After the long drive over, I needed to stretch out my legs a bit, so I roamed around Mt. Holmes, which from our vantage point seemed completely impossibly to summit without a massive face climb. I gained a ridge for recon purposes and confirmed my prior hypothesis. I later read that there is class 2+ ridge from the other side of the mountain.
|This is by far the most remote place I have ever been, we saw a few cattle ranchers and zero recreational users over the couple days in the Henry Mountains in Utah|
We took the longest possible way to get there, but eventually we were at the base. There is 4x4 road that goes basically all the way to the top, but we were in my CRV, the trail was covered in snow and hiking is way cool so we walked. After the postholing began, most of the group bailed, so me and one other pressed on. Aside from gloriously expansive views, it was the worst mountain, route-wise, I'd ever been on. We bailed once we gained a saddle a couple hundred feet below the summit as we couldn't bear carving our shins on the icy crust much more. Of course, the post-holing only worsened on the way down.
|High above the desert. The far right side is noticeably warped from a poorly taken panorama.|
Woke up early and ran the 4x4 road we drove in on. After a couple miles I was jogging along the highway - or rather the "scenic byway". We were about 30 miles from any town or official campsite, so I wasn't surprised when an old man pulled over to ask me if I was okay when I was running with no food or water tens of miles from any civilization. I could easily see the campsite from the road, so I cut cross-country straight through the desert to get back.
|Mt Holmes. A good reference for the immensely open terrain is trying to find our bright yellow tent.|
For roads like these in a barely 4-wheel drive vehicle it shouldn't count as a rest day. Ah, but it was natural beauty at its finest!
|A very, very, very long dirt road that weaves in and around a canyon system draining into Lake Powell.|
Good to be back in Boulder, but feeling a little sick today. By the time I had made it up to the Royal Arch I was pretty beat so I jogged along home. Better to cut it a little short than push too far and exacerbate the sickness.
3/27, Friday - Sickly - 4 miles, 400', 0:43
I set out with intention to do something a bit substantial (I even brought water), but my plans were thwarted by my poor choice of breakfast. Apparently 4 slices of sourdough bread and a hundred or so snap peas make for a pretty miserable experience. The bouncing became so terrible that I just turned around and walked home. It was a pretty embarrassing and deflating experience, though retrospectively the whole debacle did certainly give me a chuckle.
3/28, Saturday - Ward/Lyons Bike - 69 miles, 5600', 4:34
My roommate pointed out that I hadn't ridden the road bike that occupies a quarter of my broom-cupboard bedroom in like a year, so it was time I gave it some use. I donned my spandex and brain bucket and clipped in my special shoes to my special pedals and pedaled on up (keyword up) Lefthand Canyon to Ward. I stopped at the general store and bought a couple cookies and then headed down to Lyons. The rolling hills back to Boulder had a significant headwind, so I was stifled quite a bit by that. Its always nice to get up high. The views of the Indian Peaks showed that there is still a lot of snow, and we're still a long way from any reasonably quick travel on foot.
Not even totaling this week since it was so weird and inconsistent. Biking doesn't hit those little balance muscles, it hits the big muscles and really puts them to work. I haven't legs this sore in a long while! Time for 10 or so days of hard training for the 50k!
3/29, Sunday - Green Mt - 12 miles, 3200', 2:52
I took Bear canyon up but found my legs to be thoroughly depleted from yesterday's big ride, so I ended up just treating most of the ascent as a recovery hike, which ended up being really pleasant. There were throngs of people out today so I took the social trail to the 2nd and downclimbed the Freeway to dodge the crowds.
3/30, Monday - Green Mtn - 10 miles, 3000', 1:40
I lost track of time and didn't leave until 5:20 and ended up cranking the 1.8 miles up baseline road relatively quickly only to find the group still chilling in the parking lot. Trails are generally dry at this point, so we made pretty good time. Sage Canaday was there hiking, running and filming for his YouTube channel so I might show up in that - edit, I did. I chatted with him a bit on the run back to the parking lot, he seems like a cool (and fast) dude.
3/31, Tuesday - Easy - 3 miles, 100', 0:25
Gah, the quad soreness keeps on, so I cut it short this morning and just did a simple loop around campus. Hopefully, a day without vert will fix em' up.
4/1, Wednesday - Creek Intervals - 8 miles, 300', 1:08
The goal was 3 x 1 mile. I was able to get the first mile in 5:39 but I wasn't able to find much gas left in the tank afterwards. My hat was blown off my head twice by the wind on #2, so that one was a bust. On the third I wasn't even close to sub 6 which was massively disappointing. I think the long break from running over spring break got to me. But this was bad, really bad. However, several hours after this run, my legs felt really good, like they just needed to be woken up. Weird.
4/2, Thursday - AM: 2nd Flatiron + Green Mtn - 9 miles, 3000', 1:55 - PM: Mt Sanitas - 11 miles, 1700', 1:36
Slow up the 2nd, then according to my GPS, a quick pace up to Green. I'm really convinced now that my forte is power hiking up super steep or kamikaze downhill-ing steeps. Ryan Smith took my CR down Saddle Rock on Monday. He wins actual races and sets actual course records, so I reclaimed my virtual unofficial record. I met with some RMR for a Sanitas tag in the evening as a break from studying. We for some reason blitzed up the swoop loop, while snow blowing sideways froze to my legs (it should have been a tights day).
4/3, Friday - Bouldering
Jack and I retreated to the climbing gym in preparation for Saturday's nonsense.
4/4, Saturday - Mt Sanitas x 10 - 35 miles, 13,600', 9:04
So yeah, that was a lot of Sanitas -- and I don't even really like Sanitas anyways! Good stupid fun with the RMR, we had a makeshift aid station in the parking lot, so I didn't carry water or food while "running". I easily consumed more water than I ever have in the past (probably a little over 100oz), and found that Hydra from CarboPro works very well for me (watermelon flavor is gooood) . Laps 1-3 went smoothly, 4, 5 & 6 were definitely the low point and somehow for laps 7 to 10, I felt pretty good. I followed Ryan Smith's advice and went with CarboPro, Coke and chips for calories. As he says "Science has no answer for chips and coke". We had a crew of about 10 people who did all 10 among many others who came out for pieces of the fun. We ended by cheering in the finishers and hanging out in the parking lot with some beers and the remaining food we had for an hour or so afterwards, which was a fine closure of the outing.
|I ended up splitting the GPS activity into 2 pieces, but here is the second which gives a good flavor of the day.|
|Finishers, with the dog standing in for the three who had left.|
I knew Saturday was big, but I didn't expect quite that much volume from this week. A proper week for sure. Its been really fun getting whooped lately by guys in the Rocky Mountain Runners, its both humbling and enlightening. I mean, I definitely wouldn't have gone for Coke had it not been thrust at me when I looked like death.