Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekly Roundup - May 15-21, 2011

An up and down week, to be sure. Had some high quality runs, but was hamstrung by the lingering effects of the bug I picked up last week.  

Sunday - Bergen Peak Summit:  2:12; 10.47 miles; 2,109 feet o' elevation gain. Ran to the summit of Bergen Peak from the house...up Bergen Peak, down Too Long.  A good 5-6 inches of snow up top.

Monday - South Mesa - Shanahan Loop:  1:20; 8 miles; 1,516 feet o' elevation gain.  From South Mesa Trailhead ran up Homestead and Towhee to the mouth of Shadow Canyon, traversed over to the Mesa Trail to Shanahan North Fork and closed the loop via Lower Big Bluestem and Mesa. Lots of variety in this loop: steady climbs, downhill screamers and rolling goodness.

Tuesday - Bear Creek Trail:  1:12; 7.72 miles, 1,033 feet o' elevation gain. Started from O'Fallon Park, a Denver Mountain Park, in Bear Creek Canyon. Ran up to the BCT, hung a left and cruised down to Lair o' the Bear Open Space, then turned around and retraced my steps. Maya was out on this one with me. The last couple of miles were in a cold rain. Thank goodness the run started right next to Bear Creek.  Maya, who is a mostly-white dog was now mostly dirt colored. I think she enjoyed the post-run creek bath.

Wednesday - Off:  Just couldn't get myself out into the rain/snow.

Thursday - Treadmill:  50+ minutes, 7.25 miles.  Heavy wet snow was falling most of the day. Totally unmotivated until around 5 p.m. Finally got myself out the door to the rec center. Wasn't sure what to do today on the 'mill, so I did a little of everything.  The miles went like this: 8:00; 5:42; 8:00; 6:58; 8:00; 6:00; 8:00. A veritable smorgasbord of treadmill fun.

Friday -  Centennial Cone Open Space:  2:30; 18 miles; 2,646 feet o' elevation gain. Took a good chunk of the day off work to get in a longer run since JP was going to be out of town over the weekend. Ran from the Mayhem Gulch Trailhead in Clear Creek Canyon.  This is a great, fast loop with a few modest climbs, lots of rollers and some fabulous views of the foothills and down into Clear Creek Canyon. Had a smile on my face pretty much the whole run, except for the parts where the sky spit bits of ice and water at me, but that was short-lived.

Saturday - Bergen Peak Upper Loop:  1:18; 8.21 miles, 1,733 feet o' elevation gain. Was feeling a bit tired from the previous two days' efforts. Jogged via streets to the lower lot at Elk Meadow Open Space. As soon as I hit dirt, the wind started roaring. It was blowing so hard, I turned off my iPod because I could no longer hear the music. The roar of the wind was drowning it out. I just put my head down and slogged it out, know that as soon as I hit the trees, I'd find relief.

Soon enough, I was out of the wind and enjoying my slow recovery jog pace. Then, just as I was approach the Too Long Trail turn off, I noticed a runner coming up behind me. Damn it! I don't want to be caught from behind and passed!  So, I picked it up a bit figuring I'd be alone again once I started up Too Long. Not many people run up that trail. Wrong. She turned up Too Long behind me.

I gave up my notion of a pure recovery jog and picked up the pace enough to avoid being overtaken. After about half a mile, I started feeling better. In fact, the higher I went, the better I felt.  On a couple of the long switchbacks, I could see her below running strong.  I continued on, past the Summit Trail turnoff and picked up the pace down the Bergen Peak Trail. I was feeling GREAT on the descent, just cruising through the rocks with confident foot placement and a solid pace - even passed a mountain biker who also was going down.  I enjoyed that way too much.

All-in-all, a solid week. The long run was shorter than I would have liked and the day off was unnecessary - the result of a lack of will, I guess. Still, ended up with a hair under 60 miles, 9 hours and 22 minutes of fun and 6,391 feet of ups.


  1. Nice week, Jim. I love that Cone loop, especially starting from Mayhem like you did.

  2. I've done that too many times to count. I start with the plan of a nice easy run, but then someone gets behind me and it turns into a tempo run so they don't catch up. The other one is when you come up on someone who is running just a fraction of a second slower pace and you feel like you need to pass. But then it require cranking out a crazy pace just to pass convincingly and create some space so they're not bearing down on you. Oh the silly games we play out there!

  3. It's funny...just the night before the kids were asking about what to do if they saw a bear or mountain lion (a common subject). We talked about not running away for fear of trigger the chase instinct in the animals. I was thinking about that when my ego-driven "don't get caught from behind" instinct was triggered.