Friday, May 30, 2008

Green Mountain

5 miles
2,400 vertical
33:50up/56:30 RT

Had an awesome run this morning up Green via Amphitheater/Saddle Rock/Greenman, sticking to the main trail and no shortcutting whatsoever. My goal was to go quick enough to beat my time of 37:56 from yesterday and to maintain quick turnover and avoid any big step ups (just focus on efficiency). I was not at all serious this morning.

As I went along, I noticed that my time checks were not too shabby, but was not paying too close attention. The upcoming trail was passing in review quickly and I knew I was moving really well despite not giving it 100%. About 2/3rds of the way up, I realized that my time was 4-5 minutes faster than the previous day! I could not believe my eyes and started to bump up the pace a bit knowing that I could PR. I THINK my previous best is 35:35 on that route sticking to the trail, but I would have to research that number. Also the trail has changed a bit since, but I don’t think it is a 1:45 difference, maybe 30 seconds max? I think it helped to start at a reasonable pace and maintain/increase as I went, vs. burning myself too soon which I have been guilty of in the past.

(As an aside, I was wearing clunky road shoes, hiking shorts and had not yet sat in the bathroom.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Green Mountain

5 miles
2,400 vertical
1:01 RT

Had an awesome run up Green this morning, mainly because of the conditions.... fog over the plains, sun and warm a few hundred feet up the trail, clear to the West. It was the perfect temperature for running and the trail was a bit damp. It is always a nice treat when you climb up out of the clouds and gloom into a perfectly sunny morning.

Started off feeling like absolute crap and was completely winded for the first 5+ minutes even though I was going "easy". Started getting into a bit of a groove, but this meant feeling mildly crappy. At about 27 minutes, I bumped up the effort a bit to somewhere short of hard and made it to the top in 37:56. I was somewhat surprised by this given the lack of effort and overall lack of snap in my legs.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


3.5 miles
1,300 vertical
19:45 up/17 down

Felt good walking around today, but the moment I started running I knew I was not recovered from Monday and felt pretty sluggish. Figured it would take me 23 or 24 at the rate I was going. Put in seemingly high effort even though I was not pushing if that makes any sense. Did not even bother to look at the watch until the summit and was surprised to see that I was under 20. Went down East side/valley super easy, felt like I had 2 left feet.

Monday, May 26, 2008

S. Boulder, Bear and Green

~15.5 miles
~4,500 vertical

Had a great run this morning over the 3 peaks going up Towee, Shadow, over to Bear, down W. Ridge to Bear Canyon, up Green, down Bear Canyon to Mesa, Mesa to Bluestem and back to S. Mesa TH.

Despite the rainy weather, it turned out to be a great morning for a run. Today I was hoping to go fairly hard, but keep things reasonable and just run a fast, but sustainable pace. I felt like I did a great job pacing myself and felt awesome the whole run. The footing in spots was a bit slick, especially on the summits of S. Boulder and Bear, where it was raining steadily and visibility was nil. Running down W. Ridge of Bear was a highlight, perfect rolling singletrack, everything was green and moist, foggy, quiet. Just me, running fast and feeling completely focused.

Pushed the pace hard on the ups, but being very careful not to build lactic acid and then pushed beyond my comfort zone on the downhills and flats where footing was good. The trip back to S. Mesa TH always seems to drag on over the final mile +. I was hoping to beat 2:45 (an arbitrary estimate), but was discovering as the run progressed that I might beat 2:30. I layed it on for all I was worth at the end, sprinting as if I were neck and neck with somebody, trying to come in at 2:27:??, but missed it by two seconds. Oh well, I was quite happy with my time either way.

Headed into Boulder to watch the Bolder Boulder pro race. Rode my bike and followed the racers for the first 20 minutes. They were really flying, I was in disbelief. Really made me feel like a slowpoke.


