Bradley's View

Bradley's View

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Week In Review: 6/18-6/24, Incredible Summits, Incredible Folks

    Well that was it, one of the most physically demanding weeks of training I've ever undergone- and I feel great!!

     I made occasion to summit Galena Mountain, which has captivated my imagination, towering over Turquoise Lake, since we first drove into Leadville.  I scooted up Mosquito Pass, familiarizing myself with the route of Leadville's Marathon and Half Marathon.  I got to scope out some of the Ten Mile Range for the Ten Mile Traverse (hopefully in a couple of weeks), heading up to Peak One and hanging out with a mountain goat.  To top it off I got to spend 35 miles running on the Colorado Trail, and sharing a good chunk of that with friends new and old!

     Without further ado, the week in review:

6/18- Monday- 
        AM- 9 miles up and down La Plata via the standard route. 1:40 for the ascent, 2:47 total, extra mile afterward to retrieve my stashed key... 4,500 ft
        PM- 3 miles with Mel on the FitTrail at the college, :40, 300 ft

6/19- Tuesday
        PM-  11 miles, up Mosquito Pass from Diamond Mine (:54 ascent, including wrong turn to reach ridge about .5 miles from pass, enjoyed running above 13,000 ft :), then out to Lake Isabella, 2:00, 3,000 ft

6/20- Wednesday
        AM- 8 miles up and down Galena with James from Timberline Lake Trailhead, 1:25 ascent, 2:30 total (including 15 minutes sitting at summit), 3,000 ft
       Some great folks camping at the trailhead had just fixed pancakes and bacon and invited us to join them for breakfast- how could you say no?!

6/21- Thursday
        PM- 10 miles on CT from S. Cottonwood Creek, 1:22, 1,300 ft (3 miles of about 6:30 on the return trip, felt awesome, hot weather)

6/22- Friday
        AM-   8 miles round trip up to Peak One's saddle from Frisco, where at 12,200 ft I decided not to summit at the request of a mountain goat...  1:00 to goat, 1:30 total, 3,200 ft
6/23- Saturday

6/24- Sunday
       AM- 25 miles on the CT from Twin Lakes to Hagerman Pass Rd with Josh, Donna, Sandi, and Cato.  I had a blast getting together and running with some new faces!  5 hours, 5,000 ft
Totals:   75 miles, 15 hours 15 minutes, 20,300 ft.
Summit of La Plata
Looking north from La Plata over Ellingwood Ridge

Looking at Mt Massive after breaching treeline on Galena

Looking towards home over Bear Lake and Turquoise Lake from Galena

St Kevin's Lake nestled snugly in Galena's embrace.

Looking north from Galena's summit with Mount of the Holy Cross beckoning...

Soaring down her grassy slopes.

Colorado Columbine flourishing above the trees on Galena.

Came within 5 feet of this fella before I realized he was just to my left.
Decided to give him his space.

Curious as could be; coming close and backing off,
I'd say we were mesmerized by each other

My brother on the mountain posing next to his mountain and home.

Me posing with said goat's mountain.

Sunday's crew after about an hour of running (Josh, Cato, Donna, and Sandi).

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Week In Review: 6/11-6/17 + La Plata

    Another week in the books, I suppose.  I did a pretty laughable amount of running for what I ought to be doing, taking a luxurious four days off this week.  Fortunately, it doesn't phase me too much because my climax week, if you will, is already underway with a lot of great runs in store.

     The week in review:

06/11- Monday

06/12- Tuesday
      Anniversary fishing!  I love my wife.

06/13- Wednesday
       PM- 11 miles on Boulders trail, 1:42, 1,800 ft
06/14- Thursday
       AM- 3 miles on Mineral Belt, followed by 2 miles barefoot on field. :50, 200 ft
       PM-  12 miles from Turquoise Lake dam to Mayqueen campground and back,        1:42, 400ft

06/15- Friday
      AM- 6 miles out and back on the Missouri Lakes trail, 1:00, 1,000 ft.  
               I was pretty pumped about this run as it took me to one of the more beautiful     places I've had the pleasure of seeing so far in Colorado.  What a tease- sorry for the lack of pictures...

06/16- Saturday
      Got caught fishing, again!

06/17- Sunday
      I'd hoped to do a 20 miler on this day, but my stomach was amok after work and I found myself sleeping instead...

Totals: 32 miles, 5 hours 15 minutes, 3,400 ft

    A couple of pictures from last week follow, then a briefing of my run up La Plata this morning with more pictures!

Nice cascade on the Missouri Lakes trail.

Bridge running on M.L.T

      Enough about my fishin' blues...  La Plata (14,336 ft) is the 5th highest peak in Colorado and yet another peak that I can see out the dining room window- so I figured it was about time I paid her a visit.
       I dilly-dallied a bit this morning, finally leaving the trailhead a little before 8 o'clock.  The trail was super runnable for the first 30 minutes or so before the switchbacks grew steeper and steeper.  I passed three groups of hikers within the first forty minutes, all carrying far more than the measly 16 oz waterbottle I had in tow, which bore my camera and a gel.
      Following the creek in the early going was a blast, it was perfect habitat to a number of wildflowers who were starting to show their colors.

Some sort of primrose?  Any guesses?

     As I broke treeline, the array of flowers began to shift.

White Columbine was all over the place!

      I truly had perfect weather for the outing, with wind very tolerable even at the summit.

