Monday, October 3, 2011

The Golden Rockies / Week 5

Every runner needs a change of pace once in a while, and what better change than to take to Rocky Mountains in fall when Colorado's quintessential aspen trees are peaking their vibrant golden leaves!  Fall is probably my favorite time of the year in the mountains - I love the cool, crisp morning air, and I am enthralled with the varying shades of golds and yellows the aspens produce.  End of September is the ideal time to witness this gilded spectacle, and I was blessed my friend offered her condo in Keystone for me stay a couple days so I could indulge in a little leaf viewing, bike riding, and even a bit of trail running (thanks, Janet!).  

Off of the Bakerville exit...not sure the mountain peak, I was going
to guess Grays and Torreys, but I think this is only one peak. ??
These pictures are only a small taste of all there is to experience in fall; my time was limited in the two days I was visiting, and I wasn't able to venture off to some of the more beautiful sections, but I made the most of every spec of daylight I could.
A short, easy run around Bakerville
Looking to the North from Bakerville
Just to prove I was actually there and not stealing
the pics from the internet :)
The hills above the condo I stayed at in Keystone
A little chilly up there at 11,900' on top of Loveland Pass.
Did a short hike up on top for about 30 minutes.
Love coming down the backside of this Pass, so pretty.  
Small lake on the backside of Loveland Pass.  Ran about a mile on
the trails around here.
These leaves were the more golden color than most
aspen trees
Lily Pad Lake Trail on the outskirts of Frisco.  
Running up the trail to Lily Pad Lake was pretty tough for me.  My legs were fairly stiff from the Bear Chase race the day before and the first 1.5 miles of this trail gains about 900'.  Needless to say, I "hiked/ran" most of this trail.  I have found that at times running mountains involves walking, sometimes scrambling, at times even sliding on loose gravel, mud or even snow - but isn't that the fun of it?   You’ve got to stay focused on each and every step unless you want a twisted ankle or a shin full of rocks (speaking of which, my knee is healing well from last week's tumble - thanks for asking :)), but it is a wonderful break from city running.  I wish I could somehow provide a "scratch and sniff" picture because wow, the fresh air smells so amazing!
More of the Lily Pad Trail
View of Lake Dillon from Lily Pad Trail
Biking and running around the Lake Dillon area

The old silver mining town of Silver Plume.  Love this little town.
I've done a few trail runs starting up Guanella Pass and down
the flip side, and run into this town before we turn around and head
back.  Love to soak our tired feet in the chilly stream....
....and stop at this bakery to use the bathroom....and get a
small treat.  Again, if you could smell the aroma of fresh
baked bread here....amazing!  Jason's going to buy it
one day .... can't wait for all the free bread and cinnamon rolls!
The landscape behind Main Street in Silver Plume.  Notice
the silver plumes about a quarter of the way down from
the top of the mountain?  These plumes are remains from
the old silver mining days (gold mining remnants are gold
colored plumes.  There's your geology lesson for the week :))
I had a great couple days up in the mountains, wish it could have been longer but I'll take what I can get.  Monday, stopped at several places along I-70 and hiked/ran some trails on my way to the condo.  Later that afternoon, I took my road bike out for a little adventure down the bike path from Keystone to Lake Dillon, and Tuesday was more trail running and a little bit of shopping in town for a wedding I had to go to on Friday.  It’s a great couple days which  allowed me to enjoy fresh air, natural light and the spectacular surroundings. It was also very meditative being on the trails;  there are not as many runners out there than on the roads I run at home and I found a great sense of peace and quiet.