13:59 end of Towee (where it meets "dirt road")
21:30 mouth of Shadow
46:20 saddle
52:40 S. Boulder summit
1:03 Bear Peak
1:21 Bear Canyon Jct
1:34 4 way on W. side of Green
1:38 Green summit
1:40 back at 4 way on W. side of Green
2:03 Mesa trail
2:15 Bluestem jct.
2:28:02 Finish

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Buffalo Peak Attempt

3.5 miles
2,350 vertical
5.5 hours

Attempted Buffalo Peak in Lost Creek Wilderness. The going up the ridge from Stoney Pass was amazingly tedious, lots of nasty deadfall, steep. Then around 10,000 feet, we started to encounter lots of snow that would sometimes support our weight, but usually collapse like a trap door. Lots of balancing along rotten logs to avoid snow, clamboring up and over rocks, under over trees. We got to within a mile of the summit and the snow just got progressively worse. Had to turn, as there was no way we could summit and make it back in time for holiday festivities. Not to mention it really sucks wallowing in this type of snow, especially on Memorial Day weekend when all I wanted was dry trails.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

S. Boulder, Bear, Green

~16 miles
~4,800 vertical
4hrs 37 minutes

Allison, Sierra and I got out for a great hike today, as the weather in Boulder was too tempting to resist. Started at S. Mesa, took our time heading to Shadow. At the mouth of Shadow, I ran ahead to the summit. Went on the mellow side of moderate, made the saddle in 24, summit in another 5, then ran back down to meet Allison and Sierra at the saddle. Went back up, then over to Bear. Spent some time lounging on each summit. Headed down W. Ridge, got in trouble by a ranger for not having the dog on leash, we honestly did not know it was a leash only trail as our choice of routes at the summit of Bear bypassed all signage.

Went up Green, then back down Bear Canyon to Mesa and then S. to Bluestem. My 20 oz. bottle ran out way too soon and I was quite parched. Got harrassed by another butch ranger near the TH, but we were totally legit. The heat is on for the holiday weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Green Mountain

8 miles
2,800 vertical
1hr 27ish minutes

Got out with GZ and Claude. Started from Chautauqua, went up Amphitheater/Saddle/Greenman at an easyish pace, shooting the breeze. ~39up from Gregory TH. It was super humid and socked in, raining a bit in spots. Went down West Ridge and Long Canyon to Gregory. My legs are still feeling it from last weekend, especially when Claude got out front, as he is really a downhill speed demon. The down was way tougher than the up in my opinion.

My recovery this week has been lousy. Sunday and Monday I could barely walk. Tuesday I felt good on the up and terrible on the down. The last two days felt lousy on the up and down. I hope to take it easy for the next few days (hiking or biking), then start fresh next week to get ready for Mt. Evans. I might even set foot on a track.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


5.5 miles
2,400 vertical

Went up Gregory/Ranger, still feeling tired so I went super easy, even spent a good bit of time walking. Same on the way down. Perfect morning, quiet except for a few guys on top of Green dumping out water as they were training for Denali. I of course filled up, since they carried water all that ways.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Green via Super Flag

7 miles
2,700 vertical

After an all time abysmal day at work, I just had to get out. My legs are feeling a bit better from the race, but still not 100%. If I were feeling better physically, I would have poured out all my frustrations on the trail and probably set a crazy PR, but instead I went the opposite direction and just focused on keeping it moderate and steady. It did my head a world of good to just be out there on the trails by myself and completely absord such a nice day. Went up Gregory, made the ranger shack in 17, Super Flag in 36, summit of Green via W. ridge at 54, back down via NE ridge in 30. Slacked bad on the descent as it is my downhill muscles that are most sore. I also got pretty darn hungry, need to start carrying a gel.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jemez Half Marathon
2,743 vertical
5th place overall/3rd 30-39 age division

