RTW Ruminations: Feb 16 – 2202/23/2015
Mon – Green Mt (2:01, 3000′) + Climbing Gym
I was leery of running for the fourth day in a row, but today’s heavy snowfall precluded any driving for me, so no skiing. I employed Microspikes and trekking poles to punt through the fluff on the uphill and then had a blast floating down the Ranger and Gregory Canyon trails. As it turned out, my shin was 100%—a big confidence boost, but I’m looking forward to a couple days of skiing now, just to be safe. In the evening, Joe and I made a return to the climbing gym after a couple of weeks away. My performance was inglorious, to say the least.
Tue – Allenspark Skiing (4:16, 7000′)
Easily the most snow I’ve seen up here this year. Joe was feeling pretty worked from his last couple weeks of racing and traveling, so trail-breaking duties were left to me, and it was arduous. So much snow that even all the downhills were slow today—I guess that’s what you get on skis with a 65mm waist.
Wed – Allenspark Skiing (5:00, 8000′)
Returned to the hill today on my own with plans for putting in a big day—was hoping for five or six laps. However, I bonked super hard on #3, and even after drinking and getting some calories in, it was all I could do to shuffle up the hill one more time. Still a good day in the mountains.
I completed my recent Dave Eggers binge today when I finished his 2013 novel The Circle. It was my least favorite of the three (the other two being excellent: A Hologram For The King and Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?)—it seemed to almost read more like a Hardy Boys story or something—but it was suitably entertaining.
Thu – Bear+Green+Flagstaff+Anemone+Sanitas (4:10, 6500′) + Climbing Gym
I wanted to test my shin today with a real run (no scrambling), so ran from my apartment, up to Chautauqua, Mesa Trail over to Fern Canyon, and then came back over all the peaks. The trails were packed out nicely, making very a nice tacky surface on this warm day, and I was overjoyed to finish out the run feeling confident in the shin. It’s been a long time since I’ve deliberately ran every step on the uphills, which was the case today, save Fern Canyon. It’s a fun mental space to be back in. Back in the gym again in the evening, and it was way better than Monday. Climbing about as well as I ever have, actually.
Fri – Bear+Green+Flagstaff+Anemone+Sanitas (4:09, 6500′)
It was supposed to start snowing around mid-day today, but I got lucky with the weather and was able to get this entire run in wearing only shorts and a t-shirt. While my shin felt 98 or 99% yesterday, it was a full 100% today, which was a huge relief. I did an exact reprisal of yesterday’s outing, but due to the freeze-thaw of yesterday’s +60F temps, I had to actually employ the Microspikes in a few spots today. Really fun to be doing some real running.
Sat – Allenspark Skiing (4:40, 8000′)
Joe was gracious enough to come down to town and pick me up for a trip up to the mountains just as the snow was beginning to fall. We were surprised at how comfortable the temps were at the base of the mountain, and there even seemed to be a bit of an inversion going on, with the sun nearly poking through each time we climbed above 10,500′ or so. However, after the first couple of laps it really started snowing hard and by time we’d gotten our fill of vert, it was a full-on blizzard with pretty treacherous roads on the way home. Some of the best powder conditions I’ve ever experienced in my six weeks (but, 23 days) of skiing experience helped distract me from the running-induced fatigue in my legs.
Sun – Green Mt (2:25, 3000′)
I would’ve preferred skiing today in order to protect the shin before tomorrow’s planned long run, but, alas, this winter storm is for real and there was a veritable shit-ton of snow, certainly preventing any vehicular travel on my part (no 4wd). After running the streets up to Chautauqua, I basically waded up and down the front of Green mountain. The snow was typically at least knee deep and more than a few times I was wallowing through waist-deep powder and plunging my 130cm BD Z-poles nearly to the hilt. Gravity was barely enough assistance on the downhill, and once I emerged back onto the streets a biting breeze from the north chilled me to the bone, confirming the nearly single-digit temps. I was kept off of Green for basically all of the winter season last year with a persistent hip niggle, but today was the most snow I can remember on the mountain in a long, long time. If there were any kind of base to protect my skis from the rocks, it would’ve been super fun (and somewhat novel) to have just taken those out for a spin. Ended up with 26h41min and 42k’ vert on the week.
I was a big fan of Alt-J’s debut album a couple of years ago, so when there sophomore record came out last fall I downloaded it immediately and overplayed it just as quickly. Alt-J is one of the few bands where Joe’s and my musical tastes overlap, so when he recently started listening to this album I was reminded of just how good it is.