I got in another stormy evening run, socked in the clouds. Beautiful and atmospheric descent to Salina and then over to Sunset. I spent some time looking at fences for inspiration to build our own later this summer. There are lots of beautiful constructions and the variety isn’t really helping me narrow down an idea for ours, much to Deanne’s dismay. I made my way back up the Switzerland Trail and ran the final miles along Gold Hill road in the dark.
I got a short run in with Deanne down to Sunset before heading off to Fort Collins to help mark the Quad Rock course with Clarkie. We had a nice evening catching up and sharing some miles on the course.
Early, early start helping out at the Quad Rock 50. I posted an article on iRunFar about the event. The Other Side of the Race.
It’s snowed all day today. We have a couple feet on the ground. It’s such a contrast with the past week where I was getting my first shirtless runs of the year. Now, I’m back out on the snowshoes. I have to admit, I’m not too excited with this abrupt return of winter and am really looking forward to summer setting in for good. In the evening, Deanne and I head over to Sugarloaf for Corlé’s graduation party. It’s bittersweet as I’m thrilled for her finishing her degree, but at the same time it means that her and Geoff will be returning to Juneau soon. They are fantastic friends and we will miss them greatly. Corlé’s sister, mom and stepdad made a delicious Filipino feast consisting of a variety of grilled meats and noodle and rice dishes. I ate and drank a fair bit.
There was about 3 feet of snow in the backyard when I woke up this morning! I went for a snowshoe up to Lefthand reservoir in thigh deep snow, which was more strenuous than most of the snowshoeing I’ve done all winter. I then ran home via Ward. There was no ice on the road, just slush. I’m still pretty tired from UTMF, but the legs are finally starting to come around.
I did 7 laps on Lickskillet road this morning. The snow is still pretty deep on the trails and I wasn’t really in the mood to snowshoe. “The Skillet,” as people like to call it around here, is the steepest county road in North America, gaining roughly 800 feet in a mile. It’s typically a quiet road, tucked in the forest and with it being all dirt, it has a trail like quality to it. Repeats are not my favorite thing to do, but it allows me some flexibility and good concentrated vertical.
The weather and trail condition still aren’t great ,so I opted to get another 5 laps on The Skillet. The legs felt particularly sharp on all the ascents. I’m excited to start getting in some good vertical in, in preparation for Hardrock. I can’t wait for the high country to be running accessible. Soon.
After running some errands in Boulder, I ran hard back up Sunshine Canyon. I forced the pace a little and got impatient on the climb, which left me feeling pretty drained when I got home.
Met up with my friend Scott and ran an hour on the Mesa Trail at 6am. I felt pretty groggy, but the pleasant morning and company was a nice way to ease into the day. After the run, I met Tony at Spruce for coffee, which we followed by a lap on the First flatiron then up to Green and down Bear Canyon. We then scrambled Seal Rock, which I’ve somehow never been up before. It’s a well featured, consistent slab of about the same difficulty as the Second flatiron (4th class with some low fifth class on the last couple hundred feet). It’s a really good quality slab and ranks among my favorite scrambles in the flatirons.
I got another 5 laps on The Skillet early afternoon after a big lunch, so I felt kind of sick the entire time. I’m always frustrated at myself when I get busy in the morning and leave the run until later in the day when I know I have other things to attend to. In the evening, I did at presentation at the Denver Run House, a great new local running store. They are situated on the hip Tennyson street, in Northwest Denver, an area I’d never really visited. The presentation was fun and intimate with lots of interesting questions from an engaged group. The Iditarod always seems to be the event people are the most curious about and I don’t tire talking about my experience from that race. I’d encourage local folks to check out the area and the store. DRH really nails the community running store vibe making it a fun place to hang out and get the gear you need.
I discovered a new trail this morning north of Lefthand Canyon that fills the missing link I was looking for to sew together a great 2-2:30 hour loop from my house where I can get 4,000ft of vert. There are no redundancies on the loop. It’s a good mix of runnable trails, off-trail and some technical sections. While I’ve been getting to know the area quite well, it’s easy to fall into patterns of always running the same stretches of trails. Once in a while, I find new options that open up a whole new realm of opportunities. I ran well and fast with excitement.
For my next blog installment, I’ll be reverting back to an older format, writing a story covering the week of 5/19-5/25 where Deanne and I took a trip down south ending in Los Alamos for the Jemez Mountains 50 miler.
Scrambling Seal Rock. pic: TK