I love running during the winter. Snow, cold, long dirt roads, a cold face – it doesn’t get much better than this combo, especially when you throw in numb hands and snot-encrusted gloves. This weekend marked the official start to the winter-running season in Gunnison – and I couldn’t be happier. Being back out on my long dirt road runs again brings a smile to my face, but it also puts a little more speed in my legs. My body seems to respond well to the much faster pace of these daily runs on gradual terrain. Another benefit? The added cushion of the fresh snow. My legs and feet like having that soft cushion to land on with each stride. Very nice indeed. Here’s the overview from my first ‘official’ week of training in prep for the 2013 ultra season:
Monday – 12/3/12
AM: 1 hour run with 6 x 1 minute hard surges sprinkled throughout. 5:00am run time – felt good. Amped up for the new week ahead. Did this run on the Frontage Road and the Town Loop. Followed this up by going straight to the Escalante Fitness Center to do a core strength workout consisting of pull-ups, 8-minute abs, thera-band lateral walks, calves, walking lunges, thera-band clam-shells, obliques, backups, bridges, and tele-jumps. Also a minor stretching session with both static and AIS stretches. Very good. Mobility feels better. 1.5 hours training. 1 hour running. 8 miles running. SU and core strength.
Tuesday – 12/4/12
AM: 5:15am – Signal Peak Ridge Run. This was my 84th Signal Peak Summit YTD. Beautiful morning on the ridge. 10 miles total running with 1500′ vertical feet of gain. 1 hour 30 minutes running time. Body did not feel great during this outing, but made it happen. 1.5 hours running. 10 miles running. SU.
PM: Spin Bike Class at the Escalante Fitness Center – taught by Justin Barr. Great class. Worked really hard with a solid session of natural intervals. Feeling positive about my ability to push out more wattage than I have over the past few weeks. 50 minutes total time on the bike.
Wednesday – 12/5/12
AM: Early morning. Feeling good for this 5:00am run start time. I did my first session of repeat miles on the Dos Rios Circle – 1 mile loop. 3 x 1 mile with slow times of 6:06, 6:01, and 5:56. 3 minutes of jogging in between each interval. Not going to win any awards with these splits, but this was definitely a rust-busting session. Felt super slow and labored – especially on the first one. Also, did a total of 10 x 15 seconds speeds in my warm-up and cool-down. Body came alive afterwards! SU. 1.25 hours running. 9 miles running. First ‘intensity’ session of the new training season!
Thursday – 12/6/12
AM: Early morning – made it out for a 2 hour run in the snow. 5:00am start time. Ran out-and-back on Lost Canyon Road. Beautiful morning – I’ve really missed running in the snow. Legs felt responsive and strong – and I was able to knock quite a bit off my standard time for this run. Ended up tacking on an additional mile to make it an even 15 mile run. 2 hours running. 15 miles running. SU.
PM: Did a full strength session at the Escalante Fitness Center. This consisted of the same routine as I did on Monday – Pull-ups, 8-minute abs, thera-band lateral walks, calves, walking lunges, thera-band clam-shells, obliques, backups, bridges, and tele-jumps. Also a minor stretching session with both static and AIS stretches. Great session. 30 minutes training.
Friday – 12/7/12
PM: Headed out in the late afternoon for a 1 hour run on the Contour Trail and on ‘Cemetery’. Was not feeling that good at all, but it was very positive to get out for a run in the daylight. 1 hour running. 7 miles running. SU.
Saturday – 12/8/12
PM: Whoa. Not sure what happened here, but clearly I am not absorbing the past 2 weeks of training. Woke up this morning and was tired, sluggish, not alert, and ‘out-of-it.’ Had a great day around the house, hanging out with Annie and Jordan, doing small errands, but my body did not feel good today. Went out for a 1 hour run at 3:00pm – a simple jog. Not feeling good. 1 hour running. 8 miles running. SU.
Sunday – 12/9/12
AM: Back on it. Felt great when I woke up super early this morning. Much much better than yesterday. New snow on the ground and heavily-falling snow as I was running between 5:00am and 7:00am. Ran the 16 mile out-and-back on Gold Basin Road. Good run – felt slow in the snow, but I also was feeling super stoked to be running in a snow-storm. Beautiful. 2+ hours running. 16 miles running. SU.
PM: Headed out at 3:30pm for a 1 hour run while pushing Jordan in the Chariot Stroller. She slept the entire run out-and-back on the Frontage Road. Beautiful afternoon. Glad to have gotten out again. 1 hour running. 8 miles running. 3+ hours running. 24 miles running for the day.
Week totals –
13 hours training. 11 hours running. 81 miles running. ‘In training’ with ‘on-purpose’ intensity!
The crux piece-of-the-puzzle in finalizing my 2013 race calendar will be the Hardrock 100 lottery, which takes place on Sunday, December 16th. I’m certainly looking forward to hearing the news one-way-or-the-other. Getting the chance to again compete at Hardrock will greatly simplify the plan for 2013, but if I don’t get in, then I’m ready to initiate another plan that I have sketched out – which will be an amazing series of goal races as well. Regardless, I’m definitely looking forward to 2013. Here’s to planning, tinkering, and training. Here’s to ‘trying’. Thanks for reading. Live well. Train well. DC