High in Colorado

High in Colorado
Photo: Mandy Lea Photo

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week in Review: January 6-12—Back to Boulder

Monday, January 6th
AM—2 Miles—0:17—0’—Orrick Roads
First run after eleven days off with a vicious cold. Brutally cold this morning with -30F wind chills.

Tuesday, January 7th
PM—5 Miles—0:38—0’—Orrick Roads
Considerably warmer today. Went out with a jacket and tights, but could have got by with just a long-sleeved shirt and shorts. Legs still felt crappy after coming off my cold.

Wednesday, January 8th
OFF—Drive from Missouri to Colorado

Thursday, January 9th
AM—11 Miles—3:41—4,100’—Green Mountain and Bear Peak
I arrived in Boulder around 6AM this morning. Before 7AM I had my running clothes on and was heading up Green Mountain. The combination of being at sea level the past six weeks and the trails being covered in snow made it a chore to get to the summit. I called JV from the summit to arrange a rendezvous somewhere along Fern. The trip up Bear was pretty miserable. Relentless winds, being in the shade, and plenty of snow drifts left me chilled to the bone. The descent of Fern was a blast with perfect snow pack all the way. Felt great to experience the burn of elevation again after six weeks without even seeing a mountain.

Friday, January 10th
AM—6 Miles—1:23—1,600’—Flagstaff Mountain
I started off from Settlers Park with super tight hamstrings that had me questioning my decision to run. They eventually loosened up and I was able to run somewhat. The snow and ice helped keep my pace slow-as-hell, which isn’t a bad thing since I’m trying to ease back into things. I hit the summit in ~50 minutes versus my PR of 29 minutes. The descent started out rough with my quads wondering what the hell was going on. They eventually accepted the fact that we were running downhill and I hit a comfortable pace for the remaining descent. The round trip was terribly unimpressive—1:23 versus a PR of 0:49. Oh, the joys of getting acclimated…

Saturday, January 11th
AM—13 Miles—2:52—3,800’—Green Mountain
I started off with the intention of a Mesa Trail out-and-back, but my legs felt descent when I reached the Bear Canyon junction so I decided to take the easy way up Green Mountain. The initial climb out of Chautauqua was into a fierce headwind the entire way. There were a few places in Bear Canyon that I power hiked due to snow-induced bad footing. Once I hit the West Ridge trail I hiked all the way to the summit since the snow was an unconsolidated mess. I was a bit please with how good my legs and lungs felt today given how crappy they felt the previous two days. On the way down I ran into Basit and Shad, chatted with them for a few minutes, decided to join them for another ascent of Green, decided to bail on the second summit of Green since I’d only had a couple of apples to eat all day, and then made my way back to Chautauqua. Always a blast to descend on perfectly packed snow even if you are wearing an old pair of 110’s with no tread and held together by Shoe Goo.

Sunday, January 12th
AM—3 Miles—1:22—2,000’—Mount Sanitas
While sitting at the coffeeshop I came to the conclusion that I should take today pretty easy. So, I decided to head up Sanitas and explore around the mountain a little bit. I tried to stay off the trail as much as possible and enjoyed some easy scrambling/bouldering when the opportunity presented itself. I found some sweet goat trails on the way down and never stepped foot on the actual trail until reaching the staircases near the very bottom. Love that off-trail stuff.

Time— 10 hours 16 minutes
Elevation Gain— 11,500 feet

Well, 2014 got off to a bit of a rough start with me being sick the first five days of January. I’m not terribly sure that going out for a run in -30 wind chills was the best way to celebrate being over my cold, but it felt great to finally run again. 

The first few days of running in Boulder were a bit of a challenge and left me wondering how long it would take to get acclimated again. Fortunately, come Saturday and Sunday I started feeling close(er) to normal. Right now the biggest challenge is running in the snow; I haven’t really ran in snow since winter 2011-12. I almost forgot how fun it is to cruise down perfectly packed snow. 

I’m definitely excited to be back in Boulder and running up/down mountains again. In four days of running in Boulder I surpassed the total elevation gain I had for the entire month of December running in Missouri. 

Oh, almost forgot to mention that I registered for my first race of 2014—the Free State Trail Runs 100km in Lawrence, KS. Not sure what made me decide on this one since it doesn’t seem to be particularly scenic or challenging in terms of elevation gain. I think I picked it mainly because of the timing. It’s on April 19th. I was looking for an early season 100km. Guess I found it. 

Looking down at Boulder on my way up Bear Peak. Feels good to be home...

Green Mountain on a windy morning

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