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.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Weekly Summary August 30-September 5th

The last week has been a bit of a whirlwind and I have involuntarily missed out on running in the hills on several perfect final days of summer. At 30 weeks gestation, Allison is having an increasingly difficult time carrying twins and we have made several planned and un-planned trips to the hospital over the past few days, where she is now admitted on strict bed rest and being monitored closely.  The girls are doing great and Allison is stable, so we'll keep our fingers crossed and take it day to day. 

Free time and available time to work on my long and ever increasing list of things to do has been cut significantly short, as I try to balance day to day life duties, taking care of Allison and preparing for the girls arrival. Each day, I naively think that I will be able to carve out a 90 minute slot to go run a peak in Boulder, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to fit in and justify while there are so many other more important things to do and while Allison needs me the most. High mountain trips are most surely a thing of the past, at least until next year (this is very (EXTREMELY!!!) painful on these perfect bluebird final days of summer).

As outdoor adventures decrease over the coming weeks/months, so will my updates on this blog, but, this past spring I started a new blog about our journey of raising twins, so feel free to follow our progress there:

I have not updated the new blog very often, but hope to when there is more to post (if I can squeeze it in).

Anyways, a brief weekly summary:

Monday: Off due to social/dinner obligations

Tuesday: Green. Up/down front.  39:58 up (legs felt tired and it was hot, so I walked mostly and jogged a few of the flatter sections, maybe 5-7 minutes of total running). Easy down, 29 minutes.

Wednesday: S. Boulder and Bear in the morning with Sierra. Started around 9am and Sierra was already hot on the approach and was busy sniffing/marking, so the pace was pretty relaxed, mostly a hike for her sake, but it was fun being out.  2.5 hours total.

Thursday: Off (spent an unplanned 9 hours at the hospital)

Friday: Off, a no can do, between errands, assembling a crib, hospital trips and stuff around the house, running was not even an option, but being that busy actually provided more of a workout than had I only run Green, then caught up on blogs all day.

Saturday: Spent the morning at the hospital, then spent the afternoon shopping for/picking up a new dresser (then spent an un-planned 2+ hours assembling said dresser (the only work I was spared was actually cutting the trees and extracting/machining the metals)). In the evening, I ended up forcing myself to get out the door and take Sierra up Bear. It was hot to start, but was nice and cool up high as the sun set.  I was itching to get over to SoBo also, but knew that would leave me finishing in the dark and I needed to get back to the hospital.  Though my legs felt great and I was raring to just rip it up and down, we took it easy and drank plenty of water. 43 up/38 down.  I need to get one of those swell Fenix lights as the days get shorter.

Sunday:  Green Mountain from Chautauqua via 1st/2nd Flatiron.  Pushed a bit on the up, 39:59, then moderate on the down in 26.  It was a bit too hot to be pushing and I was drowning in my pflegm.