Post-camp rest…

High Lonesome
High Lonesome living up to its name.

Hey, careful, man, there’s a beverage here! ~ The Dude

Mon 12 July: 3:58, 21.54 miles, Hello Muddah: Day 3 Betasso laps
Wed 14 July: 00:32, 3 miles, Casa Trails barefoot
Thurs 15 July: 00:36, 4.11 miles, Janet’s house surges
Sat 17 July: 2:00, 11.20 miles, Casa Trails exploration
Sun 18 July: 3:30, 16 miles, High Lonesome
Total: 10:38, 55.85 miles, 8,924′ vert

Finished up Camp One: Hello Muddah with an easily supported effort in Betasso that fed into some night running. It was hot, even at the 6:00 start but my legs responded quickly to the effort and I fell into a nice rhythm spinning laps just over 30-minutes long. Ate shit on lap 3 and cut both elbows, my left hand and my back and landed heavily on my right hip. Such is life… hopped back up and continued, albeit bloody and dirty. Maintained a fairly steady pace throughout only walking during the final laps as my legs got tired and it got dark. All in all a successful end to a successful Camp. Feeling more and more prepared for the race, which is great.

The next several days were all about rest and recovery so I took Tuesday completely off, did a very mellow run on Wednesday barefoot then just rolled some easy miles with a few surges with Janet on Thursday. I was back at it Saturday with 2 hours in the woods. Didn’t feel great but did find a new trail to keep me entertained. All in all, I felt better as the day progressed, so that was encouraging.

Sunday, I headed up to one of my favorite routes, High Lonesome. This trail peaks at about 12,000 feet on the Continental Divide in the Indian Peaks Wilderness northwest of my house. I started at the Hessie Trailhead after a deep creek crossing on my motorcycle, which was exciting (and wet). The King Lake trail is fairly mellow and I made quick work of the ascent, feeling strong and fresh. Hit the High Lonesome trail in about 1:20 then headed north along the divide to amazing scenery bursting with color. The wildflowers are amazing this time of year and seeing them up high makes it even more special.

Spun a couple miles on High Lonesome then dropped down on the Devil’s Thumb Lake trail. There was one large patch of snow with which to contend but it wasn’t a huge deal. Then I made my way down, past Devil’s Thumb Lake and decided to burn a little more time by heading back up to Lost Lake. I usually spend quite a bit of time in the Lost Lake area in the winter so it was cool to see it un-frozen and devoid of snow. Found our standard hike-out area and poked around up there a little bit before heading back down to the moto where I packed up and headed into Ned to meet with Pete to discuss crew logistics for the race.

All in all, a good week off the heavy lifting with some fun miles thrown in for good measure. We are now about 5 weeks out and I am feeling strong, fit and healthy. All good ways to be.


Busy bee…

It’s a grind. ~ Soul Coughing

Mon 28 June: 00:29, 2.81 miles, Casa Trails barefoot
Tues 29 June: 00:59, 5.74 miles, Thorne Lake surges
Wed 30 June: 2:24, 8.48 miles, South Arapaho Peak
Thurs 1 July: 2:08, 9.5 miles, Arapaho Glacier Trail
Sat 3 July: 2:56, 17.95 miles, Cirque de Ned
Sun 4 July: 4.25, 22.64 miles, GGCSP Mega Zoo loop
Total: 13:33, 67.48 miles, 6495′ vert

Seems like I get progressively tardier on these updates. Staying busy for sure.

This was a bit of an “off” week but I still managed over 65 miles and lots of good training. Summited South Arapaho on Wednesday in record time. Beat my previous record to the summit by 35 minutes – for the round trip. So a pretty decent effort. Headed back up there Thursday night with Bob and Brad for a good hike/run. We got stormed off at about 12,000 feet and pretty soaked in the dark on the way down but it was so worth the trip and great to spend some time with those guys.

Saturday, I ventured out on a great loop from my house to Nederland. Typically, this ends up being about 24 miles and 4 hours or so, so I asked Rach to pick me up in Rollinsville at about the 3-hour mark. Rolled in there a little early, feeling strong.

Sunday was spent retracing a route I first did in ’08 with pretty poor results. This time, I added a couple of miles and decreased my time by about 30 minutes and felt solid throughout.

