Monday, September 6, 2010

Buchanan Pass-Pawnee Pass Loop 2010

I never knew this trail existed! OMG, this one is a keeper!
Unfortunately, my son stole the SD memory card out of my camera without telling me, but the camera has 10-12MB internally, so I was able to shoot half a dozen photos. I stole others from Kari.
My northern freinds from the Boulder/Ft Collins area put this run together.

I needed altitude, and I knew there were lots of trails in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area south of Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park that I needed to discover. Having a crazy bunch of special idiots show me the way was a luxury I couldn't pass up.
Seven of us started out after 7am.
I played caboose all day. At first, it was because I have to warm up very slowly and carefully in order not to aggravate my asthma. It takes a few hours to get fully warmed-up. But I also wasn't sure what my conditioning status was at this point. I'd been working on short, fast speed-work. I've been logging scant few miles. My main goal has been to trigger my body to return to its previous state. Muscles have memory. I've seen this several times over the years in my own body where I get out of a cast and my limb is horrifyingly emaciated. But in just a couple of months, it's back to normal.
So I stuck with Cat S until we got over the first hill.

Longs' Peak in the distance

Then as we started the 2nd big climb of the loop, Kari called a pow-wow. Our various paces were too strung-out for the long day and it was time to choose sides. Three opted to turn around at the top of the pass. I chose to become the caboose for the four that continued.

Coming off Buchanan Pass

These three women kicked my ass!!!! Okay, I kept up, except for the stretch between Pawnee Lake and Pawnee Pass which had me sucking for air, but it was a race-pace effort for me to stay with them.

The scenery was so beautiful, and it just kept getting better and better.

Head up towards Pawnee Lake

The trail below Pawnee Lake is FULL of the most incredible waterfalls! There were several sections of river that were series of falls and pools. If the water hadn't been too cold, even at this warmest time of the year (for mountain water), I'd have said they were great for skinny-dipping.
I bought a SteriPen a year ago but had never used it. Since we were going light, and drinking out of clean mtn water, I opted for the 'Pen instead of my filter. It's a slick thing to have, and leaves no chemical flavors, and faster than pumping.

I didn't know at the time, but all these women kicking my ass were elite runners. Yikes! Even though I kept up with them, I'm sure it was only because they throttled-back. But the stretch between Pawnee Lake and Pawnee Pass, they dusted me off like lint and waited for me on the top. !!!
I've got a long way to go to get my legs back under me, folks. I'm fat. My weight is still 170-174lbs, and has been steady for over a year, but my belly really sticks out in the most unflattering way.

I hadn't planned on such an arduous run, but it really was beneficial.
Except for my Pearl Izumis. As we headed up to Pawnee Lake, my toe caught a root stub that punctured the shoe mesh and ripped it all around beside the outer toe. It wasn't a catastrophic failure, I barely noticed any difference, but I've had to throw the shoes away.

Pawnee Lake

The trail up the west side of Pawnee Pass goes through quite a rock pile, and zig-zags up a wall.

Steph E about to cruise on by without any effort, while I suck like dieing goat

Very strong gusts of wind were not helping, except for the few times it was a tailwind and lifted me up the trail.

Here's a shot just after getting over the top of the wall. The trail drops straight down below the spires in the foreground.

Birds-eye view of Pawnee Pass

My feet are good and no sign of my PF, but I need some serious altitude training.

What an awesome time! Everyone says it's 27 miles, but my GPS claims 26.3. GPS's tend to shortcut switchbacks, and there were quite a few, but I think 26.5 is probably accurate, and that's what I'm putting in my mileage log.

More from Charles D, who did this with Steph (one of the trailmongers kicking my ass), and another from Jim P.

1 comment:

  1. This is what happens when you don't know who you are running with. Follow results, man!


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