Week 5:
Run: 3 miles at 9800' (actually more than 3, but since I hiked a lot of it, we'll just call it 3)
Bike: 15 miles
Run: 8 miles @ 9:53 pace at 9200'.  
I call this a miracle because the terrain was challenging and the air thin.  I was definitely light headed and slightly nauseous.  Bleh.
Run: 10 miles @ base with 9x35 sec fartleks between 7:10 - 6:39 sprinkled in. I KNOW - 6:39?  It may have had a slight downhill, I'm not sure anymore.  I felt a lot better on this run than on the same run last week, and added more intervals.
PT mutilation in the afternoon
Run: 5 miles @ base w/7x35 sec hill sprints at 7:31 and 6% incline.
Core: 15 minutes
Run: 8.37 miles @ 9:31 pace.  
Pretty stoked about the pace.  Starting to see VERY slight decrease in the pace thing.  
Weights: 30 minutes
Run: 2 miles WU for weights
Weights: 30 minutes
Definitely feeling the week's schedule.  Thought about swimming, but decided more weights were a better fit for the day.  Very bummed I didn't get any pool time in this week though!
Run: 17.2 miles + 1.3 miles cd
This run almost killed me.  I didn't feel good from the start, had some pretty icky stomach issues (I need to get my "runner's diet" back into the game) and though I felt strong at the start, I faded quickly around mile 13.  Good thing my Garmin died (totally pissing me off!) as I'd be afraid to see what my pace was.  Prior to it dying, I ran a 9:50 for 8.20 miles.  Spent some time in the lovely porta-pottie at mile 11 with my stomach.  Ran with my neighbor, Jim, and he was very patient with me.  Overall I am not upset with the run, I ran the hills strong, which had been kicking my butt the past few weeks.  I just think the demise was a collection of not enough recovery from The Bear Chase and a pretty high mileage week.  

Week 5 Stats:
Run: 55.79
Bike: 15.0 mi
Weights: 1:00:00

September Stats:
Run: 208.39 mi
Bike: 73.78 mi
Swim: 3.95 mi
Weights: 3 hr 40 min

And for those who aren't fortunate enough to be my friend on FB, or saw my last post after it first went up, here's a picture from one of the water crossings from last week's Bear Chase race:  

Overall, I am pretty happy with how well I am holding up with my training.  My left hamstring continues to rear its ugly head from time to time but it is less aggravating than it was when I first started out.  I had a really bizarre, excruciatingly painful, knee issue when I did my cool down today....I couldn't force my knee to go uphill to my house.  I turned around and walked backwards and that helped some but when I got home I tired to lay it flat on my bed to ice it but that made it 10x worse and it was throbbing so I just bent it up to my chest and held it there and suddenly the pain went away.  I then took an ice bath and had absolutely no issues with it since.  So odd - never experienced that before.  My heel, though I do notice it occasionally, it is doing great.  As friends told me the other day: Remember when this spring and you couldn't even walk?  Um...yes, unfortunately, I do!  

I'm reluctantly doing this Stupid (click on the link for a great definition of "stupid") Denver RnR half marathon this weekend - a race I swore I'd never do in my current state of pathetic fitness, but a bunch of my relay teammates are doing it and egged me into it....and hey, beer with friends after at the Cheeky Monk - how could I say no, despite how stupid this idea is!  I have no expectations (hahahah, right!) other than to finish strong.  So, to prep for the race, and because I'm feeling the affects of 5 weeks of pretty high mileage (for me), I am scaling back the running drastically this week, throwing in a couple good swim workouts, attempting to sleep more, and revamping my diet back to where it needs to be for me to run stronger.  Those are the goals.

Until next time....

Run strong, my friends!  :)


Big Daddy Diesel said...

I will help Jason run the baker, I will be a baker, they are done baking before noon, then I can train the rest of the day.

I love the views on your trip

C2Iowa said...

The pics are freaking out of this world. Someday, I will have to make it beyond IA. Your training is moving right along. Which is great. This weekend might be a test??

post script - I was going post pics today on my post; now I dont think so. I agree - you need to turn the aspen pics into scratch and sniff. haha

ShutUpandRun said...

Looks gorgeous, I need to get up there before it all goes away. I'll look for you at RnR - hah!! in the rivers of people. Nice totals for you for the week!

Brian said...

Ok. I'm not going to complain about hills anymore.

Looks beautiful.

Anne said...

Wonderful photos...I really want to do some trail running (probably more like stumbling ;)). I'm so glad to read how well you are doing. Your mileage is really getting up there! Good luck this weekend...go for it, but remember to enjoy being out there running!

Molly said...

what a gorgeous place to escape to! My stomach was off on my long run too, I bet that bread would cure the problem!

Ewa said...

I would give anything for two days in a place like that. Maybe by the end of Oct. I will manage a short escape to the Sierras.
Running at 9.500' - you are hardcore, girl. And fast too. And then look at your stats! Truly impressive.
OK, I am off to do some pavement pounding. Maybe if I close my eyes I will see your pics and imagine I am in the mountains.
Have a great week.

Christi said...

What a great place to run and hang out! Looks gorgeous!

A Prelude To... said...

What a fantastic weekend - I need me one of those!

