Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 2 - November 8

11/2, Monday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2500', 1:22
Daylight savings meant that it was headlamps from the get-go. I much prefer using my headlamp in snow, especially with a big group so I can use not only my own light but all of the other lights reflected off of the crystals, the white should be here soon. Tonight also happened to be my 100th summit of the year, it was nice to get that with RMR friends who have been there for at 30 or so of them, and supplied much of the motivation of staying motivated all year.
Cool group a folks, not sure who it is that felt they needed to compensate for the moon not being in the picture! :)
11/3, Tuesday - Regency & Royal Arch - 8 miles, 2100', 1:51
Ran up to Four Pines and over to the Regency. The Regency is notorious for offering one 4th class route hidden among a web of dead-ends and higher difficulty scrambling. Today I suddenly found myself on a tapering flake which required a sloping mantle maneuver that I couldn't commit to, so I had to downclimb and traverse a bit. Next I went up the trivial east face of the royal arch and downclimbed the trickier 5.6 west face. I'd done this a couple times before, but never without sticky rubber, so it took some extra time. With all my slow scrambling I was forced to skip my planned ascent of the 5th.

11/4, Wednesday - Last Flatironette & Green Mtn - 9 miles, 2900', 1:41
Met Ford and Jack on campus and I huffed and puffed to keep up on the runnable terrain -- Jack has imposed a rule of no hiking east of the mesa trail. From the Woods Quarry we marched straight up and accidentally onto the Last Flatironette. I had no idea what slab we were on but the difficulty was easy (which was important for Ford, a relatively new but enthusiastic scrambler). The downclimb ended up being an easy hang-off. We finished up to Green and took an odd combination of trails back down to finish off a great outing. Pretty chilly, a few flakes up top!

11/5, Thursday - Green Mtn - 9 miles, 3000', 1:52
The precipitation that fell last night turned to snow around 6,500ft so I went up and down the  Amphitheater trail. Maybe 2 or 3 inches of snow on the summit and a slippery descent. I can tell I haven't dealt with cold temps in a while as I was way over dressed.

11/6, Friday - 1st Flatiron & Green Mtn - 9 miles, 3100', 1:58
On the run up I wasn't sure exactly my plan but I hadn't been on the 1st for a while and it looked free of snow. The scramble wasn't particularly fast without sticky rubber and 3 weeks absent from the rock, but all my cruxes felt fine. Finished up to Green and jogged back down. There was an unnerving amount of ice lingering on the upper 800ft of the mountain and a blanket of clouds obscuring all views, winter is here.

11/7, Saturday - Mt Lady Washington (13,281') - 9 miles, 3900', 3:10
Jack, Joe and I started at the Longs Peak trailhead and jog-slogged up to the Chasm Junction from which we began the steep hike up Mt Lady Washington. Perfect blue skies and surprisingly non-violent wind made for a perfect summit with the panoramic view of Longs' east face which Lady Washington is notorious for. I was surprised how well I was able to navigate my typical route in the trees with unbroken snow, though I definitely missed a few turns.
Longs looking as freakin' awesome as always
11/8 - Torreys Pk (14,267') & Grays Pk (14,270') - 14 miles, 5000', 5:07
Although the dirt road up to the trailhead was hardpacked snow with tire tracks, I decided not to push my luck and started running from the highway. First thing I see when I get to the actual trailhead was the same exact car I drove, nice. The overly popular and thus eroded standard trail had a layer of trodden snow which made the going much nicer up to the Kelso turnoff. Kelso Ridge proved to be an exciting ascent with all of the difficult class 3/4 sections getting a 5th class upgrade due to the snow. The final technical section had my usual holds covered in loose snow so I was forced into a sketchy crimp and edge. Amazingly, I never even put on my spikes the whole day. Getting over to Grays was a forced effort, but I can't pass up such an easy tick on a 14er summit. The descent was glorious, plowing through snow then bombing down that snowy, car-tire packed road back to the car. Weather was beautiful as well, comfortable in a t-shirt and clear skies enabled views from Pikes to Longs to the southern Sawatch.
Reasonably exposed
This short move from the leading man to where I took the picture stumped one of the guys in this party I passed, it was by far the technical crux of the day.
View of Kelso Ridge while descending Grays
Week Totals:
63 miles

So that marks one week of trail running without any horrific ankle ligament destruction, which is good. Happy to getting back to schedule that feels consistent and sustainable.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October 12 - November 1

10/12, Monday - Green Mtn - 6 miles, 2600', 1:28
With RMR. Getting my heartrate up too high makes my teeth throb still, so I was really conservative. It doesn't cause damage (or so the doctor told me), but it can be quite painful so I kept it quite relaxed. On the bright-side, my ankle felt much stronger than it did a couple weeks ago.

10/13, Tuesday - Off
Teeth hurt a ton, school stuff, other crap.

10/14, Wednesday - TdF #5: 1st Flatiron - 3 miles, 1600', 0:57
As I should expect for these things, this was another disaster on my part. Felt pretty tired from the beginning then I could easily tell I hadn't scrambled in a couple weeks when I got on the rock. I split ~14:30 on the face, 3:30 off PR pace. Downclimbed in 2:30, 1 minute off PR pace. Took 10 steps then rolled my ankle really badly, I heard pops. I was on enough Advil for my teeth that the pain didn't set in right away, but I knew the damage was done so I humbly walked back down. I would have been happier just scrambling up to the arete and watching Matthias obliterate the FKT by a full minute, 32:14.
Even a slow and disappointing day can still be quite thrilling on the 1st. Photo: Dan Mottinger
10/15, Thursday - Bike: SuperFlag - 20 miles, 500', 1:20
Since I'm back on the injury machine, I took a casual jaunt up the hill and ended up PR-ing the ascent (barely, but I did). Some nice autumn colors are showing in Boulder now, which made the ride a real pick me up from all the injury n' surgery annoyances.

10/16, Friday - Bike -Poorman Loop - 13 miles, 1200', 0:54
Easy cruise up the creek path and over Poorman Dr for a quick loop before dark. Comparing my splits from similar efforts from today and when I road this climb on my road bike is completely lopsided. Road bikes can just crank out miles so fast!

10/17, Saturday - Bike: North Boulder/Longmont - 34 miles, 1300', 1:41
Took the road bike out for a quicker loop out on the farm country northeast of Boulder. Tried to keep the pace somewhat tempo-ish, but since I'm still pretty new to this biking stuff, I'm not sure exactly what pacing is for me. Heading back into Boulder I thought I was moving alright at 22 mph on the flats, then some lady wheeled around me with ease! Only in Boulder!

10/18, Sunday - South Boulder - 15 miles, 500', 1:51
Met Jack on the creek path and we ran steady mile splits at 6:55 - 7:05 min/mi for the first 8 miles, then he wanted to throw in a faster 4 miles. He really broke away from me after the first 2 miles as he kept getting faster and I did the opposite. I circled back around (we were on a 2mi loop at this point), and met him on the backside after some recovery minutes and tried to hold on for dear life for another half mile or so before we ran an "easy" (for him) pace back to campus/home.

Week Totals: Running
24 miles

Week Totals: Cycling
61 miles

Has to be one of my lightest weeks in a long time. I've been averaging 17.5 hours cumulatively this year, so 7:45 is quite a step down. Then again, its reasonably warranted considering I had a surgery and an injury. I've also come to the realization that the short season of big alpine adventures is over, and the much longer season of grinding out miles, vert and workouts between homework is here. Its definitely the more miserable season, but I say that with endearment!

For the next week I rolled my right ankle on Monday prompting me to take a full week of rest and start really evaluating my downhill running technique as I'm obviously doing something wrong.

