Monday, May 24, 2010

Been off the blog for a little while (having some computer issues) but the running is going very well. I was recently asked to pace for my friend Katie at this year's Leadville Trail 100-Mile Run. I gladly accepted and plan to meet her at the turnaround at Winfield and run the entire 50 mile course back to Leadville with her. My goal will be to make sure she keeps eating and drinking and generally watching out for her through the night of running. If possible, I want to help Katie get to the finish line by 5 a.m., so that she finishes in her goal of under 25 hours. But I think that goal will be secondary to just finishing.

I suffered through a few days with a stomach bug last week and didn't run a step for five days. I've rebounded now and ended last week by run-commuting to work, a super fun way to get a workout in, save some time, stay motivated and save some gas. Two seven mile runs on back to back days, a little under an hour each time.

Saturday, I did a doubler, ran with Benihana for an hour in the morning on the trails up past Second Vista and turned around at a spot I call "Cowboy Coffee." Good hill work followed by an evening run up Spring Creek Trail to the 10th bridge that crosses the creek, which I figure to be about a half mile from the end of the trail at Dry Lake. About 9 miles or so for the round trip. Much of the trail was really good to run but there are several sections that are still very wet or flooded and a few downed trees and a little snow along the way, as well. Immediately after the 10th bridge, the snow is still too deep to navigate. If temperatures climb into the 80s this weekend, as is forecast, Spring Creek might be good to go end to end. I ran at dusk, hoping to use my headlamp some, but made it back before it was very dark. A nice two-hour effort, for 3 hours of running on Saturday.

Sunday, I drove down to Wolford Mountain Reservoir, just a couple miles north of Kremmling. Creeps had suggest that I go down there if I wanted to run some dry trail and he was dead on. A short 45 minute drive and I was running on dry, desert like trails with not a jacker in sight. Everything was alright!

Being my first time here I wasn't sure what to expect. I carried a 21 oz. bottle of water, a couple of gels and an energy bar for what I was hoping would be a 3 hour run. Started out around 10:30 a.m. under sunny skies. I ran about a quarter mile across the dam to the trail head and immediately started climbing as I proceeded around the southern side of Wolford Mountain. After about 200' the double track trail flattened out a bit but then began rolling smoothly and some great views of snow covered peaks in the distance revealed themselves as I cruised along. The wide open views allowed me to easily circumnavigate my way around to the backside of Wolford, even though there were many tributary trails. I passed a single hiker and continued for a few miles on a quiet dirt road before hitting the biggest climb of the trail, a 400'rise on the double track that snaked it's way up Wolford's northern side. (Ate a Honey Stinger gel here and noticed my water supply was going to be tight by the end of my run.) An equally impressive downhill followed and I enjoyed the speedy, quad pounding descent. I met four dirt bikers on the trail and they were all very cool about sharing the trail, slowing and waving as they passed. I followed the trail down almost all the way to the reservoir before cutting back uphill and running the meandering and up and down trail along the western side of the mountain. Cool breezes off the reservoir to my right kept me cool as I saw the loop's end coming up after a couple more miles of wide open running. As I ran down the trail to finish the loop, I checked my watch and had finished it in 1:27. The challenge was set to run the loop again and finish in three hours, so I started climbing once again. I followed the exact same route until I was coming back around the western face and tried to take a higher trail, through the trees. This ended up being a mistake as the trail went up but then started to back track in the opposite direction I need to go. I ended up doing about a half mile of bushwacking to get back on the original route. I didn't add much, if any, significant distance to the run by my detour as I finished the loop and ran back across the dam as I heard my alarm signal the third hour. Finished my run in 3:01.09, not sure of the actual distance but I estimate about 9 miles per loop, the total 18 miles or so. Great weekend where I got in a total of six hours of running.

Wolford Mountain would be a good place to bring Bob's GPS on a run. It would tell me not only my linear distance but also vertical distance. All in all, I'm definitely sold on running there. There are many more miles of trail options, including a summit route and there's considerably less snow here during the year than in Steamboat, so the trails will be available a couple more months out of the year. Superb place to mountain bike, as well. Fast but also moderately technical due to the loose rocks.

Today, I ran road hills around the neighborhood for about 45 minutes. Climbed to the top of Laurel Lane and worked my way back home. I did run hard at times even though it was supposed to be a short recovery run at an easy pace. I'm actually more sore this evening from running hard on the road than I was after running easy on trails for 3 hours yesterday. Go figure.

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