July 2013 was arguably the most scenic and diverse month of running in my life. I started the month out with “Mummy Kill” on the fourth, with Craig and Cyrus. This hike was composed of six separate summits starting at the Chapin Pass Trailhead and …
In June I started working 10-hour days four times per week as opposed to the traditional five 8-hour days. Basically this meant that I needed to overload my weekend mileage so that I could take it easier on the workdays. As the weather warmed and …
Training runs and hikes ranging from January 2013 to May 2013
December 30 to January 5
Don’t Freeze Your Fat Ass 50K. Last runs in Tiffin with Goose and Craig.
January 6 to January 12
First runs in Estes Park.
January 13 to January 19
January 20 to January 26
Two Deer Mountain summits (20th and 26th)
January 27 to February 2
Frost Giant 5000 and 10000 (27th) Gem Lake (2nd)
February 3 to February 9
Dry Gulch Road (3rd). Bear Lake Road (9th)
February 10 to February 16
McGreggor Ranch (10th)
February 17 to February 23
Cub Lake work fire inspection hike (22nd)
February 24 to March 2
First run in Boulder (2nd)
March 3 to March 9
March 10 to March 16
First hike with Apryle to Dream Lake (15th). First summit of Eagle Cliff Mountain (15th).
March 17 to March 23
Chautauqua and Flagstaff Mountain (17th). PT school interview and run at Slaughter Creek in Austin, TX (22nd), Mount Sanitas (23rd)
March 24 to March 30
Boulder Foothills with Cubby the poodle (24th). Mount Sanitas and Green Mountain (30th)
March 31 to April 6
Mount Sanitas (31st), Trail Ridge (3rd), Gem Lake and Balanced Rock (4th), Gem Lake (5th). Eagle Cliff and MacGreggor Ranch Two-a-Day (6th)
April 7 to April 13
MacGreggor Falls (7th) Croiser Mountain (13th)
April 14 to April 20
April 21 to April 27
Big Mountain Half Marathon and Garden of the Gods (21st). Deer Mountain (26th). Gem Lake, Cow Creek, Bridalveil Long Run (27th).
April 28 to May 4
Collegiate Peaks 50 (4th)
May 5 to May 11
Gem Lake (10th), Deer Mountain and Beaver Meadows (11th)
May 12 to May 18
Sprague Lake (17th). Twin Sisters with Craig and Apryle (18th).
May 19 to May 25
Eagle Cliff (24th). Adams Falls with Apryle (25th).
May 26 to June 1
Famous Lawn Lake Black Canyon Bushwhack Fiasco on May 26th. Beaver Ponds.
Even though countless peaks surrounded me, I really failed to take advantage of much winter mountain running. My first summit after moving to Colorado was Deer Mountain off of Trail Ridge Road. It was a relatively easy jog to the top, but the snowy patches added an element of difficulty. From my apartment the round trip was 16 miles, with about 3000 feet of elevation gain. I next ventured out to Lumpy Ridge and found a quick winding trail up to Gem Lake. This eventually became a weekly jog once the weather warmed. I believe it was about a 13 mile round trip from my apartment and I always liked to better my time ascending to the lake. I believe my best was right around 22-minutes, I still never really mastered the art of uphill trail running.
In March I finally tackled the short steep hill to the south of my apartment, Eagle Cliff Mountain. This was a great little ascent if I needed to tack on an extra two miles to the end of my run and wanted a bit of a challenge. As the month progressed I had to do some pet sitting in Boulder and got a chance to run Mount Sanitas and Green Mountain. Sanitas was a fun run and clear of snow. However, the last mile of Green gave me some trouble because I am an extremely weak “snow” runner. Back in Ohio, I loved post holing through a few inches because I did not have to worry about sliding down a mountainside. However, in Colorado I became much more cautious running on a mountainside in the snow.
In April I started ramping up mileage on the trails and added a few new adventures. I explored more the trail network around Lumpy Ridge, like Balanced Rock, McGreggor Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Additionally I put in a 17-mile day at Crosier Mountain, running from the Glen Haven trailhead to the Garden Gate trailhead and back. I also headed down to Colorado Springs and ran a half marathon in the North Cheyenne Canon. I was appallingly slow, about 35 minutes off my personal best. However, it was a difficult course and solid measuring stick for my training.
April was a fairly snowy month and May started with about 20 inches and a park “snow-day”. However, as I headed to the Buena Vista for the 50, there was no snow in sight. A week after my first 50 mile race, I continued the trend of firsts by partaking in my first snow mountain hike. This added a unique component to my training and made for a tremendous resistance workout. Aside from stressing some rarely used muscle fibers, I caught my first glimpse of the majestic west side of the park. In the middle of the month my old friend from high school Craig moved to Estes Park. Craig accompanied me on many hikes throughout the summer, but on his second day in town, we hiked to the top of Twin Sisters.
I ended the month on an interesting note when a relatively routine run turned into an 8 hour bushwhack through the Mummy Range wilderness. I started the day at the Alluvial Fan and ran up to Lawn Lake with little difficulty. However, the snowdrifts were still deep on the last few miles of the run. I reluctantly turned onto a snow-covered Black Canyon Trail on my way down from the Lake in order to finish up the run at McGraw Ranch. This proved to be a mistake, I was diverted from the trail because of the snowdrifts and wound up following a drainage for several miles over fallen trees and chest high snow drifts.
After realizing that I would not make it to the Cow Creek trail (via my current route) before nightfall I scrapped the plan and started traversing hills heading south. Eventually I came to a high point in which I spotted the Aspenglen Camp Ground and knew that if I followed the creek leading toward it, I would run into Old Fall River Road. Traversing the rocky and tree strewn terrain was no easy feat but I managed to make good time and avoid any injury. Luckily, my plan worked and just as night was falling and I was dehydrated and fading, I reached a trail that lead to the Fall River Entrance Station. Thankfully I have great friends and both Apryle and Craig came to give me a ride back to the apartment.
It was a rewarding winter and spring season, I visited a lot of new places, met a lot of new people and ran a lot of miles. The weather was changing and summer was approaching, bringing many new opportunities to explore new places and higher summits.
Start of Ultra Season – May 5th 2013 Started ramping up the mileage and the net elevation gain in May. I kept a 90-mile a week pace all through the Estes Park winter to be ready for the Collegiate Peaks 50 miler in Buena Vista, …
I started 2013 in Estes Park, Colorado, working in the Rocky Mountain National Park greenhouse. It was a great and rewarding job and allowed me the opportunity to explore the mountains. I did a few winter runs and hikes in the mountains but really ramped …