Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Week in Review (June 29 - July 5)

Tuesday (24,720 steps) - Work in the office. I actually had plans to have coffee with Dulce and Josephine since they are back to working in the city. We met up at the Brown Palace and had about a half hour to catch up - it was a lot of fun! Went for a walk at lunch. After work I headed over to Apex since I had 1,100' of gain on my training plan. It was raining pretty hard when I left the city, so I hoped it would let up by the time I got to the trail. When I started it was still lightly raining, but it wasn't bad. I was just mildly concerned that the rocky sections at the bottom would get really slick. This was also one of my first times out since they made the trail directional use and it was AMAZING. It usually gets pretty scary with the bikes barreling down, but with them not being out there it was quite pleasant.








It may have been the first time ever that I didn't see a single person in the Enchanted Forest section. Overall, this was a solid time on the trail. I hiked (with purpose) all the climbs and did an easy jog down (mainly because everything was slick) and still actually had some segment PR's.
Wednesday (15,164 steps) - Work in the office. Went for a quick walk at lunch, then later in the afternoon I went to the gym with Nicole. We did a core video, then an upper body one. Both were relatively challenging, which is pretty pathetic, but now that I have plans a few times a week to do some strength training, I think that will help. After work I headed over to the Berkeley Park area to to d a run, since I had 3.5 miles on schedule. I am always hoping to have a nice, strong run. That was not the case, this felt reasonably hard. Met Ben at Odyssey for a beer afterwards.
Thursday (18,761 steps) - Work from home. Since we had plans after work, I did my 4 mile run before work. This was not fun either, and it felt ridiculously hard, for being one of the "flatter" courses I can run near the house.
I don't know if it was the humidity, or just the same usual general fatigue I've been feeling, but it wasn't great. Will "easy" running ever feel easy again? It almost seems like just putting the word "easy" in a plan gives me great apprehension, because it never feels that way. Anyway. Took Pika for a walk at lunch.
After I got off work we had a Zoom call with Melina, David and Kara to go over initial planning for Tahoe 200! We didn't get as much planning done as I would have preferred, Melina doesn't seem to have any idea of what to expect from a crew and pacers, as she has never used one. The good thing is that everyone seems really nice and I can't wait to experience parts of the course without being up for 4 days. Took Pika for another short walk after the call.
Friday (17,814 steps) - Steph had given me an 85 minute (yes, you read that correctly) Peloton ride for my workout. I wasn't sure when I was going to be able to fit it in, so I actually got up at 4 am to get it done. I had a technology mishap that delayed my start. (I had tested the night before to make sure I could use my wireless headphones to stream Netflix on the big TV, and it worked FINE. Could NOT get it to work in the morning, but since I didn't want to wake anyone up I had to watch on my phone). The ride was ok, but man, that is a LONG time to be on a bike. I got about 2/3 of the way through a movie. Quick shower and then headed to Wash Park to meet everyone for the morning walk. Also went for a walk at lunch and then a quick walk with Pika when I got home. Ben had left earlier in the day to head up to the mountains as he had plans to do a crazy adventure that started very early Saturday morning. Ariel and I watched a movie and I went to bed early.
Saturday (42,813 steps) - Up early for a Saturday adventure! Luckily, I had gotten most of my stuff ready the night before. Picked up Kristin and Joe at 5:30 and drove to Nederland High School so we could take the free shuttle to the Hessie trail head so we could do the Devil's Thumb/High Lonesome/King Lake loop. I had never been there, but I believed everyone that the trail head would be packed, and they were right! We were on the first shuttle and by the time we got there, it was definitely full. By the time we arrived and used the bathroom and headed out, it was just before 7 am. I planned on starting with long sleeves since it was pretty brisk, and wanted to wait to use my poles. Within just a few minutes of heading out - we saw two moose!
It was flat enough in some sections that we probably could have run some if it, but we had plans to just hike as best as we could for the earlier miles. It was a really pretty morning, and there weren't to many people out - which was good/surprising since there were so many cars at the trail head.

Pretty sure we only made it about 20 minutes before we had to lose the extra layer and I pulled out my poles. Kristin had opted to not bring hers and Joe doesn't have any, so I was the lone wolf that needed the extra help.

The trails were super easy to navigate. There were a handful of trail junctions, but I think everything was very well marked, although I always feel better having the route loaded into my watch. I had also downloaded the area maps in Gaia and we never got lost or off track.


Kristin and I briefly stopped at an overlook and this adorable chipmunk came up behind us. Then he came up and grabbed onto the back of my shoe! I'm really glad I captured this - it was so random! We didn't even have any food out.
Shortly after the excitement with the chipmunk, a HUGE moose ran in front of Joe on the trail. Close enough for him to jump back in surprise. Scared me too as I just saw the blur of brown - and the bear sighting from a few weeks ago was still fresh in my mind. She was pretty calm and we moved quietly by her. Phew.







The last push/big climb really took it out of me. My legs are always tired, but I think it is the higher elevation more than anything that really has me struggling. Can't figure out how to improve on this. I think I'm in the mountains more than most city people - except of course for the people who live there, I suppose.

