risky.  I only thought once or twice about how heinously unpleasant it would be to miscalculate a footplant, hyperextend a knee and break my leg again; the only split I dared take my eyes off the trail to glance at my watch for was an 11:32 at the Saddle Rock/Amphi junction.

Trail conditions were definitely not perfect, especially on Greenman where it's still quite loose and unconsolidated and I think just a fresh, sharp pair of Microspikes alone would've easily carried me under 14min this morning as I was definitely losing time sliding out on turns.  With a perfect packed track I think sub-13 might be possible.  I'm super bummed that I'm driving to Nebraska today and will miss the next few days of what are sure to be stellar trail conditions, but so it goes.  BRING IT, HOMIE!

A couple pics from the uphill portion of the morning:

Longs Peak.
Sunrise reflected on the NE ridge.
#178

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Week Summary: Dec 12 - 18

12-12-2011
Mon - off

12-13-2011
Tue-AM: 1:19, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle.  Kind of a test outing.  I could feel the shin a bit hiking, but it definitely didn't make it worse.  Rather, like usual, a little activity seemed to actually make it feel a bit better.

12-14-2011
Wed - off
LA screening of Unbreakable at Occidental College in the evening.

12-15-2011
Thu-AM: 2:23, 4000' ~ Mt. Baldy (10,064')
Couldn't resist the chance to get into the San Gabriel Mts with Dominic, Jorge, Chris and Katie as the local tour guides. Though not my first time in the range, the Gabes are impressively steep, high and rugged, especially considering their extreme proximity to L.A.

12-16-2011
Fri - off

12-17-2011
Sat - off

12-18-2011
Sun-PM: 2:08, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st/2nd access with Jocelyn. It was a remarkably warm day, so I started back to the hills a day early. We took it easy, enjoying the spectacular weather and laying down fresh tracks through slushy snow. Shin felt notably better than it typically has the past two weeks.

Hours: 5h50min
Vert: 9100'

A week of semi-random outings with the emphasis being on really just trying to take it easy on my shin.  By the end of this week I could feel discernible improvement and I think it's ready to get back out there with some consistent hiking before I tentatively dip my toes back into the waters of easy jogging. I'm determined to stay smart this time around.

Also, I have a new post over on my RT Blog.

Baldy summit with Chris and Jorge. Photo: Jorge Pacheco.
Descending from Baldy summit to Devil's Backbone with Jorge. Photo: Dominic Grossman.
The Hallway.

And here's a catchy little Christmas tune, if you give it a minute: 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Week Summary: Dec 5 - 11

 12-05-2011
Mon-AM: 1:39, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 1st Saddle and down ASG. Particularly crisp morning at +5F or so and with a cold cloud hanging over the mountain.  Ran to the base of Amphi, hiked to the top through some thigh-deep snow at times, and then ran all the way down and back home.  Shin was definitely a little sore this morning and it's time to back off and inject a little more rationality into the progression.  Hopefully I haven't set it back too much and I can get it to calm back down without completely taking time off from the mountain.

12-06-2011
Tue-AM: 1:55, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up ASG and down 1st Saddle.  Morning started out cold again at +5F or so, but warmed nicely into the 20s.  Ran to the base of Amphi, hiked up and down, and then ran home via the streets.  Shin was off-and-on, not sure what to think, but do think it's probably time to shift the balance of my activity back more towards hiking for the next few days.

12-07-2011
Wed-AM: 1:55, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. Ran to and from Baseline again with basically all hiking while on the actual trails/mountain.  All of the snow is falling off the trees now, laying down a new layer of snow on the trail.

12-08-2011
Thu-AM: 1:43, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle.  Nice warm day at +30F or so with brilliant sunshine. The single summits have been giving the shin a measure of rest and it seems to be slowly improving. ~28min of actual running today (to and from the trailhead) with nice tacky trail conditions making the Microspikes work like magic on the steeps.

12-09-2011
Fri-AM: 1:52, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle.  For whatever reason, the shin felt a little twingier than usual this morning, so the running was limited to the first 15min to the base of Amphitheater.  Hiked everything else, even the streets back home.  Frustrating to not even be running downhill right now as the winter trail conditions on Green are currently at least equal to the best I've ever seen. Temperature inversion today made things chilly back down in town.

