Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mesa - Bear Canyon - Green Mountain

Late afternoon run around this classic Chautauqua-area route. Despite poor trail conditions, a solid run.

Time: 1:45
Distance: 8.39
Effort: Easy
Body: Good
Weather: Clear and cool

Got a somewhat late start, heading up toward the Mesa Trail from Chautauqua around 3:50 p.m.  The dry dirt/pavement heading up along the Chautauqua meadow was deceiving.  As soon as I hit the Mesa Trail, it was clear that trails conditions were going to be challenging today.

The intermittent mix of fall-on-your-ass ice, dirt and mud certainly made things interesting.  There was not enough ice to warrant wearing traction devices, so I carefully plodded across the slick spots and picked it up on the dirt.

At the mouth of Bear Canyon, I stopped to strap on the Microspikes to navigate the quarter mile of icy steeps. Soon, though, the trail leveled out a bit and the ice was less of a problem, so off came the Microspikes. The rest of the cruise up Bear Canyon was typical, which is to say great. My favorite Boulder trail.

Once at the four-way below the summit of Green Mountain, I hung a right and climbed up to the summit, tagging the marker in 1:08.

With darkness fast approaching, I put the Microspikes back on and jogged down the backside of Green, suffering through the same dirt-ice-dirt conditions. I finally yanked the Microspikes back off a quarter mile or so past the ranger cottage and picked my way down carefully from there.

It was just about dark by the time I got back to the truck at Chautauqua.

Those trail conditions were about as bad as it gets.  Too little snow for tractions, too much ice for carefree running.  Bring on the snow (or a whole lot o' sun)!

Other Stuff:

Good run on Saturday in Breckenridge from our weekend rental condo (with friends from CA). Ran up Boreas Pass Road a couple miles and looped back via Illinois Gulch. Eager to explore that area more.  6.05 miles in 51 minutes.  On Sunday XC skied about 5K on the Breckenridge Nordic Center trails. Only fell once.  Really enjoyed the change of pace. Would love to do a lot more XC skiing.  Kids took skiing/snowboarding lessons on Sunday. The numbers were off for their small-group lesson and they both ended up with private lessons. So cool when things go your way...

Registered Saturday morning for June's San Juan Solstice 50. Race registration was mangled by problems with the IMAthlete site. I can only imagine the frantic morning the RD had trying to straighten that out and deal with all the frustrated runners trying to register. Took about two hours to sort out. Glad I cancelled a morning run and stuck it out.  I really enjoyed running that race last summer. Looking forward to tackling it again. Goal is to go under 10 hours.  Ran it in 10:41 last year.

I'm interested in a few other races, but am reluctant to invest in more until I can pack on some consistent, pain-free miles. Left heel is still harping at me. Right lower ab also is still telling me to take it easy. Can't wait to get past this crap.


  1. Back to Lake City, huh? You rocked it last year so I guess you have an affinity for it.

  2. That race has everything I love...smallish in size, beautiful and challenging course through wild areas, great volunteers and in a great town. What's not to love?

  3. Nice to see you signed up for the SJS. I agree, so much to love about that race!

  4. Jaime - Are you running SJS again, too?