Definitely feeling the strain of all the training I have been doing these past 6 months. Rach reminded me the other night that I should enjoy the journey as well as the destination, and she is absolutely right. I’m looking forward to Camp 1: Hello Mudda in Leadville this weekend. Scheduled to run the first 23 miles of the course on Saturday, do a Colorado Trail out/back then double crossing of Hope on Sunday, then head home and do a night run on Monday. May spin Betasso laps for that. Spaces are still available and company would be most welcomed if anyone would like to join in the fun and/or games.


Long and strong…

Nothing good ever happens after midnight. ~ John D. Roach
(Particularly if you are breaking more than one law at a time.) ~ Rachel Bellamy

Yesterday: Nada
Today: Run – King’s Lake to High Lonesome to Diamond Lake to home, 8 hours
Tomorrow: Nada

Today’s adventure was awesome. Luke picked me up at 6:30 and we headed to Hessee to start our big run. The weather was pretty much perfect and, with the wildflowers in full effect, we were treated to a wonderful run up King’s Lake trail to High Lonesome and back around to Diamond Lake trail.

We started off slowly and maintained a steady pace most of the day. The moon was setting over Rollins Pass as we headed up from the valley floor. Everything was lush and green and we ascended up above treeline (topping out at 12,200 feet). The views from the summit were amazing. We were able to look down on Winter Park/Mary Jane ski areas from our vantage point atop the ridge and there is a remarkable amount of beetle kill on the back range. This seems to be slowly creeping over the divide too which is not good news. I think the best we can hope for is an extreme winter to help cull the beetle numbers as the last few winters have been relatively mild temperature-wise.

We headed north along the ridge line to Diamond Lake trail and dropped down into this great little basin. There are a bunch of fun-looking ski lines up here but, as Luke pointed out, getting to them with all your gear would be a bit of a slog. We continued down the trail, making it back to the truck in about 4 and a half hours. Luke had to jam back to Boulder so I refueled and started my trek back home from Eldora.

Running back down the main road toward Ned I felt great. I was taking it easy, run/walk cycles along the pavement back to the Shelf Road. From here, I took a cut off that deposited me at the far west end of Magnolia and then the fun began.

I jammed up some singletrack and quickly linked into the Habitrail – a fun singletrack mountain bike trail. This trail got its name because it loops around the forest like those cages one can but for their hamster. I took a peek at the map and noticed they have it listed as the Hobbit trail which is just lame but pretty funny. Gotta love it when the forest service is out of the loop.

I intended to follow my old standard back to Rollinsville but then got a wild hair and decided to hook up with 105 which should have dumped me at the top of a gnarly descent to Rollins Pass. Unfortunately, I got a little lost and ended up on some new singletrack that didn’t go where I expected and probably burned about an hour dinking around trying to get back to familiar territory. I finally made it back to my standard route and made it to the Rollinsville store prior to running out of water (barely). I refilled and headed back up the Peak to Peak highway. A storm seemed to be moving in behind me and I made it my goal to reach home in less than 8 hours or at least before getting hammered by the rain. I was able to run when the road wasn’t too steep and made it home in front of the storm but 5 minutes shy of my 8-hour goal. Pretty awesome.

I was able to run, eat and drink the whole run today, which was very good news. I did have some issues with my left shin in the final hour or so which I will need to address but overall, this was a great run. I am feeling more and more prepared every week.

View full album here.

Movie time: Yesterday, Rage and I went to see the new Pixar joint, Ratatouille. I believe this is the best to date and given that it is from Pixar, says a lot. Just a fun movie. Amazing CGI. Go see it on the big screen immediately. Rage has indicated that she has a nice, crisp $5 bill for anyone who can go the whole movie without wanting to tweak the nose of the main character.
(Offer not valid in Wisconsin, Tennessee or Washington D.C.. Offer only good for first person who successfully completes the challenge and reports findings via a certified letter of non-tweakage and passes a lie-detector test (test must be paid for by contestant).)

We also watched Neil Young: Heart of Gold which was a cool concert film. Rage and I got to see Mr. Young play at Fiddler’s green several years ago and this concert film is considered by many to be a great example of how to shoot and edit this type of movie. I can’t say that I necessarily disagree. Good flick.

Tomorrow I plan to do a whole lot of nuthin’ and may hit that up again on Friday. Planning to do Hope Pass Saturday if my leg feels better. I am icing it now so hopefully I’ll recover quickly.

See you out there.