12-10-2011
Sat- off.

12-11-2011
Sun- off.

Hours: 9h15min
Vert: 14,000'

Overall, a frustrating week.  I'm quite disappointed with myself and my oh-so-predictable lack of discipline.  Last week I had some great momentum going with the shin's health, but I took that tiny ray of hope and unconsciously used it as an excuse to overzealously accelerate the run/hike ratio.  In hindsight, things are always so crystal clear, which only exacerbates the self-loathing.  Looking at least week's log of activity is almost painful in its ridiculousness.  I mean, 13hrs of running?!?!  What's wrong with me?

But, so it goes, and I like to hope that I have (re- re- re- re-) learned my lesson.  The days off at the end of this week weren't out of necessity--I probably could've hiked, no problem--but rather frustration and desperation.  In November I was given a promising taste of my shin's current ability to heal itself--given the opportunity--and that is the basis for my current plan: give the shin a few days to calm down completely and then hopefully be granted the opportunity to try once again to ease back into things, this time with more patience and caution.  At this point, my sanity depends on it.  I have a strong foundation of basic fitness and still plenty of time--now it's just a matter of enforcing a controlled execution in the return to running, and paying such a sentiment more than lip-service.  I just have to remember that an injury that's been giving me fits for 11 months (!?!?!) now isn't going to magically be completely back to 100% in a matter of days; and I have to treat it that way once it starts showing improvement.

Fresh coat on the Flatties.
Single-digit temps the first half of the week.
#168 on the year.
Longs Peak peeking through the clouds.
Greenman trail in winter -- packed-out trench.
Worth a listen:


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Week Summary: Nov 28 - Dec 4

11-28-2011
Mon-AM: 1:42, 3200' ~ Green Mt.
Holy shit, I actually completed a full run with the shin pain-free.  Ran from home, up Gregory-Ranger (first time since before I broke my leg in June), down the NE Ridge/1st access and then home via Panorama Point and Eben G. Fine to avoid running downhill on pavement.  Actually running uphill will definitely require a little retraining after all the hiking I've been doing, but all in all this run was incredibly satisfying, not to mention a balmy 50F at 7am and it's nearly December!
PM: 1:23, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st/2nd access.  Gorgeous warm evening, but I was really bonking coming down the mountain.  All hiking.

11-29-2011
Tue-AM: 1:44, 3200' ~ Green + Flagstaff Mt.
Up Amphi-Saddle Rock-Greenman and down NE Ridge-Greenman-Flagstaff-Eben G. Fine. Took a while for my legs to wake up but I was feeling great the 2nd half. All running!
PM: 1:19, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 3rd access. Biked to Chat and then jogged the flatter stretches on the uphill tonight (maybe 30% of the climb) but hiked all the way down.

11-30-2011
Wed-AM: 2:00, 3000' ~ Green Mt.
Up back and down Bear Canyon. I think this was the first time I've been on the Green-Bear connector or the Bear Canyon Trail since March, so it was awesome to revisit my old haunts.  Also the first time I've stretched out the legs on some extended flatter running (Bear Canyon and Mesa Trail) in a long time. Stellar weather, 50F at 7am.
PM: 1:06, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 3rd access. Biked to Chat then jogged the flattish stuff on the way up but ran pretty much everything on the way down except for the initial super-icy stuff on upper Greenman.  Awesome evening, perfectly still on the summit.

12-1-2011
Thu-AM: 1:44, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 1st Saddle and down back w/ Scott, Homie and Bill. 6-10" of fresh snow on everything made the uphill a hiking slog and the downhill a glorious float. Awesome morning to be out.
PM: 1:55, 3000' ~ Green + Flagstaff Mt.
Up 1st Saddle and down Ranger to Flagstaff to Eben G. Fine. Quite a bit more snow than this morning--well over a foot total--so it was a good slog to the top. Really nice run down through all the fluff, though.

12-2-2011
Fri-AM: 2:00, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up back and down Greenman-Flagstaff-EGF. Incredibly beautiful morning with a deep blue sky and sun glinting off all the new snow.  Great run.
PM: Flying to San Francisco.

