Monday, June 25, 2012

Colorado On Fire!


Waldo Canyon Fire Courtesy of Kelly Mcgrew
It seems that all of Colorado is on fire right now. I believe ten wildfires at last count. We have a huge one just west of Colorado Springs burning up some of our favorite trails and stomping grounds. It is in its third day and has spread to over 3,500 acres. Temps have been in the high 90s and even reached 100 F on Sunday.  11,000 people were evacuated from their homes including the entire town of Manitou Springs. Over 450 firefighters along with 7 – 10 aircraft have been working in this heat around the clock. And miraculously no structures have been lost so far, even with the fire skirting dangerously close to a major subdivision.   Talk about ultra-endurance. These guys are heroes!

Of course with all this fire, Colorado Springs is covered in a haze of smoke making riding and running a questionable activity. Everything smells like a campfire and the mountains are hidden with a smoky haze.
Scene from I25  crossing Garden of  the Gods Road.

After deciding not to run on Sunday, I finally got restless Sunday evening and went for a run wearing a painter’s mask. I thought “The Leadman is an extreme event that requires extreme preparation” and ran for a little over an hour on a smoky 95 degree afternoon. Since all parks are closed I was force to run a good bit on the roads and with my mask, I definitely got some looks. This is a good week to take it easy though since the first event, The Leadville Marathon is this Saturday. Oh yea there is a fire just outside of Leadville too.
I stopped in my favorite running store the Colorado Running Company for some new shoes. John presented me with a pair of Hoka OneOnes. I said “That is a really ugly shoe.” His reply, “Have you looked in the mirror lately?” That made sense and I bought them… A perfect match!

I was pretty tired this week, stretching a normal three week period into four, so I am really ready for an easy week, which just happens to be the week before the first Leadman event, not to mention Colorado Springs is a hazy smoke pit right now. For those here in Colorado Springs, Care & Share is taking donations of energy bars, water and Gatorade for the fire fighters. Definitely worth doing!

This week's Training Log

Mon AM: Core Strength, crunches, reverse crunches, back bends, and trunk rotations
Tue AM: Ran hills in Ute  Park practicing running down rocky technical descents. Went in by  hotel then run up and down the three major  hills in the park. Felt good and ran the downs better than usual. 1.7 hrs, 10 miles
Tue PM: Pro Cycling ride. 30 min warm-up then up Gold Camp. Legs felt really tired but was able to keep  distance pace, kind of in a no mans land between the 1st and 2nd group. Flatted going  down Orion so rode the rest of the ride alone. Slowest time up Cheyenne Canyon yet 24+ min. Start a second climb but  legs were shot. Headed back to the shop. 2.1 hrs, 30 miles
Wed AM: Easy recovery run - Hanks loop. Legs felt very  tired. Then rode to work. Went as easy as possible but had a strong head wind, so had to push a little. Legs felt pretty shot. Run 0.5 hrs, 3.1 miles. Bike 0.7 hrs 8 miles
Thu AM: Tempo Run. Easy pace  to Woodman/Santa Fe Trail head then tempo from Trail Head to AFA South Gate: 1.6 miles in 12:22, easy past Ice Lake then tempo on AFA hill climb: 0.8 miles in 8:26. Ran relaxed but fast down hill then third tempo from AFA south gate to Woodman Trail head: 1.6 miles in 12:24.. Easy run back home. Ran with new HOKA shoes. Definitely heavier, but softer and will  take some getting use to. Legs felt pretty tired.1.5 hrs, 10.1 miles
Thu PM: Ride with Kevin around AFA counterclockwise from work. Legs were pretty tired and had a hard time keeping up on the climbs. Winds were pretty brutal coming out of the south. Once finished went back to work, grabbed my pack and rode home. Legs are really tired right now. 2hrs, 28 miles
Fri AM: Ride to work. Legs were pretty much dead, so just took it easy and rode as easy as possible. 0.7 hrs, 8 miles
Sat AM: Felt pretty good today. Decided to do some climbing but start tapering for the Leadville Marathon next week too, so only road for a little over 4 hours. Went up Flying W/Rossmere climb in about 8 min, then Gold Camp in 23 min, then 3 * Cheyenne Canyon in 25 min, 24 min, & 23 min. Actually felt better each climb! Rode home through downtown/Santa Fe bike path. Total climbin 5,920 ft. - 4.3 hrs, 54 miles
Sun AM: Ran late in the afternoon/early evening because of  Waldo Canyon Fire and 100 degree temp during the day. Air is very smoky so I wore a painting mask which definitely got some looks from people. Oh  well, Leadman is an extreme event so one sometimes has to do extreme things to train for it. Ran Hank's Open Space, did the hills and practiced running down them, then Santa Fe to Woodman then home. 1.2 hrs, 8 miles