Run fast ... fall down

Run fast ... fall down

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dirty Bismark Loop

I got in 20 miles today on a beautiful autumn morning. I headed out just before sunrise for a loop I've wanted to run for a while. I scouted it on my mountain bike a few weeks ago and have lacked motivation all week so I thought it would be good to bump up my week's mileage with a longer weekend run.

The loop is mostly flat trails and may be a good indicator for the RR100 which I'm planning to run in Feb. Conveniently the loop is the same distance. I hoped to go no slower than 12 min/mi (goal pace at RR100 for the first 20) and was sluggish from the start. I felt heavy carrying 70 oz water, gels, phone, jacket and a pack, plus it was hard to get out of bed this morning.

After about an hour, I loosened up and felt very comfortable. Got to mile 10 before I saw anyone, let alone some longhorns and a coyote. No major complaints from my body and felt good with a gel every 30 minutes as my fuel.
3h40m for the 20 mile mark, 1200 ft gain, avg HR 154. Garmin data

I think this might have been my farthest solo training run ever.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Storm Pass - Granite Pass loop in RMNP

Sixteen national park miles with a couple climbs peaking at 12k feet seemed like a pretty good idea. Actually I wanted to run this little loop months ago but it kept slipping by, so what better time than early October when the Aspens will be orange and yellow? Probably should have done it last week, but Jimmy said he'd like to go but was restricted to Oct 8.

The forecast said snow above 8500, so with some trepidation we rethought the gear list and decided to go check it out. There was only 1 or 2 cars in the Longs Peak Trailhead at 6:30AM on a Saturday, so this was no typical summer weekend. We headed off veering right at the first trail junction to hit Storm Pass first, hoping Granite might warm up a little later in the day. The trails were in great shape with an inch or 2 of padding.

First views of Estes Cone as the sky cleared a little
Jimmy running up Storm Pass

We cruised the 3 mile downhill into Glacier Point Trailhead to hit the lowest point on the course and then immediately turned up Boulder Brook trail which seemed the steepest.
One of the log crossings
The snow continued to fall and our pace dropped quite a bit once we hit the North Longs Peak trail towards Granite Pass. The wind picked up too and my hands got super cold. The final mile up to Granite Pass was slow going but eased off near the top and we returned to a jog in a near white out.

Zach and I trudging through the freshies near Granite Pass at 12,000 ft.
We regrouped at the pass and headed down the familiar Longs Peak trail with freezing hands and feet, trying not to trip on the hidden surface below 6 inches of fresh snow. Once down in the trees we saw 2 other parties for the first time today heading up. I'd say the loop would have been nicer in warmer weather, but I got one nice parting shot of fall Aspen colors near the parking lot.

Garmin Data