12-2-2011
Sat- nothing, spectating the TNF50 in Marin.

12-3-2011
Sun-AM: :49, 1200' ~ Twin Peaks, San Francisco
Jogged easily from the Mission District to the top of this hill smack in the middle of San Fran.  Some remarkably steep streets in SF.
PM: 1:50, 3200' ~ Green + Flag
Got off the bus from the airport in downtown Boulder at 5:40pm in heavily-falling snow and was back on the streets running towards the Gregory trailhead by 6:00pm.  Up Amphi-SR-Greenman with a mix of running and hiking and down Ranger-Flagstaff-EGF (all running).  Awesome run with really well-packed trails and an excellent cushion of 4-6" of fresh fluff.  There was so much light from the city reflecting off the fresh snow that I barely needed a headlamp for the entire run.

Hours: 17h32min
Vert: 30,200'

---------------------------------

This is the best week of running that I've had since I first injured my shin way back in January/February of this year (~13hr total of actual running).  I definitely still need to be careful with the shin as I could still feel it being a touch sore on my late evening run tonight, but with me essentially being drawn in the Hardrock lottery this morning I'm fully comfortable with the fact that simple power-hiking is very effective and specific training for what will certainly be the goal race of my summer.

Combined with the inspiring performances out in Marin on Saturday, my psych for the mountains and running is at an all-time high.  I'm also really excited to seemingly have received more winter in Boulder in the past week than we had in the entirety of all of last year's winter season.  The trails on Green Mt. are setting up excellently and tonight there was finally enough snow to make me comfortable with breaking out a brand-new pair of Microspikes (usually I don't want to risk unnecessarily dulling a fresh pair on trails with only spotty snow/ice coverage). I really hope to make it over to Fern Canyon this coming week for a few trips up what is sure to be a fantastic luge-like path.

Thursday morning Green summit in a blizzard. Photo: Scott Jurek.
Thursday evening, in a cloud.
Divide alpenglow.

Friday morning.
Red Rocks and Mt. Sanitas. My abode is just out of frame on the lower right.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week Summary: Nov 21 - 27

11-21-2011
Mon-AM: 1:15, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle.  Met Rickey and Scottie at the Gregory TH (I biked, they were starting a longer run) and hiked to the impressively wind-less summit.  It was absolutely still up there today. Hiked down by myself as they headed off to places farther afield.
PM: 2:11, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st Saddle. Ran the 14min to the Ranger Cottage and then hiked the rest of the evening. Almost the entire descent was in the dark, so things took about 20min longer than they should've.

11-22-2011
Tue-AM: 1:25, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st/2nd access. The wind was back this morning, but I felt decent after getting warmed up, really nailed the section between the 3rd and the NE ridge, scrambling the slab way quicker than usual, too.
PM: 1:41, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle.  I ran the 15min to the base of Amphitheater and then jogged the flat spots on the climb (hiking probably 95%), getting to the summit in 32:35. The ice on upper Greenman is still costing me close to a minute I think. Hiked all the way home.  Shin seems to be handling the transition to running, but I need to stay patient and not get greedy.

11-23-2011
Wed-AM: 1:24, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st/2nd access. Very warm morning, exceptionally nice weather for November.
PM: 1:32, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st Saddle. Ran from my doorstep all the way to the base of the 2nd Flatiron (24min) and then on the the last couple switchbacks of Greenman I ran into Jeff, who I then ran all the way down with.  All of which was no issue at all for the shin, which is huge. Solid effort on the up despite lethargic legs netted me a PR 36:10 from Chat on this route.

11-24-2011
Thu-AM: 1:22, 2500' ~ Green Mt. #500
Got up at 4:30am to get in my 500th ever ascent of the mountain before driving to Dubois, WY for Thanksgiving with my parents and sister.  Dead legs at this hour, all hiking.
PM: :24 ~ Dubois, WY
Jogged around on the dirt roads from my sister Katrina's cabin and my shin was 100% painfree.  Very encouraging.  She has an enviably stunning view of Ramshorn Peak from her front porch.

