Thinking Ahead – Quandary December 15

I have been planning a trip to Colorado in mid-December for a little while now. It’s to celebrate an event with a close relative. While I’m there I hope to get a climb of Quandary in. I was hoping to make another climb back at the end of November, but the weather, road conditions, and a transportation issue meant that I could not.

As is typical, I’ve been monitoring the weather on Quandary, and here is a report from one of my favorite sources… https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Quandary-Peak/forecasts/4348

The top image is from the summit, and the bottom image is for about where the bridge is near the “closed for restoration” sign. So not too bad for wind, temps, or wind chill. I’m in the middle of a little boot “quandary” (haha) since I’ve outgrown all my double boots. When the chills go below zero I prefer to wear light double boots, like my Scarpa Phantom 6000 Mountaineering Boot, which is what I did when I climbed Greys with Todd Gilles prior to Elbrus Race 2013. It was quite a bit below zero F that day and I was just fine.

Salomon Boots I’ll be wearing

The warmest “mountain” type boots I have right now that fit at all are my Salomon S-Lab X-Alp Carbon Boots (link is to a newer version than I have). They should be sufficient. I wore them last year on a winter climb of Quandary, but had issues with socks and slipping around inside on the descent as the slide locker loosened up. I’ll have to manage that I suppose, in the worst case possibly even unzipping and tightening the slide locker at the summit, in the cold, in the wind, prior to descending.

I’ll be packing up my gear over the next couple of days, so stay in touch here to get the full scoop as I prepare for whatever my goals evolve into over the next few months.

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Morning Road Running – Beginning Groove

After my amazing fun adventure running up and down both Tiger and Cougar Mountains near Seattle Washington, I had to make some decisions.

The weather was awesome. Forties and raining. The trails were wet and smooth. I loved it. I managed to get in about seven or so miles each of the three days I had there. That’s about the most sequential running I’ve done in quite a while. I had some really good paces on the flats, uphill, and downhill. It was inspiring.

But then I had to suffer from the backlash of that. Recovery sucked. 

With my goal of doing a VK this coming year, and possibly Elbrus, it became obvious that my running training needed to change somehow. That how evolved into going back to ground zero so to speak. I needed to start at one mile a day a few or so days a week and work my way back up from there.

It was simply that my mind and body were primed and ready to crank out seven miles for a few days, but no more than that. In the bigger scheme of things this wasn’t a really bad thing. Quandary is a 6.5 mile out and back. Cake. But the bigger implication was for training. How many miles a day do I need to run how many days a week to effectively achieve my maximum speed?

Right. Enough that my body isn’t really ready to do on a daily persistent basis. Back in 2010 I began with baby steps doing various stepmill, elliptical, and treadmill workouts. I started with very low targets and worked my way up on the way to Elbrus Race. Now Elbrus Race Classic is a 9-ish mile out and back with a lot more elevation gain than Quandary.

So back to square one, which is an outside run over a mile a handful of times a week. Outside because I need to get my shivers out of my system prior to either a fast winter Quandary or any Elbrus.

And that’s what I’ve been doing. Our ‘hood at large contains a large semi-circular area adjacent to a golf course and outlining the edge of some hills near the mouth of American Fork Canyon. The knots of streets are cut by a local connecting highway or two, and some of the rec paths. If you zigzag around a bit you can hit just about any mile goal pretty easily without too much elevation gain or loss. If you do want some elevation, there are a few nice steeper roads along the hills.

I started running in the morning, normally after a circuit training routine that I’ll share later. I’m up to about 2-ish miles a day a handful of days per week. My pace is decent enough. One day in spikes due to recent freezing rain and snow mixed I averaged around 13:00 + but mostly I’ve been moving closer to 11:00 + pace. Not too shabby for someone who hasn’t run outside in the cold in a very long time.

Those are some of the screenshots from the Wahoo Fitness App I’m using on Android. It’s got some klunky bits, but otherwise works good in combination with my Wahoo Tickr Run heart rate strap.

I’ll share more on that later, but for now, I’m working my way toward a hike or even run up Quandary here pretty soon.

TTYL!

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Thinking of Quandary This Month

I’ve been chatting with my wife about my goals and plans for the coming year. One is to finally finish up Elbrus, Race or not. In discussing my plans in regards to finishing Elbrus, we thought that perhaps I should try to get in a once-a-month climb of Quandary, regardless of weather. Elbrus has atrocious weather you know. Cold and windy is the norm most summit days it seems. It’s only the non-summit days that you get beautiful blue skies.

Since I was able to acclimatize so well for Orizaba in 2013, in spite of living here in Utah at the time, we considered that I could actually just test my 14000′ ability to acclimatize regularly, then once on Elbrus, hang out for a day at the Barrels Huts and go up the first nice day.