We arrived at the race start/finish line at 5:40am after a fairly good night’s sleep, as Kevin was running the 50k starting at 6am. I watched he and the Roachs start, then had ample time to pace around and get ready for my race. Eating before an intense race for me is always difficult, but this morning I had no problem, perhaps eating too much? (2 packets of oatmeal, a few chunks of banana, a serving or so of Perpetuem and a few swigs of Hammer Gel in addition to water and Heed).I had a mellow warm up, maybe a mile+, but some of that were just trips back and forth from the car to the start/finish. Going into the race, I had no idea what to really expect, but Jason and Bill were thinking that I could do pretty well here. Jason gave me a heads up on one of the guys in my race, a successful runner from Albuquerque who runs for Team Inov-8 named Greg Feucht, so I stood on the line and made note of his whereabouts and was also sizing up everyone else who looked fast.The horn sounds the race start and we are off at a quick pace. Greg takes the lead, followed by a collegiate runner named Ben Fletcher who runs for Penn State I think. The first mile or so is on pavement/sidewalk and we form a tight group and continue to put distance on those behind us (I would guess a 5:30ish pace). I can’t wait to get to the trail, as I feel like such a klunker on the road.Greg and Ben start to slowly drift away on the downhill, but not by much and I keep them in sight most of the time, maybe 10-15 seconds back for a while. 2 or 3 miles into it, I am now only catching occasional glimpses of them and realize that they are much better runners and I will be fighting to hang onto 3rd, unless I can make up some time on the upcoming climb of around 1,800 feet or so. As the real climbing begins, I start to catch glimpses of Ben and it seems as though I am gaining on him. This keeps me motivated and although he is walking at times, he is digging deep and still moving quick up the steep hillside.I see that Greg is making great progress up the hill and he is clearly the strongest of us. It takes me most of the climb, but I eventually pass Ben with a few switchbacks to go until the high point/junction/aid station and move into second place and am happy with my placing at this point. However, also at this point, a guy named Hans is creeping up on my heels. I blaze through the aid station, as I have a mostly full hand bottle, but they both slow to swig water.I am now cruising down the somewhat technical downhill as fast as I can go, but Hans races past and is quickly out of sight. Ben also cruises past and I think he is long gone, but I quickly discover that although he passed me quickly, he only gains about 40 seconds. As the trail rolls and switchbacks it’s way down the ridge, I can tell that I am slowly gaining time back on Ben. I get the gap down to maybe 25-30 seconds and think that I have a chance to catch him, especially on the series of small climbs to the finish as I know that I am a stronger climber. My legs feel great and although the downhill is not my forte, I am holding my own.I make a right at the key junction I was warned of, but somehow missed the flags that marks an immediate sharp turn to the right after that (that I too was warned of, but in my haste passed it by) and ended up going straight on a well worn trail. Because of the topography here, I failed to notice Ben make that key turn and later noticed that he was not ahead of me on the trail. That was the first red flag, but then I notice a lack of flagging (not entirely unusual when the trail is good), then I notice that there are no fresh footprints. Oops. I cuss myself and hesitantly trot along in limbo and disbelief. I pull out my map and think that I might be able to cross country back to the course, but after a hundred + feet of trying this, I realize it would be hopeless to make reasonable time across the scorched earth and downed trees. All kinds of stupid things go through my mind at this point, including quitting, but unless I was severely injured, there is just no way I could do it. Quick! Quick!, gotta decide something NOW one way or the other.I begrudgingly backtrack to the trail and have to do a good bit of climbing up steep and loose sandy trail and go back over some rollers to regain the course. Back at the junction, I notice the flags that I missed and am spitting a few choice words with steam coming out my ears “how the F&*#!! could I have missed this!??”. I lost a full 10 minutes here floundering and now my already taxed legs are starting to cramp from all the additional stress. I pass a hiker and she informs me I am now in 6th place. Not as bad as I thought, but I am terribly upset with myself over the blunder. I push down the canyon as hard as possible to salvage what I could. At the bottom, I pass a guy to move into 5th and explain my blunder as he was a bit confused as to where I came from so quickly. He tells me 4th place (the race winner from two years ago) is 4 minutes ahead. I push and push, but my quads are fried and don’t have much left. The last 2 miles seem to drag on forever and I finally roll in to the finish at 1:58:33 and hang onto 5th.I guess in the long run, it does not really matter as I did not miss out on a prize, but I was sure I could have pulled off 3rd place which was a big goal of mine. I also hoped to break 1:50, and would have for sure if it were not for the 10 minutes of extra credit exploration, so I was pleased with that. I was also encouraged by the fact that I was 2nd over the big climb which is what I have been focusing on.Despite the blunder, it felt good to be in the mix for most of the race and I feel my training is coming along on target. This was also the first real test for my knee in a race situation in quite some time and it felt absolutely perfect on the ups/downs and after the race. I actually never thought of it once until somebody asked how it was afterwards.This was a very well run race and I really enjoyed myself. The pre-race dinner was great, they gave out an awesome tech race T, the course was awesome, aid stations were great (although I never used one), the people were amazing (the race organization and competitors) and there was so much good food to eat afterwards. There was just a really friendly and laid back feel to the entire day despite it being a race and I would highly recommend going next year. I certainly hope to go again.A few side notes:14erworld was very well represented at this race by Jason Halladay, Bill Geist, Gerry and Jennifer Roach, Kevin Lund, Bill Blazek, Sean Cunniff who all ran quite well and seemed to have a great time.It was awesome to finally go visit Jason and Bill in Los Alamos and see where they live. Los Alamos seems to be a really great town and I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there.Thanks to Kevin for driving us down there, Jason and Bill for their huge contributions to the race and to Bill Geist for providing lodging and great breakfast burritos.Race web site with results and pictures:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