11-25-2011
Fri-AM: 1:28, 2700' ~ Windy Mt.
Awesome trip up and down the mountain this morning.  Parked at 8k' at the Nat'l Forest boundary and started hiking uphill in the snow.  Ran a couple minutes here and there on the flatter/more snow-free sections. The higher I got on the mountain the more intense the blizzard became with some pretty crazy winds, blowing snow and postholing.  Made the 10,200' summit and then ran the downhill back to the saddle before hiking straight up to the radio towers on a subsidiary 9900' summit.  The sustained winds there were simply astounding; they had to be 60+mph, it was all I could do to stay on my feet.  Ran the entire downhill from there back to the car (total of ~30min of running on the morning) and the shin was rock-solid the entire way. Great morning.
PM: :35 ~ Dubois, WY
More flat evening gravel road jogging from Katrina's cabin to settle the afternoon's Thanksgiving feast (yes, we were a day late).

11-26-2011
Sat-AM: :31 ~ Dubois, WY
A final +15F, 6am jog from Katrina's cabin before hitting the road back home. Perfectly clear sky made for some nice stargazing. I should've headed back up Windy again this morning as I would've been able to actually enjoy the expansive views of the Tetons and Absarokas that its summit allegedly offers.
PM: 1:31, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Evening summit after the 7hr+ drive back to Boulder.  This was very nearly a legit run. Ran to the base of Amphitheater and then ran/hiked my way up the front in 32:40.  Definitely way more hiking than running, and I can tell that I've lost some efficiency on the steep uphill run, but slowly working it back in. Ran the entire descent all the way back to Baseline where I decided to play it on the safe side and walk the final 1mi+/20min of downhill pavement home despite my shin feeling fine.

11-27-2011
Sun-AM: 1:42, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access and down 1st Saddle. Jogged up to Gregory w/ Jocelyn and then took the Bluebell-Baird connector over to the 3rd access as she headed to Flagstaff.  I ran all the way to the base of the 2nd Flattie, but above there I was just completely worked.  Totally bonking after not eating enough dinner last night I guess.  It seemed like it was basically all I could do to just stumble my way to the summit.  All hiking.  Ran the entire way down, though, and really enjoyed the magic grip of a fresh pair of MT110s.  Fresh lugs on those provide a perfect mix of bite on loose surfaces and stickiness on rock.
PM: 1:55, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down 1st Saddle. Ran from doorstep to the top of Amphitheater (22min) and hiked the rest of the outing.  Really pathetically tired again tonight, probably need an easy day.

Hours: 17h26
Vert: 29,700'

----------------------------------

I don't want to jinx it, but I may have finally turned the corner this week with my shin's health.  Maybe.  At least a pinprick of light at the end of what has been a very, very long tunnel.  The key now is to not get carried away and to listen very closely to how my shin feels.  Now that I can run a little, it will be important to remember that taking a day or two to limit myself to just hiking to ensure recovery is totally fine and probably advisable.

It was great getting up to Wyoming for a couple days to visit with my family this week; the Wind Rivers and especially the Tetons are two mountain ranges I hope to explore a little more extensively this summer.  The last time I was in the Tetons was over four years ago, and it's been far too long.  They are definitely one of the more inspiring mountain ranges I've run in.

In other news, I'm going to be out in San Francisco next weekend for the Unbreakable premiere, which should be a good time but I'm probably even more psyched for the opportunity to witness the battle in the Headlands the next morning.  Fun stuff.

Ramshorn Peak (11,640'), from Katrina's front porch at 7200'.
Windy Mt two-track approach. Wind River valley below.
Gale-force winds not shown.
10,200' summit.

Temporary sunshine 3000' lower in the Wind River valley.
Katrina's cabin.
Dad in his element: woodlot with a maul and chainsaw.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week Summary: Nov 14 - 20

11-14-2011
Mon - sick

11-15-2011
Tue - sick
Can't believe how long this illness stuck around.

11-16-2011
Wed-AM: 1:18, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Chilly morning at 19F. Some lingering effects of being sick, and could also muscularly notice my time away from the hill.

11-17-2011
Thu-AM: 1:18, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Legs felt good.
PM: 0:10 ~ Creek Path
Short flat jog to test out the shin. Slightly tight and twingy, but not terrible.