That picture of you crossing the creek was great. You looked so ecstatic to be there :-)

You should be receiving a package this week. I mailed it on Friday.

Marlene said...

Oh WOW that looks truly breath-taking! Glad you were able to getaway and soak it all in for a couple of days.

That's totally BIZARRE with the knee - hopefully just a random fluke that will not rear its head again!

misszippy said...

How amazing those shots are! I really envy your ability to get out to the mountains so easily like that. And you are rocking the mileage! So great. You will have fun regardless at the race this weekend. This time is all about being happy to do it. Next year come back and kick it for time!

GZ said...

Awesome shots Jill. A tad jealous that I did not get up to the cooler temps of the high country to get in some of the leaf eye candy.

Solid week in your build up.

Average Woman Runner said...

Those photos are stunning! What an incredible place to run - very nice.
Have fun with the RNR. If you don't feel fit for it, just get goofy with it.

Anonymous said...

O.M.G I miss Colorado!!!!!

funderson said...

Lovely! Isn't single track just the best? And the smell! Unreal. I always curse the leaves when they first start to change because it means winter is coming, but then I remember how glorious fall is and this year is.....just.....ridiculous.

Tara said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS!!! Love being up in the mountains. And I am fortunate enough not to need a "scratch and sniff" picture, I can close my eyes and still smell the fresh clean air and the pine trees. Ahhhh.
When I was flying out last week, we flew over the mountains and the view of all the leaves on the aspen trees was breathtaking.
Oh dear, I hope the Chipotle lunch didn't cause your tummy issues on your long run. ;/

Amanda@runninghood said...

So Jealous of your beautiful Colorado mountain getaway here! Gorgeous! And your paces are so picking up...this is awesome Jill. I can feel you getting strong just by reading your posts...inspiring. Great mileage and training going on. Makes me want to get out there and run.

Heidi Nicole said...

The color in your photos is beautiful! We ventured out this weekend and got to take in some beautiful fall colors as well! I'm getting used to all the yellow as this is my first CO fall...WI gets a lot more red and deep orange!

Lindsay said...

We don't have that kind of color change yet. But thats ok with me bc that means slightly warm temps for a little longer. I'm sorry to ruin your diet goals with my fatty post today. I hope you do better this time around on eating clean. Pretend your doc told you no corn or sugar - you'll be amazed at what you can no longer eat!

Adrienne Langelier, MA said...

Those pics both inspire and depress me that I don't have view like that here in Texas! We do have a mean bakery or two down here though:)!

Good luck with RNR Denver-keep an open mind and have fun!

Julie said...

Jealous!!!! Did you tell me you rode your bike up there??? I wanna go! :)

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

The pics are beautiful! I am so excited for some trail running after my marathon! I'll be running and thinking about YOUR views.

Awesome training Jill, things are moving along so well for you. I am so excited to see what you can do now that you are able to train!

Laura said...

We haven't seen a colour change yet...I'm is too early still.
Love love your pics!

XLMIC said...

Gosh! So beautiful! And look at you right back in the running swing... go, JILL!!!!!

Char said...

Gorgeous part of the world you get to run in - lucky girl!

I'll be doing my stupid half also this weekend. I know it's going to be slow and it's going to hurt but hey, I'm going to have a great time with my son and the running squad so the run will just be an inconvenience in amongst all the fun.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Been at Loveland Pass several times ... LOVE Colorado! Thanks for the pics, they were breath-taking!

Teamarcia said...

Spectacular scenery and what a great way to spend the weekend. Cannot believe the fall color you have already. I suppose it's the altitude? We're just starting to turn here.
Another SOLID week of training my dear--so excited for you!

Anonymous said...

so beautiful jill! you are so lucky to live in such a gorgeous area.

and i'm glad you're going to cut back. i'm a huge fan. ;-)

ajh said...

A beautiful weekend running and biking in a gorgeous place sounds top notch. Great pictures. I am jealous of your stupid decision. Love half marathons and beer with friends after sounds great! Enjoy it.

DRog said...

you have seriously done more in CO in the past year and half than I did in the 8 years there

the training is ON the half will be a good thing

Unknown said...

Jilly, Jilly, OMG, what awesome training!! Your mileage is incredible. I'm not quite there yet. I think it's all the short racing I"m doing but I can't seem to ramp up the miles like you! AWK! We'll just have to see how this marathon goes!
I loved, loved, loved the pictures! Those aspen trees are my favorite. It must be wonderful to feel the season changing...thanks for letting us be a part of it!

