Month: July 2012

Grays Peak Speed Hike

On July 3 I did a speed hike on 14,270′ Grays Peak, a Colorado 14’er along the Front Range. I haven’t been to the summit of Grays since maybe about ten years ago. I had made a few half-hearted attempts, all stopped by snow or weather, or some other little thing, but today the weather was awesome, and just a week ago I’d done Quandary quite fast. The only little annoying details were that I had done a steep ten mile run the day before (July 2) and I ran into a really deep set of ruts in the road that I did not want to risk my car on.

I parked about 1.7 miles down the road from the official signed trailhead, and walked up. I set the Lap marker when I got there, 32:48 minutes. I boogied up the trail, and didn’t really feel anything like tired until the last thousand feet of elevation. I made the top in 1:36 for 3.6 miles.

Here’s a Google Map of the route:

I hung out on top for about 10 minutes, my standard time, to eat and drink, then took off down the trail. I was feeling a little tired and unsteady, but overall not too bad, just sore and tired legs and feet from yesterday I think. I made the trailhead in 1:26 for 3.57 miles (I accidentally cut a switchback). The last 1.7 miles to the car really hurt, but I did it in 33:50. Overall not too bad for a relatively unfamiliar trail a day after a ten mile run at altitude.

Grays Peak Elevation Profile
Grays Peak Speed Hike First Run - Elevation Profile

3900′ in 2:09 (time from car to top) is about 1800’/hr – or 30’/minute. That’s “okay” but I’ll have to do a bit better for Elbrus. This had a bit more horizontal though and rougher terrain – Elbrus will be almost all ice and snow.

Grays Peak Colorado 14er Summit Shot
Summit of Grays Peak

I have more info, including the Google Earth embedded viewer on my other Blog HERE

Quandary Speed Check and Training Run

On June 25 I did a run up and down 14,265′ Quandary, just South of Breckenridge Colorado, to test my current level of fitness as I get myself psyched about Elbrus Race 2012. When I did the 2010 Race I also ran Quandary a handful of times, and wanted to check my progress to see what my current level of fitness is.

Here’s a Google Map of the run I did:

I also have a Google Earth embedded in my other blog HERE along with some other description. I did 1:33 up and 1:26 down. Up was a PR, but down was not. I did have a lot surer footing on the way down than I have in previous mountain speed runs, but I guess it’s a bit slow compared to the one I did at 1:10, during which I fell twice and ended up having to halt training for a week to recover.

Quandary Summit Shot June 25
Quandary PR 1:33 Summit Shot

My previous PR was the last Quandary attempt I did in 2010 just a month before the Elbrus Race that year, so I am about 2 months ahead in fitness this year. I need to work my down times a bit, since there is a cutoff for the descent, but it is reasonable.

This is looking back in time a bit, and since I’ve done more training that I’ll report later.

Keystone Gulch Training Run

After deciding to more seriously pursue Elbrus Race 2012, I needed to adjust my training from long slogs of 18 miles or so on the relative flats (former marathon training) to include some vertical. I did a test run on Quandary last week, and did 1:33 up, which is actually my PR for that. I should assume then that I’m about 2 months ahead in my training from Elbrus Race 2010.

This training run is a steep climb on a dirt road that is used by maintenance workers for Keystone Resort. I like this road because the grade is relatively gentle and it’s mostly along a really pretty creek.

Here’s the Google Maps of this 10 mile run from July 2nd:

and if you want the Google Earth for it, look on my old blog HERE, since Google and WordPress won’t play nice together for Embedded Earth.

Keystone Gulch Elevation Profile
Elevation Profile for Keystone Gulch Training Run July 2

1600′ give or take ascent and descent over ten miles, in 2:13 averaging a 13:19 pace is pretty good, and I made decent enough time, though I was pretty beat the last two miles. I’ll give a few more stats about Elbrus Race in another post.

A Keystone maintenance truck went up a set of steep switchbacks starting at my turnaround point, so I might drive up a bit to shorten the overall distance and try going up those, since the map implies they top out at 12,000′. That would be cool.