24 February 2014

Taste of Summer

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me 
there lay an invincible summer."
-Albert Camus
One of the great things about being married to a mountain biker is that he is able to scout out trails for me on his weekend rides. About a week ago, J-man headed down to Lake Pueblo State Park with some friends and found the trails to be dry as a bone. Using a link to the Southshore trail map found at the bottom of this page, I set out to run them last Wednesday. 

Lots of shale on the trail

Tumbleweeds were a problem in the slot canyons

Lemonade. The perfect post-run beverage
Chocolate almond butter that must be purchased in expensive little packets due to my gluttonous tendencies.
The weather was perfect -- started out around 45 and got up to 60. I'm totally out of the habit of wearing sunscreen so I got a little color in my 3 hours out there. The climbs weren't terribly steep or long, so they were good training for my final PPRR Winter Series Race last Saturday. 

Speaking of which, I once again improved on my performance for this final 20k (12.5 mi) race and managed to cross the finish line ahead of 40 other runners in a time of 2:11, avg 10:32/mi. My best pace was an 8:06 when I sprinted to the finish in the last half-mile. 
As usual, I was conservative in the first half and able to keep a fairly consistent pace throughout. My pace slowed a little as we were bombarded with fierce headwinds when we got out of the wooded areas about halfway through. The climbs in this race weren't steep, but they could go on for 2-3 minutes and I ran them all. Those who were walking the climbs ahead of me were reeled in. 

I wondered if some of the "walkers" would end up passing me later, but none of them did. I generally go by my breathing pattern (indicating my HR) to determine when I switch to walking/power hiking in an effort to save energy. These climbs were pretty gradual compared to what I encounter normally on the trails. I guess it's all on your perspective. A road runner may not see them as being easy like I do, hence the walking.   

I'm really glad I did this Winter Series. I'll probably plan to do it every year to work on speed. It's well organized and the volunteers are great. It's a great value too. For $55, I got to run four races and received two beer glasses and a pair of arm warmers. Sah-weet!
With snow scheduled again for tomorrow, I was glad I could get out on the track for my speedwork today. Now that I'm up to doing 10 sets of Yasso 800's, I decided to change it up a bit and do mile repeats. I did four sets, a with 400 meter recovery between each. 
Mile repeats aren't so bad with this view
Now that I have a base level of fitness, I'll continue to change the speedwork up a bit and add hill repeats. I'll have over 3k feet of climbing at Salida so I need to get my legs used to a bit more than they have been so far this year. With mileage going up as well, the training's getting real. The spring racing season begins in three weeks -- booyah!

Happy Trails,


1 comment:

  1. Hello!

    I have a quick question for you, could you email me when you have a chance? Thanks! –Heather