Thursday, June 26, 2014

Continental Divide Tempos And G & T 45

Continental Divide Tempos and G & T 45

With the mountain season full underway, I sometimes worry about losing any of the very little speed I might have gained from over the winter. Most mountain runs involve some running, but they also involve a lot of power hiking, scrambling, etc., and although the lungs get a solid workout, the leg turnover is rarely worked. In a small effort to work on this a bit I went up and ran Stanley Mountain and then a section of the Continental Divide that is fairly flat/rolling at 12,000'. I also wanted to see how my recovery was from last week's 24,000' of vertical. Parking at the winter lot for Jones Pass, I took the trail as it switchbacks up across from the Henderson Mine. This trail is not heavily used, and there was a fair bit of snowbank crossing, log hopping, and the like until it wound it's way over to Stanley's west face. From there you go straight up on tundra to the summit, at which point you are greeted with the open alpine plateau that makes up the Divide in this area. From there I ran over to Berthoud Pass and back, attempting to push out 7 minute miles for 6 miles. This section of trail has a great open, alpine feel to it, and with no one around, I imagined running on the moon or some remote tundra in the arctic.

 Looking over at the Ruby Creek Traverse.

So far the leg turnover seems to be holding steady, although it is really hard to say. I've been trying to do one track/fartlek run a week, which is always brutal but extremely satisfying. I was happy with my :55 /  8 mile home run this morning after yesterday's G & T. Time will tell...

Revisited some of my old problems on the "Dark Side" last week as well. This one is a fun V6 that moves left to right before topping out. It is amazing that after not touching any of the holds for 4 years, I was able to instantly remember all of the moves - body-mind-muscle memory is really powerful.

Ran G & T 45 yesterday morning before work. The accessibility of this run, as well as it's overall length and vertical gain make it really attractive. Knowing that you can tag two 14er summits and be back in town before 10:00am make this run one of the best training runs around. Summer is in full swing, and although I prefer to run alternative routes, this morning since I was lacking time I ran the regular route in 3:30. I met a Swiss man on top of Grays and took some photos of him - he did Longs and Bierdstat last year, and this year G & T. No one on the way up, but a herd of people were making their way when I was coming down. I have had a lot of thoughts about these two peaks now that I've done them through fall, winter, spring, and into summer. The change in environment, the amount of people, etc. have been rolling through my head. Hopefully I can articulate them some and put them down here soon.

 Still one decent snowfield you have to cross that you would not want to slip on...

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