Saturday, January 7, 2012

Week ending Jan 7

Back in town from Seattle, it's the new year and I need a resolution. So here it goes - I'm going to document all of my runs in a journal format, with the occasional picture and GPS track. Without further ado...

Monday: 8 miles, 1500ft of gain, Foothills trail. The ice remaining on the trails is dense and slick, and the most-traveled trails are churned from foot and bike traffic when it warms above freezing - thus, lots of ankle rolling was had.

Tuesday: 8 miles,  1500ft of gain, Foothills trail. I can feel the altitude after spending a couple of weeks in Seattle.

Wednesday: 10 miles, 2000ft of gain, Foothills trail. I'm working toward 10 miles as my easy-run distance, which works out to about 80 minutes on this route - not bad for 1500ft of gain. The Foothills trail is not as churned/icy on the north end by Laporte.

Thursday: Off. Enjoying the 60 degree weather by doing errands on the bike.

Friday: 12 miles, 1000ft of gain, Soderberg Open Space and Lory State Park, on the rolling trails near the reservoir shore. This was to be my long run, but when I got to the trailhead in Lory to go up Arthur's Rock and do some mountain running, I found the trail completely frozen solid. As in, the trail looked like a river of ice, like someone poured water down the trail overnight. That, on top of feeling a bit off, made me cut this run short. I'll return tomorrow with microspikes, but even they may be inadequate, so I may have to stick to the south side of Horsetooth where everything is melted.

Saturday: 20 miles with 4000ft of gain, and easily the best I've felt on a long run in a while. Maybe it was the new shoes (the MT110's are awesome). I went up to the top of Horsetooth, descended down Towers Road, and then hooked up with the Nomad trail in the meadows via Stout and Sawmill (this little section is now my favorite, the descent on Sawmill is quite fun). I did an out-and-back through the meadows to the northern edge of Lory, retracing yesterday's run, and then returned to Stout via Towers. After that I ran the contour trail around the southeast side of the mountain to Horsetooth Falls and almost did a back flip on the ice at the bottom of the canyon.

 My domain.

 Descending Sawmill down to the meadows.

 Cruising through the meadows at the base of Arthur's Rock. The trail is rolling and you can really open it up through here.

 East side of Horsetooth Mountain - look at those orange hues!

 I can see my house from here! Not really.

Spring Creek trail above the canyon, approaching the falls.

 Yep, we be goin' down there. There's just enough snow and ice on the trail here to cause a wipeout.

The weather was crisp, in the low twenties with a light breeze, and the skies were gray, but after the first hour and a half I was flying. I finished in a little under three hours, making my average pace 7.5 mph - for me, this is fast, because the elevation gain and the trail quality make it a tough run. All of this on five hours of sleep after a fun night visiting friends in Denver, and with only one Gu. I don't know, some days you feel good and just need to roll with it.

Mileage: 58
Time: 8 hours
Elevation gain: 10,000ft

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