Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Colorado Adventures: Weekly Log 13-Aug-12 to 19-Aug-12

6 miles.  Estes Park, CO.  Elevation 8,010'.
Didn't have much time before leaving, but explored a little further into Rocky Mountain National Park today.

Before sunrise, elk were bolder and
came right out on the Y grounds

Between good trail signs and
a trail map, I never got lost

Another day of awesome views while running the trails
in Rocky Mountain National Park
9 mile morning run.  Telluride, CO.  9,500' elevation.  Ran the "easy" Boulevard Trail today.  Totally winded.  0.5 mile in, my Garmin died.  Panic!  Somewhere out there, Greg H is smirking and telling me to just leave the watch behind.

Afternoon:  Mesa Verde National Park with family:
Climbing up 32' ladders to Pueblo
cliff dwelling ruins
Pueblo "Balcony House" ruins
circa 1200AD
8 miles.  Uncompahgre National Forest.  PR!  What kind of PR, you ask?  That would be an elevation gain running PR:  1,100'.  Not as in I ran 100' up and down 11 times, but rather I started at 9,500' and my highest point was 10,600', so total elevation climb would be even more.
I am not ashamed to say I ran some 11-minute miles and took a number of breaks, but I didn't walk any and was thrilled I did it.  The screaming downhill finish was intoxicating and insane.

Along today's trail

3 miles into my run today,
damn near all uphill climbs

Cool forest singletrack
up at 10,600'
3 miles downhill to finish:
somewhere in the valley is where I started

Afternoon:  Strenuous family hike (Matthew picked it) up to 11,900'.  Followed by frolicking in the pool.  It was all good until reality hit when my boss reached me and asked if I could sign on to help resolve a technology problem that was holding up a project.  Arggh!

14 mile mountain run! 
  • Elevation range:  9,300' to 11,200' (not a typo)
  • Temperature range:  47 degrees at start, 61 at finish (perfect running weather)
  • Humans encountered:  1 (another crazy early morning trail runner at start)
  • Animals encountered:  chipmunks and marmots (wierd gopher looking animal living in rocks)
  • Course:  Prospect Trail (billed as longest single-track at Telluride at 10 miles), plus a few trail spurs added on
  • Views:  priceless!
Neat stream, sorry "creek", crossing
Trail crosses cool rock strewn field;
I had to stop and climb the rock pile
Priceless views along the trail
Which way does the trail go?
"It's better to get lost in the woods than
in a maze of cubicles" - Merrell
Soaking my weary body in Ouray Hot Springs Pool
after a tiring day of mountain running, hiking, and lap swimming
400 yards at Ouray

4 miles was all I could fit in early morning before checking out and the long drive back to Denver.  Re-ran the "easy" gravel Boulevard Trail with "only" a 300' continuous climb.
Afternoon break enroute at Garden of the Gods, where we ran on and jumped on the freakish rocks:
Garden of the Gods,
Colorado Springs, CO
Saturday: 0 (flight day back to RI)

15 mile early WTAC group run with Muddy and Mike B.  Wood River Junction to Carter Preserve trails, roads through Shannock, back Pine Hill Road in Richmond to North-South trail back to WRJ.  "Jonny's run", but without trailmaster Jonny we inadvertently took a shortcut and left out the "fun" uphill climb along the power lines.  Actually felt good running up Shannock Hill - was that because I didn't have Jonny pushing the pace uphill today, or because the mountains and altitude in CO helped me?  I'm going with both.
Good running company; I don't think I would have been able to get this one out on my own being tired after two consecutive days of travel.
Afternoon:  3 miles barefoot on sand from Westerly Town Beach to Seaside and back.  Apparently none of us got in enough running from this morning's long run?   Muddy went out for a few more.  The two CT Mikes went for a 5-miler on the beach at Noon.  Does that make 20 miles on the day for Mike B and a record for him?  Caught up with Mike B again at Seaside.  Mike C had bailed before I got there (apparently he had heard I was on my way and high-tailed it out of there - I can understand that).

Weekly mileage totals:
Run:  59 miles!
Swim:  0.25 miles

Week in review ramblings:
  • Our country is just so massive, and so beautiful.
  • Pace doesn't mean much in the mountains; it's just more indicative of your elevation gain/loss, altitude, and how trashed your legs are at any given moment.
  • After the week I had out west, it's going to be really tough to go back to that maze of cubicles in the concrete jungle tomorrow.
  • Don't ever take for granted our proximity to the ocean - certainly one thing I missed out in CO.
  • I've been prying Muddy for his fall marathon plan, while I still have yet to make my own.  Decision within the week.


  1. Wow, sounds like great family and running fun in CO. Well done!

  2. Jealous of your trip - sounds awesome. Wish i could have run up that mountain with you on Wednesday.

  3. Your views beat the heck outta mine!!! See you guys soon!