Monday, February 20, 2012

The Week in Review February 12 - 18, 2012

Still nursing the ITBS problem, so I'm taking it easy by doing some cross-training and limiting my self-locomotion to a quick hiking pace.

Sunday - 1.5-hour Bikram yoga session with JP.

Monday - Green Mountain - hiked up Ampi-Saddle-Green in 42:26; down via one of the Flatiron access trails (need to learn which is which).

Tuesday - 1.5-hour Bikram yoga session - great, hot yoga session with JP. A real Valentine's Day treat!

Wednesday - Bergen Peak - squeezed in an out-and-back hike between work/family obligations from the upper lot at Elk Meadow Open Space to the second overlook on the Bergen Peak Trail.

Thursday - Bear Peak - hiked to the summit in about 53 minutes via Fern Canyons from the Cragmoor Trailhead. Lots of drifted and unconsolidated snow on the stretch from the saddle to the post below the summit. Made first tracks through the drifts.

Friday - Off

Saturday - Bergen Peak - took both dogs (Cisco's first semi-extended outing) and hiked/jogged from the upper lot at Elk Meadow, up the Bergen Peak Trail, to the intersection with the Summit Trail. Returned the same way...about 7 miles. Cisco did great.

Perfect snow conditions on the Bergen Peak Trail
Looking west to Mt. Evans (just visible through the trees) from 1st overlook
I forgot the GPS watch for most of the hikes this week, so I didn't even bother to try and guess mileage. Just don't really care about such things right now. Most interested in holding onto some fitness as the ITBS runs its course.

It seems that I'm able to run uphill OK and without any pain. I experimented a bit Saturday heading up Bergen Peak. This morning, after about a 3/4 mile hiking warm-up, I jogged up the Bergen Peak trail to the Summit Trail intersection. No pain. Hiked the downhill, mostly.

Much to my surprise, I am actually enjoying the hiking. The climb up Bear Peak on Thursday definitely was a highlight. I think I like the consistent pace/effort one can put into a hard hiking effort. You just don't cross as aggressively into the red zone as you might while running, I guess. Plus, I had that climb all to myself, there was no wind and the late afternoon lighting was gorgeous. All the right ingredients for a spectacular outing.

All that said, I am so ready to run hard and fast.

Finally, a big congrats to Woody, Joe and Todd G. for their great runs at the Moab Red Hot 55K last weekend. Great job guys!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Walk in the Park

There's an old saying that goes, "Injury is the mother of invention," or something like that. In that spirit, a dose of ITBS has forced me to come up with some new ways to get the heart rate up and the body moving.

This week I partook in a couple sessions of bikram yoga, including a great Valentine's Day evening session with JP at the Evergreen Center for Yoga, weightlifting, the elliptical machine and hiking.

It's been a while since I intentionally set out to hike, rather than run. This week, though, I managed to get out and up Boulder's Green Mountain (42 minutes via Ampi-Saddle-Green) and Bear Peak (53 minutes via Cragmoor to Fern), and about halfway of Evergreen's Bergen Peak (the house to the second overlook on Bergen Peak Trail).

Trail conditions on all three mountains were great this week, for the most part. Bergen, Green and Bear up to the saddle were all well-packed snow with just a bit of ice. The climb up Bear from the saddle was a bit tough with lots of unconsolidated snow and drifting in a number of places. Even with Microspikes, the climb up from the saddle was a challenge, but enjoyable. Didn't see a single person beyond the Mesa Trail that day.

Green Mountain summit
The Bergen Peak Trail 
An icy stretch in Fern Canyon on the way up Bear Peak
Bear Peak summit.  Looking north. 
Bear Peak. Looking southeast(ish)

Can you see the inner light? 
Great late afternoon lighting. Had to add another shot.
Didn't feel the IT band problem at all on any of the hikes, even moving at a pretty quick hiking pace up and down. I'm still continuing the nightly foam roller rolling, stretching and hip mobility and glute strengthening exercises. I'll probably give running a go later today with a run up Bergen Peak and a hike down. Fingers crossed.

Killian confirms plans to race the Pikes Peak Marathon.

Good luck to everyone running today's Moab Red Hot 33K and 55K!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Week That Was(n't)...January 29 - February 4, 2012

On some runs, I forget to bring my GPS watch. Looking back on a weeks when this happened, I regularly have a hard time remembering what I did on a given day.  No problem with that issue this week.

No runs this week.  

Got in a good 1.5-hour yoga session Sunday morning with JP.  Both kids came to the class with us. That was a lot of fun. So great to see the three of them lined up beside me (the family that sweats together, stays together...).

On Thursday, I went and saw Josh Shadle over at All Sports Recovery Club in Boulder for some deep tissue abuse massage. I had quite a few moments where I had to laugh out loud at the pain. It was either that or yell. Not sure how I got this tight, but it seems clear that with everything all bound up in my hips/glutes/lower back, it's no wonder my IT band is getting jacked.

The All Sports Recovery Club is an interesting idea. Essentially, you can become a member for a monthly fee and use their collection of recovery equipment, from cold lasers and ice baths to compression boots and a vast quiver of foam rollers. Interesting concept, and definitely one of those "only in Boulder" things.

So, I'm doing daily hip mobility and glute strengthening exercises, along with a lot of time with my two new best friends. A new (hard) foam roller and a lacrosse ball.

Nope, not a tall glass of Guinness.
I'm using the foam roller to roll out my IT band and lower back. The lacrosse ball is for rolling around on and working to loosen up the gluteus maximus and gluteus medias muscles.

Tested the IT band out last night (Tuesday) on the rec center treadmill. Did a half-mile walking warm-up, then a half-mile at 10:00 pace and then 3.3 miles at a whopping 9:00 pace. Shut it down at 4.3 when I started to feel a hint of IT ache in the right knee.

So tempted to just go out and run hard. A big part of me just wants to say f*** it and get out and keep building on the fitness that was really starting to come around. Fortunately, for now, I'm able to tamp down that desire and stay focused on getting the ITBS under control so I can do what I want to do this summer.

Traffic jam, Evergreen style: