This week was a week of transition and adaptation. For starters, this was the first week of four where I'll be working, and hopefully completing, various projects at work. These are projects that have been in the planning stages for months, but from the first day, things didn't go according to plans. In many ways, my job forces me to be able to roll with the punches, so to speak. I have also been starting work around 6 AM each morning, which has totally thrown off my schedule. Actually, it's just caused me to get less sleep, as I haven't gotten to bed any earlier.
Another "transition" was moving from being 30 to being 31. This has been more of a mental transition. I'm not sure why one day makes much difference, but that increased number somewhat forces me to evaluate my life, where I'm going, what I'm doing, what drives me, what my goals are, etc etc. This prompted a conversation with my mother the day after my bday. We were just chatting about life and what's going on when I got the strange feeling that there was something missing. So I threw the question "what now?" at my mom and she was definitely taken aback. After a long pause, she said "Shane, I don't know." Our conversation moved from there to brainstorming about things she'd longed to do. It ended up being a great talk, and one that has been percolating through this gray matter of mine ever since. It made me think of my own goals, initiatives, and dreams, and question what they're rooted in and why they are there. I just hope this question and ones like it continually pop up, whether due to my own devices or random conversations!
The last transition that took place this week was learning to be a bachelor. Christine left Friday for a week vacation with her family in Michigan. It's amazing how much ones routine can involve another human being without you realizing it. The routine of which I'm speaking is a good one. One that involves eating together almost every night (sorry it's late sometimes Christine!!!), going on runs and bike rides, having Saturday morning coffee, etc. Christine and I try hard, and very much succeed I might add, in engaging one another in the activities that bring us the most joy....which tend to be the simple things, like the aforementioned.
As I transition to this upcoming week, I'll leave you with the activity summary for the week:
Monday: Rabbit Mountain - Indian Mesa PM
4.2 Miles @ 500 vert ft
Tuesday: Pond Loop w/ Christine PM
+2 Miles timed
Evening walk with Chrisitne
Thursday: Hall Ranch @ Lunch
4 Miles @ 700 vert ft
Evening walk with Christine
Friday: Union Res PM
7.5 Miles @ 105 vert ft
Saturday: West Magnolia
1 hr 15 - Mountain Bike
3+ Miles Trail Run
With the 90F+ heat on the Front Range, I thought I'd seek the refuge of a bit cooler climate higher into the mountains. I had to work Saturday morning, so I left Lyons around noon, headed up Hwy 7, then Peak-to-Peak to Ned. It's was a solid 10-15F cooler, which made for a much more enjoyable ride and run. It was also great to be back on the bike. Although I plan to continue trail running for the majority of my activity, there will definitely be more road and mtn biking this summer. The trails at Mag were fairly flat, non-technical, but were super flowy. Good times!
Sunday: Longs Peak Trail
8.5 Miles @ 2900 vert ft - made good progress rather quickly until a storm blew in and it began to rain. With only 2 handheld water bottles, 3 Cliff Shot Bloks, and a base layer long sleeve, I thought it better to head back down. My fitness must be improving, as the trail seemed much more runnable than in years past. It took a few minutes to get into a rhythm, but once I did I felt comfortable with my pace (it was definitely slow compared to typical runs) and the altitude. I topped out at the 1 hr 9 min mark, with only a little more than 3 miles to the summit and was back to the car around 1 hr 45 min. I definitely feel that a summit in around 2 hr 30 min is doable. I can't remember how slow the trough, narrows, home stretch are, but I definitely want to give the summit another shot before the high elevation running season is over.
PM - Bike ride to Ziggi's - 3 Miles
Here are a few pictures from my weekend:
Overlooking Union Reservoir, with the Flatirons in the background. Even though there's little elevation gain to speak of on this run, it's definitely a nice "out-your-door" run. It's all on dirt & gravel farm roads with minimal traffic and nice views.
The eclectic little town of Nederland. The West Magnolia trail is just south. This town is infamous for it's yearly celebration called Frozen Dead Guy Days. If you want an explanation, just Google it....you'll get more than you bargained for.
A view into Rocky Mountain National Park, from the junction to Bear Lake on Longs Peak Trail.