Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday, 11/12/09 Green

~14 miles
~3,300 vertical

What an amazing day, sunny, warm, perhaps a touch over 70? I really enjoyed that loop Brandon, JP and I ran last Saturday, so I loaded up my MP3 player, remembered my bottle of water this time and headed over to Chautauqua. Today was one of the best runs I have had in a long time, one of those days where everything just clicks, weather, energy levels, enthusiasm, cadence, foot placement. Though it was certainly not one of my fastest runs (I really don't have the fitness to expect much more right now and I am totally content with that for now), the feeling of moving efficently, almost effortlessly at times was there.

Started at Chautauqua and ran through the park toward the Gregory TH at a slightly quick "warm up" pace. Arrived at the far side of the Gregory lot at 4:45 and terrain then dictated pace up Gregory Canyon. Made the Ranger shack in 21:??, 4 way in 39:3?, summit (top of the rock) 43:34, then immidiately back down the West side, straight through the 4 way to the top of Super Flag, arriving there at 56:20. Headed down the road, hopped the guardrail on the outside of the first switchback and negotiated the informal trail that cuts off a short bit of distance. Turned off the pavement to cut down the backside of Flag at 10 even (1:06:20). Splits beyond here become fuzzy, as I quit really paying close attention to my watch and just cruised and enjoyed the views.

The fence ducking was executed without a hitch and I got less dirty than last time (not that I cared). I made quick work of Canyon and was tempted to just plod once I hit the dirt, but kept the pace decent and upped it some when I saw a fit looking runner ahead. I passed him and was surprised, I am sure he was taking an easy day, as I got a good gap as I passed. I'm sure he would have dusted me in most circumstances.

The grind up to Flagstaff road was a bit tougher than last time, but I was able to run all but a few steps. Once I topped out, it was a fast cruise back down to Chautauqua, where I really poured it on for the last few minutes, sneaking in at 2:08:59.

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