3.5 miles
1,300 vertical
23:49up/37:56 total

Got out for a whirl up Sanitas today. Went up Dakota Ridge trail, then up the East side. Went fairly mellow at first as I was feeling like crap from eating too much pepperoni pizza during our lunch time meeting at work.... ugggg. I have made this mistake in the past and even specifically remember a day in high school when I went out for a hard ride after gorging myself on pizza and really feeling bogged down and low on energy. After about 10 minutes I started to feel at least semi good, then soon after I looked high up the trail and saw two guys running up above, maybe 4+ minutes ahead. I stepped on the gas a bit trying to catch them, but all the while remembering that during my upcoming race, it will not matter who won up Sanitas after work on Wednesday. Oh well, sometimes I just need a little motivation. I caught them as one was catching the other just past the narrow rock squeeze through. One guy beelined it straight up the hillside to cut the big swichback and the other one picked up the pace on the trail, oblivious to my presence. He was wearing headphones and I said "hi" and "on your left", but he either could not hear me or was ignoring me, so I was forced to pull off a surprise pass. Shocked by my passing, I think it woke him up and lit a bit of a fire under his a$$. He stuck for a minute or so, but he blew hard just as I passed the other guy who had just snuck onto the trail after cutting the switchback. I put about 40 seconds on them in the last 150 vertical and felt good that I had a bit of zip. Got back down to the car in 14. I think that I will be in great shape for my upcoming race, just as long as I don't eat pizza beforehand ;).

Sanitas 5/13/08

3.5 miles
1,300 vertical
24:31 up/about that down

The weather today was terrible, steady rain with a few flakes mixed in, snow above 6,500ft, temps in the 30's. I was convinced that I would blow off the planned workout, run some errands and go laze around at home. Just before leaving work though, the sun came out and it warmed up a bit. What the heck, Sanitas would be fun. We took it super easy, a walk really with a few bits of jogging thrown in as Sierra is still pooped from Sunday I think. I was not all that motivated either, so I did not mind one bit. It was really just a great day to take it all in and enjoy the fresh air. We made the top in 24:31 which felt extremely leisurely, barely a notch above couch level really. To spice it up, we went down the East side and the valley. This was unfortunately the much muddier option, as the S. Ridge was damp, but not muddy at all. Gotta love Spring in Colorado.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday 5/12/08 Flagstaff

~5 miles
~1,800 vertical
61 minutes

George and I met up for an easy run up Flag, sneaking it in before the crappy weather that has now moved in over Colorado. Went pretty casual the entire time, I think we made it up Flag in 20 or 21? Did not really look. Headed around the back side of Flag, over to Ranger, Greenman and then down Saddle/Amphi. As always great conversation about Pikes, racing, training and the superhuman runners we know/know of (Dave, Scott, Matt etc...).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday 5/11/08 Decalibron

Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross
~12 miles/~4,600 vertical
Jeff Valliere, Dave Hale, Forrest Thorniley, Scooby, Shep, Sierra and Lupine
Start: 7:07am
Finish: 3:31pm

