Tues - 8.5 miles track. After a week away from the track and, indeed, any kind of major running exertion, I came into this one lacking motivation and fearful of the pain I was about to inflict on myself ... so I decided to go easy. Workout was: mile, 2x800, mile, 2x800 with 400 jog between everything. In attendance were: Burch, Wesir, Slush, Hinterberg and a guest appearance from Mindy who appeared to be doing a strider workout on the outside lanes. From the off, Hinterberg bolted and I had no interest in trying to hang on as he has a well-developed reputation for going out too hard and fading, while I was just trying to get around without too much pain. Similar story for the 800s, before Hinterberg's fade starting kicking in on the second mile as I rounded his shoulder on the home straight of the second lap. He wouldn't give up the second set of 800s though. Splits were: 5:31, 2:38, 2:38, 5:21, 2:37, 2:38.
Weds - 6.5 miles (1,600') easy. Horsetooth south summit via Slush's Slit. Up Rock trail, back on Audra/Southridge.
Thurs - 10 miles (1,400') hill tempo. HTH5MO&B. Out easy with Slush and Mike, then back in 31:17 at what felt like a hard tempo effort. Miles went: 7:18, 6:10, 6:45, 5:50, 5:13. First mile up north dam hill was a little quicker on the watch than the effort suggested (a good sign), but after passing Mike somewhere on the second mile, I decided to keep the effort at an honest hard tempo rather than shoot for a PR. Lost a little focus on the third grinder mile and then put it in neutral for the final two net downhill miles.
Fri - 3.5 miles (1,900') baggery. Ranked peak 8,092'. Met Wesir super early for a little pre-work sch'wackin'. Unnamed 8,092' was the last ranked peak of 10 in the Drake quadrangle that I needed to close it out. I had meant to get it months back when I bagged 8,310' & 7,570' from Waltonia Road, but I ran out of time that day. Given that the peak sits right above the village of Drake off Hwy 34, I figured it would be easy enough to pick it up when I had time. The peak itself sits at the western end of the Round Mountain ridgeline, one peak removed from the north/south Waltonia/Quillan Gulch drainages and north of the Saddle Notch valley. The route we chose was a pretty straightforward one, with a hair under 2,000 feet of straight-up-the-hillside ascent. We parked in a small pull-off just west of the Glen Haven turn-off and crossed the Big Thompson at the bridge in Drake. We followed the high road there for a third of a mile before it petered out, and then pretty much just followed the ridge up to the summit at the point where the road fully disappears. The terrain was steep, but mercifully free of major deadfall making the ascent very straightforward - even in the dark. We topped out in the early pre-dawn, so had limited views, but could make out Round Mountain and Blue Mountain to the southeast, Palisade to the northeast and some higher Pingree Park peaks to the northwest. We signed the small summit register, which contained maybe 10 names (Brian knew most of them and I recognized all but one of them from Lists of John), then hung out for 10 minutes or so before dropping back down the mountain. Our line was a bit off coming back down, so we had to contour east halfway down to get back on the ridge, but with the lights from Drake below, navigation was very easy. I took one good fall that had me tumbling down the hillside for a few meters, but other than that the outing and route finding were textbook.
Sat - 4 miles (2,400') baggery. Prospect Mountain (8,900'), UN 8,820', Emerald Mountain (9,237'). Snuck in an early morning trip up to Estes Park to see if I could take down a few of the ranked peaks in and around town up there. Started out with Prospect Mountain (the one with the cable car running up to the mountaintop restaurant). Parked on Peak View Drive and took an old trail to the top. The trail starts by a lime green cinder block structure. Stayed on trail for about a third of a mile before cutting up on a more direct line. There are multiple candidates for top rock up there, so I tagged them all before following the trail the whole way back down (40 mins - 1.5 miles, 1,000' RT).
Jumped in the car and then attempted to get to the saddle between Gianttrack Mtn and Rams Horn on Kerr Road. No joy - private road. Decided to drive around to Hermit Park Open Space instead to do unnamed 8,820'. Parked up at one of the campgrounds, got my bearings and hoofed up to what I was pretty sure was 8,820' - an unremarkable 400' mound (from my starting point). A cairn at the top in combination with a map check confirmed I was indeed on the correct summit. Took a bit of time to peek through the trees to take in the views of the Kruger Rock ridgeline, before shooting back down to the car (30 mins - 1 mile, 400' RT).
Next up, I figured I'd have a go at Eagle Cliff Mountain - a really impressive looking cone of a peak with a dominating rock outcrop at the summit. Same issue as before though - access issues. Couldn't be bothered dealing with it, so decided to try Gianttrack from the back side (Hwy 66), but that didn't look good either, so then continued on to the southern end of 66, parked up at the small roundabout there, and picked up a trail that looked to be heading in the general direction of Emerald Mountain (another super-impressively pointy peak). The trail took me to the slopes of Emerald from where I hoofed on a direct line for the summit. Absolutely killer views from the top, with an especially unique view of Longs' East Face, in addition to the Mummies, Continental Divide peaks, MLW, Storm, Battle, Half, Cone, Thunder, Lightening, Rams Horn, Teddys Teeth, Gianttrack, Lily Mtn, and the list goes on (1.5 miles, 1,000', 45 mins RT). Followed a climbing trail back down to the original trail I had used coming up. Out of time, I jumped back in the car and hit the canyon for the 40 min drive back home. Fun, but frustrating morning (68 Larimer peaks down, 187 to go).
Sun - 5 miles (1,900') hike/run. Hiked solo with Alistair to the top of Horsetooth. Alistair was motivated to try and go under an hour, and did so with ease, topping out on the north summit in 57:15. After tagging that, we descended to the base of the rock and headed over for a go at the south summit. Alistair knocked that off with ease too, showing some really good confidence on the few technical moves we had to make. As we were climbing down off the rock, we saw Burch jogging his way up to the north summit. We gave him a holler and then continued on, seeing him again on the summit just as we were getting back on trail. Alistair wanted to run the whole descent and so we did. Burch caught us at the top of Southridge and ran with us all the way back down to the parking lot. Vid below is a bit shaky, but figured I'd throw it up there anyway.
|South summit with Longs/Meeker.|
|Ali on south summit, with Milner (aka Volcano) Mountain in back. We live on the northeastern flank of Milner.|
Total: 45 miles (11,100')
Another easy week of hiking/jogging with a couple of faster workouts thrown in. I could get used to this kind of running schedule. Still no desire to engage in any kind of serious training beyond the token speed stuff that I'm doing in preparation for Turkey Day.
In other news, Quad Rock has been approved for a 350 runner cap by Lory, but still waiting for Larimer County on the cap increase. Either way, registration opens next month. Chubby Cheeks is Dec 8, verticALE silliness two days prior.