Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Never Write...You Never Call...You Never Post...

Slowly setting back into the running routine. Consistency is getting a wee bit better, but still struggling schedule-wise.

Quick recap of the fortnight that was:

Monday, November 21:  Off

Tuesday, November 22:  Drove to Woody Creek (just down-valley from Aspen) for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23:  Rio Grande and Sunnyside Trails - 20.81 miles; 3:31; 3,711 feet o' elevation gain.  From the rental house, I ran up the gentle grade of the Rio Grande Trail, which is an old railroad bed, to Aspen. As I was running along the Roaring Fork River in town, I saw a sign pointing to a singletrack trail that climbed to the east. Sunnyside. The trail, aptly named for it's on the sunny side of the valley (less snow/mud!), beckoned me with an alluring coo.

So, I started climbing. Glorious. Big views. Nice temps. I figured the trail would climb for a while, then drop down Smugglers Mountain and back to town. To make a long story short, the trail never dropped, but the sun did. After slogging through snow, abandoning an ill-fated attempt to bushwhack down in hopes of meeting the family at the pre-arranged time/location (I already was 30 minutes behind schedule), I finally admitted my trail sense was failing me and I turned around and ran back down the way I came. I was a good hour and a half late.  And, it was now dark. The plan was to meet at the Aspen Recreation Center. I had to ask directions from a guy driving a Ritz Carlton Hotel van. "Where's the rec center?," I asked. "Just a quarter-mile up Maroon Creek Road," he replied. Turns out its quite a bit further than that. The good news is, he picked me up as I was slogging up the road and gave me a ride the rest of the way.

By the time JP returned from the rental house to pick me up (they gave up and went home), I was a muddy, bloody (lots of fun traipsing through brambles during the aborted bushwhack attempt) and starving mess (no calories on this run). Definitely learned a few things about admitting defeat sooner and not digging oneself deeper into an already head-height hole. I had a lot of apologizing to do.

Thursday, November 24:  Rio Grande Trail - 6.01 miles; 51 minutes; 361 feet o' elevation gain. Headed south on the Rio Grande Trail from the rental house. Easy, recovery pace (definitely feeling the previous day's run). Three-mile out-and-back. Didn't get lost.

Friday, November 25th:  Rim Trail, Snowmass - 6.4 miles, 1:18, 1,100 feet o' elevation gain. Dropped CP and jP and my nephew off to ski at the upper village at Snowmass. Put on the running shoes and headed out from the skiing parking area. Found a trail that headed up and took it. Turns out it accessed the Rim Trail, a great ridge-top trail the runs along the spine of the mountains surrounding parts of Snowmass. Snow and mud were prevalent, but not too bad. Topped out at an interesting polished granite circle with a yin/yang symbol in the center. Wasn't expecting to find that on a trail run.

Steve HappyTrails makes good use of granite yin/yang thingy during warmer months.  Photo credit: HappyTrails
Saturday, November 26th:  Off. The whole family went to Ajax to watch the Women's World Cup ski race. Today was the giant slalom. (The slalom race was the next day - Sunday.) This was a LOT more fun than I was expecting. Very exciting to watch the skiers fly down the mountain, weaving in and out of the gates.

The finals were rip-roaring fun to watch. A large timer told you what the skiers' splits were at different points, so the excitement would build as racers vied for the best combined time of their two runs. American Julia Mancuso made the podium with third. Lindsey Vonn was 12th. 

The gang awaits the final giant slalom runs.
By the second runs, the bottom of the mountain was in the shadows.
Another highlight was I won a free parka by answering a trivia question shouted out by the race announcer:  "How many world cup victories does Lindsey Vonn have?" I threw up my arm...I was called on...and with great authority (I was guessing) I shouted, "Three!"  Right. Who knew?

Sunday, November 27th:  Troublesome Gulch/Elk Meadow - 9.62 miles; 1:25; 1,123 feet o' elevation gain. Easy jog.

Monday, November 28:  Treadmill - 8.25 miles. Squats/leg press, etc...

Tuesday, November 29:  Upper Bear Creek Road - Tempo - 10.01 miles; 1:16; 334 feet o' elevation gain.  Met up w/ Steve F. We jogged up five miles, ran down one mile then started the tempo portion of the day's program. Ran three miles at 6:02 pace. Felt very solid. Could have done (one) more.

Wednesday, November 30:  North Table Mountain - 6 miles; 59 minutes; 874 feet o' elevation gain. Easy run.

Thursday, December 1:  Off

Friday, December 2:  Flatirons' Doorstep Run - 7.37 miles; 1:15; 1,269 feet o' elevation gain. Post-work run from Chautauqua up to the Mesa Trail, over to Bear Canyon and down. Then ran a bunch of trails just above the 'hoods to get back to the mesa just south of Chautauqua. Lots of snow. Finished in the dark.

Saturday, December 3:  Alderfer-Three Sisters - 6.10 miles; 1:08; 914 feet o' elevation gain. Figured it was time to give Maya a double dose of fun - trail run and fresh snow. A good eight inches of fresh powder greeted us. Maya loves this stuff. Me...not so much. She runs full speed and buries her snout in the powder as she cruises along. It's heart-warming to see that kind of joy from a dog. Slogged out six miles in the snow, breaking trail in a lot of places. Very cold out.

In other news, due to the fact that kisses from JP were getting fewer and fewer, I gave up the no-shave November facial hair on Saturday. No one, including me, missed it.



  1. Someone you don't want to mess with.

  2. Sounds like a cool trip - that Rim Trail is a great little run. Did you do your yoga mid-run? ;-)

  3. I felt inspired whilst standing on the circle, but I just couldn't figure out what I was inspired to do. Yoga must have been the thing. Had I only known then what I know today...