Inspired by George Barnes recent TR of he and Nate’s snow climb on the S. side of Democrat, Dave proposed that we head up there and give it a shot. I sent out a few last minute invites on Saturday and I immediately got a call from Forrest. I had only met Forrest briefly in the past and had never hiked/climbed with him, but knew he would make a great addition to any trip so I was very glad he could join.
We arrived at the Kite Lake winter road closure about 2.5 miles shy of Kite Lake at 6:45am and noticed that it looked quite windy up high, déjà vu, when is it not? After exchanging pleasantries with a group of skiers/boarders we were on our way up the road. The trip to the summer TH went by quickly and the walking was easy. Despite the recent snow, snowshoes were not necessary and we did not even bother carrying them.
We took a short break near Kite Lake and then headed up the increasingly steep hillside to the base of the S. Face Couloirs. The snow here got progressively deeper and involved a bit of trail breaking, but nothing too taxing.We assessed several potential lines up the face and ultimately decided that the couloirs to the climbers left of the one George described looked a bit longer and more interesting, so we headed in that direction and geared up at the base.The deeper than expected snow in the couloirs caused me a bit of mild trepidation, but it was still early and cold and everything seemed pretty stable. This is where Forrest and his years of experience in this terrain really came in handy and he seemed quite confident in the conditions and started breaking trail up the increasingly steepening inset gulley.
The snow was quite deep and we could not always hit the hardened crust underneath the layer of fresh snow with our axe and crampons. Either way, I always felt quite well planted in the snow and the chance of falling seemed remote with careful movement. The high winds were creating a good bit of spindrift blowing down the couloir which added a bit to the thrill at times. Despite the work involved making our way upward through the deep snow, temperatures were cold enough that I had on all of my winter clothing and was not even sweating and I was glad that I opted to bring the warm gear. It felt more like Winter than Spring.
We all concluded that the gradient was somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 degrees. Although steep, the run out was pretty wide open for most of the climb and it all felt very safe, at least with my limited level of experience.
It was a bit of a slog from the top of the couloir to the summit of Democrat due to the wind and the fresh snow/ice on the rocks. The traverse from Democrat to Cameron seemed a bit longer than I remembered, but this was mainly compounded by the wind which was occasionally forcing me to the ground as to not get blown over.
Lincoln was a snap and we cruised over there and back real fast, then is was about 30 more minutes to get over to Bross. After a bit of a break hiding behind the wind shelter, we made quick work of the descent back to Kite Lake, taking advantage of great plunge stepping conditions.Back at the road, things really warmed up and it really felt like Spring, quite the contrast to the wind and cold up high.
As we glanced back up toward our ascent route on Democrat, we noticed that several of the gulleys (including ours), had slid/sloughed somewhat. This really emphasized the importance of an early start on that type of terrain.All in all a great day, it was quite fun getting out there and trying a new route on a familiar peak with great partners.Photos:
More photos from Forrest:

Friday, May 9, 2008

Biked home from work

16.8 miles
50 minutes

Coming home seemed like more uphill and headwind than the way to work. Went somewhat hard as I was anxious to get home. Shoulder is sore from the heavy pack, need to leave stuff at work and not carry anything.

Biked to work

16.8 miles
48 minutes

Driving home last night I noticed that the price of gas has crept above $3.50. This combined with the improving weather and the reluctant urge to take a day off my feet convinced me to pedal in.

It felt so great to get out there in the fresh air and cruise along on a nice morning. It was a bit cool (43.8) when I left the house at 7:02am, but I quickly warmed up. I focused on spinning and trying not to go too hard as I was intending to clean up in the sink vs. take a full on shower once I got to work.

Itching to get out and ride up a hill after work, but riding home will be all I have time for as we have dinner plans. It is a "rest" day after all.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bear Peak and S. Boulder Peak

7 miles
3,300 vertical
48up Bear/1:01 to SBP
1:56 RT

Getting ready in the car I was considering a rest day as it was cloudy, windy and cool. What the heck, here I am. Once again Sierra was really dogging it, worse than ever I think. I would run, wait, wonder, backtrack, encourage, repeat. Once the trail got steeper, our relative speeds evened out a bit, but I was still going slow for her. We hit the saddle at 35 and change and then I decided to up the pace a bit. She was never too far out of sight and I only had to briefly wait once. Hit the summit post at 48:?? and a few more seconds to the true summit.