11-18-2011
Fri-AM: 1:28, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access, down 1st/2nd access. Legs were moving well, but there's still a fair bit of slick ice over on the boulder field below the Third--guessing that sticks around until Spring. Another really windy day.
PM: 0:12 ~ Creek Path
Another little tester with the calf sleeve on.  Shin never hurt at all.  Ridiculously warm day.

11-19-2011
Sat-AM: 1:19, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Another brisk morning and I didn't see a single other person out on the trails, which was pretty great.
PM: 1:49, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Jogged the 15min from my doorstep to the base of Amphitheater, then hiked to the summit in 33:55, slowed a 1min+ by the ice on upper Greenman.  Hiked all the way back home.  Shin felt good and legs felt great.

11-20-2011
Sun-AM: 1:19, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Brisk but very calm morning on the mountain.  The wind has finally given up.
PM: 1:42, 2800' ~ Green Mt.
Jogged up to Gregory with Jocelyn and then met George, Jeff and Homie for a trip up the front of Green.  On the way down I probably ran a little more than I should've (~13min or so), but it's hard not to enjoy the descent when out with friends.  Great sunset on the top of Green, and we made it down just in time so as to not need lights.

Hours: 10h13
Vert: 18,200'

Nice week of getting back into the swing of things.  I just need to be very careful and gradual with adding short little bits of running back into the routine.

Just in case anyone who's interested hasn't already seen the announcement on RunColo or Geoff's blog or Facebook, I wanted to give a quick reminder that Journeyfilm's new feature documenting the 2010 Western States 100 will be showing on December 7th at 7:00pm at Stargazers Theatre in Colorado Springs.  Advance tickets ($10) are available at Mountain Chalet, the Colorado Running Company and Carmichael Training Systems in Colorado Springs, or at imATHLETE online.

More importantly, the event will be a fundraiser for the newly-formed Manitou Springs non-profit Incline Friends, whose purpose is to get the Manitou Incline legally open to the public and to preserve that access into the future.  The Incline is a unique and highly popular way of getting into the mountains in the Pikes Peak region, and I strongly support any efforts towards its maintenance and access.

Following the film there will be a panel Q&A including myself, Geoff Roes, Nick Clark (three of the top four at the 2010 Western States) and Anita Ortiz (2009 Western States Champion).  All in all, it should be a fun and timely evening as the lottery drawing for the 2012 WS100 will be only three days later!

Interview for the film on the WS trail, two days before the race. Photo: Joe Grant.
JB catching the action at Foresthill (62mi). Photo: Megan Zaranek.
JB talking to Joe before pacing. Photo: Jenny Uehisa.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two Week Summary: Oct 31 - Nov 13

Bit of a catch-up post.

10-31-2011
Mon-AM: 1:17, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Tired. Very warm morning.
PM: 1:22, 2600' ~ Green Mt.
Up 3rd access, down 1st/2nd access. Great outing ending with the sun setting on a 70F+ day. After not being on this route for a week or so (because of snow), it was great to come back.  Love the scrambly nature of it.

11-01-2011
Tue-AM: 1:17, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. At my 7am start the clouds were just kissing the top of the mountain and by the end the ceiling was chasing me back to the bottom. Enjoyed the gloom for some reason.
PM: Fly to Sao Paulo.

11-02-2011
Wed-PM: 0:24 ~ Sao Paulo
Went for a short jog over to Ibiapuera Park and back from my hotel in Sao Paulo. Shin was a little touchy, but I wanted to get out and explore.

11-03-2011
Thu - 0
Filming for much of the day in Sao Paulo.

11-04-2011
Fri - 0
Flew by helicopter to Ilhabella island.

11-05-2011
Sat-AM: 1:22, 1600' Ilhabella Traverse
Started at the park entrance and then ran the 4x4 road that traverses the island from west to east.  I didn't expect to be able to run the whole way and after the shin felt OK decided I would run to the top and catch a ride down in one of the accompanying jeeps.  However, at the top my shin actually felt pretty much fine on the downhill and I was able to run all the way to the beach, much to my surprise.  Really unique run going through the jungle and traveling from one side of the island/mountains to the other. We were going easy the whole way, but I was also surprised to find that I wasn't tired at all on this run (the first sustained run of this length that I've done in over two months) and that all the hiking has definitely developed a basic level of fitness in me.

