This past Memorial Day weekend the boy and I went camping, along with about 15 others (with a nearly 1:1 human to dog ratio). Some friends had gone up on Thursday, and found a large spot in Breckenridge. The majority of us showed up on Friday afternoon/evening, ready to relax and play.
A lot of people in the group brought their motorized toys: UTV’s, ATV’s, and dirt bikes. While the boy used to have a toy or two himself, he’s downsized to a mountain bike (or two); at least when it comes to summer toys. I am not to blame for the downsizing! So, when it came to play time this weekend, the boy took off on his mountain bike, and I took off on a run.
We had camped less than a quarter mile from an entrance point to the Colorado Trail. It’s a 500 mile trail connecting Denver to Durango. To be honest, I didn’t really know much of the trail until this weekend, and I was anxious to do some elevation/vertical training.
The trail is divided into 28 sections; probably for ease when referencing a certain portion of this gigantic trail. And because of that, I can probably most easily guess that we were nearest section 7.
On Saturday, the boy gave very clear directions as to where the trail was off of Tiger Road. And at the time, it seemed easy enough. So, he took off on his mountain bike, and I followed, with Chase, 20 minutes or so after. I guess I didn’t realize how clearly I expected the trail to be marked, because it wasn’t. And I blew right past it. Not being one to necessarily turn around and backtrack, trying to figure out where the trail really was, I just kept running. I was already in that forward motion anyway, so it felt like a shame to stop.
I was on the main road and I decided to just keep going. It was feeling like a pretty decent climb, especially factoring in the 9900 foot elevation start. Chase and I ran all the way to the top of the mountain, which was also the end of the road. 3 miles. After some playing around on my Garmin, I found the button to locate latitude/longitude, as well as elevation. We reached 10,900 feet. I felt that a 1000 foot elevation gain in 3 miles was significant enough, considering my breathing, or lack thereof. We ran down for a total of 6 miles in a little over an hour.
We waited around for about two hours before the boy came back. When he did, he only raved about the epic ride! The elevation gain and vertical climbs; the downhill; the broken bike piece that he MacGyver’d back together. I was immediately curious about the trail that I had so “blondly” missed. So, after an hour, I took back to the trail.
When I finally found the true trail, I was instantly impressed. Maybe it was because of the run only a few hours prior, or maybe it was the vertical climb, but I was winded early on. I pressed through downed trees, stopped bikers, and my own limited lung capacity. I threw in some moments of fast walking/hiking because I was just that out of breath. My goal was two miles. I just wanted to know how much of a climb it was.
When I reached two miles, I checked my watch. I was already at 10,900. The boy easily climbed well over 11,000 in his ride. I ran back down for a total of 4 miles.
It was tough, but I’m definitely wanting more of that kind of training this summer. I guess I need to get back up to the Colorado Trail. And maybe take some pictures so I can show you with a thousand words.