Because the previous three weeks weren't very hard, I ran more this week than I will during my next break on week eight. Five days of running, one short speed workout, one hilly run, and one long run today. The numbers:
6 hours, 43 minutes
3,507 ft D+ (dénivelé positif or elevation gain)
For curiosity's sake I changed the work/rest ratio for my speed workout to four minutes of hard running and 2 minutes of easy jogging recovery. It's a subtly different workout. I was able to run at and beyond my lactate threshold (by feel) a little bit more with another minute of recovery. I might switch between 5:1 and 4:2 in the future.
Saturday I went out for two hour run on a hilly, 250 ft D+ per mile, route in Lory. The switch on our weather has flipped, as it does, from cool and rainy to roasting heat, and I was grateful for the water that still flows in Well Gulch, at Arthurs Rock, and along the Overlook Trail. I see long term forecasts from NOAA that predict that the hot and dry weather is here to stay.
Today, Sunday, I ran from my house to Pineridge Natural Area and the first two little ridges on the east edge of the Rocky Mountains. I watched my heart rate and kept this run super easy, dialing my effort back on the small grades. I can run all out to the bench at the top of the "Skimmerhorn", a 10% grade for 0.4 miles, but today I hiked it very casually.
It's a great time for wildflowers on the Front Range, especially the blue ones. I've seen extra large patches of penstemon and skullcap (from the mint family) this week.
I'm planning to do a lot of alpine running in the next three weeks. Expect photos with tundra, rocks, and snow.