7/4 - 9.06 miles. 2:04:15. 1800'v. Black Mountain Trail. Headed up to Sheriff Reservoir just outside of Phippsburg to check out a new trail and was blown away by the scenery. Once I located the trail (after a few minutes of bushwacking around the res) I found a nice, runnable track on a gradual ascent that traversed a hillside packed with skunk cabbage and wildflowers that went on for nearly a MILE. It was incredible. Once I hit the ridgeline, the trail continued to snake uphill along a massive cliff line with an expansive view of the Flat Tops to my right. The trail continued into the trees for a little while before cresting the mountain and offering panoramic views of more mountains, including Pyramid Peak, and a few big alpine meadows. I found an old trail marker for Baldy Trail (FS 1200, which doesn't appear on any of the maps I own) and ran from cairn to cairn for about a half mile through a meadow until I picked up the trail again and found a tiny pond. If I weren't tapering for my next race, I would've loved to continue exploring. The return trip offered up the same spectacular views and I had to pause for a while to take it all in. Although I only ventured a couple of miles on the trail, I can't wait to go back and explore it further.
7/5 - 3.51 miles. :34:22. Stagecoach. Easy effort from the house down the trail to the fire station and back.
7/6 - 7.51 miles. 1:24:49. Emerald Mountain. From JDs house downtown, I cruised over to Howelsen Hill and jumped on the Emerald Mountain Loop. From there, I climbed up to Lupine, then Larry's, MGM and Blair Witch before descending on Blackmere Drive to Lupine to Blackmere and down to Howelsen Lodge to refill my water bottle. Wicked single track!
7/7 - Rest.
7/8 - 10.61 miles. 3:07:25. 2650'v. Lower Bear Creek Trail. Hooked up with running buddy Richard for an easy effort 10 miler on this trail by the Strawberry Park Hot Springs. I had never been on this trail and rarely run with other people so I was stoked to get on the trail with Rich. We maintained a fairly even pace on the ascent, hiking most of the uphills. The trail started out nice and smooth and easy to run for the first 3 miles before it got rockier on the last 2 up to Summit Park. There were some nice views from the top so we scrambled around on the rocky high point for a few minutes before the return trip. The return trip went by quickly and I felt great when we wrapped it up.
Weekly mileage: 30.69 miles.
In tapering mode for the Silver Rush 50 (which is only 46 miles) so I'm easing up on how hard I run while still getting in some quality runs. Got to go out for over 2 hours on the Fourth and go in 3 hours today. I'll rest tomorrow and run very lightly the middle of the week before taking a couple days off before the race. Overall, I'm feeling really good and with a week of rest on my legs, I think I can finish the race in under 10 hours.