Friday, May 23, 2014

5/19 to 5/23

50ft of gain was about as much as my poor legs could handle. Parked at the East Boulder Rec and did an old high school cross country loop. Oh, the memories. Hip felt dangerously good. I felt like I was pushing the pace a bit before I slowed down for a fairly long warm-down, but I was only really at 7:30 pace - though I think my leg muscles weakest link today. I think I'll do flat all this week, despite my fear of pavement.

5/20, Tuesday - Flat, 48:34, 6 miles, 200ft
After an amazing physical therapy session, I jogged out of the office and set out on my feet for good 6 miles. Felt way better than I did yesterday despite going a smidge faster. 7:30's felt about perfect today, though I feel like my pace is wildly erratic. I often surge down to 5:50 for 100m then fall back to 8:30 for the next 100m. I suppose my lack of traditional running as of late has taken its toll.

5/21, Wednesday - Boulder Canyon, 1:25:41, 9.5 miles, 500ft
Great to be back on what last year was the equivalent of my current 2nd Flatiron jaunts (i.e. I ran it near obsessively). Ran to Eben G. park where I met up with Elliot. He joined me from the mouth of the canyon to the end of the path and back, at which point I finished up back to my apartment. Pretty easy paces the entire time until the last two miles where I split two ~7:00 miles before waddling an actual glorified walk the half mile back home. Apparently I also ducked under a huge rainstorm while I was up in the canyon which was convenient.

5/22, Thursday - Around, 30:35, 4 miles, 125ft
Blah, Blah, Blah 30 minute jogger literally around with my buddy Nir (pronounced "near"). I ran with last year and he just about died. This year I noticed he's improved significantly and thus mandates him accompanying me on an adventure!

5/23, Friday - Bear Peak, Green Mountain, Flagstaff Mountain 3:11:18, 12 miles, 4,100ft
Did I really think I would stay on flats this whole week? Pish-posh and up I go! I've been curious to link a Walker Ranch loop in from Chat, as well as ascend Shadow Canyon so did. As a preface, this Walker Ranch "loop" I did was but a miniscule segment of the ~9 mile loop itself. General plan was to start from the Shanahan Ridge Trailhead, summit Bear Peak (maybe South Boulder Peak), descend west and link Walker Ranch to Eldorado Canyon and then in near certainty hike Shadow Canyon whilst drying tears from my eyes before returning to the car. That's a mouthful of words, but how did it really happen?

Work was a half day in honor of Memorial Day, so I had a sizable chunk of time to work with. "How about I do something borderline irresponsible" I thought. I ran the approach to Fern Canyon casually but still somewhat deliberate in my effort. Climbing Fern Canyon and I didn't even bother wasting my time trying to run - I can't run more than 10ft before needing to stop here. Summitted Bear Peak in 59:45 which I felt was pretty solid for me. I got too caught up in a conversation with another fellow on the summit to remember to take pictures today, but with the murky skies, its no matter. Decided to skip out on South Boulder for the first round of peaks. I nimbly descended Bear's west ridge cutting through the burn scar from two years ago. I reached my turnoff to go to Walker Ranch, where I was met with a sternly worded sign strung onto barbed wire - shucks.
Bear Peak hiding behind a tree as I work on my next objective: Green Mountain. South Boulder Peak is just out of sight at the top right.
Not a "summit selfie" but a seflie nonetheless. Yay or Nay on the hair spilling out the backwards hat with the shades?
This but the kabosh on the loop, as it would push things to 20+ miles and 7,000ft of vert which is too much right now. My detour sent me plodding along up Green Mountain's Southwestern gently sloped trail. I was able to maintain a run until it joined the steeper ridge and thus its switchbacks chiseled with tall rocky steps. Green was nice, but it appeared I had a bit more time before the weather turned to sour.
I'm no floral expert as my mom, her sisters and their mom are, but if I'm not mistaken this is a blue-ish purple-ish flower
Dancing down Greenman, I met a fiendish little winged fellow at the Saddle Rock trail junction. He seemed very curious - too curious. Then I realized he had me cornered on the switchback. He was noticeable aggressive, letting out bursts of squawking as his dark eyes met mine. As I moved around I lured him to one side of a tree and tore down the trail. I glanced over my shoulder: its Usain Bird, the thing is near as fast as me! I cranked up the speed and didn't look back for another 100 yards or so, he was gone now. Now I've been within 30ft of a bear, 5ft of a moose (stressful), but I think I can say with complete confidence I have never been as scared as when this satanic bird charged me. I talked to a ranger I met a mile later, the bird was displeased with him as well - at the same place. We came to the conclusion there must be some sort of nest nearby it was protecting.
Storm clouds rolling in off of the Continental Divide as seen from the summit of Green Mountain
Anyways, I proceeded over to Flagstaff for my 3rd summit of the day and seemed markedly more tired than everyone else up there - probably because they drove! I looked over at Sanitas, pssssh. Not feeling it at all. Probably could have if I really cared to utterly drown myself in suffering, but today was not that day. Descended to Eben G. park and hopped on a bus.
This deer seemed a bit proud of its fanny and posed as such
Le Tour de Chauatauqua going from left to right
So wow, yeah, that was near 50 miles this week (including Torrey's Peak from my last post) even while taking Saturday off (posting this on Friday but I'll be on the road all tomorrow). Maybe not a good thing to ramp up, but in terms of time on my feet and perceived effort it didn't feel too out of place. Amazing how much easier the miles come on the flats, and to my surprise not too much at the sacrifice of a good time. If you haven't noticed, I've made each day's subheading "click-able" if you care to nerd out and see my GPS route. If you do I fully expect you to comment that I exaggerated a mileage or vertical by rounding up a smidge to make aesthetically nicer numbers. Next week I'll look to tone down a bit so hopefully by the weekend I'll be strong enough to get up 14er (all the way up!).

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely need to visit Colorado and hit some of these trails.