Friday, January 25, 2013

Vertical Miles

Yesterday Jill and I went on a leisurely trail run:

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She wanted to get in some “vertical” miles (aka ball busting climbs), so we chose Walker Ranch outside of Boulder. If you think this looks easy, go buy a ticket to Denver, call me and I will take you here. Then you can cry and beg for mercy.

Hey Jill, is this “vertical” enough for you?

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It may only be 7.5 miles, but this loop kicks one’s ass. Altitude + major climbs = no joke.

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Not sure why this sign is lying down.
Probably got assaulted by a horse or someone dismounting a bike.

On a run like this, you do not know how to dress. I brought about nine changes of clothes in my car (wedding dress, bikini, pasties) because when it is 50 degrees, sunny and calm at my house (5,000 feet), it is 40 degrees, cloudy and windy 30 minutes away (7,200 feet).

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You can tell by the elevation map, that we started high and immediately descended 800 feet to the South Boulder Creek. I listened for the roaring water, but there was no roaring water because everything was frozen. Frozen or thawed, this image is a spectacular one.

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I only tripped over one puddle:

When you do a run like this one, you have to get over yourself and realize you will be walking some steep parts (to avoid passing out and having your body blow up) and your paces will be several minutes slower than a typical flat road or treadmill run. But, let me tell you – do a run like this a few times a month and when you get on flat road, you will haul ass.

Despite hills and wind – trails, pushing myself and running just makes me happy. Plain and simple. Makes Jill happy too,

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A couple of announcements:

  • If you want to sign up for the Colorado Colfax Marathon (May 19), do so before January 30th and it is only $79 (vs. $90). Use promo code AMBBET.
  • Tom Campbell, Assistant Principal at Reedy Creek Middle School in Cary, North Carolina, has organized a virtual run – the Buddy Up Against Bullying 5K (March 16) to raise awareness about bullying and to make efforts towards prevention. Check out the blog and how to download a bib for this event HERE.
  • A reader let me know that an interview I did with Runner’s World UK has been published in the February 2013 edition. The article was about Sherry and running safety. Let me know if you have a copy or know of a way I can get a copy of it.

What do you think is tougher: speed work on flat surfaces or grunt work on hills? I think they are both challenging in their own way. I actually find doing intervals at the track tougher than steep climbing and hill work. I think my body is built more for slow, difficult climbs than speed.

How much do you add in speed/hill work to your marathon or half marathon training? I add in lots of hills (my motto has become what Olympian Frank Shorter said “Hills are speed work in disguise” ). I love my Yasso 800s and tempo runs, but I always feel these make me injury prone.

Have a great weekend!

SUAR

38 comments:

  1. Check Barnes and Noble, if you have those. Our B&N sells Runners World UK. That run looks intense! Awesome job!

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    1. What she said. We have them in the B&N stores in our area too. Good luck.

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    2. Great idea, I'll go there to buy a copy.

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  2. Looks like a great trail run. Now that the snow is mostly gone, I need to get out on those trails to get my grunt on. I definitely prefer a steep hill workout to track workouts. I feel like there is more mental reward climbing than there is going around in circles.

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  3. Amazing leg workout! Hills are tough but I seem to plow over them just to get them done. We live in a hilly area so they are included in my training wanted or not. I like easy running over hills or speed work any day. :)

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  4. Those are some crazy hills! Great job!

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  5. That trail run looks intense!!! Cool pics! I have never done a run on hills like that - I'm sure I would pretty much have to walk the whole thing.

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  6. What beautiful scenery!!!I have to say I'm so jealous. Also I'm with you,running just makes me happy!!! We were finally able to get outside this morning at 4:30 for a six miler. It up to 8 degrees but boy did it feel balmy. Wind=0 mph!!! I personally have much more trouble with speedwork than hills. I agree...love Yasso 800's but always feel injury prone. I try to incorporate both speed/hill work in to my marathon training twice a week when using a six day week training plan.

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  7. That elevation profile makes me happy

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  8. Two words - Holy crap!! Gorgeous though. We considered moving to Colorado but didn't know about the cost of living compared to TN.

    I love both hills and flat. Hills are ultimately the best, in my opinion. Strength is the key to running faster and longer.

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  9. The run you took looks amazing! I HATE speed work. I'd rather run hills any day of the week, which, I do anyway, b/c I always make sure my routes include hills. This helps with race training, too, b/c the hill work is always there.