This probably doesn't look that steep, but I had to take a LOT of breaks on this.
Thankfully, climbing up this snow wall was not as bad as it might look.


There was very little climbing after we got to this part of the trail. I still didn't do any running on the climbs, however.
Once we started to head "down," we all started to run more. It was so gorgeous and the trails were fairly groomed.

There were still a few small ice fields, but by the time we got on them they were pretty squishy and more slick from melting.




There was a lot more running on the downhills, although I was taking it super easy since I was tired and I didn't want to fall. I did roll my ankle again on some loose rocks when we still had about three miles to go. Thankfully, it felt better after some walking. It was definitely getting warm out, and I really couldn't believe the number of people that were just heading up.

We all took a few minutes about a half mile from the road where we would meet the shuttle to sit and put our legs in the cold mountain water. It was lovely.
We finished just over 6 hours after starting, and that includes all our stopping and eating, etc. Not too bad for a pretty hefty amount of climbing and maxing out over 12,000'. We only had to wait about 15 minutes for a shuttle, and were at the new-to-me brewery, Knotted Root, by 2:00. They were PACKED. We learned after arriving that it was their two year anniversary, so that explains things. The only food they had was actually a sushi truck. I gave a Tuna Crunch a try and it wasn't horrible.
Took Pika for a walk and then lounged around on the couch. Was pretty tired after this. Ben picked up pizza while I was picking A up from a carnival with her friends.
Sunday (20,441 steps) - Another night I didn't sleep well and had to be up early. Up at 5:00 for another adventure! This time I had to be at Tyler's house by 6:00 so we could drive up to Berthoud Pass and hike Mt. Flora. I only agreed to join on this adventure because Tyler promised me it would be 100% hiking and no running would be involved. We had a full carload of people - me, Tyler, Mike, Cooper and Colin, who was visiting from Chicago. It didn't take long to get to the pass, and the lot was only maybe a third full when we arrived. We started just after 7:30. I was thankful that we had a flatlander with us that kinda kept the pace down. I was still not breathing as well as I would like.
I started using my poles about a mile up - I just feel like they really help a lot on climbs. I started in a long sleeve and thought I'd get hot, but I never did.

We took our time going up. There were also a decent number of people on the trail.




We got to a section where you couldn't really see where the trail was going and Colin freaked out because he was sure we were going to be navigating a knife edge or something, so he ended up turning back. The rest of us continued up to the summit. Considering the number of people we saw on the way up, I'm surprised it wasn't more crowded. It was also a much larger summit than I am used to, so that was nice. We ate some food and took some pictures before heading down.



Mike, Tyler, me, Cooper



The only person who ran down was Mike - and that was mainly so he could check on Colin to make sure he was doing ok. The rest of us stuck to our word and hiked down. Even I'll admit, though, that once we got to the lower fire road, the urge to run was tempting. We decided to stop in Georgetown on the way home at Cabin Creek for food and a beer. Delicious!
Tyler dropped me off at Over Yonder to meet up with Ben. Watched an episode of Dexter with Ariel before I took her to Rachelle's house for a week of camping. Got home in time for a delicious dinner. We had invited Tyler over for dinner and beers. We ended up sitting on the front porch for a bit watching fireworks. Koda didn't seem to care about the noise at all, but over time Pika got upset and had to stay inside.
Monday (24,355 steps) - To cap off the long holiday weekend, we were up early AGAIN for our "annual" hike/run at Herman Gulch. Tyler showed up at 6 so we could get to the trail head by 7. Unfortunately we got out a few minutes late, then the first gas station we stopped at was out of gas! We managed to arrive only about 10 minutes late - but I HATE BEING LATE... There was a decent group of friends waiting for us, but the lot wasn't as full as I feared. 

The lower section to me is always the hardest. You get eased in with a very gradual quarter mile or so, then it's just STRAIGHT UP. Jandy had brought Waylon with her again and Mo had Colfax, so Pika had company on the trail. 
I was really happy to see that the big field of columbines was back this year! Last year they were already gone (or we were too early for them?).






I was in the last group of people to get to the top, but I was fine with that. I was pretty tired after having two big days already. It was beautiful at the lake at the top and we were able to get a pretty decent group picture again, although it's like herding cats to get a dog to look at a camera.

Closest I could get to both dogs looking at the camera
I actually ran down a decent amount with Zach. We were gathering the lot waiting for everyone to come back down, and I eventually headed back up just to make sure Greg was ok since there was ONE turn he could have missed. Initially, we planned on going to Cabin Creek for food and a beer, but when we arrived there was a 30 minute wait because of a lack of staff, so we drove down to Golden and went to New Terrain instead. I was ecstatic that they had a macaroni and cheese food truck. Grace and Don (who we actually seem to run into a decent amount) joined us since lucked out and got a table with shade.
Stayed up a bit late to watch "Nobody," which I actually really enjoyed!

Stats:
  • 164,068 steps
  • 36.28 miles run + 6.5 mile hike
  • 85 minutes of cardio
  • 25 minutes of strength training

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Week in Review (October 5 - October 11)

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