Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday, 07/05/12 Green Mountain Middle Route PR and Bear Sighting

6.3 miles/2,301 vert./1:04:07 RT (38:08 up)/avg. HR 165 (173 for the ascent)

I was not sure I would even get out for a run today, as I was a bit sore this morning from a 9.2 mile hike yesterday carrying Isabelle and all the gear for the day up to ~11,300 ft. Heart Lake in the Indian Peaks.  We were also super busy all day today and the timing just seemed right for a day off.  However, Allison encouraged me to get out of the house a bit after 5pm and I could not resist the hall pass, especially since there was a bit of storming and rain to cool things off.

Got started around 6pm (had to go get an emissions test first) and was not sure what to expect, figured I would head up Gregory and maybe Long Canyon then to the summit of Green.  Once I got rolling though, I felt surprisingly good and although a bit warm now that the sun was starting to shine again, my splits were encouraging, yet it all felt somewhat easy (well not really easy, but it really felt good).

Once I got to the top of Gregory, I knew I had to stick to the back route or the middle route, as I was sure I had a pretty solid time in my legs.  I kept waffling, sure I was in range to PR on either and figured the middle would be fun.

Just after I stayed left on Greenman at the Ranger jct., I crested the knoll on the sweeping curve where the old (closed) trail comes in and spotted what I thought was a very large black dog right next to the trail.  A did a double take and realized that it was a black bear about 30 feet away.  I paused momentarily just as it noticed me and it sprinted a few paces before stopping to check me out.  I said a few nice words as I passed and quickly resumed my pace, now checking over my shoulder often for good measure.

The remainder of the way to the summit, I felt really solid (maybe not my best, but better than I have since May) and it was one of those runs where I just wanted the trail to continue upward for much longer, as it came way too soon.

On top, I hung out for a few to take in the views and then chatted with another runner named Von who showed up a few minutes after I, as we realized we had a few friends in common (2nd Von I have met on the peaks in 2 weeks who we have mutual friends, funny).  Backtracked down the way I came in hopes of spotting the bear again, but it was nowhere to be found.

Overall, a surprisingly good run and it felt great to PR by over a minute (1:06), especially on a day that started out as what felt like should be a rest day.  I think the humidity in the air really helped me a lot, as well as the cooler temperatures (though still probably in the 80's when I started).  The bear encounter also cost me some seconds too, so without that, I am positive I would have been sub 38, so I'll shoot for that next time.


1st bridge:  2:24
2nd bridge:  5:10
1mile/top of Gregory:  12:25
Cabin:  15:10
Greenman/Ranger Split:  18:46 (thought I was 18:41, but the Garmin says 18:46)
Bear encounter:  19:18-19:40 (or so, was paying closer attention to the bear than I was the watch)
Greenman/Saddle jct.:  23:50
Summit:  38:08


  1. Glad the bear was there to keep you in check.

  2. Hey jeff. Nice talking to you up on green. i would love to run sometime.