Time: 2 hours (AM) 2:06 (PM)
Distance: 4.06 miles (AM) 11.44 miles (PM)
Weather: Mostly cloudy and cool
The AM time/miles was a hike up Elephant Butte with CP. We had a great time in the morning sun hiking to the top of this rocky, bulbous geographic protuberance that rises from the banks of Bear Creek and looms above the meadows at JeffCo's Alderfer-Three Sisters Open Space.
1,444 feet o' elevation gain.
|Elephant Butte from the parking lot at Alderfer-Three Sisters|
|CP signs the register at the top of Elephant Butte|
|Looking west towards Mt. Evans from the summit. A weather front was building on the divide.|
|Looking southeast back down to the Alderfer meadow.|
|Maya. Must have more hiking!|
Was never able to run without some amount of discomfort...no sharp pain, just a lot of background aching. Ran through the lower meadow in a counter-clockwise direction up to the junction with the Too Long Trail. Once again, the legs felt solid and aerobically all was well. Flew by a mountain biker about 100 yards up the trail and continued motoring on trying to ignore the discomfort.
After much deliberation during the climb, I opted to go all the way to the summit and hung a right at the Summit Trail junction for the one-mile ascent to the mountain's apex. There was still a good amount of ice in the trees on the mountain's east side. I tagged the summit sign and turned around for the descent.
About a quarter of the way down, I had slowed to a jog. Just not feeling good. Then, the mountain biker I passed about 45 minutes prior passed me (he must have been crawling up Too Long since he didn't do the Summit Trail). Being passed put a bit of life in my legs as I picked up the pace to keep the biker in sight. After about 3/4 mile, though, he was gone. I slowed back down and realized how tired my glutes and lower back muscles had become. I felt like I had just run 35 miles.
I shuffled my way back down to the Meadow View Trail and back home marveling at the amount of fatigue I felt after just 11 miles.
2,270 feet o' elevation gain.
The good news is that nothing hurts worse than before I started. The bad news, obviously, is that things are no better. Damn frustrating.