Kate Geisen said...

Stealing pictures from the internet???!!! Gasp! Who would do such a thing! :)

Thanks for the stupid shoutout. :)

Gorgeous gorgeous pictures! What a great getaway. And I'd say I'm jealous of your dropping pace (and didn't I say it was going to drop?), but I know how much work you're putting in to get there, so instead I'll just say that I ADMIRE your perseverence and dedication so much!

Black Knight said...

We trust you, we know that you are there! Great pictures, the landscapes and the colours are wonderful.
Yes, I must enter e trail too.

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Will Travel said...

Hey Jill! I'll be in Denver next week (Wednesday through Saturday) for a conference. I'm not sure how much running I'll be doing, as we've got nationals in Kentucky this weekend, but I'd love to try to connect while I'm in town! The conference is at a hotel somewhere between the city and the airport and I'm not sure what kind of access there is to public transport, but let me know if you think we might be able to figure out a way to link up.

Sarah Grecco said...

These pictures make me so happy. I love Fall. Sadly, we are being shorted Fall here in DC Metro! It has rained so much that the leaves are all on the ground and black....ugh. I'm just going to pretend it looks like your pictures!!!! Haha.

Johann said...

And now I want to visit there to see the fall colors as well. Or I'll just have to stay there for a long time after some race... So beautiful Jill!
I like the idea of the half marathon. Enjoy!

Caratunk Girl said...

I love Colorado...I love Loveland Pass...Your pictures are fabulous (as always) The colors here are really popping too, but it keeps raining and knocking the leaves off. BOO!

When I grow up, can I move to Colorado? :)

Enjoy the 1/2 marathon!

Joanna said...

Beautiful beautiful pictures. I would love to visit CO sometime. You had a pretty high mileage week (well, by my standards anyway), so maybe RnR will go better than anticipated. Thanks for following my blog!

Whitney said...

Those pictures are so gorgeous! I love the Rockies in the fall.
Thanks for the advise with the foot pain... I think I might try a short run tonight, and maybe tie my shoes differently.

Kandi said...

I love all your photos. Thanks for sharing. I've never been out west before but this really makes me want to check it out.
Love your header pic too.

Emz said...

Holy. Crap.
You could frame those for sure.
Love that bread store & lOve how you are killing your training!!!
Miss you!!

Raina said...

Another impressive training week, Jill!

Look at all the loveliness to run in! So gorgeous. I am bit jealous, as only 1/3 of the trees change color here, it seems.

Best wishes on the half!! :)

Jason said...

OK, I will have to go back and read the entire post again b/c I got so enamored with the pics and they just make me want to buy that place even more.

BDD has the right frame of mind. Make the bread and whatever else and then head out and train.

Golly that looks like heaven.

Irene said...

Those golden aspen trees are gorgeous. A long time ago hubs and I were out that way and experienced those gorgeous tress. It's kind of magical. Thanks for sharing those pictures. :)

Scott McMurtrey said...

Love the fall colors. I was down in Littleton last weekend and ran some good fall-colored trails near there. I'd like to live in CO someday. :)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Great pics! Have fun at the race!

Caroline said...

beautiful pictures! remind me of home!

a half this weekend! yeah!
I will think of you...well you will be done when I start now that I think of it. wishing you a great race my friend! like Dimity would say: happy miles!

Colorado Gal said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog! I love getting to know other Colorado bloggers :) Your pics look awesome -- I sometimes forget how beautiful it is here until I see it through the eyes (Or lens) of someone other than myself!

PS The Bear Chase 1/2 looks AWESOME! I might look into it myself next year!

Bubble Boy said...

I haven't been to the Mountains for so long I had forgotten what they looked like! Thanks for the pics. Glad to see you training and running so well!


2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Beautiful pics Jill. Can't say I've ever seen Colorado trees at this time of year.

Nice mileage for the week, and right after a half marathon trail race no less. Sounds more and more like you're getting your groove back.

Glenn Jones said...

Beautiful photos Jill! This is my favorite time ofnthe year-leaves changing and a chill in the morning air. Of course, I'm saying that while it's 85 out today in L.A....

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

thanks for sharing the pics. I always enjoy the CO scenery. so "zen".

I excited that your mileage and training have returned. wow! super comeback my friend! Sweet!