The trip over to SBP was casual and we got there at 1:01. We took a nice long break here, and another long one back on Bear taking in the views and giving Sierra lots of hugs and scratches behind the ears. On the way down we stopped to play in the lingering patches of snow as a reward to Sierra for following me all over these peaks.

We did some running where it was steep and she kept up OK, but then I was walking as to not get ahead after the slab. Talked to an older gent about knee issues for a bit, his was much worse than mine, but he is getting out plenty.

A great day out. The weather held and despite Sierra's slow pace, it is great to have her along as she is an awesome pal.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


2,400 vertical

The day was on track for me to leave work at 3:35 and go meet George for a run up Green. Nothing going on at work, until, of course, 3:30 when I am readying to leave an issue arises. I listen intently, nervously checking my watch. OK, 3:39, i'm out, but wait, another issue. OK, this will really have to wait till tomorrow. I race out the door and rally it across Boulder trying my best to change clothes all the while. Dang it, on time for me is late and I know George is even more punctual than I. I whip up to my usual parking spot, but much to my surprise, all 5 spaces are full, as well as option 2 and I don't want to park at the Gregory TH due to it being pay and the high risk of getting your car broken into. It is 3:51, so I consider zipping up there to catch George, but I am miffed and in a hurry, so I go 60+ and screetch to a halt and park as close as I can along Baseline. Now I can't find one of the 2 shoes I intend to wear. In my haste I tear the car apart looking for it but nothing. Fortunately I have a few backup pairs, but now I am pre-occupied by the fact that I may have lost one of my best shoes (that I paid for).

I haul ass up the trail still getting my act together. Sierra gets in front of me and I trip, stumble and swear. This is supposed to be enjoyable, not contribute to high blood pressure. As expected there is no sign of George at the TH when I arrive at 3:59, he has a family to get home to. I take off up the trail hoping he is not too far along. I ask a few people and get confirmation that he is ahead, but by ~10 minutes. My legs feel amazingly good and I am highly motivated. Nothing gets me going like being pissed and late. Unfortunately, Sierra is not as motivated and dilly dallys her way along and stops for water every chance she gets. I could set a PR, but that would probably mean losing the dog, so I stop a LOT to wait.

I bump into the guy who looks homeless higher up the mountain and says that George is only 2 minutes ahead and kicking my butt. I lay it on hard for a while, but never see any sign of him. I hit the summit in 40, but it is starting to rain so we keep on boogying. A crack of thunder puts a bit more pep in our step and we are down in 25, still no sign of George but we tried hard.

OK, all that hurrying, now what? Oh yeah, sit in crazy traffic all the way home to Broomfield. Despite the bitching I had a fun run regardless. It was really nice out and I felt strong, just a little held back by the dog. And of course once I calmed down, I found my other shoe, sitting out in plain view.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Shadow Canyon

5 miles/1,800 vertical

Went a good part of the way up Shadow with the intention of summitting S. Boulder and Bear. Did not really have the legs or motivation, so I bagged it at 30 minutes and turned around. I did not feel that great even though my splits were not too bad, but I just felt that I would be better off in the long run not pushing it today and going mellow.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Green Mountain

5 miles
2,400 vertical
43:13 up/28 down

Got out for an early morning spin up Green. You would think I would be getting sick of it after going up there just about every day for the past week, but it is a refreshing change from the wide open and crowded slopes of Sanitas that I frequented this winter. I went really easy on the way up, hiking mostly, but broke into a mellow trot on the flatter sections. I'll bet I never got my HR over 150, but was probably closer to 140 the entire way. Since I went hard yesterday and then spent the afternoon biking, I figured this morning would just be a recovery workout. I historically have trouble slowing down, but I forced myself to do it today. I have found that when I have the discipline to make my easy days easy, I can dig deeper and push myself further on the harder days, so I constantly have to remind myself of that. It was so peaceful this morning as I had the entire mountain to myself. I took a few minutes on the summit to take in the super clear views of the mountains and smell the fresh air. The descent was a bit slow, as I felt a bit klutzy, like I had 2 left feet. Odd that yesterday I ripped the descent and felt as though I could do no wrong, just ultra sure footed, but today I felt as though I was on the verge of slipping or tripping the entire way down. I was also wearing road shoes, so that may have played a very small part.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Green Mountain and Ride to Jamestown

