Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday, 12/31/10 Green Mountain

Final run of the year, you guessed it, another lap on Green.  Went up/down the front side on a well worn track, but the snow was still pretty unconsolidated due to the freshness and temperature.  Hopefully it will set up nice in the next few days.  Wore Microspikes the whole time, but footing was still a bit slippy on the up and unpredictable on the down, so we took it super casual and chatted the whole time.  It was great to close out the year with Homie on this cold and snowy day and what a great year it has been.  Happy New Year!!


Up:  52
Down:  25

Thursday 12/30/10 Green Mountain

Had a great day out in the snow with Allison and Sierra (up/down Gregory/Ranger).  Met up with Homie on the summit and he joined us for the descent.  It is not close to Joel Wolpert/Tony quality, but here is a short video from the day.


Up in 1:23
Down in ???

Green Mountain 12/30/10 from Jeff Valliere on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday, 12/29/10 Green Mountain

Whether or not I would be able to get out today remained tenuous at best, though I was always at the ready and pounced on the opportunity at the last minute, as I found it nearly impossible not to get out for a run in shorts one last time for the year.

Started up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman a bit after 3pm.  It was a good bit warmer than yesterday, but a bit windier.  My perceived effort was a little bit higher than both laps the previous day, but most of this was because I was in a hurry and tight on time.  Even though I pushed a little harder (moderate to upper moderate), my legs were feeling a bit sluggish and I ended up putting in the slowest time of 3 ascents in 2 days.  Descended back down the front on cruise control.


Up:  36:27
Down:  21:36

RT: 58:03

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday, 12/28/10 Green Mountain x 2

Snuck in 2 laps on Green today, up/down Amphi/Saddle/Greenman.  Went pretty easy on the first lap, moderately casual, but took it very easy on the down, as the 6oz race flats I was wearing/testing (Inov 8 F-lite 195s) were a bit too minimal and soft for rocky and technical trails.

Second lap seemed to be a bit more conservative to start, but I ended up 10 seconds ahead of the first lap at the Saddle/Greenman jct., so I upped the effort a bit to the harder side of moderate and ended up a minute faster by the summit.  Went a little quicker on the second descent, but still somewhat slow due to the next pair of shoes I was testing (K-Swiss road shoes), as they had better cushion, but less than optimal support on the upper for this type of terrain and I was worried about twisting an ankle.


1st lap:

Saddle/Greenman: 20:30
Summit:  36:20
Descent: 25

2nd lap:

Saddle/Greenman: 20:20
Summit:  35:20
Descent: 23

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday, 12/26/10 Green Mountain

Started at 7:30am, up back/down front.  Easy jog up, took my time coming down for a little trail work and stuck to Saddle to the bottom instead of Amphi.

Did not see another person outside of the parking lot.

25 down

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday, 12/25/10 Green Mountain

Started around 1pm.  Up/down front, felt a little better than yesterday (at least I had no phlegm/throat issues).  Super crowded at the TH and on the trail/summit, more than the average weekend day for this time of year.  Was great to be running in shorts and a T (it seemed warmer at 8,000 feet than it was at the TH, but the Gregory TH is always an ice box).


Gregory TH to summit:  33:19
Descent:  19:20

Run RT: 52:39

Drive from home in Louisville to Gregory TH: 12:45

Drive from Gregory TH back home: 13:35

Total RT with driving:  1:18:59

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday, 12/24/10 Green Mountain

I was in a bit of a hurry today, as I promised to get in my run quickly and get home to get ready for Christmas Eve festivities.  I sent Homie an invite and our timing was perfect, as he was on his way there in the morning as well.  I told him to get a head start and I would either catch him along the way, or meet him on the summit depending on which came first. 

My need to get this run in quickly, coupled with my motivation to chase Homie had me going light, with shorts, long sleeve shirt and fast feeling shoes.  I almost started off too fast, but geared back a bit to warm up some.  Hit the 1st jct. in 6:24, decent, but not super fast and still no sign of Homie.  I kept a steady tempo and eventually spotted him above as I neared the first spring, figuring I would pass him near the 1st Flatiron jct..  About this time, my throat started gurgling up phlegm and I was hacking up a lung, which gave away my stealth approach.  Homie heard/saw me coming and put up a good fight, not allowing me to pass until Saddle Rock. 

I made the Greenman jct. in 18:40, still solid, but not near PR.  I debated going for broke, but my motivation was not really there and I just wanted to cruise it in and finish 33-34 minutes as I had intended.  I tagged the summit at 33:30 which I was pleased with considering the time of year, hung out for a minute or so and then backtracked about 2 switchbacks down to finish back up with Homie (who was pushing pretty good and had a killer sprint on the final stretch).

After a short break on the summit, we headed back down, just chatting at a coasting pace.  Great to get out on an awesome Christmas Eve day. 

Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday!!


Top of Amphi:  6:24
Saddle/Greenman jct.:  18:40
Summit:  33:30
Descent: 23 high or low 24??

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday, 12/23/10 Green Mountain

A.M.  3 road miles running back/forth to Big O for an oil change.

P.M.  Met up with Aron shortly after 3 for a trip up Green.  Went up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at a casual pace for me, but pushing Aron to go a bit faster than on our previous few trips.  A short ways up Saddle Rock Trail, we crept up on the BTR Thursday HHR run and I think that inspired Aron to push a bit harder than normal, combined with the fact that I was not making him talk as much as I typically do.  The BTR group turned out to be a few people we vaguely know, or know of.  Fred Ecks, Peter B and Steph E, Maria P and Chris ?.  We became somewhat mingled in their group and chatted with them off and on for the remainder of the hike and for a while at the summit.  It was surprisingly warm and calm and with a bit of daylight remaining, Aron and I opted to descend Bear Canyon, a new route for him.  Of course, we had our picture taken twice along the way.  Aron probably thought it was the papparazzi stalking him for some 127 hours dirt ;).

Finished up around 5:15 just as it was getting dark.  Awesome evening run.


44:30 up
1:07 back to Chautauqua
5 or 6 back to the cars near the bridge

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday, 12/19/10 Green Mountain

Met Homie at the Gregory lot at 4pm, up Gregory/Ranger at a casual pace.  Wore my studded shoes today and scratched on rock for the most part, but was thankful to have them in a few spots coming down the front side.

Up: 47
Down: 30

Saturday, 12/18/10 Green Mountain

Met up with Dave a few minutes past 11am at Chautauqua.  Headed up Flagstaff/Ranger at a generally casual to moderate pace, chatting and laughing about posing for the wildlife cameras placed around OSMP to verify our claims of running Green Mountain ### amount of times.  We went a little harder over the final 10 or 15 minutes to the top of Green, but it did not seem as though we were going fast, just slipping around in the loose snow conditions and I was sucking wind.

We spent a few minutes on the summit and then parted ways, as Dave was tacking on Bear and SoBo, while I went down Greenman/Saddle/Amphi.  I threw on the spikes for the upper switchbacks which helped, but soon became overkill, as there was just enough snow to make things slick, but not enough to make the spikes the right choice.  Spotted some fresh Homie prints in the snow and was hoping to cross paths, but no sign of him.  I went home and drilled up a pair of screw shoes.


58 up (from Chautauqua via Flag with a few minutes of stopping included)
25 back to Gregory/5 more to Chautauqua

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, 12/17/10 Green Mountain

Up/Down Gregory/Long Canyon/W. Ridge.  Finally it feels as though Winter has arrived.  A dusting at home turned into snow covered roads by Chautauqua and then several inches on the trail.  Followed 3 sets of tracks up Gregory and was playing the tracking game.  What kind of shoes, gait, age of tracks, is it somebody I know?, how fast are they moving, when or if I will catch them?. 

I finally passed them at the top of Gregory, a group of 3 hikers with serious day packs and gear.  I was still following some down tracks to the cabin and was itching to get some freshies, so I headed up Long Canyon.  Damn, more down tracks, a new set laid by a duck footed hiker, male, size 11 or 12.  It was snowing reasonably heavy, very peaceful though and when I topped out, I noticed a OSMP ranger truck and did the track math, figuring out who belonged to the tracks. 

Coast clear, up through the woods to Super Flag, then got the freshies I was looking for on W. Ridge to Green and was surprised to be the first one to summit that morning (or at least since the snow accumulated).  On the way back down, I passed the 3 well equipped hikers from earlier and the duck footed ranger laboring behind.  It was fun to follow my own tracks back and critique my own prints.  I definitely do not pronate or supinate and was impressed with my artwork, perfectly straight, in line and well spaced, cutting the apex just right.

Footing was REALLY crappy all day with the several inches of light snow and no base.  Traction would not have worked, as you would be scraping on everything underneath, but it was slick and prime conditions to roll an ankle, so I took it super casual, especially on the descent (and even then, still managed to minorly roll my weak right ankle).  An amazing morning in the snow, let's hope for more.


56:27 up
41:59 down

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, 12/16/10 Green Mountain

Got out a little later than I had hoped, maybe started at 1:30pm or so from the Gregorty TH.  Up Gregory/ Ranger at a moderate pace.  My legs felt strong, but my right ankle made a loud snap 3 steps in (is surprisingly gimpy from twisting it last week and also my achilles was very tight (ongoing issues since April)), so I just rolled along at a conservative tempo.  Back down the same way, going a decent pace, but still being careful and favoring my right ankle a bit.