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  10. That looks ridiculously hard! I am a complete hill wuss and I need to get over it. I love your trail running pictures. They always make me want to move to CO!

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  11. Awesome you and Jill got together for some torture! It looked amazing, though--jealous of you guys.

    Hills do make you stronger, I am convinced. I have nothing like what you guys have, but I do have plenty of good rollers around here to train on. That said, my current training involves lots and lots of tempo running, which also has its advantages.

    So cool there's an article on Sherry in the RW UK version!

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  12. I had never thought too much about hills until moving to Park City. People here are obsessed with getting in their "vert." Finding beautiful places to train certainly ins't a problem. And yes, vert + altitude = a good ass kicking.

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  13. I think all training is hard, but I kinda like hills. Maybe it's because I can't run without running up/down one but, dude, these are hills. That stuff you're running is a mountain!! I would surely be curled in the fetal position by the time I was done.

    And I'm all over the March 16 run. That's a rough day for me (memories are powerful, and that day marks one of my deepest) so I do anything and everything to distract myself. Thanks for the link!

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  14. I love rolling hills. And am trying to work trails into my week.

    The Kidless Kronicles

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  15. I've just started really wanting to run "somewhere else". My neighborhood is getting boring and predictable. Love all your adventure runs!

    Going to go check out that Bully one, great cause!

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  16. DAMN!
    Hills are WAY harder than speedwork, for me anyway.

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  17. Walker Ranch was/is my favorite trail run in Boulder! There was one summer I spent just about every Wed going there (and dodging mountain bikers). I kicked my fall marathon that year and it was awesome. I am so jealous!

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  18. Thank for the info on the bullying 5K Virtual run. What a great idea!

    I haven't ran outside in months.. I so need to run.. the treadmill at the gym just isn't doing it for me.. Your trail run looks fab.. even if it's a bit crazy..

    Do you run outside every day? Or mostly inside during the winter?

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    1. I go outside unless it is icy. I don't mind the treadmill that much, but I love the trails, sunshine and fresh air a bit more.

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  19. That looks like an awesome trail! Even with the hills.

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  20. If you can't get a copy of the magazine, let me know and I'll post you one. They are easier to find if you actually take the trouble to live in the UK!

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  21. Holy Crap!! That looks way to intense for me. I am really scared of running downhill on trails......

    I think hill work is harder than any speedwork ever created.

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  22. You have some beautiful places to run...not sure about that crazy ass climb though

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  23. That video makes me laugh every time; what an excellent reenactment... NOT! Um, my achy hip flexors today definitely said it was "enough" vertical! Can't wait to do it again soon...maybe you won't have to double back 4000x to find me!
    xoxo

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  24. I bet if you email them they'll send you a complimentary issue :)

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  25. I find myself infinitely more mentally challenged by flat speed work than hill running. Agreed – one really has to get over oneself when running vertical like that. Nice!

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  26. I will confess--I've never added speed training or hill training to my half marathon training. If I'm unfortunate enough to have to treadmill it, I'll throw in some interval training, just to help with the boredom, but that is about it. However...coming back from injury this year, I've got a heart rate monitor and I'll be training with that. I've lost a lot of speed, and want to regain some of it, at least!

    BTW, I'm awed by the beautiful places you run. I ask myself again, why do I live here? Ugh! At least we have some snow now, to cover up the ugliness...

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  27. Don't be surprised if you get a call to go out on those trails!! My husband goes out to Denver a few times a year for work and I tend to tag- a- long. While he works, I wonder around. Always to Boulder to find a trail. Boulder is one of my favorite places in Co. We sooooo want to move to Co. Hopefully soon!!!! Love your blog and all your pics!!!

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  28. Hills are SO hard for me- that run you did looks insane!!!!! I would have died. I would do speed work every day over any hills.

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  29. I'm so impressed! There are no hills around here, so I never do this kind of running.

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  31. Me = Jealous.
    Here is what any KS elevation map looks like:
    _____________________________________________

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  32. What a pretty.You are encouraging for a hiking and on the other hand you are discouraging.Right? Nop. Those sights are really attractive.I wish I went there.I think it is easy to go up for me but scary to run downhill.
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  33. So impressive.You Have done a very hard task. Hope i could also do that.
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  34. It's so dangerous and so impressive . Very rare number of people can do that .
    Amazing post thanks.
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