Sunday, March 18, 2012


I felt both good and bad about my run Sunday, on the Mesa Trail in Boulder.

On the one hand, my overall feel and fitness level was decent, even though I had "only" covered 14+ miles. On the other, the 3,000 feet of ups and downs took its toll, and I felt pretty thrashed. Even though I've been doing this type of distance for a while on weekends, it was a reality check.

Distance was 14.89 miles, time 4:14, and elevation gain/loss 3,163 feet.

Unfortunately stopped showing "moving time" for workouts :\ so I used SportTracks to calculate it, and it appears I spent about an hour not "moving", between gear changes, rest stops, etc.

There were quite a few runners out, and I saw Shad running the other way as I was a couple of miles into my run, as well as at least one guy who ran the Boulder Basic. I am rather slow so I got passed most of the time. Boulder can be hard on the ego.

GZ suggested I try the old Mesa trail spur into the town of Eldorado Springs, which I had coincidentally thought of running this weekend, so run it I did. It's not terribly runnable since it's rocky and not maintained (as far as I can tell), but it was fun to do something different and it's better than the gravel road to the South Mesa parking lot. This is a shot from the trail over towards Eldorado Canyon:

As I was descending and was about 50 yards up on the hillside, I passed behind a house where a dog started barking (one of many) and it turned out to be a beagle that started running up through the tangled brush and rocks, barking loudly. I thought it was going to come all the way up to the trail.

Since I had never done so, I wandered a few streets in town. This oddly facial building looks like a stone house in southern Europe, and is from the pool, which is currently closed for the season:

The trail starts/ends on a side street behind the pool. It's on a loop street, and to get to the trail I had to run the canine gauntlet: I could choose between two black dogs on short lines defending their turf (they could just barely reach the street) and the other side with the aggressive beagle. I opted for the beagle side, thinking it lived farther over and might not hear me. Wrong - it was right on the street to the trailhead! As I approached the house, the hill-climbing beagle ran out of his yard barking, and started circling behind me. Thankfully the owner was out in her yard.

"Basil! Basil!" she admonished, and insisted "He's friendly."

"It doesn't seem like it" I said. I'm sure he's friendly to her, but I was the one with the barking dog angling towards my backside.

I did get some laughs out of it re-living the incident on the way back up out of town on the trail. I expected to hike most of the ascent back out of Eldo, but did run a bit. Then there's a short stretch of downhill down the road, then uphill off the road, then downhill across the meadow, then uphill out of the meadow. Repeat for an hour. I ran things that were small steps, but hiked anything steep.

After I got back to the car, I contemplated going out again, but it was turning windy and I had already spent enough time. I was ready to be done.

I also need to give some thought to energy while running, since I'm pretty sure I tend to do my longer runs on too little gas.

Spring gear mix. Three helmets, three backpacks, bike shoes, an extra pair of running shoes, ski poles, portable shovel (which is really more for emergencies than the alpine touring I never do), yadda yadda:

This week I felt like my every-other-day exertions were catching up to me a bit, and I had some lingering tendinitis in the right knee going into this run. I may take an extra day off before my next one.

I also had some PF tenderness in the left foot including some elusive burning pain, often when I stepped right on a rock. I don't think the rock shield is as good in the Lone Peaks as in some other shoes like the Cascadia and the MT110. I don't blame the shoe, I've had it before the Altras, but it's bothersome that it's still around.


  1. Viscious beagles in Eldo. Good stuff.

  2. Basil does not know his own size. I could have gotten stuck there trying to find a safe way out of the canyon :)

  3. Yeah, see - I needed you to go on the Old Mesa. The more I can guys to do it, the better it will be when I get back around to it. Thanks for beating some trail down. ;)

  4. GZ - My footprints alone increased the quality by 50%. Actually right as I descended there was a group of 3 hikers coming up who went up towards Bear. Still used.

  5. Wondering where you disappeared too, ran the old Mesa for the old guys, why GZ likes it so much. Thought I would find you again on the way back. Good seeing ya.

  6. How was Mesa conditions? Thinking about fighting that reported mountain lion up on Skunk from work's parking lot and doing some miles on it this afternoon.

  7. Trailrat - You too. In retrospect, I probably could have backtracked and headed towards Chautauqua also. My bad. What's a few extra miles?

    Hard to believe I was down in that canyon for so long, it's only 3 miles out and back... but as usual I was kind of in sightseeing mode.

  8. I started at South Mesa, went across and up Bear Canyon a little ways to the bridge turned around and headed back. Realizing I needed more time on my feet I went up Shadow for a about 20 mins then returned to the car. I was all over the place. I only got in 12 with 3,000ft in 2:15ish but I was really worked. Trying to get my climbing legs back.

  9. Rob - Conditions are great, so the lions don't have to get their paws all muddy.

    Almost entire trail was dry, with some short patches of ice with dirt all over it (i.e. not slippery) and only one short spot with any real snow, between north and south Shanahan.

    Trailrat - Sounds like you're doing pretty good; that's a rough 12 miles.