Down:  22:40

RT:  1:00:09

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday, 12/13/10 Green Mountain

Allison and I met Aron at the Gregory TH at 4:15pm for a leisurely trip up Green, as it was in the 60's here today and none of us could resist an evening hike.  Up Gregory/Ranger, down Greenman/Saddle/Amphi at an easy conversational walk the entire way.  What a beautiful night to be out, hard to believe it is December.

Up:  60
Down: 50

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, 12/11/10 A new route on Green Mountain

For years, I have been eyeing the steep and narrow canyon, adjacent to the rock outcrop/overlook near the top of Gregory Canyon. This canyon creates the deep North/South cleft between Saddle Rock and lower Greenman and has been luring me since first noticing it, so I decided on somewhat of a whim to finally get off trail and do some exploring.

I started up the Gregory Canyon Trail shortly after 2pm, jogged easy to a point just beyond the second wooden bridge and then dropped down into the bush choked canyon. Progress up the canyon was slow, as the walls narrowed and the Gregory Canyon Trail soon seemed to soar quite the distance above. Before long, the canyon steepened as it turned SW, then South, leading to a pronounced headwall.

Staying in the center of the canyon proved to be impossible through this section, as the creek had frozen here into a nice waterfall of ice. This was easily bypassed to climbers right on a nice (but a little exposed) ledge system and immediately the canyon became relatively level again. From here on, the going continued to be slow and somewhat tedious at times when sticking to the canyon floor. I encountered a real tangle of bushes (sometimes thorny), deadfall, mossy rocks and boulders, ice etc…., as I stuck to my arbitrary “rule” of staying within 10 vertical feet of the canyon floor.  At any time, I could have made quicker progress on the relatively clear hillsides above. 

It never ceases to amaze me how getting off trail just a little bit can bring such a sense of isolation and adventure. I could have reached a busy trail in 5-10 minutes in any direction, but it felt like I may have well have been in Alaska. After 47 minutes of hunching over, crawling, zig zagging, shimmying, back tracking, extricating myself from leg grabbing bushes, galumphing and getting slapped in the face with branches, I finally intersected with the Greenman Trail, exactly where I anticipated a few minutes below the Saddle Rock junction. It was a welcome relief to be on the familiar and well travelled trail, which I continued on to the summit, then down Ranger/Gregory so I could view bits of my ascent route from afar. My only regrets were not having a camera, thicker gloves, eye/face protection, or good company to share the exploration with.


Intersect with Greenman Trail below Saddle Rock jct.: 47

Summit: 1:04

Descent: 29 (easy with a few stops)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday, 12/10/10 Green Mountain

Started from Chautauqua, then up/down Amphi/Saddle/Greenman.  It was very windy and I was not particularly motivated.  I pushed somewhat hard for a short while (5 or so minutes at best), but my physical performance, mindset and unity of the two were lackluster at best.  I felt decent on the down, but my right ankle that I twisted yesterday was still a bit sore, so I just cruised (quick, but not taking any risks).



4:23 warmup to Amphi from Chuatauqua

Reset watch:


20:33 to Gregory TH/23:55 to Chautauqua

1:02:13 RT

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday, 12/09/10 Green Mountain

It was a beautiful morning, mid 50's, calm, sunny and all week I was looking forward to throwing down another quick(er) run like I did last Thursday.  I used the bathroom at Chautauqua to drop a few lbs. and when I came out, the wind was just cranking, which shifted my mood a bit.  I started off across Chautauqua with the wind nearly stopping me in my tracks several times and knocking me off balance.  I made it to the start of the Amphitheater Trail in 4:43 and as I started up, I quickly decided that I was just not that into it anymore.  My legs felt OK, but I was just not at all into it mentally, no willingness to dig in and I knew within a few steps that I would be lucky to break 33 if I decided to push.

I turned around and headed back down to the car, not quite sure what I was going to do, but since I knew I was not going to be going fast, I at least wanted to change out of my race flats and maybe grab a windbreaker if the wind was going to persist.  On the way back to Chautauqua, the wind completely died down and the day was warm and pleasant again. 

To save time, I drove back up to the Gregory TH, parked and started up the Gregory Trail at a very mellow pace, just enjoying the sunshine and now calmness.  Just before descending to the second wooden bridge, I cut straight to follow the faint trail that sticks to the canyon floor.  This soon fizzled out, leaving me bushwhacking in a choked dry creek bed.  I cut left and up, in the general direction of the trail, but intended to stick to the ridge as much as I could. 

Soon I was back on the trail, but only stuck to it for another 60-90 seconds and then jumped off again just before the upper steep rocky pitch and continued on the ridge.  The going was slow, but fun as I zig zagged to pick my way through the ledges, deadfall, cacti and yucca.  Again I met up with the trail at the top of Gregory and followed it to the Ranger Cabin, where I again felt inclined to get away from things and worked my way up the hillside, hiking up the steep and deadfall laden hillside which eventually brought me to the base of the steps on the NW Ridge section of Ranger.  Again, I casually jogged the trail while it stuck to the ridge, but alternately cut my way along the ridgecrest and did some heavy bushwhacking and scrambling near the summit.

Once on top, I figured I would make up for my slow ascent by cranking down the front side, but within 20 seconds, I rolled my right ankle heavily.  I cussed up a storm as I hopped forward, trying to shrug it off and was fearing that this was my long overdue descent injury that would keep me grounded for a while.  The pain surprisingly started to subside within 2 minutes, but my mind was still rattled by it, as this sort of thing happens so infrequently to me.  As I was pondering this, I carelessly stepped on a patch of snow/ice that looked to be dirty enough for good traction and sent me for a huge flailing slip and slide, propelling my down the trail much faster than I could controllably handle.  Somehow though, I managed to pull out of it with out further injury and just resolved to take it really easy and careful the remainder of the descent.  I again got off the beaten track and took the NE Ridge, occasionally stopping to toss logs and branches down the hillside that might have ended up there from previous wind storms.

Though it was not the run (way more hiking and bushwhacking than running) I had hoped, it was still great to get out on a gorgeous December day and see some new scenery.


Ranger Cabin:  18:30ish
4-Way:  38:28
Summit:  42:12

Descent:  22:20

1:04:32 RT

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday, 12/06/10 Green Mountain

Met up with Aron and Tim at 4:15pm for a casual trip on Green.  Went up Gregory/Ranger at a relaxed and conversational pace, hiking most of the way.  Made it to the top without lights, but they were soon essential for the trip down Greenman/Amphi/Saddle.  It was a great evening to be out, with great company.
Up:  54
Down:  ~40?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday, 12/04/10 Green Mountain

Met Homie for a trip up Green at 1:30pm.  Went fairly easy up the front side with a few periods of moderate, cracking the whip on him to push for a PR.  He was moving at roughly a 35:30-36:00 minute ascent pace until after the 1st Flatiron jct., then slowed a bit, but still managed to put in his best time since June, just a few seconds under 40 I think, a good effort for him and he was happy with his recent improvement.

Went down Greenman/Canter cut/Gregory in 31 at a casual pace.

Up front:  39:50
Down Greenman/Canter/Gregory:  31

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday, 12/03/10 Green Mountain

I was debating whether or not I wanted to get out and fight the wind today, but temps in the mid 60's, coupled with Homie's morning sighting of a family of bears on the Saddle Rock Trail had me eagerly speeding out the door.

Headed up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at a 'looking for bears and watching out for widow maker trees' pace and just before the Amphitheater, heard what I thought to be a bear cub make a loud moan, so I paused and looked up the hillside to the right.  I slowly backtracked a few paces and looked through the bushes up the hillside.  Then I hear a cascade of rocks and boulders, "Cool" I thought, this is my chance to finally see a bear(s) on the trail and was straining my eyes, contemplating a careful pursuit, until I saw a guy rapelling and knocking a slew of rocks.  Dammit.

I continued on at a casually moderate pace, constantly on guard.  Tagged the summit and took a few minutes to take in the view and headed back down at a moderate pace.  Awesome day out despite the wind, it was almost hot by the time I got back to the car.


Top of Amphi:  7:??
1st Flat jct.:  13:05
Greenman jct.:  19:58
Summit:  35:08

Descent:  22:30

57:38 RT

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday, 12/02/10 Green Mountain

Started from Chautauqua, up/down Amphi/Saddle/Greenman.  I was eager to try out a pair of test shoes I recently acquired, the Brooks Racer ST5 , an 8oz. road race flat that seemed like it would be adequate (though not ideal) for the trail.  With their bright orange color with flashy blue trim, you can't help but to want to go fast in them. 

It was really warm today in the sunshine and I quickly realized that I was over-dressed with one too many shirts and gloves.  I put my gloves in my pockets and just sweated it out with my short sleeve over long sleeve combo.  Jogged at a quickish but not too hard warm-up pace to the start of the Amphi trail in 4:27, reset the watch and got down to business.  I felt good right from the start, but wanted to play it a bit conservative and see how things went as the run progressed.  A minute or two into the run, a duo of runners passed on the way down and said "hi Jeff", I think it was Aaron and said hi back, but I had a decent rythym going and did not want to stop (sorry).

