I’m a slave to the training. When the training plan says, “jump!”, I say “how high?“. In this case, the the training plan answered “31 miles! And make it snappy!“. Ideally, this would have been the first of two training races to prep for my upcoming hundred mile debut. But it’s hard to find a decent 50k trail race at short notice in the middle of April amidst all my other life complications. Plus the weather has been spring-like with quite a lot of late-season snow and rain. Sloppiness all ’round. Plan A and B were both deemed untenable.
No matter, Nate and I teamed up for a little self-supported, spur-of-the-moment ultra action with a run from downtown Boulder to downtown Nederland. How hard could it be?
The Mesa Trail (miles 0-9) was, unexpectedly, in decent shape. Wet, but not the shoe-sucking mud I’d been afraid of. The traverse through Eldorado and Walker Ranch (miles 10-16) were arduous with sloppy snow above 7000′ throughout which made for slow going. Flagstaff Road (miles 16-19) was fast but paved but the real crux came on CR68J, the connector over to the regular CR68 and thence Magnolia Road. This was two miles of deep snow with a few inches of water at the bottom.
Once on CR68 proper, it was a steady climb up to the high-point above Ned. I managed to put the hurt on Nate for a few miles there which was ample pay-back for the hurt he’d put on me through the snow ten miles before. We reached Peak to Peak (mile 28) and made quick work of the cut-off down into Ned running straight in the back door of Backcountry Pizza. Two slices and two pints each definitely revived us before staggering across town to the bus stop and the ride back to our cars.
Map and such: https://www.strava.com/activities/288881235
31 miles of very mixed conditions in 8 hours with 7k of gain. Certainly not a PR at this distance, but certainly not too bad. This training thing must be doing something good for me. In race conditions (supported), I imagine things would have been faster.