Sunday, February 26, 2012

Working to Run

I had a couple of meetings on the West Coast last week so it was time to do some more exploring.  Dan, Will, and I started in Tacoma and ended up in San Francisco.  So we started off the week with of run around one of my favorites, Pt Defiance park in Tacoma.  They have a good mix of trail and road.  I have been hitting the trails more and more as I have become familiar with them.  They crisscross throughout a five mile road loop that is also spectacular to run.  On either the trails or road, you are immersed in giant spruces, ferns, and neon-green-moss. 

Then we went to the San Francisco Bay area for a new run, at Anthony Cabot Regional Park, and another familiar one, at Marin Headlands.  Anthony Cabot had a bit of everything; a lake, forested single track, creeks, rolling green hills, and long views.  Marin is also one of my favorite places in the country...I can't believe it is so close to San Francisco...and I rarely see anyone out there!  Here are the pictures.   I really makes me want to run Miwok 100k....maybe next year!

Anthony Cabot Regional Park

Marin Headlands

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Colorado Runski

What started out as a ski trip turned into a pilgrimage of sorts last weekend.  After flying into the great state of Colorado, Matt, Chad and I knew we had time for run before we headed up to Beaver Creek for a couple of days of skiing and hard core apres.  We quickly settled on "mags".  The classic run down Magnolia Road made famous by Running with the Buffaloes.  Here is a picture of Matt doing mags....

....just kidding....Running with the Buffaloes is a classic running book chronicling the 1998 University of Colorado National Championship Cross Country team and a new breed of great American runners.   Learn more about Magnolia Road, just east of Boulder here.

The dirt road starts at about 8,000 ft altitude and, on our day, was consumed with snowy, windy conditions.  Since I had departed from the comfort of 1,400 ft altitude merely 5 hours prior, I immediately went into a desperate lack of oxygen.  A chest thumbing, leg numbing, tunnel vision state that was foreign to this southern boy.  Needless to say, it was a classic.

We then ripped the Beav for a day with our local ski buddies (almost getting our ski passes revoked for two weeks by the ski patrol for skiing out of bounds) and then Breckenridge for a day with decent conditions despite the La Nina winter. 

It was time to start heading back toward the airport.  But! We had a few hours to spare for another run.  I needed something strenuous to clear the head after a couple days of the fog that inevitably comes with apres in Eagle.   Just enough time to check off another bucket list run.  We headed back through Boulder on our way to the airport to hit up a Green Mountain summit.  A run made now famous by Anton Krupicka.  A great motivator, writer, and one of the best trail runners of our day.  After following his blog for a couple of years, I'll finally know what he is going through as he makes this run almost twice daily.   Our six mile, 2-hour, scramble was icy, treacherous, and beautiful.

Our Green Mtn Route - Baseline > Amphitheatre > Saddle > Greenman > Ranger > Gregory > Baseline

So that's it.  Some skiing with good friends sandwiched by two classic runs that I've always wanted to do.  I'm one lucky guy.