If you take the time to read my recap of the past several weeks, you'll realize that running to singletrack from the doorstep is a reality here. A dream come true, really.
My running has been... timid, for lack of a better word. After having my IT-band flare up a couple of weeks ago, I've been a bit reserved about cranking up milage. But, alas, the time has come, this week I'll head up to 60 for the week and don't intend to look back until I've run all the rabbits in Steamboat into the ground.
Despite the low milage, I can say that I've seen about 100 distinct miles of trail since my arrival here, and I have the suspicion (that I intend to confirm) that I can continue running new trails everyday.
On second thought, I don't much feel like typing out my training log from the past few weeks so I'll sum it up like this:
Week 5/7-5/13: 35 miles, 10 hours 50 minutes, 10,200 ft
Week 5/14-5/20: 56 miles, 12,300 ft, 11 hours
Week 5/21-5/27: 41 miles, 7 hours 10 minutes, 5,100 ft
As for the Halfmoon Halfpipe... The route was comprised of a run up Mt Massive and back to the starting point/aid station at Halfmoon Creek, then a run up and back Mt Elbert. The big picture would be as follows: about 22 miles, 9,200 ft, in who knows how long, and, to top it off, tagging the summits of Colorados two highest mountains.
A brief summary of the event would be like this: Wind, brr, Massive, down, relax.
A more comprehensive summary would be as follows:
It is difficult to coordinate a fun run when you know very few people in town, so the day before the outing there were 3 confirmed runners, myself included, and a slew of maybes and "aw, I wish I could but....s".
In a fortunate turn of events, I ran into a couple of runners, Tony and Joe, at the coffeeshop and suggested they join in the fun. The idea of the double summit didn't mesh well with their plans for the day, but the summit of Massive coincided perfectly. So, just like that, the number of participants (I use the term loosely, as no one actually ended up summiting Elbert) nearly doubled.
We were all camped out near the trailhead and around 6:30 Donna, Sarah and I took off, after starting a little bit later Tony and Joe would breeze by us near where the Colorado Trail feeds you into the Mt Massive trail.
As Donna, Sarah, and I made our way above treeline, we were blown away by the power of the wind, I mean that mostly figuratively. It got cold quickly with the wind pounding so this is where I started running for warmth's sake (we had been hiking at a good clip up the hills).
Numb hands, numb nose and all I followed Joe and Tony's tracks to the summit of Massive and ran into them (figuratively, once again), as they began their descent.
The views were absolutely incredible from the ridge, and the wind all the more awesome. I reached the summit 2 hours and 24 minutes after leaving the trailhead. I would really like to get back out there and run the first 4 miles to treeline and see how much lower I could make that time- is 1:45 out of the question?
On the way down the wind had calmed, I stopped to chat with several hikers from various places in Colorado who commented on the strength of the wind. "If you had only been here an hour ago", I thought... but kept it to myself and fed them some encouragement.
I realized on the descent that I wasn't going to see Donna and Sarah making their way up, the incessant bites of the wind had driven them off the hill like a dog's do the mailman.
When I arrived back at basecamp 4 hours had passed since I took off, and without anyone else's enthusiasm to complete the Halfpipe by summiting Elbert, I lost all my zest for the occasion and elected to call it a day.
I know pictures are worth a thousand words, but I forgot my camera so you'll have to use your imagination, or the google image search... I will try to be more consistent with my picture taking in the future... forgive me...
Here are a few from other occasions:
|Fishcreek Falls Steamboat Springs, CO|