When I got out of work, the skies were gray from smoke from the Black Forest fire, and the scent was strong, as if someone had been burning leaves only a few blocks away. I sought out a less smoky venue for running, and headed west. It was OK, but I decided to go the extra 20 minutes up to Evergreen and run at Elk Meadow, above the smoke a little. Plus I hadn't been there in a while.
Skies were still hazy:
I have not been running up here much, and the elevation was a shock with cold muscles, and I struggled to get doing and get warmed up. It wasn't until 4 miles into it that I really got going.
Some of the locals:
On the second lap, however, I was acclimated again and ran it pretty hard. The 4.6 mile lap was 1:00 hour the first time, 0:51 minutes the second time. I was also racing the sunset to some extent, which helped.
Distance was 9.20 miles, time 1:51 (moving 1:36), elevation gain/loss 1,181 feet, avg. pace 12:15 (moving 10:28), and best pace 7:48.
I need to run up there more often.