Monday: 6.2 miles (1:04) 1112'
First day in a while that I have felt like running and haven't felt like there was no air to breathe in this godforsaken place. I enjoyed my run. Fancy that. Getting all up excited for the next week.
Tuesday: 5.1 miles, 1703'
A rest day from running. I was planning on going out in the morning and finding some light Class 3/4 scrambles to do but ended up bailing after falling asleep at midnight on Monday. I woke up and kept reading 1984, which I feel weird about reading so late in my life. 1984 is one of those books that I always wanted to read and yet never came around to putting in my hands and opening the pages. I breezed through 50 pages or so before putting it down and doing some work.
After finishing up my work, I convinced a roommate to go out around Dinosaur Mountain and do some nice scrambles. We ended up going out in the late afternoon and taking NCAR through and above Mallory Cave Trail (which is still closed due to White Nose Syndrome). We climbed up a few easy class 3 routes with an actual climbing movement or two before I realized that my Altra shoes weren't going to cut it. I knew this before, but after slipping for the 3rd time on what should have been an easy class 4 crack climb, I decided to take it a little easy.
We worked our way up to a nice Class 4 scramble with a few probable class 5 moves when I stopped before the false summit of Dino Mountain. The gap started narrow at the bottom, around 2 feet, and widened by the crack which sat a few feet above my head. It should have been an easy press and shimmy up to the crack, but after failing to get any traction on my shoes I bailed on the move. I just didn't have the confidence for it with the exposure I was getting below.
I sat and watched the sun which was beginning to set hit the side of a few mountains before downclimbing and making it back to the end. A fun day scrambling, but definitely thinking of resoling some running shoes with sticky rubber to make the moves I know I can make with the confidence that my shoes won't slip out from under me.
Wednesday: 8 miles (1:29) 1443'
Another perfect morning to run. Went out on the same warm up run beside NCAR before catching Mesa up into Bear Canyon. I am falling in love with this trail. The sporadic rock placement makes for interesting split second decisions and the cliff drop off looking toward Dinosaur Mountain makes an elegant view. The beginning of the trail is mostly protected by Pine trees, but as I climb further up beyond the switchbacks and the small boulder field I am greeted by an unexpected copse of aspens. I was around half a mile away from the Green Mountain climb before turning around for the day. Most likely climbing around the same trail tomorrow.
Thursday: 9.6 miles (2:01) 2335'
I decided to explore a section of the trail a little closer to Chautauqua to broaden my trail horizons. Decided once I started to visit Royal Arch. Definitely a hard route to run, mainly due to the grip on my Altra shoes and the small steps going up. Ended up doing a ton of powerhiking. Once up to the Arch I sat for a while. Below me flew a screeching hawk ostensibly hunting for prey. As I watched him soar a hummingbird came within a foot of my face and stayed for a few seconds before breaking off in search of nectar. I ran back down on a slightly different path, catching Mesa trail before coming around back home.
Finished up 1984. This has taken a lot more time than it usually does to read a piece of fiction for me. Mainly due to me attempting to soak in all the little details and feel what Orwell felt as he wrote the piece. I must say that I am pleasantly surprised. I came into the book with low expectations due to the popularity of the book---much of which I am sure comes from people who have never read or understand the purpose of his writing. The complete lack of salvation at the end of the book was maybe my favorite part, because sometimes stories don't have a happy ending. And as the great director Orson Welles said, "If you want a happy ending it depends on where you stop the story." Or something like that and possibly misattributed. No clue, I just like the quote.
Friday: 6 miles (:56) 987'
One of my favorite little 6 mile routes up Mesa Trail and onto some maintenance trails. Saw a nice, easy scrambling opportunity at the top of the route that allowed a peaceful view of the front range melding down into the Colorado flatland.
Saturday: 12 miles (2:12) 2007'
Woah there cowboy. I'm feeling dead in these legs. I was planning on doing a longer run up through Bear Canyon, but bailed on that idea as soon as I put my foot down and began running. My legs were tired as #%@! during the climbs. This makes sense, I haven't adapted to the stresses of climbing and my legs are still building up to speed. I decided to detour off into Mesa Trail and take a loop through South Boulder Creek and back up to my house. Once I got out of the climbs, it was a fun romp through a little bit of unexplored trail.
Sunday: 11.1 miles (1:35) 823'
As per my body and some reconfiguration from my coach, decided to lay off the severe uphills today and do something much lighter at Marshall Mesa. My only mistake was thinking that the route was only 10 miles. Once I was 7 miles into the loop and could see the trail sweeping past me and further still from my parked car, I decided to ask someone the distance to finish the loop, "Around 8-9 miles." Oh well, I figured I would finish the loop. I ended up traveling around 16 miles, but the final 5 was a long, glorified cool-down and unrecorded other than by my body.
Video/Music of the Week: