Distance: 17.8 miles
Weather: Sunny and cool
If ever there was a testament to the motivational value of running partners it was this morning's run. When the alarm went off at 5:40 a.m. this morning, I happily would have rolled over and went back to sleep were it not for a commitment I made to meet Steve G. for another jaunt up Upper Bear Creek Road.
With a peanut butter sandwich and a tall glass of chocolate milk and 4.5 hours of sleep under my belt, I ambled over to the Evergreen Lakehouse and met Steve just before 7 a.m. On the agenda was an 18-mile run up Upper Bear to the gate at the Mt. Evans State Wildlife Management Area. We were joined by Andrew A., whom I learned is -- in addition to being a very impressive runner/triathlete -- a very selective connoisseur of only the finest offerings of the World Wide Web. A rare trait, indeed.
We ran the out part of the out-and-back at an easy pace, hitting the turn-around at 8.77 miles in 1:16. We did the return a bit faster, chatting the whole way. Average pace was an easy 8:12 with 1,303 feet of total elevation gain.
Legs were heavy today, with some noticeable soreness over the last three miles or so. I chalk it up to too-little sleep and a pretty hard run yesterday. Day off tomorrow.
Overall a great day to be out. Temps hit the 40s around the time we were finishing. A beautiful day, this first day of 2010. Doing this run with Steve and Andrew was a great way to start a new decade. Thanks, guys!
Later in the day, the family and I returned to the Lakehouse for the annual Polar Bear Plunge, a fundraiser for Drive Smart Evergreen, a local non-profit dedicated to improving the driving habits of mountain area residents.
We had a great time watching the local color as dozens of bathing suit-wearing, costumed and cross-dressing locals took the plunge. The most inspiring of the plungers was a disabled woman whom was lifted from her wheelchair by friends and family and together they made the leap into the frigid waters (see pic). Too cool.