10/26, Monday - Treadmill/Track/Spin - 4 miles, 1:00
Messed around on the treadmill, indoor track and spin bike at the rec center for a couple hours. I wound up running about 4 miles. Good workout.

10/27, Tuesday -  AM & PM Creek Path - 10 miles, 500', 1:20
4 miles in the morning at a slow lethargic pace then 6 miles in the evening feeling much better, weirdly.

10/28, Wednesday - Boulder Resevoir - 7 miles, 300', 0:50
With Jack and Kory, we did a lap around Boulder Res. I was feeling very tired which was bad because Jack and Kory usually run ~6:30 pace and today I was struggling to stay at 7:00 pace. I may have got back to the car last, but it was a fun time complimented with breakfast at Einstein Bagels afterwards.

10/29, Thursday - Boulder Canyon - 8 miles, 500', 1:02
Good ol' creek path to its western terminus. I was surprised to not see Sage since he's running this path twice a day right now. I checked Strava when I got home and I actually did just narrowly miss seeing him. Effort felt much easier than yesterday, easily held 7:20 pace average.

10/30, Friday - Creek Path - 8 miles, 300', 1:04
Cruise on the South Boulder bike paths.

10/31, Saturday - 2nd Flatiron, Sunset Flatironette, Green Mtn, Bear Pk, South Boulder Pk - 15 miles, 5900', 3:59
I hadn't planned on returning to trails yet, but it was a holiday and I wanted to enjoy it. I didn't have a big plan, so I headed for the default 2nd Flatiron. I scrambled easy in 12 minutes then decided to tack on Chase the Sun before the march up to Green. I took Bear Canyon all the way down the Mesa Trail, which winds a relatively flat path down for dropping 2500ft. Next, I enjoyed the 3000ft climb up Fern Canyon to Bear Pk and bop to South Boulder Pk. Descended Shadow Canyon for the first time in a long while then took the Mesa Trail back to Chautauqua.
Clouds pouring over the Continental Divide, unfortunately my iPhone camera can't quite capture a lot of the expansive, but far away peaks.
11/1, Sunday - Challenger, Green Mtn, 2nd Flatiron, Chase the Sun, 2 x Green Mtn - 15 miles, 7500', 5:14
I started off heading up to Morning After, but after sitting at the 5.7 overhanging crux I couldn't find a sequence I felt comfortable doing without sticky rubber (I usually like wearing my re-soled shoes for anything over 5.4 excluding the 1st since I have every hold and sequence memorized). After a rather involved traverse back to dirt I romped up to Challenger which I scrambled before hiking up to Green. For the descent I chose Gregory Ridge a variant of the standard Gregory-Ranger route, which I essentially never go down since its so indirect. Up next I took on the Free for All route on the 2nd Flatiron, which although technically being 5.6, I've done enough times and the 5.6 is literally 5 or 8 feet long I felt fine in my running shoes. I tacked on Chase the Sun again, its a fun little addition after the 2nd. After summitting Green for the second time I was trying to convince myself to skip the 3rd lap, but I really was intent on getting to 99 summits of Green for 2015 today so I could do the 100th with my friends tomorrow night. So, after descending to the Amphitheater I did a u-turn and slowly hiked back up for summit number 99. I had almost forgotten how early sunset is with daylight savings last night, but I thankfully made it back to my bike before things really got dark.
I'm a big fan of Challenger
Looking to Bear on the hike from Challenger to Green
Mountains are looking white nowadays.
Week Totals:
68 miles

Got some good distance throughout the week and capitalized on barely healthy enough ankles to enjoy the best Boulder has to offer on the weekend. Not even sure what I'm trying to do looking forwards, Nolans or something of the like is certainly the objective for next summer, but I'd like to put a race or other objective on the schedule for the period of February - April to maintain motivation in the coming cold and dark months. Currently I'm thinking about the Mississippi 50 or Behind the Rocks 50M/50k but I normally throw all my plans in the trash and do something else.