11-06-2011
Sun - nothing.
Despite feeling mostly fine on the run yesterday, my shin was, of course, pretty tight today.  Just glad I was able to do yesterday's run.  Flew to Rio de Janeiro in the evening.

Hours: 5h41
Climb: 9200'

--------------------------

11-07-2011
Mon - nothing.
Spent all day filming around Rio.  Quite the city and landscape. Shin was sore.

11-08-2011
Tue - nothing.
In Rio all day and then flew home overnight.

11-09-2011
Wed-AM: 1:15, 2500' ~ Green Mt.
Up and down front. Got home from the airport and within a couple hours got back on the home mountain, and my legs felt really good after all the rest.  Shin also seemed to be surprisingly good.  Last 10min to the summit are aggravatingly bullet-proof ice with most of the rest being reasonably dry. Frustrating mix.

11-10-2011
Thu - nothing
Last night I could feel myself coming down with something -- scratchy throat, headache, full body aches, super sensitive skin -- so spent the whole day today in bed trying to get healthy.  Bound to happen after all the travel stress.

11-11-2011
Fri - sick

11-12-2011
Sat- sick

11-13-2011
Sun- sick

Hours: 1h15
Vert: 2500'

Kind of a worthless couple of weeks when it came to physical activity and mountain summits.  So it goes sometimes.  All the travel this month must've taken its toll as it's Wednesday now and today was the first day I felt my body allowing me to get back out on the mountain after taking a week for little more than laying around in bed drinking tea, nursing a headache and trying to not let my swollen throat suffocate me.  Hopefully that mess is finally out of the way for the season.

This morning's summit of Green was brisk and breezy at 19F, but the trail was basically dry until the final stretches of upper Greenman above the northeast ridge.  But dry trails aren't even needed for my motivation and psyche to be pretty much at an all-time high right now--after Hardrock has its lottery in a couple of weeks my planned racing/adventuring schedule for 2012 should mostly fall into place (aside from the Wasatch lottery in February), giving my mind more concrete objects of visualization on my daily jaunts up the mountain.  Right now, if Hardrock doesn't happen for me, I'm hoping to take dual shots at California's pair of 100 mile classics this summer: Western States in June and Angeles Crest in July.

Mountain 100 mile racing's latest evolution has seen the shattering of every classic 100 mile race's course record--from Western to Hardrock to Leadville to Wasatch--except for Angeles Crest.  Over the last 23 years, only Hal has come even within an hour of Jim O'Brien's 1989 standard of 17:35:48, and while the race maybe hasn't attracted the depth of competition necessary to lower the time, the precedent has to be considered stout.  I hope my body gives me a chance to chase it this summer, but with it being only four weeks after what is sure to be a hard-fought race at WS, I'll be satisfied with just a strong finish, record or not.

Frogger slinging the bottles at Foresthill, 2010.
O'Brien setting his record in 1989.  Original photo by Stan Wagon, used by permission from the AC100 RaceBook [http://www.facebook.com/l/IAQHMuEOAAQH2r2k_7DTZ1ktiQuMhcJ9S1qAC-QxjVvzcoQ/larrygassan.com/ac100-RB/AC100RaceBook.html].

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Brazil

For the last week-plus I was in Brazil -- Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro -- in support of New Balance's launch of their Minimus collection of shoes down there.  A full account of my trip can be found over on my Running Times blog, but here are a few pictures from the week.

Sao Paulo from helicopter.
Brazilian coast and the island Ilhabella (on the horizon) from helicopter.
Sunset on Ilhabella.
Climbing during the 16K NB Minimus Challenge traverse of Ilhabella. Photo: Funf Sports.
Looking down 2100' to the beach from the route's high point.
Castelhanos Beach, where the island traverse ended.
Coconut water straight from the source.
Ferry leaving Ilhabella.
Rio from the summit of Pao de Acucar.
On Pao de Acucar, with Corcovado Mt. (Cristo statue) over my right shoulder.
2800' Pedra da Gavea.
Leblon Beach sunset with Dois Irmaos.
Copacabana Beach with favela behind.
Cristo Redentor from Ipanema Beach.