High in Colorado

High in Colorado
Photo: Mandy Lea Photo

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Week in Review: April 22-28 -- Back to the Bubble

Monday, April 22nd
OFF—Calves were a little sore from the past few days of road running

Tuesday, April 23rd
OFF—Calves still a little sore

Wednesday, April 24th    
PM—5 Miles—1:33—2,400’—Green Mountain
After the eleven hour drive from Kansas City to Boulder I had to shake out the legs on some familiar territory. After running the Baseline Trail to Amphitheater I fell into a power hike all the way to the summit. The view from the top was as beautiful as I remembered. Easy descent since this was my first time running in snow in a LONG time.

Thursday, April 25th
AM—10 Miles—2:29—3,250’—Flagstaff and Green Mountains
I parked at Ebin G Fine Park and began an easy run up Flagstaff. I was able to maintain a running pace the entire way up, but was startled at how long it took me to reach the top. Damn altitude. I proceeded on to Green via Ranger/Greenman and came down the same way. I never pushed on any of the ascent or descent. Easing into things…
PM—3.5 Miles—0:58—1,700’—Sanitas
My legs felt like crap, but I was tired of sitting in the coffee shop all day. So I decided to head out for a short one. Easy up, easy down.  

Friday, April 26th
AM—8.5 Miles—2:13—2,750’—Green Mountain
Great morning outing with Trent Briney. We headed up the 1st/2nd Flatiron access trail where he proceeded to kick my ass on the climb. Again, damn altitude. The upper portions of trail between the top of the Flatiron and the connection with Greenman were a bit snowy and gave me a chance to not get smoked by Trent too much. We descended down Bear Canyon and rode the Mesa Trail back to the Chautauqua lot. For the most part, the descent was a nice, cruiser pace that allowed us to enjoy the beautiful day, but we did push it in a few stretches. This was the first time I started giving a decent effort on some technical portions of descents, which happens to be one of my favorite parts of mountain running.
PM—5 Miles—1:40—2,400’—Green Mountain
I told myself I would take a break this evening. Trent and I finished running at 2 PM and I began this trip up Green at 5 PM. Not much rest. Death march up, easy down with some bursts on the descent down the front side.

Saturday, April 27th
AM—7.5 Miles—2:15—2,900’—Bear Peak
I decided to head up Bear Peak via Fern Canyon from the Cragmore TH with Tony Molina. In over a year of living in Boulder this was my first trip up Fern Canyon. Weird? My legs were not having any part of uphill running. So as soon as we hit Fern I fell into a hike all the way to the summit. At the saddle things got a bit interesting with some steep icy and packed sections of snow. Microspikes would have made this stretch nothing more than a typical steep section of trail, but without spikes it seemed like a death trap. We descended Bear Canyon. My legs were feeling great on the descent. I never really pushed as hard as I’m capable and I still put a 6-minute gap on Tony from the junction of Green Bear/Bear Canyon/Bear Peak West Ridge trails to the junction of Bear Canyon/Mesa (maybe 1.7 miles?). I love running fast downhill. The mental stimulation and the price you pay for any errors in footwork are certainly appealing.
PM—4 Miles—1:24—2,200’—Green Mountain
Super-slow on the way up. I took the first few switchbacks of the Greenman descent easy since I kept falling through the snow. After the switchbacks I opened up a little. I approached the Amphitheater descent with some reckless abandon and just had a blast as I completed that section of trail in around 3.5 minutes, give or take.

Sunday, April 28th
AM---4 Miles—0:50—1,150’—Flagstaff
I decided to get in a short, easy run before meeting up with Jack for some climbing in Boulder Canyon. I parked at the Gregory lot with no idea where I was going with only an hour to run. After heading up Gregory Canyon I decided to just head over for an easy summit of Flagstaff so that I could cruise down to my truck and be on time for climbing. I ran into Peter Bakwin and Jorge Delplata on the descent and may have made loose plans to join Peter on a Flatiron scramble in the near future. Any time you can join a badass like that for an outing you’d be a fool to decline. 
AM/PM—Sport Climbing in Boulder Canyon
I forgot how tough sport climbing can be. I’m sore as hell now. Sport climbing doesn’t seem as intuitive to me as trad. So, I end up flailing about on the wall for way too long until I’m completely spent. Fun day though. I almost forgot how breathtaking Boulder Canyon can be. 

Time—13hours 25minutes
Elevation Gain—18,750 feet 

Wow! It feels great to be back in Boulder, CO! I think I arrived at the most wonderful time of the year. Spring is in the air: birds are chirping, flowers blooming, streams flowing, and snow is melting!

After being at such low elevations for the past five months or so I can definitely feel the altitude with every uphill step I take. However, I’m surprised at how quickly I’m beginning to feel comfortable on the ascents. Hopefully I’ll be near normal for Quad Rock on May 11th. My times for this week are slow as hell, I realize that. My intent for this week was just to spend as much time in the mountains as possible and begin the acclimation process. I think I did a good job of this (I almost had 20k feet of vertical in five days). I think loads of vertical in as short of distances as possible will be a recurring theme for the summer.

I can already tell that not working for the summer and living in the Tacoma will have a positive impact on my running. It’s hard not to run twice a day when your only other option for amusement is to hang out in your truck or a coffee shop all goddamned day. 

Well, here’s to a wonderful summer of carefree running, scrambling, climbing, and whatever-the-hell-else in the beautiful mountains!

1 comment:

  1. These weekly recaps look strangely familiar, where have I seen this before.....? Hmmm....

    Welcome back.