I generally went reasonably hard, but never felt as though I was really pushing at PR pace.  My splits were decent, but I didn't (don't) think they were near PR, so I just kept a steady pace and did not worry about it at all.  Beyond the Saddle/Greenman junction, I upped the intensity a bit and was rolling good, but once I got to the final icy switchbacks, I was spinning out some on the sheer ice and was wishing I had a shoe with just a little bit of tread instead of a smooth-ish road shoe.  I tagged the summit and folded over in a heap, only 4 seconds off PR.  I am sure that without the ice, I would have gained 4 or more seconds.  Either way, I was very happy with that time, considering that it is December and I have been kicking back in Holiday mode for a while now.

I had topped out at the same time as a woman coming up from the other side and we exchanged pleasantries.  She started down Greenman about 20 seconds ahead of me and I assumed that I would pass her quickly, but she was moving pretty good and I very slowly gained on her, as I danced and slipped my way cautiously down the upper icy sections.  I finally passed her at the bottom of the wooden steps, but she was not too far behind until the rocky overlook, then I think I opened up some gap on the flattish section between the spring and the Greenman/Saddle junction.  Whoever she was, she was pretty quick!

The remainder of the run down was quick, but never really pushing, just getting used to the shoes I was wearing, which were OK, but not perfect for the rocky technical trail.


Chautauqua to start of Amphi:  4:27
(Reset watch)
6:20 top of Amphi
12:07 1st Flatiron jct.
18:30 Saddle/Greenman
32:28 Green Summit

24:54 back to Chautauqua (21:27 down to Gregory lot)

1:01:49 RT

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, 11/30/10 "127 Hours" on Green

OK, not really, I don't have 5.291666666666667 days to spend on Green (it was more like 1h 29min on Green).

I had not seen Aron since an early October “Friends and Family” screening of his movie “127 Hours” in Boulder and had not hiked/ran together since late Spring, as he has been busy with movie promoting and such. We met at the Gregory TH and started up around 4:15pm and headed up the Amphi/Saddle/Greenman route at an easy pace. As we went higher, the wind picked up as it got darker and darker, but good conversation and some warm clothing lessened the effect. We made the summit at 5:09pm, just as it was getting dark and the lights in town created an amazing sight, almost illuminating our surroundings. There was quite the cloud cap over the divide, indicating snow and explaining the hammering wind. As soon as we started the descent, I switched on my 205 Lumen Fenix LD-20 and am always amazed at how much light it puts out. The trip down was uneventful, save for a few minor slips on the icy upper switchbacks and 2 (what appeared to be) college students heading up near the Greenman/NE junction without lights. Aron revealed that he is going on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Friday, so check it out if you get a chance.

Up Front: ~54
Down Front: ~35

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, 11/27/10 Green Mountain

Got out with Dave and Bruce for a trip up Green from Chautauqua, starting a little after 12:30pm.  Jogged up to the Gregory TH, then mostly hiked up Amphi/Saddle/NE/Greenman at a casual/easy conversational pace.  Passed Homie and Mia coming down Amphi and Dave graciously offered Mia some food, as she was a bit hungry.  The day was pleasantly warm and calm for late November.

~47 up
~?? down

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday, 11/26/10 Green Mountain

Inefficiency around the house meant that our ~3 hour window between baby feeds became less than two hours, as we did not want to leave Grandma to fend for herself.  Allison and I started from the Gregory TH, up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman a bit after noon.  Allison was feeling tired from yesterday, so she sent me on my way to the top and agreed to turn around wherever I met up with her on my descent.  In the interest of time, I cut up the NE Ridge route to shave a minute or two and made decent time, as that route was almost completely snow/ice free until the upper section of Greenman.  I never really pushed at all, just went moderate at best and was surprised to make the summit in 34:30.  This was especially surprising to me, as I was dressed heavily in winter mode (heavy shoes, jacket, pants etc....) and each night I get up to feed babies, I feel like I am crippled and hobble around the house, stumbling and dragging myself like a Sleestak.

I met up with Allison on the descent just above the high talus field below the NE jct. and we headed back down Greenman/Canter Cut/Gregory.

Thursday, 11/25/10 Green Mountain

Allison and I got out for a lap on Green while Grandma watched the girls.  Started at 10:50am up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman and soon bumped into Homie on his way down and stated that he would meet us on his second lap.  Allison was pushing a bit, trying to hold Homie off, but he caught us at the NE Ridge jct. near the top and hiked it in with us.  We did not linger on the summit, as temps were probably in the single digits or less with the windchill.  Of course Homie was wearing shorts, certainly way tougher than I am, as I was somewhat bundled and still cold.  Despite the cold, he was gracious enough to hike/jog down with us and it was great to have his company.  Allison took 8 minutes off her post pregnancy Green ascent PR, so she was happy with that, as it will not be long before she is back to her old self.


Up: 56
Down: ~38?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, 11/24/10 Green Mountain

Today was my first day out since Saturday.  I was hoping for more wintery weather this afternoon, but unfortunately there was no snowfall to be had.  Went up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at an easy pace and it was quite cold late in the day, though I soon warmed up and alternated between too warm and too cold depending on what the wind was doing (usually blowing steady).  When I finished, the temp read 19 degrees, so I am sure it was a good bit cooler than that with the wind chill.  I headed down Greenman/Canter Cutoff (old trail to the top of Gregory), then down Gregory at a very casual pace, being careful on the ice and snow on the upper sections.


Up:  37:57
Down: 32:17

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday, 11/20/10 Green Mountain

Met up with Homie at 6:30am for a trip up Green.  I was again so tired from a sleepless night, that I was seeing a large sun spot most of the way up Gregory, but fortunately it finally wore off and I felt at least half awake.  Went an easy conversational pace and as always it was great to catch up with Homie, as he is one of my favorite trail partners and we always have too much to talk about to fit into one run/hike.  It was also a rare opportunity to get above the clouds, which finally broke above the Ranger cabin.  On the summit, it was so cool to see a sea of clouds butted up against the Front Range and it was relatively clear to the West over the divide, we both were kicking ourselves for leaving behind the camera.

Up Greg/Ranger:  48
Down " ":  27

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday, 11/19/10 Green Mountain

Started at 10:30am, up/down Gregory/Ranger.  T-shirt weather again and much of the snow has melted, but the upper sections that were slush yesterday were bullet-proof sheets of ice this morning.  I felt pretty good, passing the cabin in an un-pressed 16 flat and maintained less than a minute off PR pace without pushing, but lost a good chunk skating around below 4-way.  This was also sketchy and slow on the down, not sure if it would have been worth it to carry traction just for that.  I thought so while I was on it.

Up:  37:35
Down:  22:46

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday, 11/18/10 Green Mountain

Up/Down Gregory/Ranger.  Very easy hike/jog with Allison and Sierra, great to get out with both of them on the trails after a long hiatus.  It was quite warm on the lower half, but windy on the NW Ridge to summit and was glad to have a windbreaker, hat and gloves.  A significant amount of snow has melted today, so traction was not necessary (though ironically, I carried Microspikes and did not use them).

Up: 48
Down: 33

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday, 11/17/10 Green Mountain 2+ laps

I had a bit more time than normal today to run, but the caveat was a somewhat late start of 2pm (the sun is pretty low behind the hill by that time on this date), so I figured I would shoot for 2 laps on Green if I felt like it after the first lap.  Headed up Gregory at a moderately moderate pace and not surprisingly bumped into Tony at the top of Gregory, as he was descending from his 3rd consecutive lap of Green for the day and was going to head back up for a 4th lap.  I continued on at a plodding pace, surprised by the increasing amount of drifted snow from the unexpected squall the previous day, probably more snow fell/drifted yesterday than the previous minor snowfalls combined and I was wishing I had my Microspikes.

After a few minutes on top, I started down and intended to turn around and follow Tony back up once we crossed paths again, which happened at the flat spot on the NW Ridge.  I did my best to keep up without traction, as he was wearing Microspikes (yeah, that is my excuse ;)), but I felt kind of sluggish and he put 15 or so seconds on me on the final steep steps to the summit, despite it being his 4th lap and he was able to negative split each ascent, pretty frickin amazing.

We hung out on the summit for a while and headed down Greenman to the Ranger Cabin/Gregory to spice things up, going a moderate pace and chatting all the while about various topics related to running mostly and the upcoming NF50.  Once at the car, I changed into dry shirt, hat, windbreaker, gloves and tried to talk Tony into a 5th lap, which he contemplated, but ultimately thought better of it.

I started back up Gregory, at a reluctant and non-commital pace, a little spoiled by having had Tony along for a good bit of the previous lap for enthusiastic conversation and good energy, now it was just me heading up in the cold.  Each step forward, I contemplated it being my last in that direction and looked at each one as further away from the car instead of closer to where I wanted to go. 

