Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wal to Waldo (Canyon)

Tried something the past 2 days - that I have not done before.  Run the 7 mile (lollipop style course) Waldo Canyon trails on back to back days.

As the days are starting to get longer - daylight is shining off the top of Pikes Peak more...... it is hard not to see it and with that I am often easily drawn to thinking ahead to August 19th - race day.  With that as my goal race of the year, my mind has been at work a few times tossing around training ideas and training runs.  Nothing written down or set in granite just yet.  But the mind is often actively engaged. 

Aside from going up to Barr Camp once a month for the last few months - moreso just to say I have, rather than anything other specific - I am really not yet banking too many miles for specific marathon training.  Race day is still about 6 months away.

With that said, Waldo Canyon training runs are most likely going to be incorporated and used as part of training.  If for nothing other than a good benchmark fitness test.

If you include a lap of the Parking lot the distance is 7 miles and comes within a few feet of 1500' vertical gain.  From the parking lot the first 1/6th of a mile or so is stepping up several flights of irregularly placed stairs - enough to get your attention as you then ease onto the trails - which are a mix of smooth gravel, some more (wood and rock) steps, tree roots and varying different sizes of granite to traverse, plus some small creek beds in the mix also - all in all a good variety of terrain - often times quite similar to Barr Trail, but on a smaller scale.

After a steady mile or so climb, followed by a rolling traverse, right around 1.75 miles into the run - you come to the start of the loop - which is 3.5 miles.  Choose which way to go.  It seems like whenever I have done the run, if I find other people on the trail (and there are usually less on the loop than on the section leading up to the loop) most people go the clockwise direction.  I don't know if it is any easier than counter clockwise as I have done both.

Both (literally) have their ups and downs.  On Monday I went clockwise.  Tuesday I went counter clockwise.   4 weeks ago when I did it last (counter clockwise) I did my best time of 1:14:20.

Monday this week I did it within a minute of that time, not overly pushing too hard.  Tuesday actually felt easier and I was only 30 seconds slower than my best time.  Both days I could have gone faster, but chose not too - those day(s) when I push harder will certainly come.

So, I am feeling good about the trail, my improving fitness and look forward to running it more often - at times trying to push to see how fast I can do it, while other times just enjoying the trail and the work it produces to stay steady.
Map of the trail

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