Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dirty Bismarck

A few new trails opened in Superior recently, creating a great mountain-biking loop knows as the Dirty Bismarck. We drove to the Marshall Mesa trailhead to give it a whirl on our bikes. The first bit of trail was pretty technical but the rest was much more approachable. The whole loop is something like 10-15 miles, took us about 2 hours to complete.

Triathlon Training

This week by the numbers:
Running/Walking: 22/3--25 miles total
Biking: 80 miles
Swimming: 1 mile
Climbing: 1.5 hours :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Anne U. White/Sunshine Canyon

I went to church today....Church of the Holy Trail, that is! Fred Ecks, a BTR runner, designs massive runs almost every Sunday. They always sound like a lot of fun, but I've never been brave enough to try one. Today I got up some courage and met Fred, a seasoned ultra-marathoner, and Scott, another ultra runner, at the Anne U. White Trailhead. They were planning on doing 26 miles today up and down Sunshine and Lefthand Canyons. I tagged along for the first hour and half and then turned around.

It was a beautiful, although cloudy and chilly, morning. The sun shined on us just as we left the parking lot (which I rode my bike to), and that was all we saw of it for the rest of the day. We ran up the 2 mile White Trail and gained a little bit of elevation. Here, the trees were dusted with a little overnight snow. I wish I had my camera! Then we continued on an unmarked trail up to a jeep road. As we climbed up to Sunshine Canyon, there was evidence of the Four Mile Fire everywhere. Trees were scorched, houses were gone. Because of the moisture, we could smell the char and smoke. It was amazing how much the fire jumped around. Some spots were black, and others were completely fine. Some neighborhoods had houses standing next to just foundations and chimneys.

We reached Sunshine Canyon Road and followed it for a bit. Then we turned onto County Road 83 (dirt) not too far from Gold Hill. We passed the old Sunshine School House. It was very cool! It was a one room, historic building made of local rocks. It looks like it opens occasionally to the public. We then reached Sunshine Saddle and I decided to turn back before descending into Lefthand Canyon. The run back to my bike was chilly, but mostly downhill. I managed to find my way back along the faint trails and got back to my bike before it got too wet at lower elevations. A fun day! I can't wait to attend my new church again.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Triathalon Training

April in Boulder is wet. It's the only time of year it's wet, and we really need the moisture since we've had an especially dry winter. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised when I woke up to see snow falling, but I have to admit I wasn't all that excited about it.

Snowy rain doesn't make for good riding, and it's not fantastic for running up mountains. So, Dan suggested I run to the gym, swim, and run back. I did. It was hard and on June 5th I will still have to run an additional mile and also bike 23. However, it was good to start doing back-to-back workouts ("bricks") to get ready for the race. My swim was the fastest its ever been (33:11 for a mile, or 36 laps) and the run to the gym was fun. The run back in the snow with wet hair from swimming wasn't the greatest.

After a hot shower and hot lunch, the snow stopped and the skies cleared a bit. Dan and I rode our bikes to the farmer's market and got some goodies. We also walked downtown to see all the beautiful tulips before riding back.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/20 owl

Some pics of the owl. The ravens were harassing it for some reason.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Green Mountain / Bear Canyon run

For this weekend's mountain run, we picked a loop up and down Green Mountain. After parking our bikes at the Gregory Canyon trailhead we started running up the Saddle Rock trail. It's steep, but not quite as bad as the Amphitheater trail. Where the two trails meet we ran into Dave from work. We said hi for a bit then continued up to the summit of Green.

In 58 minutes we gained about 2300' elevation over 2.1 miles of trail. That's a 20% grade -- that and the inch of slushy snow left on the upper half of the trail explains our 27-minute-per-mile pace! We stayed up top for 25 minutes, talked to Dave for a while once he made it up, then headed down the other side.

The Green-Bear trail is almost as steep but then mellows out in Bear Canyon. We cruised down to the Mesa trail, then went up and down its undulations. 82 minutes after leaving the summit we were back in the parking lot. In total we ran 8.5 miles.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

South Boulder Peak run

Today we rode our bikes down to the South Mesa trailhead for a mountain-run. Once there, Laurel decided to go for a walk instead while I ran. I headed up the Homestead trail, then the Shadow Canyon trail towards South Boulder Peak. It took me 82 minutes to run almost 3.5 miles (with 2800' gain, that's a 15% grade, ouch!). I was feeling pretty good after a 10 minute break up top, and the day was beautiful, so I continued on to Bear Peak. At the end of my run I had gone 8.3 miles in about 2:45. Between that and 20 miles on the bike, I was covered in salt by the time I got home!

(I found a new website that makes trail map-making much easier, 'cause it has route data from OSM -- check out my run on Bike Route Toaster.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Flagstaff run

It was 61 degrees when we got up this morning. Cold weather was supposed to arrive by afternoon, so we biked over to Gregory Canyon soon after breakfast. Our plan was to run up Flagstaff, over to Green, and back down to the bikes. Unfortunately, just shortly after 9am, as we were approaching the top of Flagstaff, the winds started to shift from West to North. Smelling the Greeley manure on the suddenly cool breezes, we knew it was time to head down. The Gregory Canyon trail took us right back to our bikes. It only rained slightly on the way down. Good thing we turned back when we did, since it started hailing a half hour after we got home. We ran almost 4 miles with 1000' elevation gain and loss, in about an hour.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Second Flatiron

We climbed today! It was 80 degrees and sunny all day, so it was perfect weather to spend the day on the rock. We hiked to the south side of the Second to try to climb up the Second Flatironette. Dan picked out a route called Dodge Block. We thought we had found it, but the bottom slab didn't have an place for pro. So, Dan climbed over to the north a bit and ended up on the Freeway Ridge.

This wasn't where we wanted to be, but it was good climbing nonetheless. After four pitches we got to a tree where we had anchored before. I suggested that we try to climb up north past the tree and see where it got us rather than traversing the rock and scrambling between the South Block and Pullman Car. Dan was game and headed on up. We found a neat gully and a finger slab for us to climb. Then we continued to the trail. A very fun day overall!