I intended to head up to where I met Tony and turned around for my re-ascent to complete the two lap loop, but once I got there, I stopped and debated a bit, as it just did not feel right (especially knowing that Tony just clicked off 4 laps), so I continued on to the summit despite tired legs, falling temps, a quickly setting sun and a heavy bonk (I forget my gel at the car, oops).  I was the last one on the peak, so I shuffled back down at a dedicated, yet not too fast pace, just zoning out to the Car Guys on my earphones, arriving back at the TH as it was getting dark.  I was frozen and worked over by the time I finished and hurried home with the heat in the car blasting, then took an extended hot shower and chewed the handle off the fridge as GZ likes to say.  My endurance is pretty lacking right now (at least it is in the snow/cold temps with no insufficient food) and I think my fitness is waning fast as well.  Luckily, I am not training for anything, just getting out as much as I can before I start back to work on Sunday.


Ascent 1:  Gregory/Ranger: 41

Ascent 2:  Gregory/Ranger: 49

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday, 11/16/10 Green Mountain

I was up early feeding babies and figured since it was starting to get light as I was finishing up, I would strike while the iron was hot.  Somehow it managed to take me 90 or so minutes to dress, eat, check e-mail, download my daily podcasts, drive to Boulder, then poop at the TH.  Just as I was about ready to go (7:30am-ish), I heard a distant and distinct scratch, scrape, scratch, scrape and figured it must be Homie, since I was parked next to his car.  I was right in my assumption and spent a short while chatting with him.  We both had to boogie, as I had ~1 hour to meet Brandon and possibly go another lap (if I could get clearance from home) and Homie had to do something, not sure what he called it, work I think he said.

Due to the snow, I had been avoiding the front side in favor of shallower grades and marginally more sunshine of Gregory/Ranger, so I figured for something different, I would go up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman.  Immidiately I felt like crap, my legs had no pep and it was all I could do to get up the larger step ups.  My vision was also a little skewed, dark in the periphery and the middle was kind of like I got a surprise flash from a camera, or stared at the sun for a little too long.  I just went slowish (since that was about all I could muster up) and was thankful to make it to the top.  The wind was blowing, so I threw on my wind breaker and took off down Ranger/Gregory to warm up.  Fortunately, not long below the 4-way, the wind subsided and the day seemed warm again.  I just cruised casually on auto pilot back to the TH and then waited on Brandon to tell him that I would not be able to join him for a second lap (permission denied, probably for the best anyways considering how lousy I felt on the first lap).  I think lack of sleep was the main culprit, I should have just slept in and gone later.  Oh well, a tough day on Green is better than a great day on the flats or a treadmill.


Up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman:  39:52
Down Ranger/Gregory:  25

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday, 11/14/10 Green Mountain

Up/Down Gregory/Ranger

Started off at nearly 3pm at a quick, but comfortable pace up Gregory.  Passed the cabin in a surprising 15:38 (surprising, considering the lack of concentrated effort and how effortless it felt).  I knew that my splits would suffer above the cabin, no matter the effort I put in due to the snow and ice, as the trail is nicely packed, but still pretty slick the entire way to the summit.  Microspikes might have been nice just for efficiency sake on the upper half, but it hardly seems worth it at this point to have to mess with them.  I considered screw shoes for the next trip, but the though of scratching around on the bare lower half is even more unappealing.


Cabin: 15:38
Greenman/Ranger: 19:28
Flat spot on ridge: 24:15
4-Way:  33:34
Summit:  36:59

Descent:  22:52

RT:  59:53

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday, 11/13/10 Green Mountain

Easy day out with Homie up/down Gregory/Ranger.  Jogged casually and hiked some, just chatting away and enjoying the day.  Met up with a fellow runner named Jaime from Denver on the summit and chatted with him for a bit, but soon got cold and had to keep moving.  Bumped into and chatted with Tony for a short while on the descent and then bumped into my friend Rick from Maryland who we started off with briefly and talked with him for a while.

~46 up
?? down

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday, 11/12/13 Green Mountain

Moderate run up/down Gregory/Ranger.  Started around 2:30pm and it was a bit colder than I anticipated and I had expected that more of the snow would have melted.  Aside from occasional ice and snow,  Gregory was mostly bare, but everything above the cabin was packed snow and ice.

40:36 up
24 down

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, 11/11/10 Green Mountain

Got out for a great run today up Green Mountain in the snow.  Met up with Dave, Brandon, Dave's friend Nicolas (Mermoud, 3rd at UTMB a few years ago/co-founder of Hoka shoes), Geoff and Joe (Grant) at Chautauqua and headed up Gregory, where we eventually met up with Tony and a photographer/videographer, as they were doing some filming for a running magazine.  They joined us to the top of Green, where we spent a while socializing.  Dave, Geoff and Nicolas headed over to Bear/S. Boulder, while Tony, Joe, Brandon and I all had to get back, so we opted for Bear Canyon.  It was so much fun getting out on a snowy day with a great group.  I felt like I was sucking wind a bit, I think having a bit of trouble getting used to the new and slippery running surface, as it seems to take a bit more out of you (not to mention running with such an elite crowd).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday, 11/09/10 Green Mountain

I did not get out of the house until after 11am and by then, the sky was looking pretty bleak toward Boulder.  I was hoping for the best, but as soon as I started down the hill West of McCaslin, I could see a wall of rain and the temperature dropped from the mid 40's to the upper 30's.  As soon as I drove into the squall of blustery wetness, I thought to myself that I did not need to be out in that mess, so I whipped a u-turn to head home.  I backtracked a mile back toward home and felt really bad at the prospect of squandering a few precious hours of free time, so I busted another u and headed to Gregory TH.

A truck coming down Flag confirmed my suspicions that it was snowing up high, so I just had to endure rain for a short while.  6 or so minutes up Gregory, the rain stalled out and there were increasing traces of snow.  Above the cabin, snow became the predominant surface and once on the NW ridge, it was a full on howling blizzard with at least an inch of fresh snow, with deeper drifts in spots.

Though I was wearing shorts, I was dressed just well enough to be comfortable(ish) as long as I did not slow down or stop for anything.  I was so thankful that I made the decision to head up the hill.  I was wearing the Hokas again and they did very well in the snow, but were a little slick on wet rock (as many shoes are, and they did however keep my feet relatively dry, as they are so high off the ground).  Now it is snowing here at home in Louisville and I can't wait to go back tomorrow and play a bit in the new Wintry playground.


39 up Gregory/Ranger (semi casual/survival pace)
22 down Gregory/Ranger (pushing a bit at times, but being super careful on the wet rock)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, 11/07/10 Green/Bear/S. Boulder

An awesome run on another great Fall day, hard to believe it is November already and I am still comfortable running in no more than shorts and a t-shirt every day, as it has been in the mid to upper 70's as of late.  Met up with Dave, Tony, Geoff, Krissy, Darcy, Dan, Charles, and Jason for a casual trip over a few Boulder peaks.  I felt as though I was about the only one who has not been on the cover of, or featured in Trail Runner magazine, quite the accomplished group.

We generally took it pretty easy, but ran at the upper end of conversational pace at the most for a few minutes near the summit of each peak, where we then re-grouped and hung out for a long time, chatting and taking in the fine day.  Sitting on SoBo Peak, we could see an impressive line of dark storm clouds marching toward us coming off the divide.  The imposing weather and rapid change in temperature, coupled with the need to get home to the girls, had us running reasonably quick back down off Bear via Fern Canyon.  I led the way, with Tony and Geoff on my tail, going quick, but not really pushing too hard.  Interesting to hear their chatter about how great Killian Jornet is (I agree), but they both smoked him at WS100 by an hour, so what does that say about them?  Some rare air indeed.

We made it back to Chautauqua just in time, as it began to rain and get all hurricano-ish.

As is happening at the Zack household, the never ending Dog/Squirrel battle is also continuing to rage with full fury here in Louisville.  This goes on all day long, literally.  All I have to say is "Sierra, theres a BAAAAD Squirrel" and she about breaks through the glass door.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday, 11/06/10 Green Mountain and Hoka impressions

Met up with Homie at 9am/Chautauqua for a run up the front side of Green.  I was anxious to catch up with him, enjoy the record or near record warmth for the date and also try out a pair of Hoka Mafate shoes that I am borrowing for a few days.  At first the shoes feel (look) a bit silly, as they are so big and boaty.  Though they are reasonably light considering their bulk, the rocker action of the outsole took a bit of getting used to and they do not feel like a fast shoe, at least not to me (but that might be more a result of being up half the night tending to newborn twin daughters).  The cushion on them is incredible and I immidiately started to seek out every obstacle I could find to put them to the test, big sharp rocks, small sharp rocks, roots, pointy stumps etc.... and I could not feel a thing.  I became more and more impressed with the cushioning and was really looking forward to seeing how stable they are on the technical downhill and how they would eat up the impact.

Though initially tentative, I slowly cranked up the speed coming down the upper section of Greenman and was very impressed at how stable they are despite the added ~2" to my height.  These shoes are like a plush, full suspension mountain bike on the downhill, smoothing out the ride and making the trip more comfortable.  They don't quite have the stability of a really low slung shoe, but are as good or better than all of the middle of the road trail shoes I have used over the years.  The tread pattern and rubber composition is awesome and really hook up well on various steep surfaces. 

I'm not sure I would run in this shoe daily, but it would be ideally suited to somebody recovering from/nursing or trying to prevent a nagging foot injury and would probably be awesome for a 100 mile race.  I am guessing that ones feet would feel quite fresh wearing such shoes over long distances over rugged/rocky terrain.  I will be disappointed to have to turn them in, as it would make an excellent addition to my quiver of trail shoes.

