Longest effort of 2011 at 4+ hours. Three 8,000+ foot peaks. Double Green Mountain ascents.
We committed to spending a weekend on the Front Range instead of our usual commute to Leadville because of a few kid’s parties. Therefore, I found the energy and time to run longer in the hills around here today. I had some ideas on the run but kind of just let it play out as I went. Its less stressful to me if I just stay out as I please instead of having to complete some specific course. Plus, the conditions on Tuesday sucked but I figured they would have greatly improved with this heat wave we are in.
And so I went. Up the backside of Green for summit #1 on the day.
For some asinine reason, I wore the Kwickies today. No grip on dirt or rock. They fuckers have a spongy foam on the bottom in the front outer. WTF. Had my spikes though. Only used them on the Steeps before the switchbacks. That trail will be spike-free in a few more days.
Off to Bear Peak from there. A bit of snow on the trail but never put the spikes on. Just cruised it nice and easy. Hiked up the back side over all the rocks. That was my only non-running of the day. A view of Boulder from Bear.
Looking back at Green then a bit further you can see the Lefthand forest fire still smoking. Not sure what the containment is but that area burns like every other year.
Over to SoBo. All snowy from the saddle to the top. I swear that place never melts out.
Decisions. I figured Shadow Canyon would be an icy piece of shit but if my figure 8 were to occur I would have to take it. OK. Interestingly, it was really nice. Only 2 icy sections and they had rocks planted throughout that you could tip toe across. Plus, I saw more people on Shadow that any other trail I was on all day. It was busy. Got back down to the Mesa Trail and found it to only be muddy in a few of the usual spots. My Kwickies were kwickly getting dirty. When I got to the mouth of Bear Canyon, I took a quick inventory. I was about 3 hours in and…never felt better. Sold. Headed up Bear for a Tony-esque final summit of Green on the day. Cruised up every step of the trail. Handful of people along the way made for some good mental chasing as I pursued them. Finally, got up to my second summit of Green on the day.
Descended via Greeman and felt really good on the descent. Wore the spikes for most of it just so I could keep cruising. I saw 4 hours pass on the clock and I was still having a good time out there. However, I needed to call it a day and get back home. But it was noted that I felt great and really didn’t see an end to my energy on the day at the point. Got back to the car and my feet were glad to get out of those shoes. My socks had been soaked for hours from all that splashing around.
In retrospect, I am pretty happy with this run but I can always find a flaw. The pros are easy. I don’t do enough of these long runs in the 4-6 hour range. Hopefully, this is a start for 2011. In prior runs of this distance in these same hills, I have bonked hard. I had no such experience today. I was consistent the entire day. One time after a traverse with Jim here, I thought I was going to pass out driving home. Not today. Fully functional. I made sure I had to do a couple of solid climbs to get that back to back effect. I tend to avoid that otherwise. The big con of the day was that it was slow. I was surprised this took so long but there was a lot of time messing with my spikes. On then off. On then off. I quit hitting the watch because I knew I would forget to restart it and mess up my beautiful GPS figure 8 picture. The speed will come later. I feel like my aerobic base building paid dividends today. It felt solid and effortless most of the time.
I went 16.04 miles with an elevation gain of 6,639 feet in 04:15:59, which is an average pace of 15:57. Heart rate average was 139. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.