Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, 10/18/09 Bear Peak/S. Boulder Peak

7 miles
3,500 vertical

My legs were feeling a bit tired and sore and I had intended to take the day off. I stepped outside for a weather check in the afternoon to confirm the 80+ degree temps and I was starting to change my mind. I got out of work and sped home to drop off Sierra and change into my running clothes and figured I would head to the Cragmoor TH with the intention of an easyish jog up Bear (is there such a thing?).

Though I was without the dog, I started off at doggy pace, 3:?? to Shanahan, 5:?? to doggy pond, 11:?? to Mesa, 16:20 to the slab. This was a very un-pressed pace, but I was certainly feeling it in my legs, most likely left over pain from suffering on Thursday.

For some unknown reason, I started feeling a bit better after klomping my way down the short descent after the Slab and starting up toward the Fern Canyon trail. There were a surprising number of people out because of the nice weather, couples, couples with dogs, a grouchy lady who should not have been wearing a skort descending on my side of the trail and seeming a bit annoyed at my passing. One lady voiced some encouraging words which helped bolster my pace.

I reached the saddle at an unimpressive 29:12 or so, about 5 minutes off PR (though I was not out for a PR, I always refer to those benchmarks in my head). I continued up toward the summit, running more than I had on my last trip, even if only baby steps and mixed in some hands on knees power hiking when necessary. About 1/3 of the way up, I notice a fleeting glance of somebody ahead and think they are descending. I look again and nobody. Where did they go? I continue on and get that competitive surge of adrenaline when I see somebody ahead moving fast.

Without pressing beyond my comfort level, I eventually catch the guy and am amazed that he has got to be at least 60. I say “hi”. No response. I then follow it up with something like “nice day!?”, “great pace” still no response, just a mummy like face straight off of Scooby Doo (“I would have got away with it if it were not for you meddling kids” kind of look). Oh well, if I can still more like that at his age, I will be super happy and might even reply when somebody says hi and gives a compliment.

I top out at the true summit in 42:5? Pause long enough for my watch to pass 43 and begin my quick but careful scramble down the rocks on the West side and make quick work of the trip to S. Boulder. I make the summit in 10 and change, do an immediate U-turn and get back to the Bear summit post in 9, skipping a re-ascent of the true summit.

Quick and cautious footwork sees me to the saddle in 10 and change, Mesa/Shanahan in 19ish, then back to the car for a 25 descent and a total of 1:29:52. Not super fast, but better than I expected considering how heavy my legs felt going into it. Felt awesome to push a little, even if only for a short bit.

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