After months of mocking these shoes, I have to eat my words.  Just another example of "don't knock it till you try it".


Up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman (from Gregory):  45 going a relaxed conversational pace
Down Greenman/NE/1st-2nd Flatiron route back to Chautauqua: 28

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday, 11/05/10 Now I am 6' tall

I'll admit that I have laughed at these Hoka shoes more than once, but I figured I can't knock em till I try them.  I got a test pair today and plan to give them a whirl tomorrow.  I'll report back soon.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday, 11/04/10 Green Mountain

Ran up Green this morning from Chautauqua, up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at what started off as a painful effort and not very quick, until I backed off the pace a bit and just gave in to the fact that I was not at all on today.  Headed back down Greenman at a very casual pace, intending to continue down Saddle Rock/Amphi, but at the last minute hung a left and took Greenman down to Gregory.  I really like technical trails, but that new(ish)/refurbished stretch of trail between Ranger and Saddle Rock, just perfectly smooth, gently twisting and undulating singletrack through the forest is a really nice treat.

Warmup: ~5 minutes
Up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman:  34:42
Down Greenman/Gregory:  28
Cooldown back to Chautauqua:  ~4 minutes

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, 11/02/10 Green Mountain

As I rolled up to my normal parking spot by the bridge at the base of Flag just a few minutes before 3pm, I was surprised to see that all spots were taken.  It turned out to be a great coincidence, as I drove up to park at the Gregory lot, I  passed Tony running up the road and asked if he minded company. 

We headed up Gregory at a moderate conversational pace, passed the cabin in 17ish (I think, as I was not really paying attention) and kept the pace even until a bit after the Greenman/Ranger junction.  Almost imperceptibly, we began to dial up the effort, conversation ceased and we settled into a fairly steady effort.  It was a bit harder than I had planned to push, but I had no plan or real reason to hold back, so I just focused on Tony's heels and we cruised up the mountain in perfect sync.  We topped out in 36, which was good considering the casual start and might have even been a PR on the upper half then for me at least.

After hanging out on the summit for 5 or so minutes, we decided to take advantage of such a perfect Fall day and headed down Green/Bear, Bear Canyon and then Mesa Trail.  We went a solid pace, chatting all the while and stopped a few times for bio breaks, rock in shoe removal, wildlife camera investigating and scoping future bushwhack routes.

Tony bailed off the Mesa Trail at Skunk Canyon to go do some barefoot miles and I continued North back to Chautauqua, or oops, I forgot, back to Gregory TH, which meant a good bit more climbing/rolling terrain on the Bluebell-Baird trail back to the car instead of the nice smooth sail I had in my mind back to Chautauqua.  An awesome run on an awesome day.  Thanks Tony, I appreciated the company and conversation.

I did not really catch any splits, but we were 36 up Green and 1:29 for the loop with the summit break and a few stops on the way down.

Start: 3pm
Finish: 4:29pm

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, 11/01/10 Green Mountain

After walking around Chautauqua with Allison, Amelie, Isabelle and Sierra, I got an hour long pass to hit up Green Mountain while they hung out on the lawn next to the van.  After a ~5 minute casual warm up to the Gregory TH, I started my watch and headed up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at a moderate, but lousy feeling pace.  My legs felt like lead and it was as though I were running on a slippery treadmill and seemed as though I was going nowhere, or at least nowhere fast.  I debated cutting the run short, as to not hold up the family, but I just kept going, not pushing, but not really holding back either.  My time splits were nothing great, but not as terrible as it felt, so I pressed a little bit harder for the next 8 or 9 minutes above the Saddle Rock/Greenman Junction (only because it is flat/down for a short while) and then slowly faded toward the end, topping out in a better than anticipated 33:55.  Nothing great, but much better than I would have guessed early on.  My final split was actually close to PR pace, so I guess I just needed a bit of a warm up.  The final switchbacks were coated in a light dusting of snow, a nice surprise and a reminder that Winter is right around the corner on this first day of November.



Down in 20:55

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday, 10/30/10 Basic Boulder Mountain Marathon

I was pretty sure that I would be unable to participate in this years Basic Boulder Mountain Marathon (otherwise known as an end of season BTR social run), but at the last minute, got confirmation that I could get out for a few hours.  Knowing that a few hours would not be enough to complete the entire circuit, I elected to stash my car at the Cragmoor TH (major thanks to Brandon for picking me up) which enabled me to at least join in some of the fun.

We started off from Phil's house around 9am, where we headed toward Flagstaff at a very casual/conversational pace and it was great to catch up with friends new and old.  It was a little crazy how many prolific runners were out to celebrate running in Boulder on such a fine day.  Tony Krupicka, Dave Mackey, Scott Jurek, Geoff Roes and Nick Clark to name a few, plus more than a handful of very fast local guys and gals, too many to try to name.

Once we passed Flagstaff Road, Dave and I inadvertantly got a small gap on the group behind, but never deliberately upped the pace, as we were just cruising along at the high end of conversational pace (for me at least) but Dave was having no trouble, nor was Tony, whose voice we could hear chatting away a little ways back over all the other voices.

Dave and I topped out on Green together, less than a minute ahead of the group.  I asked if he wanted to wait, but he elected to keep on going, so I led the way back down.  We kept a pretty casual pace down Green-Bear and Bear Canyon, just chatting away and joking a bunch, enjoying an absolutely perfect fall day.  Once we hit the Mesa Trail, we headed South and at Shanahan, I said bye to Dave and another guy named Scott? that caught up to us and back tracked a bit to chat with the group behind.  I got in front of Jurek and went along at the casual pace they were going, behind him was Geoff, Nick, Ryan Cooper, Johannes and a handful of guys I did not know.  Before long, we caught up with Dave again who stopped for a nature break and we all just cruised along in sync to the Bluestem Trail, then down to the East end, where I very reluctantly had to bail at 10:55am, missing out on the ascent of Shadow Canyon/SoBo/Bear where I was guessing the intensity would pick up a bit.

Eager to get home and score points for being timely, the hardest running of the day was my trip back to the Cragmoor TH.  I was pushing fairly hard and managed to get back there in 13 minutes.

Though I was a little bummed to bail early (as I was feeling great and wanted to go the entire distance) I was elated to get out for part of the run at least on such a perfect day.  Cruising along with some of the superstars of the sport/great friends made for a day I will always remember.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday, 10/28/10 Green Mountain

Went with Allison, started from halfway (we were short on time), up Greenman, down Ranger.  Though a long ways from her previous fitness, she is getting her energy back and jogged the flatter stretches and hiked fast on the steeper stuff, then we ran back down to the car.  It was pleasantly cool and sunny and the high mountains to the West are dressed in a nice thick, new coat of white.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday, 10/27/10 Eldorado Mountain

After a few days off tending to babies (not to mention the hideous wind), I was driving toward Boulder intending to run Green, but turned toward Eldo at the last minute with the intention of running up Eldorado Mountain.  I parked where the road turns to dirt and took the back way to the Fowler Trail and then up the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail at a very easy pace.  About 2/3 of the way up the trail, where it switchbacks near the bench and signs, I got off the trail and headed up the steepish hillside onto the NW ridge.  This worked OK, but seemed a bit long and I think was slower than my normal route of staying on the trail, almost to the tracks and heading directly up the very steep hillside at the log fence.

I was cold to start, but since I was going uphill, I was maintaining a decent temperature in shorts, t-shirt and a thermal bike shirt, but once on the ridge, the wind was pounding and I was glad that (reluctantly at the last minute) I stuffed another light long sleeve shirt and light windbreaker into my jersey pockets and frantically put them on.  I kept going along the rough ridge, often times getting thrown off balance.  I came down with a bad case of "ice cream headache" from the freezing temperatures and hammering wind and was really wishing that I had a warm hat and/or balaclava.  Puddles in the rocks were frozen solid, which helped assure me that it truly was cold and I was not just being a wimp (OK, I was being a little bit wimpy).  Each step I contemplated bailing, as this was the most uncomfortable I have been in recent memory.  I tried working my way up on the steeper and more over grown leeward/East side of the ridge, but progress was painfully slow and at times dangerous, so I alternately took my chances with the wind.

With low motivation, I was just not on top of my game and my coordination, recollection of the route and navigational abilities were a bit off and I constantly found myself taking more time than necessary to route find around obstacles.

I tagged the summit and paused for not a second and started working my way down.  As has happened to me before, the terrain slowly lures one a bit far to the right on the descent, but I was leery of this and only had to make one minor correction through some rough bushes to get back on track and re-find the start of the NW ridge.  My descent was slow and cautious as I tried to not get blown off and make a bad mis-step into the talus or take a ~15 foot fall.  I bailed off the ridge a bit earlier than on my ascent which made for a more efficient line back down to the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail.  The remainder of the run back to the car was relatively warmer and pleasant, even though the wind was still cranking up intermittently.  This was really more of a hike/bushwhack with a jogging approach.

