Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thursday, 03/13/14 Green Mountain

22.6 miles
3,210 vert.
3 hours 22 minutes
8:57 pace
151 AHR

The planets aligned today to take our van in for long overdue maintenance, so I dropped it off at the garage a little after 8am near 55th/Arapahoe and used the opportunity to get in a long run as preparation for my upcoming double crossing of the Grand Canyon on April 4th/5th.

Headed North on 55th to the creek path and followed the creek path all the way up until it ended, then on to Red Lion and up Chapman Drive (~8 miles just to get here).  I have not really traveled along Boulder Creek since during the floods and was impressed to see the changes now that the water has receded.  There is still quite a bit of debris and the creek bed is quite altered in spots.  There were multiple tractors and work crews working in and along the river.  There is still quite a bit of clean up work to be had, which I assume they are working hard to complete before the anticipated heavy Spring runoff.

Chapman has been closed since the floods and I have seen parts of it, but this was my first time running it's entire length and I was surprised (well, not really too surprised after all the inconsistent and illogical decisions OSMP has made since the Sept. floods) and certainly annoyed to find that the lower closed section of trail (dirt road) is minimally impacted with only a few short sections of moderate erosion and one very deep (but small) hole that could easily be fenced off for the time being.

Once on the open upper section of Chapman trail/dirt road, I was amazed at how severely eroded it was for about a half mile or more, certainly one of the more significantly impacted segments of trails I have seen since the flooding, yet this is open.  I need to find out why this is, I just don't get the logic here.

From the top of Chapman, I headed up Superflag, then up Green via W. Ridge, which was a bit slow as there is still a good bit of ice and my Bondis don't have the best traction.  There was actually a surprising amount of ice on the upper section of the Canyon bike path and on sections of Chapman as well, which slowed things a bit on the up and down.

The descent was a cruise and it felt good to keep my cadence up.  I planned on running as far as I could go until I intercepted with Allison who I was keeping in touch with on the phone and we ended up meeting at the library (Allison also ran Green via Gregory/Ranger, but I missed her on the summit by just a few minutes).

This was a good training run for RRR, as the mellow gradient of the creek path is very similar to the almost imperceptible grade from Phanton Ranch through the box canyon and on to Cottonwood, followed by a steeper climb.  The September floods even deposited a good bit of sand that helped replicate conditions, so I aimed for it and kept off the cement as much as I could.

All in all a good outing despite involving some city running.  I was never really killing it, but it was a solid effort where I felt great the whole time (well, after 2 or 3 miles to warm up) and certainly could have gone much further, as I felt quite fresh at the end and after.  I think the variety and turnover will help my run at the ditch, but more importantly, I have been enjoying these runs where I have been getting off my usual routes that involve more slogging than running this time of year and seeing some different scenery.

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is, heck of a run. I'd be happy with 13-minute pace for that.

    I also didn't realize the part from the plains to the base of Green has so much gain; I usually log about 2,500 ft going up Green from Baseline.