Sunday, June 29, 2014

6/23 to 6/29

6/23, Monday - Green Mountain, 10 miles, 2,800ft, 2:25

Got back at 4:30 AM from Italy (obviously in the dark) and thus didn't get to see the Flatirons. After 4 hours of sleep I arose and headed up to Chatauqua. Uphills were a real struggle, not that even the downhills felt any better. Jet lag in full effect but I was happy enough to be back that it didn't bother me too much.

6/24, Tuesday - AM: 2nd Flatiron, 3 miles, 1,300ft, 1:03:48

I woke up around 2 or 3 in the morning so I killed time until there was enough light to head out. Low lying clouds provided a mysteriously themed scramble in ~17 minutes. I felt horribly uncoordinated most of the time, whether it was my legs, sleep schedule or being my first climb in my Altra Lone Peaks' I couldn't say. Saw some deer and got above the clouds, so it was a good morning.
Atop the 2nd Flatiron above the clouds

PM: 2 x 1 mile, 5.5 miles, 100ft, 39:40

Went out again after work feeling surprisingly well for being awake for around 15 hours at that point (coffee, coffee, coffee!). Did some interval miles: 1 mile warm-up (7:44), 1 mile hard (6:30), 1 mile easy (8:15), 1 mile hard (6:18), 1.5 mile warm-down (8:00 pace). Feels good to feel horrible sometimes. Almost angry at myself for finding such pleasure in a type of workout I normally consider myself to despise.

6/25, Wednesday - AM: 2nd Flatiron, 3 miles, 1,300ft, 52:42

Nearly fell asleep on the move today, I actually took a break at the base and then another half-way up the climb. Lazy scramble in 19 minutes, but I felt much more coordinated on the rock than I did yesterday. PM: Grabbed another easy 3 miles after work with some friends along the creek path.

6/28, Saturday - AM: Mt Sherman (14,035), Mt Sheridan (13,748), 8 miles,  3,400ft, 3:37:02 | PM: Collegiate Peaks Tour, 10 miles, 2,300ft, 2:49

Slept at the trailhead in the midst of a fairly strong wind hoping it would subside by morning. It didn't at all. The morning was cold, cloudy and even more windy. I scrunched up my face and headed up the trail. Should have waited longer to start, so the snow could soften as I ended up having to ascend a fairly steep snow field that was nigh ice. In the end I remembered a technique I read about using small rocks as makeshift ice tools, it works amazingly well actually. First headed up Sheridan where I was completely engulfed in a cloud and even more wicked winds. The cold screwed up my camera battery, so I only got one picture from the whole outing: this one from the summit marker on Sheridan.
I was hunkered down behind a rock wall. I wish the picture could capture the wind!
I was sort of apprehensive about getting disoriented in the cloud and descending the wrong side. so I constantly made myself point back down to the saddle. I danced down the scree back to the saddle and started up Sherman. After turning a corner and being slammed with winds that seemed could blow a 130 pound dude off of a mountain I turned around. After descending the snowfield I was looking back up and decided to just go up the scree on the less windy side. Made it up, finally. A few things regarding Sherman: it is not fun, it does not have good views, it does not have any geological form (in other words its Cameron's best friend). Whatever, another one to add to the list.

After a sandwich I decided I wanted more!

Leaving from the N. Cottonwood trail head near Buena Vista I did a rambling tour of some of the Sawatch Range. I thought about going for a summit, but these guys are pretty big and even the smallest would denote at least 4,000ft of gain. After 4 miles of beautiful and well maintained trail (seriously its beautiful), I climbed up a bit of scree thinking to summit Mt Harvard, but I got up the first part and another blast of wind nearly blew away my prized "Best Rental" hat. I also was needless to say quite tired at this point. I bumbled my way back down and ran into an old acquaintance from the dorms last year. It's so cool seeing people you know out in the wilderness. Definitely a stellar training day with 18 miles and 5,800 ft of climbing at an average elevation of around 12,000ft. I was at altitude a while in terms of time too, 6 hours of activity, but I slept at 12k and never really dipped below 10k all day. I'll be back in this neck of the woods for sure.
These guys are big. I also now realize I was dressed like a hunter (Bright Orange & Camo)
Tired feet with the crisp dirtline.

6/29, Sunday - Marshall Mesa, 5 miles, 400ft, 43:52

Thought about heading for the hills again, but I'm glad I didn't. It would have been a wasted drive up because there is now way I could have gotten up anything at all after yesterday. It was a hot and shade-less venture. I seem to always have my most exhausted moments all in a certain area of South Boulder. Weird.

I'm really happy with my legs right now. It seems like they are finally coming around and realizing that 10k vert a week is normal. Still can't quite touch 15k yet, but I suppose its a progression (or an injury, my pick). Totals for the week were 45 miles and 12,000ft of vertical, feeling pretty good.

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