Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week Ending June 22

Mon - 6.5 miles (1,500') easy. Jogged a lap on Horsetooth.

Tues - Noon: 4.5 miles (700') easy. Quick Falls loop in the new Lone Peak 2.0s, which felt great, but I won't be able to get enough miles on them before Western to have full confidence, so I'll be donning the 1.5s.
PM: 6.5 miles track. The last 300 meters of the Western States 100 famously take in 3/4s of the Placer High School track, so when the email came through from Jane detailing this week's track workout I could but smile: 2km warmup, followed by 10 x 300. Dressed in a long-sleeve base layer, a winter beanie, knee-length tights and compression socks (yes, I looked like a prick), I got to work with my shirtless compadres. Opening 2k was 6:46 w/5:23 mile, then: 55, 55, 55, 56, 55, 55, 54, 55, 55, 52. I know, I'll never be accused of being a speed demon. And that's why I race 100s.

Weds - 4 miles easy. Felt predictably gimpy after yesterday's session at the oval, so just got out for a nice easy jog through the Marina campgrounds.

Thurs - 8.5 miles (1,700') hill tempo. Another Thursday, another session on Towers. I tried to keep this one within the realms of comfortable, but ended up working harder than I would have liked - on a perfect late-spring evening - for a mediocre 30:40. Not quite the confidence boost I was looking for. Ran the descent much harder than usual with Brad and his buddies.

Fri - Off. My right hamstring felt slightly tweaked from the Towers descent, so I made the easy decision of taking a day off.  

Saturday - 12.5 miles (4,500') up high. Got out with Burch to celebrate the solstice by heading up to State Forest to nab a couple of high peaks in the Medicine Bow Mountains. In addition, we attempted to connect a few of the rougher sections of trail on the Never Summer 100k course, with varying degrees of success. Parking on a pull-out halfway between the 2WD and 4WD trailheads on the Ruby Jewel Rd we donated some blood to a vicious swarm of skeeters then got going. The route to Jewel Lake was fairly straightforward, with just a few lingering snowfields to navigate, then it was a gorgeous, tundra-filled hump towards the 'Lewis' and Clark saddle, from where we headed north to tag 'Lewis' peak (12,654') and take in the super stellar views. From Lewis, it was a quick down and up to Clark Peak (12,951'), the highest point in Jackson County and the peak with most prominence in Larimer County (it straddles the border of both counties). The views from both peaks were quite sensational and offered unparalleled views of a number of sub-ranges within the mighty Rockies, including the Never Summers, Medicine Bow, Mummies, Park Range, Front Range, Snowies, and more. Seriously, this is perhaps the best vantage point of the Rockies that I've ever had the fortune of enjoying. We connected with a faint use trail south off Clark, wrapping west on the ridge to the south of the Jewel Lake bowl under Lewis and Clark, before dropping back in and down to the truck. We finished up the morning with some running on the Yurt trail, connecting some pieces that I failed to find on last weekend's scouting trip.

The tundra-adorned southern Medicine Bows in the foreground, including Diamond Peaks, then pretty much the full Never Summer line-up in back with the high point, (Baron von) Richthofen, slightly off center to the left in the top of the frame and, I think, Baker all the way south in the top right. That traverse is high on my list for this summer. So good.
From same vantage point (top 'Lewis'), looking north to the northern Med Bows.
Hidden Vally section of the Never Summer 100k course in the foreground, then Park Range west across North Park.
Clark Peak and south section of the Med Bows. This whole range is super carpeted and could be done in very quick order. 
Front Range Peaks, including Longs in the top left. 
Clark & Clark from top 'Lewis'
Love this range. Mummies from top Clark Peak. Five of the six peaks that make up the Mummy Mania traverse visible (Hagues, Fairchild, Ypsilon, Chiquita and Chapin (L-R), with Mummy obscured behind Hagues).
Lewis center, Clark right.
Sun - 5 miles (1,500') hike/jog. I wasn't going to do anything today, but I felt the need to get out, so compromised with a stiff hike to the top of Horsetooth and a gentle jog down. Came home and watched some footie. The U.S. looked so much better than the useless English earlier in the week. Guess I'll be wearing my U.S. hat for the rest of the WC.

Total: 47.5 miles (9,900')

Off to Tahoe on Weds. We'll see what the weekend brings!