Sunday, July 6, 2014

6/30 to 7/6

6/30, Monday - Green Mountain + 2nd Flatiron, 9 miles, 3,800ft, 3:26

Joined up with a local running group for a run up Green. My legs were still pretty wrecked from my high mountain double on Saturday and I felt them the whole way up. These guys are by no means casual runners, most were wearing shirts with distances from 50 up to 200 (not a typo) miles. It was hard work staying middle of the pack, and I really struggled towards the end. I was tired from my weekend, but I was sure they weren't sitting around either. So I just held pace as best I could. I did keep up with the front guys on the downhill though. I'll be running with this group again without a doubt.

After I finished that, logistics just so happened that I had some friends coming to Boulder to climb the Second. I couldn't not. We finished just about as darkness fully took over. Legs feel like they were injected with acid, about 10,000ft of climbing in the last three days.

7/1, Tuesday - Track 6 x 200m, 4 miles, 100ft, 0:37

Haven't been on a track in a while, It was fun to be "back" - though I've never really been "there" in terms of track. Was right around 40 seconds for each 200, so it was a nice "off" day run. My quad had a near apocalyptic cramp hurdling the fence on the way home. True sign of good run!

7/2, Wednesday - Mt. Sanitas, 7 miles, 1,500ft, 2:00

Ran to Sanitas to meet my friend Danny after which we hiked the hill together. Absolute mile time degradation as the times kept going up as I felt more and more the cumulative load. The first 4 went 6:50, 7:54, 12:15, 21:32; granted the last one was completely hiking. Taking the next few days easy so I can accomplish my weekend goals with at the very least mostly functioning quads.

7/4, America Day - 2nd Flatiron(s), 3 miles, 1,800ft , 2:00

First off I was out the exact same amount of time today as Wednesday, kind of cool (2:00:06 both days). Hiked to the base of the rock and hit a lap up the 2nd in 9:02, a PR, but so tantalizingly close to sub-9 that its taste was bittersweet. Downclimbed leisurely in 36 minutes where I met another fellow blogger whom I follow, Kendrick (check out his site its pretty cool). I talked with him as he ascended and I descended, he was doing a few laps today as well. I met up with him again at the base and after we helped down a couple girls who had climbed up a bit more than they maybe should have. Kendrick said he had never broken 10 up the rock, and from what I've read on his blog, I feel like he should be going faster than me. We took a lap up in ~9:30 (I left my watch paused on accident, so I took a few seconds off his time), his first sub 10. A bit of an annoyance, as we were climbing up, a guy resting about half way up cut behind me (and thus in front of Kendrick) saying he wanted to follow us. He was able to hold with us for like 20 feet. Seemed pretty rude in the moment (I'm sure that wasn't his intention), but it was sort of frustrating as we were both trying to go pretty fast and maintain our flow. Jogged back down with Kendrick before heading back home.

7/5, Saturday - Tonahutu Loop, 26 miles, 5,100ft, 8:30

I woke naturally around 4, so I figured I might as well head on over, I was up later than planned for the 4th, so I was tired and took a short nap at the trail head before heading out.
Had to pull over to get this sunrise!
The trail started off easy enough, or rather it started with a downhill which is something I'm not a fan of. Nice path, typical dewy mountain morning with crisp air. The trail rolled along meandering upwards, but just. After passing a few hikers and two runners who were heading home from their morning run I came upon my first waterfall of the day!
Roaring Rapids
Typical section of trail, though it had some scattered downhills as well.
At mile 5 I reached for my first electrolytes...Oh no! My quick nap had discombobulated my routine and I had forgotten both my energy powder in my water and my "Nutella-dilla" (panini pressed tortilla filled with nutella, it works awesome). Okay, so it looks like we're going to change things up a bit. I did end up finding an old cliff bar in my pack so that provided some solace, but I adjusted the game plan. Originally I had wanted to go around ~5:30 for the loop, now I decided I wouldn't worry about time and I would taper my efforts. I hiked anything that made my heart-rate spike - that's when your body grabs carbs that I wouldn't be able to replenish. This meant power hiking near everything that was uphill today.
Nearing Treeline
I broke treeline and began the switchbacks up to the Continental Divide. These switchbacks were carpeted with wildflowers and also had a sprinkle of elk herd thrown in. Not picturing the elk as they were a bit far away and the picture is majorly pixelated.
I am nature.
Marching up to the Continental Divide
Snow was ever present here and it was so soft that even my slender frame was tunneling through to the hidden icy rivers beneath. Despite being somewhat displeased thus far with my Altra Lone Peaks, this sort of long and non-technical jaunt is what they appear to be designed for, they performed great - and dried fast - all day long. Made it up to the Divide and started the longer than expected traverse across the alpine tundra - still hosting plenty of snow. I made it to the junction for Flattop Mountain where suddenly there were tons of people, they had been more sparse previously. Flattop isn't necessarily grandiose and I wouldn't seek it out again, so I settled to climb it.
Summit of Flattop, also notice the massive summit block of longs in the top right.
 I've also been trying out calf sleeves a bit lately (as can be seen in the pic). They do seem to aid in recovery and delay soreness on longer outings. Though if truth be told, I'm not quite fond of the road-biker-esque appearance of them. I then descended and finished the traverse across the Divide.
Wished I had more energy to run all of this!
The descent was a long, long, long rambling. I could without a doubt feel the absence of electrolytes/sugars/carbs so I still walked an disappointing percentage of the trail. The low was definitely bumbling through a burn scar about half-way back down. A field of deceased life certainly doesn't bring my spirits up!
Feel horrible, nature commands it.
 My spirits were eventually lifted by (leaving the burn scar first and foremost) another waterfall - Granite Falls. Everyone loves waterfalls, everyone.
Granite Falls
I kept on descending and passed a family setting up tent. More accurately two parents were scrambling to keep everyone's needs at bay whilst attempting to erect a couple tents. I was ready for another break at this point so I offered my assistance. After constructing the campsite I learned that the mom was hiking back down to meet the grandma and didn't want to hike alone. It worked out that I hiked down with her, and thus the dad could try and wrangle the children. We  conversed about critters of the forest, mainly the danger of moose encounters compared to other animals. Ironically, we came across a hefty moose about 5 minutes later. Obviously we were on edge a bit, but we kept our distance and admired its splendor. We got back to a different trail head then from where I started, but they graciously drove me back to my car (this was actually the plan)...and perhaps more importantly gave me a snickers bar. It always strikes me how I picture this great emotional moment at the finish, but in reality you just casually get back to a quiet parking lot, and drive home like any other day.

So, huge day; I would have liked to go much faster, but alas sometimes just getting it done is more important than anything else. I'd say it merits a rest day.

Week Totals:
Miles: 50
Vertical: 12,400ft
Time: 15:43


  1. Are you kidding, 10k feet of elevation gain over 3 days??? You just about surpassed my monthly total in your three days. Damn I need to hit the trails more lol

    1. Just about progression. At this time last year 4k' a week was about the max I would or could get to. Even now, I'm certainly pushing the envelope in terms of what I'm capable of doing. Not going to sustain this sort of stuff much past the summer or I'll get mega burnt out. But there is still much fun to be had yet! I'll be having me a vertical adventure this weekend if all goes as planned :).

      Absolutely hit the trails more! Even if you slow to a hike (you might be surprised just how much I have to hike!), just being out there is valuable experience. Now that I've seen you have two local summits, now you have to link them together in one run! Enjoy.