Run: Mount Sanitas (3.21 mi)

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We had a small Valentine party this morning at home. Then it was time to go get lunch and run errands but Sydney had a 100-something fever. We were not going anywhere. Kim wasn’t feeling great either. The only folks looking to get out were the dogs and I. So with my credits built up from my Valentine party, I asked to take the dogs to Boulder to run Sanitas while everyone relaxed and got well at home. I got approval so I packed some gear and the dogs and got rolling. This would be only my 2nd time on this popular trail.

I had a few weird running days this past week where I either wasn’t running good or felt slow. Got me a little depressed. I wasn’t able to see through it and note that I am putting 50-mile weeks in during February. 2 years ago I didn’t run in the winter at all. Now, this is nothing. Progress, slow progress. Anyway, we got down to the new trailhead across from the parked full Sanitas trailhead and headed out. 10 feet into the run both dogs did #2. Can’t we just get running already? On the bright side, I didn’t have to carry two bags of shit up the mountain. So we tried it again and went for it. Those steps on Sanitas slow me down. Big steps. I was able to notice that I am favoring the right leg on them and it gets tired quicker. I need to alternate. So I tried that. Small progress. Dakota is a 4-legged climbing machine — with a weight problem — but she stayed right with me on the whole way up. Often leading me and looking back over her shoulder as to say “which way now?”. I find it comforting to have them out there. Gives you someone to talk to and takes your mind off the pain.

We didn’t stop and hit the summit in 28 minutes and change. Conditions weren’t too bad going up the south side. Slick in a few spots but my speed was mostly hampered by my climbing lungs and legs. The dogs were pretty much not a factor on the way up.

Mount Sanitas

After tapping the pole (which is the way you signal you made it), I took a breather and got the dogs water and snapped some photos. The dogs were happier eating the light snow up top. Fine.

Mount Sanitas
Mount Sanitas

Dakota wandered out the west side of the summit and was off in the trees. Probably looking for another deer leg. She would come back and check in when I whistled. Starting to think these guys still listen to me. Wyatt and I just chilled for a minute until we realized that we were both getting cold. Time to head down! I was thinking we would fly down but that wasn’t going to happen. The East Ridge was slippery and I didn’t bring any traction devices. I about fell on my ass 4 times. Once I did but caught myself right before smacking my tailbone into a protruding rock. So we took it easy and figured it wasn’t about time/pace today. Plus, I took the correct trail this time — not like when I took Kim down the old closed nasty trail.

Once we hit the switchbacks, it started to open up and we got some speed. Well, I did — I looked back and the dogs hadn’t been keeping up. They were nearly out of sight. Oops. They do great on the climb and technical down but when it comes to open downhill trail, their legs are not long enough. So I would run. Stop. Let them catch up. Then go again. Did that 4 or 5 times till we hit the trailhead. The outing went from fun so sucky for them I think because of that section. Luckily, it is a short run. But that is the only bummer for me. Got a good hour in but it was only like 3.21 miles but a climb of 1,500 feet. Oh well, it isn’t always about the total miles. I get really hung up on that sometimes. Hill work is good. So we hit the car in 28 minutes again. So same time up as down. Down time was definitely hurt by dogs and slick conditions.

I really appreciated Kim letting me get out for the day. It felt great to be out in the light snowfall running. Perked me right up. I also love getting the dogs out. They are my Valentines too I guess. I will be so happy if they go to the vet in a few months and are down weight. Overall, I celebrated by going to The North Face for the big clearance winter sale and buying myself a few Valentine presents because I REALLY needed that stuff. Really, really needed it.

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