In any case, it seems reasonable, based on the past. Now for the future.

What shape am I in? Can I acclimatize? Can I get my “running legs” back in time?

Stay tuned …

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Evolution of a Cyclist

Chain Reaction Cycles posted this on Facebook recently, and I realized just how very true this is.

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Road To Elbrus Lambert Fall Hike

Road To Elbrus Lambert Fall Hike

In case you haven’t been in the loop, here’s a brief update while hiking with the mountain bike team at Lambert Park in Alpine Utah. Most of my work on outdoor training has been to get the new and improved https://www.hikercize.com up to speed for the new wave of trainees. If you want to focus on Elbrus Race join me at https://www.sevensummitsbody.com

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Message From Moab 18 August

Sadly, it looks like Elbrus Race 2018 is out of the picture. Not enough time to get trained and peak, and get a visa, and get the High School Mountain Bike team I coach ready for the impending racing season.

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Road To Elbrus – Morgan in the Dark – 13 August

When I first began this whole idea of returning to Elbrus Race, like I did in 2010 and 2013, I hadn’t been running at all. I’d even quit running on the treadmill. Training to be a mountain biking coach, in spite of my limited technical skills. I even get to ride with some really super fast kids, so it’s tough work for me. I’ve been so injured this past year that it’s been hard to recover and keep up a lot of the time.

For those of you who don’t normally follow me, or my adventures, I entered Elbrus Race 2010, but was unable to continue after a lazy cook gave me untreated water. In 2013 I took 5th place in a slightly modified race up to 17,000′ in near whiteout conditions. I have written numerous books about my Seven Summits Quest, and my training for climbing, including instruction manuals. Check out my author profile FOR MORE INFO.

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Running Morgan in the Dark

Running Morgan in the Dark

If you can call it running, sure.

It’s at least getting in some vertical and testing out my ability to pull it off.

I woke at 3:30 AM, while the world slept, and prepared to head out to do a not very popular Strava segment loosely called Morgan Blvd. Over the years it’s changed a bit, since there is a lot of overpriced, overlarge, overhyped housing development going on here on the far east side of north Utah County. On the one hand it’s nice because they added a little park and a paved rec path set down just a little bit further from the houses than before. On the other hand it’s cut out some of the trails and changed them somewhat. This has deprecated some of the old classic Strava segments and made them obsolete. Basically there’s no way to do them without running through someone’s garage. Alas …

I enjoyed the sounds of crickets or frogs or whatever they were, and the twinkling city lights far below as I climbed the road. I was careful, nursing my twisted ankle since it was so very dark, and the light from the headlamp so very flat. I did roll off a few stones, but was able to stabilize with minimal pain. I didn’t go all that fast, but it was satisfying to get up there in  the dark. It helped a lot that I had already been up this trail a dozen or so times in the past.

At the bottom I paused at the underpass tunnel on the rec path to share a few thoughts on training in spite of my heavy load right now.

Check out the video below:

 


Road to Elbrus – Car Chat – 15 August 2018

It’s all coming together too quickly. The High School Mountain Bike Races and my position as a Coach for my team. My training to ride with the fastest of my group. Training to run has been put aside for the summer in previous years. What about this year? What about the Red Fox Elbrus Race in May 2019?

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Elbrus Car Chat 15 August

Elbrus Car Chat 15 August

Sitting in my car at work thinking out loud about Elbrus Race. 

I found the original impetus for this Elbrus Race insanity – the Red Fox Elbrus Race.  The website is somewhat klunky. More than somewhat, actually. I might have to keep my eyes open on it for when they announce the opening of registration for next May. The first week of May, surrounded by Russian Holidays. That might be interesting to check into.

Red Fox Elbrus Race - May of 2019
Red Fox Elbrus Race – May of 2019

In case you missed the story, I was at the Barrels Huts coming down from an unsuccessful climb of Elbrus when we had to work around a few dozen super fit fast dudes getting off the lifts hauling crates and duffels of gear. They were all sporting logos from Red Fox and stating Elbrus Race. I dug around and found the next Elbrus Race, the next August and that began the “Rocky” phase of my training. Super vertical training mode.

This began the fitness plan that eventually became “Summit Success: Training for Hiking, Mountaineering, and Peak Bagging” and has now evolved into “Rucking Simple Treadmill Training” and the now FREE online training program “Hikercize” which for the past four years has been $50 or more per year. Great deal, if you ask me.

The rest is history.

In the video below, I discuss that briefly, mention my current state of majorly tired, riding with the Team. Pre-riding race courses for the late summer race series, some of my duties as a high school mountain biking coach and maybe another thing or two.