Looking NW towards Independence Pass
      I was hardpressed to find runnable terrain for much of the outing, but I was hiking like a champ, keeping my heart rate up and pace steady.

      I gained the first ridge after an hour on my feet.

Looking up towards the mountain from the first ridgecrest.
      The trail mandated a lot of scrambling up loose talus and boulderfields, but very little snow to speak for.  

A break from scrambling- the trail with the summit to the right, still well over head.

      My pace never really wavered, which delighted me.  Taking it easy last week seems to have restored me to good form.  From the summit the views were just spectacular.  I arrived at the summit after 1 hour 41 minutes of moving. 

Looking SE towards the mighty Collegiates.

Mystery Hill?  Anyone..(?)
      Taking the standard route from the trailhead was a blast, no complaints at all.  But looking over at the knife-like ridge of Ellingwood made it a no-contest decision for my next ascent of La Plata, the class-3 route and it's 6,000 ft of vertical gain look just spectacular.

A glance to the north at Ellingwood Ridge.

A hyper-inflated Gu, at 14,336 ft.
     I took my time coming down, I guess, stopped to chat with the three aforementioned groups of hikers, and never found myself moving at a super-quick pace on the technical, switchback riddled descents. 

     I arrived back at the car after 2 hours and 47 minutes- I missed my expressed goal by 2 minutes, which was a bummer, but it was my choice to loligag.  

    I got to get in an extra mile, too, because in my pursuit of my timegoal I whizzed past where I had stashed my car key.  Oops

    Anyways, a great day on La Plata, about 9 miles roundtrip with 4,500 ft of gain.  I am quite excited for the other great runs I have lined up this week!
   Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Week In Review: 5/28-6/3/2012, 14ers, Boulder, and New Shoes

     The week got off to a stellar start, as I believe I mentioned in the past two posts, with the summiting of Massive and Sherman on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.  The enjoyment of the week never had a chance to dwindle as Melissa and I made the trip up to Boulder for a day and night.  Upon arriving in Boulder we were mesmerized by the prevalence of vibrant greens and various flowers.  Truly a unique sight when you live at 10,200 feet, and spring is just getting started...

      I'd had the good fortune of meeting a runner named Kendrick at the coffee shop last weekend, who was from Boulder.  We exchanged information such that we could get in touch next time he was up here or if I headed down there.  As it turned out, he was lacing up as we were arriving and I was beyond ready to stretch out my legs after well over two hours in the car.  We headed up from Settlers Park, by Kendrick's house, where we crossed the summit of Flagstaff Mountain en route to Green Mountain.

     I was tickled to death with the work the city of Boulder does to provide effective, enjoyable mountain-oriented recreation to the people of the city.  These trails and mountains are almost in everyone's backyard.

     What thrilled me all the more, however, was the amount of oxygen they have in that city!!  I was able to run up Green at a pretty good clip and it felt easy, almost, at least in comparison to running anywhere up above 10, 11, or 13,000 feet.

     10 miles and 3,100 vertical feet later, Kendrick and I arrived back at the park where Melissa met us after her hike.  Kendrick was kind enough to offer a shower to destinkify myself before we headed with a larger group to Mountain Sun Brewery for an awesome dinner and great beverages.

      The following morning Kendrick and I got out for another 3 miles before he headed off to work.  We then walked up Pearl Street to the Boulder Running Company where (poor Melissa and poor shoe salesman) I proceeded to try on a dozen different pairs of shoes, some of them in different sizes, some I tested on the treadmill, some on the sidewalk, over the course of over an hour and a half.  It was a tedious process for two reasons: 1) For almost 2 years I have run in New Balance 101s, which are no longer in productions, so I had to find something new, and 2) We had to drive 2.5 hours to find a decent selection of running shoes, so I wasn't about to leave any stone unturned.
     Anywho, I eventually decided on the Asics FugiRacers.  So far so good, but I'm only 25 miles in on them, we'll see what happens.

      Around noon we headed out for a hike with our old friend and fellow North Carolinian-turned-Coloradoian, Casey, out on the trails around Bear Peak.  It was exquisitely beautiful and a delight to share the trails with her.

     After that came a trip to the Walnut Brewery with Casey and her boyfriend, Alex.

     During this trip it came to my attention that The Tallest Man on Earth is coming to play in Boulder on June 10th.  It has been nearly two years since Melissa and I bought tickets to see a concert and we've had a very short list of bands (3 or 4) that we would pay to see if the opportunity presented itself.  Lo-and-behold, the Tallest Man was on the list!

The week in review:
05/28- Monday
      AM- 13 miles up Mt Massive, 4:00, 2:24 to summit, 4,500 ft

      PM- 9 miles up Sherman, Sheridan, and Gemini, 2:47, 3,500 ft

05/30- Wednesday

05/31- Thursday
      PM- 10 miles up Flagstaff and Green in Boulder with Kendrick, 1:52, 3,100 ft

06/01- Friday
      AM- 3 miles with Kendrick up Boulder Canyon, :25, 200 ft
      PM-  6 miles hiking with Mel and Casey around Bear Peak 2 hours, 2,000 ft
      PM- 4 miles on Boulders trail (Leadville), :30, 600 ft

06/02- Saturday
      PM-  17 miles from the house to the college and everywhere in between.  Felt bonked from the second I started, unfortunately.  Really hard to keep moving on this one... 2:50, 3,000 ft

06/03- Sunday
     Its not official yet, but I don't forsee myself running today...

Totals:    62 miles, 13 hours, 16,900 ft

Beautiful greens