Up: 1:07
Down: :53

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday, 10/24/10 Green Mountain

Driving to Boulder, I was feeling sluggish, low on energy and lacking sleep.  I was mentally into getting out for a run, but my body was just not feeling all that into it.  As soon as I laced up my shoes and got on the trail though, everything seemed better and I was feeling springy.  I headed up Gregory/Crown Rock up to the Flagstaff trail at a quick pace, but not really digging too deep.  Once at the top of Flagstaff, I looped around on the Ute trail, crossed Flagstaff road and then over to the Ranger Cabin.  I hung a right up the Long Canyon Trail, SuperFlag, W. Ridge to the top of Green and was just feeling really solid.

Feeling great at this point, I was itching to crank it down Bear Canyon and Mesa Trail back to Chautauqua.  My footwork was spot on and I was in that zen like state of focus and concentration, feeling as though I was flowing down the trail like water.  As I got to the Bear Canyon/Mesa Junction, I could see a runner going fast a minute or so down the trail and in an instant, I got that competetive surge of adreneline and was in chase mode.  I had already been going near my limit on the descent, but I upped the intensity even more and caught the runner just before the Mallory Cave jct. and kept pushing the pace even higher, dropped quickly across Skunk Canyon and punched it up the other side.  I could see the runner hanging tough just seconds back, but I was on a mission to crack him and push to a PR descent back to Chautauqua.  I could see I was opening a gap and just kept rolling it, gaining a few minutes by the end.

I hung out until until he rolled in and we exchanged compliments on a job well done and chatted for a while.  He admitted that I spooked him, kicking him into competition mode, but he blew on the climb out of Skunk Canyon.  I gave him credit for a good fight and he certainly pressed me into giving it all I had.  All in all, an awesome day out and I felt spot on, totally in the groove.


Gregory TH to Flag:  17:20
Ranger Cabin:  26:04
SuperFlag:  43:08
Green:  57:43

Green to Bear W. Ridge jct.:  8:24
Wood Bridge getting into Bear Canyon:  11
Mesa Trail:  23:04
Finish at Chautauqua:  42:13

RT:  1:39:56 (plus ~7 minutes of warm up/cool down)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday, 10/22/10 Green Mountain

Met up with GZ at Chautauqua for a run up Green.  Went up the front side at an easy conversational pace and then back via GreenBear/Bear Cnyn/Mesa, going easy and chit chatting the entire time.  The foliage is awesome right now and the rain on the way down added to the beauty.  As always, it was great to catch up with George, wish we could do this more often.

Up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman: 41 from Gregory (another ~5 from Chautauqua?)
Down Bear Canyon/Mesa:  52

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday, 10/21/10 Bear/South Boulder

I was able to sneak out of the house for a bit this morning on the pretense of looking for a furnace filter at McGuckins, yet soon found myself at the Cragmoor TH, ready to get in some quick fresh air.  After 4 days off, I felt decent at the start, but my lack of sleep over the past few nights feeding and changing Amelie and Isabelle was quickly creeping up on me.  I stubbed my toe and almost fell twice on the way up, as I was feeling a bit lethargic.  I just backed off the pace a bit and went back and forth between the high end of moderate and the low end of moderate.  I was a complete dope on the downhills/technical and it took all of my concentration to not fall off the edge of the mountain.  It was still awesome to be out on a fine Fall day and have a little time to myself.


Bear:  43:57
Bear to SoBo:  10:44
SoBo to Bear:  9:30
Descent from Bear:  27:06
RT:  1:31:17

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday, 10/16/10 Green/Bear

Had another awesome run on yet another perfect Fall day.  Started from 6th/Baseline and jogged easy up to the Gregory TH.  Started my watch and headed up Amphi/Saddle/Greenman at a casually moderate pace and topped out in 35:50ish.  Not content with just Green on such a day, I continued on over to Bear at a similar trot, just cruising along and enjoying the sunshine on my face.  I could have kept going all day if I had enough water, gels and enough time, but I had to get back.

I cruised off of Bear quickly, but not really pushing at all, just on auto pilot, relying on my well choreographed memory of the trail, not to mention my foot accuracy was bomber today.  Once on the Mesa Trail, I upped the tempo a bit and cruised it back in to Chautauqua.  The trails were quite packed today, I think it is homecoming or something, Boulder was an absolute mess.


Green: 35:50ish
Green to Bear: 37:20 (Start W. Ridge: 9:45)
Bear to Chautauqua:  38:15 (Bear Saddle 7:5?, Mesa Trail 16:55)

1:51:25 RT

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday, 10/15/10 Green Mountain

What an amazing day, mid 70's, crystal clear blue skies, not a bit of wind, snow capped peaks and brilliant fall colors.  Best of all, Allison joined me.  Certainly one of the best of my 120 something trips up there this year, days just do not get better than this!

Start of Long Canyon

Mt. Audubon

James Peak

Longs Peak

Bear Peak

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday, 10/14/10 Green Mountain

Brandon and I met up at Chautauqua around 8:45am for a trip up Green. I was going to suggest going up the front, but I know Brandon prefers Gregory/Ranger, as it is a little less steep. My legs were feeling decent and I was feeling like pushing a bit, so I started off quick, intending to break 35 and hopefully PR. I made it to the Ranger Cabin in 15:13, 10 seconds slower than PR pace, but was not too worried. I thought I carried my momentum well into the second half, but my gut feeling told me that I was slowly losing a second or two here and there. I was moving well, but as I made my way through the final switchbacks before the 4-way, I was doing a little mental math and was sure I would not be close and got a little discouraged. Hit the 4-way in 31:46, 23 seconds behind, but pushed hard to the top, recovering 5 seconds, topping out in 34:57, 19 seconds slower than PR, but my second fastest time on that route ever, so I was generally pleased with that all things considered.

After taking a minute or so to catch my breath, I headed back down the trail to meet Brandon a little ways down and followed him back up to the top. I was starting to get anxious to go see my twins and was a little bit more worked over than usual, so instead going over to Bear Peak as previously discussed, we bailed on that idea and just casually jogged back to Chautauqua via Bear Canyon/Mesa Trail chatting it up. It was great to catch up with Brandon, as it has been too long and awesome to push hard and get in a good effort.


Cabin: 15:13
Greenman/Ranger jct.: 18:46
Flat spot on ridge: 23:08
4-way: 31:46
Summit: 34:57
Descent to Chautauqua: 50:19

Wednesday, 10/13/10 Mesa Trail Hike

Allison, Sierra and I got out for a nice, several mile hike on the Mesa/Bluestem trails from S. Mesa TH late in the afternoon. The weather was sunny and pleasantly cool and even a bit chilly as the sun set behind the peaks, but we appreciated the fall colors and temps. Allison is really getting her energy back and is eager to get up Green Mountain again and get in a bit more vertical gain. I am super impressed with her hiking energy, just two weeks after delivering twins.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, 10/12/10 Bear Peak Night Run

Started off up the trail from Cragmoor at an easy jog, a bit after 6:20pm and it was a bit damp from the recent rain and pretty dusky due to the cloud cover. At the slab, I dug out my new Fenix LD-20, 205 lumen light for a bit of assistance and it soon became a necessity once into Fern Canyon. The air was very calm, the temperature was perfect and I found myself to be a bit over dressed with light tights under shorts and 2 shirts. I have been up Bear and a few other peaks at night before, but this was my first solo trip. I’d be lying if I said that I was not at least slightly on edge about what might be lurking in the shadows and even heard “something” on two occasions, but just passed it off as paranoia. Once on the summit, I shut off my lights and just took in the utterly amazing views of the lights along the front range and enjoyed the peacefulness. I quickly chilled and was now thankful for the clothes I was wearing and added a light windbreaker, beanie and glove liners for the descent. The Fenix light is awesome and even though I typically have trouble in the dark, I did OK with the help of this light. It is even a bit too bright on the highest setting and found it to be perfectly adequate on the medium setting. The ground was damp, so my shoes were always a bit wet/muddy, which make traction a bit of an issue at times, so I took it very cautious. Once past the Mesa Trail, I clicked my light to the brightest setting and opened up my stride a bit.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed this night run, I would hope to change two things next time. Having company would be great to make the outing a bit more enjoyable, along with a decent headlamp to compliment the handheld light. I hope to do something like this again soon, let me know if you are interested.

48 up/31 down

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday, 10/11/10 Green Mountain

I got out of work a little early, as I had to run a few errands in Boulder and just barely had enough time to squeeze in a lap on Green, as it has been a few days since I have been out and I could not resist such a perfect fall day.

Went up Amphi/Saddle/NE Ridge/Greenman.  Started off at a very moderately casual pace, and hit the first split in 6:15, which felt surprisingly easy.  I was moving well and it was all feeling effortless, so I upped the pace to the higher side of moderate for a bit, just rolling with it, but not really feeling inclined to dig in.  As I approached the summit, I pushed reasonably hard for the final 4 minutes.  Headed back down the exact same way, not pushing at all, just letting my feet flow.  This run felt awesome, awesome to be outside, awesome to feel good, awesome to connect with my surroundings and awesome to be a dad to beautiful twin daughters!!

