Monday, May 30, 2011

Weekly Roundup - May 22 - 29, 2011

Sunday - Off:  JP was out of town, so the kids and I hung close to the house.

Monday - Green - Bear Canyon - Mesa Loop: 9 miles; 1:44; 2,701 feet o' elevation gain.  One of my favorite runs in Boulder. Ran it counter clockwise from Chautauqua. Put in a solid effort up Green from Gregory Canyon, but couldn't muster anything better than 40:46 to the summit. Didn't work hard enough on the stretch to the ranger cottage.

Tuesday - Man...I can't remember what I did on Tuesday. Is that bad?

Wednesday - Bergen Peak Upper Loop:  8.41 miles; 1:11; 1,724 feet o' elevation gain. Ran up Too Long and down Bergen Peak. Ran the downs hard again. Felt good.

Thursday - Matthew Winters - Red Rocks - Hogback Loop:  6.62 miles; 1:06; 1,242 feet o' elevation gain. Squeezed this one in between the end of the workday and picking up the kids. Had planned on an easy pace, but quickly got in too deep time-wise and had to run the Hogback portion harder than planned.  Was thinking about rattlesnakes on the run through M-W. I've read twice recently posts on what do to if you're bitten by a rattler. Both had the usual recommendations...keep your heart rate down, don't try to suck the venom out, don't elevate the bitten appendage, seek help. Great advice. Funny thing was, both posts were written by ultrarunners, but neither said what to do if you're bitten when you're out in the middle of nowhere alone (anyone ever run deep into the woods solo?) with little prospect of someone wandering by soon. Reckon I ought to do a little research. Which reminds me, I watched the movie 127 Hours this week. Fair.

Friday - Elk Meadow/Dog Park Loop:  8.11 miles; 1:17; 1,017 feet o' elevation gain. Met up with Steve F. for this easy jog around the lower trails of Elk Meadow, including a run down Quarterhorse Road and back through the dog park part of Elk Meadow. Brought Maya along on this one. I hate running with a leash in hand. Wish Jefferson County Open Space would allow some off-leash use in their parks (a la Boulder).

Saturday - Manitou Follow Your Nose Loop: 25.01 miles; 5:13; 5,981 feet o' elevation gain. Up early for the drive down to Manitou Springs to meet up with Woody, Joe Z., Scott and Troy for a to-be-determined run.

We started just a few blocks from the start of the Pikes Peak Marathon/Ascent and headed south to pick up the Inteman Trail. We ran Inteman over to Ruxton and then up to the Barr Trail. We ran a steady pace up the Barr Trail to a sign about a mile and a half below Barr Camp where Woody and I hung a right and the other three guys continued on up the Barr Trail. Woody and I had designs on running a big part of the Ponderous Postier Pikes Peak 50K route, only in reverse. However, anyone that ran it would tell you we already were off course, only we didn't realize it...yet.

The trail down from Barr started as a rutted, washed-out gully, but soon turned into a reasonable, but unmaintained primitive trail as it wound in and out of small drainages, over creeks and through woods and meadows. There was one spot, on a grass-covered hillside, where the views of Pikes Peak were absolutely sublime.

Unknown trail dropping down from the Barr Trail. Pikes Peak in the background. Photo: WA
We eventually ended up at a marked trail junction. One of the options was the Heizer Trail, so we took that as it appeared to head in the direction of Highway 24 where we planned to pick up the trail up Waldo Canyon. Heizer climbed steadily to the apex of a mountain then plunged steeply 2.5 miles down to the town of Cascade on Highway 24.  We quickly figured out we were well above where we needed to be, so after a water refill at a wine bar (they loved us) we started running down Highway 24. The run down wasn't too bad, except for the sections where there were just five feet between a canyon wall and cars/trucks whizzing by at 55+ mph.

After a mile and a half, we hit Waldo Canyon and started climbing. Our plan now was to find a way over to Rampart Range Road, which we would run down back to town. So, up Waldo we went. At the canyon's loop intersection, we went left and cruised up...up and up. I really like this trail. The scenery is great, the grades are reasonable and the trail is well-maintained. From the upper reaches of the loop, we could see the water tank on Rampart Range Road where we wanted to be. to get over there?

We were constantly on the lookout for trails headed north, hoping we'd be able to follow our noses and get to our next destination. Finally, we found a solid, unmarked trail heading northeast, so we took it.  Again, excellent trail. We were just cruising, soaking in the views and enjoying the spectacular weather.

As we descended, I started thinking we were heading into Williams Canyon. Soon enough, we hit a trail junction with a left-right option. Right was down canyon, left was up canyon, and likely the route up to RRR. We are 21 miles in at this point and opted to head down Williams. Good call as the canyon was gorgeous.  Finished things up with a mile or two through town back to the cars.

Looking down Williams Canyon.  Photo: WA
While we didn't take the route we had planned to follow, there's something to be said for simply following your nose and exploring.

Reflection:  Definitely not a high-mileage week, with just 57.14 miles. But, some good time on feet - 10:34; and decent elevation gain - 12,666 feet. Definitely need to get the mileage up a bit, while continuing with the mountain runs.  (And, I've got to figure out where my brain was on Tuesday!) I've been struggling a bit of late with the running mojo and not enjoying some of the runs as much as I typically do. Need to noodle on that a bit. Might be worth a more in-depth post soon.


  1. A top five reason why I started keeping a daily training blog is because I seriously forgot what the hell I did earlier in the week all too often.

  2. Glad to know I'm not the only one...I don't know about you guys, but I outsourced remembering anything (besides obscure facts and trivia) to my wife!

    Seriously, I'll often ask her what I/we did earlier in the week to help remember what run I actually did!

  3. Awesome run on Sat. I've been to most of those trails at one time or another and was able to piece togather what you did - that's a pretty big day on "only" 25 miles!

  4. GZ/Mike - I hear you...I am notorious for forgetting details about stuff. That said, I can recall with great detail just about any trail I've run on (except for the location of Fern Canyon).

    Rick - so much good stuff down in the Springs. Hope to explore some more in the months ahead.