Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Big slap in the face kinda run...

Last Saturday I went for a run up Bear Peak. I meant to run Green and Bear, but I had legitimately forgotten how hard it was to run up Bear. I talked my man into coming along with me, which I'm glad he did... I always think when I do these hard long runs I will give up and turn around sooner than later. I usually don't, but I feel like I will if I don't have someone pushing me to keep going.

Anyway, the run started at Shanahan Ridge. From here, it's basically 3 miles of straight up Fern Canyon. Steep climbs, rocky steps and some ice up high. I wanted to reach the summit of Bear Peak in under an hour, but that seemed like an impossible task at this time. I was off by 15 minutes. It's ok, though... Now I have a goal to work towards.

Summit of Bear Peak
I was pretty tired when I reached the summit and THANKFULLY the clouds looked somewhat treacherous and Chuck had second thoughts about summitting Green Peak. Good, cause I wasn't sure I had it in me to keep going up. We still did the loop, as opposed to just turning back, so we left Bear on the back side and ran another 2-3 miles along the Bear/Green ridge (not sure this is the right name, but that's how I identify it). You eventually get to a point on that ridge where the trail divides in two. If you go left, you go up to Green Peak. If you go right, you go down Bear Canyon which eventually connects with Mesa Trail. Going left towards Green is another 1.5 to 2 mile section up to the summit... which we decided not to do (Chuck was worried about weather and I couldn't get my legs to go up again). We had originally planned to do out-and-back there... We just went down Bear which ended up being slightly more technical that usual. I had not been back there since the flood and the water seemed to have destroyed some big sections of the trail.

Big boulders on destroyed trails... hard to run on!
We finally reached Mesa Trail and we needed to head back towards Shanahan Ridge and back to the car. That section of Mesa is fairly rolling. But the last section to the car was all downhill. All in all, we completed 10.2 miles as opposed to the 13-14 miles we had planned because we cut out Green. But I learned three valuable lessons:

1. Do not underestimate the power of the Boulder Open Space Trails. They're steep and technical.
2. I need to work on my hills. Uphill running is still my weakest point.
3. I need to run more trails. Once it gets technical, I slow down... significantly. I need to remember to look a little farther ahead than just where mt feet are.

After we finished the run, we stopped by KT's BBQ for some delish carbo/protein-loading.

Have you ever had one of those runs that make you realize your training isn't going as good as you thought it was?

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