Up:  32:27
Down:  18:50

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday, 10/08/10 Bear/S. Boulder

I was mentally into going fast, but my body was having none of it.  Started from Cragmoor again shortly after 10am and intended to put in a hard effort up Fern, but after arriving at the Mesa Trail in a disappointing 10:05 at what felt like a harder effort than 2 days ago (was nearly a minute faster at a much lower perceived effort on Wednesday), I decided to bang a right and back off the intensity a bit and just cruised over to Bear Canyon/West Ridge to the summit of Bear.  Bear Canyon is awesome right now and really looks like fall (thanks for the tip Tony).  Made a casual trip to SoBo and back, then down Fern back to the car and bonked on the way down, making me a bit sloppy(er) and slow(er).

Mesa Trail:  10:05
Mouth of Bear Canyon:  15:20
W. Ridge Jct.:  36:40
Bear: 1:01
SoBo: 1:11
Bear: 1:21
Saddle: 1:29
Finish: 1:49

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday, 10/07/10 Green Mountain

After many months of being pregnant, a month in bed, culminating with giving birth to twin girls, Allison decided that it was time for a trip up Green Mountain.  To make things easier, we drove up SuperFlag and took the W. Ridge Trail to the summit which was shorter, with much less elevation gain.  She took it easy, but still did great all things considered, as it will take her a while to get her strength and fitness back.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday, 10/06/10 Bear/S. Boulder Peak (PR)

After a few hours of holding my girls at the hospital, I was itching to get out to stretch a bit and get in a good run.  I headed over to the Cragmoor TH with no specific intentions, just get out there and see how things unfold.  It was a little after noon and the clouds parted shortly after I started and made things feel warm and a little humid, where the humidity helped a bit with the breathing.  As soon as I started up the trail I knew it was going to be a good day.  My legs felt super solid and my lungs were good, so I upped the intensity to the low side of hard.  I crossed the Mesa Trail in ~9:20ish I think, passed the slab at 13:15, Fern jct. at 14:57 and the saddle in high 24.  I knew these splits were close to PR, maybe a little behind, but my effort seemed very controlled.  I powerhiked with my hands on my knees for the upper 1,000 feet and ran some when I could, sprinting to the pole and tagged it in 37:57 and scampered the final rocks to the true summit in another :33 for a 38:30 ascent, just a few seconds shy of PR.

Anxious to get to the girls next feeding, I boogied very quick and smooth over to S. Boulder, my feet very precise and my legs not the least bit fatigued, crossing the saddle in 3:30 and tagging the summit in 9:15, certainly a PR split.  The trip back to the saddle took 3:30, then I re-crossed the summit of Bear in 7:57, another PR in that direction.  Having a complete blast with it and feeling as though I was walking on air, as if I could do no wrong, I ripped the descent, each step in perfect sync, which almost felt choreographed. 

I made the very technical, ~1,000 foot drop to the saddle in another PR of 6:57, the Shanahan/Slab junction in 12:4? and the Mesa Trail in 16:39.  I knew it would tough to beat my descent PR of 21:30 (set in January with perfect bobsled run conditions) down to Cragmoor, but I still kept pushing hard and finished in 22:55 for a 1:18:37 RT.

Though I missed my ascent PR by a very small amount, I was very pleased with the perceived effort involved and doing it with such inconsistent training, but super stoked on the remainder of the splits I put together.  More and more, I am totally into pushing the technical downhills.

Part of what made my run awesome today, was wearing a new pair of Keen test shoes (that I don't think are on the market yet).  They are a super light, minimalist trail racing flat with bomber traction/grip.  I loved the feeling of being so stable and low to the ground, but still having decent protection.  I think I am on to something (Tony, I now get it..... ;)).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, 10/04/10 Green Mountain

Tried to sneak out for what I hoped to be a quick run, but at the last minute, Sierra guilted me into taking her, so it ended up being a slow hike, but I enjoyed having her along regardless.

48 up
35 down

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday, 10/02/10 Green Mountain

Sierra and I got out for an amazing run up Green via Gregory/Ranger today.  The weather finally seems to be cooling off and it felt so refreshing, pleasantly warm in the sun and pleasantly cool in the shade.  I went what felt like a super easy pace waiting for Sierra as she sniffed and took her time, but my mood and overall state of body and mind were in such a place, that had I been alone, I would have been floating up the trail.  The state of happiness, peace and contentment on today's run was above anything I have ever felt, I could just not stop smiling and wanted to tell everyone I passed about my recent good fortune.  I have heard so many times before, that kids change your life for the better like you can't imagine, so I had high hopes and expectations that turned out to be far beyond what I dreamed.  I bumped into Aaron ?, who I met a many months ago on Green, but we recognized each other right away.  We stopped for a nice conversation near the top of Green and talked kids and trail gear for a while.  Nice to bump into you Aaron.

Up Gregory/Ranger:  39:08
Down " ":  27:20

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, 09/28/10 Green Mountain

Up Gregory/Ranger, down Greenman/Saddle/Amphi

Another warmer than average day, 91 I think, but I was still eager to get out and cruise up Green as I got out of work a bit early. Today I just ran and did what my legs dictated, never pushing, never holding back and felt like I was just along for the ride, I would call this a moderate run. It felt great to be out enjoying the afternoon despite the record or near record heat for the date and I pretty much had the trails entirely to myself. Made the top in 36:48, not my best, but decent considering the heat, how easy it felt and I fielded a phone call along the way. I spent my customary few minutes on top taking in the views and then headed down the front in a relaxed feeling 22:??.

Cabin: 16:16
Greenman/Ranger: 19:5?
Flat spot on ridge: 24:24
4 Way: 33:20
Summit: 36:48

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekly Summary: 9/20/10-9/26/10

Every day I get up a peak, I am a little bit on edge, waiting for "the call", knowing I could have to set a new descent PR and realize it could be my last summit for a while.  This sense of uncertainty and impending changes fatherhood will bring make me appreciate each day out that much more.  My only regret this week was not being able to get out with any of my usual running partners, as it is often tough to coordinate under the best of circumstances, but now I can't really plan, I just have to get out when I can, usually decided at the last minute.

Monday, 09/20/10, Bear Peak:

Easy dog jog with Sierra from Cragmoor TH. We had the mountain to ourselves and really enjoyed the peacefulness, solitude and cooling temperatures near the top. The clouds were very interesting to watch as distant storms developed to the South and East. I contemplated heading over to S. Boulder, as we had the time, but I instead used that time to just relax, enjoy my surroundings and time alone with Sierra. It was a special moment with her, as I could tell that she was really enjoying the time with me on the mountain, high above the plains just as much as I was. The eye contact, relaxed posture and ear to ear doggy grin spoke volumes. Though sometimes I get a little selfish and impatient having to wait for her on our runs, it is moments like this, when we really connect that I am especially grateful to have her in my life and be able to share such adventures.

Tuesday, 09/21/10, Green Mountain:

I was feeling kind of tired and sluggish, but after over indulging at a work celebration lunch (had a hamburger, chicken/veggie wrap, schwarma plate, Vietnamese noodle bowl, chocolate frosted/chocolate cupcake, and two single serving helpings of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream), my main motivation was just to burn some calories to help offset my major gluttony. I started up Amphitheater at a reluctant pace, but my legs felt decent and despite my bloated belly, my time split at the top of Amphi was respectable given the lack of effort and motivation (6:46). I upped the intensity just a tiny bit to the Greenman junction (19:59), but still felt as though I was just casually cruising. Again, I slowly and incrementally upped the pace some more, aided by the brief reduction of gradient, looking ahead and trying to guess where I would be in one minute, then another minute, etc…. This little game was helping and before I knew it, I was moving at what felt to be a very solid pace, but without digging very deep, it felt super controlled and sustainable and my feet were effortlessly gliding over the rocks. Had I not ate so much at lunch and put in a bit more effort over the first 20 minutes, I am positive I would have gone 2+ minutes faster and might have PRed. I topped out at 5pm in 34:27, took a moment taking in the views, backtracked in a relaxed 21:30 back to the TH. Though this was not one of my faster runs, but it was surprisingly satisfying and fun.

Thursday, 09/23/10, Bear Peak:

Another very easy dog jog. We started early and it was quite cool, so I was hoping that this would help Sierra go a little quicker, but she ended up being very slow, so this turned into mostly a hike. 55 up, 35 down.

Saturday, 09/24/10, S. Boulder/Bear:

Started from S. Mesa at 3:30pm. Was amped to go fast, mainly because I was in a hurry to get back to the hospital, but also because I was just itching to have some fun pushing myself a bit. Unfortunately, my body was not up to the task of what my mind wanted to do. My legs felt pretty good, but my stomach was a little bloated from having lunch less than 30 minutes prior and I was getting a pretty significant cramp in my left ribs. About halfway up Shadow, my lower back really started to ache as well. It is odd, this only really happens to me in Shadow Canyon for some reason, but rarely on other similarly steep trails. There is something about this section of trail in particular. I topped out on SoBo in a disappointing 51:24, nearly 6 minutes off PR, although I was putting in as much or more effort than when I ran a 45 a few years ago. My feet were not particularly accurate and I seemed to fumble a bit up/down the SoBo summit boulders and even had trouble picking the perfect line, as I normally have each step choreographed. I was able to rally a bit and made it to the summit of Bear in 9:22, but still did not feel particularly snappy. I pushed a little bit on the down at times, making it back in 32:10. 1:32:56 for the RT, not as quick of a run as I had envisioned, but very satisfying regardless.

