Monday, December 24, 2012

Tempo and Deep Freeze...

Week Summary (12/23/2012)


Brunswick Canyon Loop: 5.6 mi (+705 ft); 10:52 pace
Carson River Flats (Tempo): 6.0 mi (+21 ft); 8:30 pace
Foresight Circle: 3.7 mi (+25 ft); 10:09 pace
Blue Heron Trail: 6.3 mi (+20 ft); 10:53 pace
Audubon Trail: 5.3 mi (+29 ft); 11:10 pace

Weekly Totals: 26.8 mi (+799 ft); 4:36:503 on trail

With the approaching Solstice, winter is certainly upon us. No shorts this week, especially once we arrived in Grand Junction, Colorado, where deep-freeze, sub-zero temperatures greeted us.

Early in the week I explored the lower reach of Brunswick Canyon, searching for dry tracks out of the wind. A nice Base cruise and added a bit of climb knowing Thursday's Tempo would be flat. Still feeling tight quads from Sunday's descent, but not too bad.

On Thursday we were packed to get on Amtrak for Colorado, but I headed to Carson River for a Tempo workout -- I was focused on a good workout before heading east. I started with a 10-minute pace for about a mile and then worked quickly to a steady 7:40 pace. I worked hard to keep steady without over-doing it, I wanted to maintain for the 30 minute target. It worked very well. The run started off very cold, but, with the approaching storm, a warm wind hit just before my turn-around and I even felt slightly over-heated. Once I jumped the ditch and headed along the golf course, the tempo interval ended and I shifted to cool-down. It was interesting that I thought I was going way too slow but then I'd notice I was at a 9:30 pace. This could be a nice benefit of Tempos -- getting the body accustomed to an effort so that my new "slow" pace is slightly faster. A great workout.

We rode the desert all night on the #6 Zephyr from Reno to Grand Junction. Colder moving east. It was single digits as we pulled into Grand Junction and the slickrock trails I scouted on our trip along the Colorado River where caked in snow. It looks like plans would be changing.

My imaginings of holiday slickrock were evidently based on my summer experience in the area, and recent reconnaissances on Google Earth only showed clear trails. The real conditions, especially the deep cold, wouldn't be adding to much benefit to any runs. I did a post-train shakeout along the roads of Mom and Dad's neighborhood. It was 7 degrees when I wrapped up as the sunset.

Although the trails wouldn't reveal themselves, Dad and I hit trails along the Colorado River on Saturday and Sunday for some nice Base runs. Although my targets were put aside, it was a wonderful weekend of easy runs with great company. Actually, I couldn't have asked for better conditions.

Snowing hard and deep at home, could require some creative training plans in the weeks to come.

Peace and Happy Holidays from Trail Option and the Young Mountain Runners. Keep going into the New Year!

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