Shit is fucked up and bullshit, but I'm still running. Running restores me. Here are the numbers for week seventeen.
16 hours, 5 minutes
13,143 feet D+
That's my biggest week of climbing and running/hiking time since I started keeping track in 2015 and number three for mileage. Early in the week I was worried about my hamstring. I definitely tweaked it a little at the track on Tuesday. It was a mistake to try a speed workout this week and I'm going to do something else instead next week. Wednesday my injury didn't hold me back too much on the climb at Maxwell and I was able to go up and down Timber and Howard on Thursday. My hamstring is okay at 10 minutes per mile or slower, so I decided to keep my long running plans for the weekend: back-to-back runs of about 20 miles and 5000 feet of climbing.
Saturday I did Quad Rock climbs four (Timber), five (Mill Canyon), and six (Spring Creek) in light rain under cloudy skies. I got home before a rare derecho hit Fort Collins and the rest of the Front Range.
Today, Sunday, I drove to the Roosevelt National Forest's Dunraven Trailhead and in perfectly tranquil mountain weather ran up to Signal Mountain, Donner Pass, and back. My runs at Lory and Horsetooth top out at 7000 feet. This run started at 7800 feet and I ran 8 miles above 10,000 feet. The Never Summer 100k course that I'm training to complete has eleven of its first twenty miles above 10,000 feet and twenty-five miles above that elevation overall.
This was my first time on these trails. The 4.5 mile, 3000 foot climb on Bulwark Ridge Trail through dog-hair stands of lodgepole pine is less than special, but the Signal Mountain peaks offer neat views and the tundra is in great shape. I don't think many people come up here.
The trail between Signal Mountain and Donner Pass (not that Donner Pass) is a little sketchy in places. Mature limber pine are everywhere. I had an odd accident ducking under a fallen one: the bill of my cap, pulled down low against the sun, hid a branch on the far side of the trunk and I knocked myself on my ass coming out from underneath.
The trail down from Donner Pass is much more runnable and attractive than the Bulwark Ridge Trail and there are many wildflowers along Miller Fork Creek, a tributary of the Big Thompson River.
I'm going to try to get up into the high country again next weekend. Snow is leaving the mountains so quickly now, a higher peak or two might be possible.