Sunday, 09/26/10 Green Mountain:

Started from Chautauqua after work, headed up via 1st/2nd Flatiron access trail, up to NE ridge, then Greenman. It was hot and my legs were a little tired, so I just took it fairly easy up and down. 44:43 up, ~30 down.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekly Summary: September 13th- September 19th 2010

Overall a decent week considering all that is going on in my life away from running.  I am more and more thankful each time I can get up a Boulder Peak and have really enjoyed spending time taking it easy with Sierra, just enjoying being outdoors.  Most days I feel as though my fitness is fading, but then have the occasional day like running the 3 peaks on Friday at race effort where I know the fitness is still there waiting on me to call upon it. Either way though, my "fast" days are very numbered at this point and I am OK with that and really look forward to shifting gears and becoming a dad to twin girls. I’ll enjoy what I can to the fullest in the meantime though.

Monday, September 13th:


Tuesday, September 14th:

Bear Peak from Cragmoor with Sierra, easy dog jog/hike in the afternoon/early evening after work. 47 up/40 down.

Wednesday, September 15th:


Thursday, September 16th:

Bear Peak/S. Boulder Peak with Sierra from Cragmoor.  We started sometime between 7:30am and 8am (I don’t remember exactly) and it was nice to be out in cooler weather and Sierra appreciated it as well. Bumped into Tony in Fern Canyon and chatted with him for a bit. 46 up Bear, 12 to SoBo, 11 back to Bear and 35 down for a 1:44 RT. Very casual outing at Sierra pace.

Friday, September 17th:

Green/Bear/S. Boulder

Feeling a strong urge to push myself a bit more than I have been lately, I left Sierra behind and started from the TH at Bear Mountain Dr. and headed up Green via Bear Canyon at 7:45am. My legs and lungs were feeling pretty good and I pushed hard the entire way. On the new switchbacks in Bear Canyon, I saw a runner moving pretty fast above/ahead and that ignited a bit of my competitive drive, motivating me to push even harder.  It took about 1/3 to ½ of a mile to finally catch him and I just kept on rolling after exchanging hellos.

I made the summit of Green in what I believe to be a PR time of 50:52 for that particular route, took a short breather to drink some water and turned around, eager to rip the downhill. Made the 4-way in 1:52ish, then the Bear W. Ridge jct. in 8:46, feeling pretty precise and accurate on the down. The initial pitch on the W. Ridge trail to Bear Peak was a bit harsh getting into a rhythm as my legs protested at going back uphill, but the eventual rolling nature of the trail helped me to get back into a groove after a few minutes. I am not sure what my PR is to Bear from Green without doing digging through my records, but I normally consider under 40 to be decent. I made the sign below the West side of the summit in 36:15 and figured there was no way I would make the summing in sub 37, but pushed anyways and snuck in at 36:57 by traversing the usual up/right ramp on the West side, then taking the short direct class 3 pitch for the final ~15 feet.

On the trip to SoBo, I was really starting to feel the effort in my legs, but crossed the saddle in a quick 3:41. From the saddle, it is normally ~5 minutes to the summit, but I was starting to fade and then took a phone call over the final section which slowed me even further (I’m only carrying the phone now just in case Allison goes into labor, so this is not normal for me) and hit the summit in 10:15 from Bear.

After a gel and the remainder of my water, I pushed hard back to Bear in 9:15 (100 less vertical feet going this way) and began the steep descent of Fern. I was feeling a bit sloppy and less accurate descending the very steep, loose and technical trail, but passed the saddle in a re-assuring 7:41, then made the Mesa Trail (sticking to Fern and not my normal Shananhan/Slab cutoff) in another 10 minutes. From here, I just cruised out the remainder of the non-technical trail back to the TH for a 27:55 descent off Bear and 2:15:14 total.


Bear Mountain Dr.: 0:00
Green: 50:52
Bear: 1:27:49
SoBo: 1:38:04
Bear again: 1:47:19
Mesa Trail: 2:04:51
Finish Bear Mountain Dr. 2:15:14

Saturday, September 18th:

S. Boulder/Bear with Homie and Sierra.

Met Homie at the S. Mesa TH at 3:30pm and headed up Homestead/Towhee/Shadow at an easy pace, stopping at every creek crossing for Sierra to drink and chatting the entire way up. The sun had finally come out and it was quite pleasant and surprisingly cool in the shade, but not cold. A welcome relief from the Indian Summer we have been having. We made the summit of SoBo in 1:11, then headed over to Bear, taking a few minutes on each peak. Not sure how long we were out for, but I think it was a little over 2 hours for the entire trip. My legs felt surprisingly good after my hard effort the previous day and I felt like I could have pushed again, but it was awesome to get Sierra out and enjoy conversation with Homie.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Who would have thought?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekly Summary, September 6-12th, 2010

September 6-12th, 2010

Allison came home from the hospital on Monday, but was still on bed rest which meant no running for me on the days that I had to work. With the Fourmile Fire in Boulder emitting massive amounts of smoke throughout the area Mon-Weds, I would not have run anyways, so it helped ease the temptation quite a bit. Once the smoke cleared and I had a bit more time to play with, I took full advantage (as much as I could squeeze in anyways) and ended up having a great few days of running with great friends and Sierra.  Each day, as impending fatherhood and the Fall/Winter season approach, I realize how fortunate I am to be able to get out on such great trails, get in an awesome workout and share it with great friends.  I am truly thankful.

Thursday, 09/09/10

Green Mountain: Up Gregory/Ranger, down front/NE ridge with Sierra and my friend Joe who I have known since the 6th grade. Joe played a huge part in my decision to move to Colorado back in 1996 and we have shared quite a few good times and adventures together over the past ~27 years.  We both were silently aware that this was probably our last hike for quite some time, as he is moving to Quebec to live with his new wife Heather.  I was content taking it super easy, just enjoying the cool morning, fresh air and great conversation. We bumped into Tony near the summit and chatted with him for a bit, then spent a while on the summit checking out what little was left of the fire.

Friday, 09/10/10

2 laps on Green Mountain.

Lap 1: Dave Mackey was visiting town for a bit and we planned to meet up at Chautauqua for a 7am run up Green. Unfortunately, his phone alarm malfunctioned and he overslept and was unable to make it, but fortunately GZ and Tony showed. We headed up Gregory/Long Canyon/W. Ridge at a conversational pace, chatting it up quite a bit, mostly about running of course, but occasionally other topics would come up like the fire and having twins. I think I had 57 minutes for the ascent from Chautauqua. We spent a long time on the summit, just enjoying. Tony decided to head over to Bear, while George and I headed down the front. We bumped into Dave on Amphi, where he joined us back to Chautauqua.

Lap 2: After a gel and some water, Dave and I headed back up via the 1st Flatiron access trail, then up NE ridge to the summit. 48 or 49 minutes I think, but I did not really pay any attention to the watch all day. After another long and enjoyable break on the summit, we headed down Ranger/Gregory. It was great catching up with Dave and I miss having him around to run with.

Saturday, 09/11/10

S. Boulder Peak/Bear Peak

After spending the morning having breakfast with Allison and helping her out some (she is back at the hospital and will be there until the twins arrive), I headed home, rounded up Sierra and headed over to the S. Mesa TH. There was a sign immediately warning of rattlesnakes on the trail, but what trail(s)? There are often times signs posted warning of bears, lions, snakes etc…. but I never see them. Well, almost never. ~1/4 of the way up Shadow Canyon, I heard an odd, but unsettling noise that instantaneously threw up the red flag. At first is sounded like some sort of hiss, but a quick glance down to my left revealed a ~4 foot rattlesnake, 1 foot away on the side of the trail in strike position. My primal instincts kicked in and I jumped back with a massive surge of adrenaline and yelled at Sierra to stop. I was surprised by the sound of my shaky voice. I put her on leash and wrapped it around my hand tightly, only giving her about 1’ of slack. This was my first up close encounter on the trails with a rattlesnake and though I was initially scared shitless, my fear quickly morphed into fascination.  The snake took it’s sweet time on the trail and I eventually became impatient and wanted to extract Sierra and I from the situation. From a safe distance, I tossed a few very small pebbles at it, just to get it moving, which worked, but not before some rattling and posturing. We made SoBo in a very pokey 1:12 after lots of water stops, backtracking to wait on Sierra and the rattlesnake delay with subsequent storytelling and warning fellow hikers. It was an amazing day, so we spent ~10 minutes on each summit before heading back. 2:30 for the RT.

Sunday, 09/12/10

Green Mountain with Brandon, up Gregory/Ranger at a mellow pace, then down the front going easy.  I paused at the NE ridge cutoff and presented the option of heading down to the 1st Flatiron route, but Brandon let out a big sigh which I took as a no.  Halfway down I got a call to fetch a prescription from the soon to close Walgreens and had to pick up the pace a bit.  41:03 up, ??:?? down.  It was pretty warm still and I am almost ready for cooler days (slightly cooler).

Unrelated to running, but I got a kick out of the BonerTron EX-100 on the wall in the hospital rooms.