Green Mountain
7 miles/2,500 vertical feet (including warmup)
35:39 up/24 down

Had an excellent run up Green today, went about as hard as I could and was 20 seconds shy of PR. The day was great and I felt pretty good. I cut the webbing between my thumb and index finger at the start as I was trying to hide my windbreaker and it started bleeding a lot. I don't do well with blood, especially my own. I rinsed off in the cold creek for a bit which felt good, then wrapped it up really good with toilet paper from the outhouse. Not the best way to start a run and I was a bit pre-occupied with it for the first 10-15 minutes. Bumped into GZ and JZ on the way down. Talked to them for about 2 minutes.

In the afternoon, Allison and I rode to Jamestown with Joe and Julia. It was a great time and was fun to get out on the bike. We went pretty easy, although Joe and I cranked it up the hills a few times. My legs felt surprisingly good.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sugarloaf and Dream Canyon

Allison and I wanted to stick close to home today for no particular reason, really just in that seasonal/transitional limbo thing and lack of a real plan.

I figured a Boulder County highpoint would be fun, along with an exploration of Dream Canyon. Dream Canyon has somewhat of a shady reputation, yet I have heard that it is an amazing place from numerous climbing friends. A recent news article about some guy falling 500 feet to his death made me wonder why I have not yet seen this place, oh yeah, the shady reputation.

Armed with the wife and dog, we cautiously approached the canyon. There seems to be numerous routes down, some cliff out, some go all the way to the bottom. It was fun exploring and the only other people we saw were hardcore climbers, although I found it odd that all of had helmets, yet none were wearing them??? We went downstream a ways, then upstream a bit. I found my way across, but Allison and Sierra protested. I reluctantly gave in and went back across and we did some fun scrambling on the way back up. Luckily it was a cold day and this kept all the wackos indoors. I would love to go back and do some real climbing or try to traverse the entire canyon.

We then went up and took a short hike up Sugarloaf. This was a bit of a lark, as it was only 500 vertical feet. The views were great and I was itching to get out there on the mountain bike, as peering down on the nearby trails and valleys brought back all kinds of fun biking memories. I can see heading up there on the bike in the next few days.

2.7 miles for the day and 1,100 vertical.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Green Mountain

5 miles
2,400 vertical
36:43up/59:43 RT

Winter has returned to Colorado. As I slink out of bed, look at Allison and Sierra sleeping soundly, I question my sanity, as staying in the warm bed seems like a much more appealing option. Driving to Boulder under a battleship gray sky as my car was getting tossed about by the wind, I was wondering what I was thinking? The visible snowshowers over the foothills did little to boost my spirits to boot. Oh well, days like this always turn out better than they first appear and today was no exception.

It really isn't that bad, but I have been getting softened by the occasional 82 degree day. As I am driving past Chautauqua, I immidiately see GZ's fox in the middle of Baseline keeping track of it's territory, an omen of a good day to come perhaps? Out the car and up to Gregory TH. I quickly determine that I was a bit overdressed, so the jacket goes around the waist and skull cap in the pocket, chances are I will need it later. Up I go, Amphitheater/Saddle Rock/NE Ridge/Greenman. My legs have recovered from an unusual and heavier than normal training week and I feel pretty good, but I still am a bit unwilling to go fast today.

I am just intending to plug along on the steep and get in a good workout, a bonus really as I did not think I would get out today. The snow continues to increase, but nothing major, ankle deep at most and coverage is sporadic. I make the summit post in 36:43, scramble up the summit rock, take in a quick view and a deep breath and cruise back down. At first I go easy as to not take a digger on the snowiest upper section, dancing gingerly around the rocks and deep postholes, then increase the pace a bit as the trail improves, hoping to get down for a RT of less than an hour. I knew it would be close, but I was not too concerned one way or the other and never looked at the watch. I went really fast when it looked wide open and really slow where it was snowy and caution was necessary and finished in 59:43, far from a PR, but I was quite happy with that considering the crappy conditions, heavy clothing and lack of initial motivation. What a way to start the day!