That was an interesting run, it totally surprised me. It was a blazing fast 6.75 miles in 1:38.
I went to run Green Mountain because I wanted to see how my fitness level was coming along with a run up green as a test (and because its just a sweet fun trail).
It was a COMPLETELY GLORIOUS spring day and ALL of Boulder was out on the trails enjoying it. There were people everywhere, but the trail is wide enough it didn't make it hard to run. Seriously, its crazy how many cars and people there were around the base of the trails. But once in the mountains it didn't seem like there were that many people around at all.
The first mile is super steep, tons of stair stepper sections, and climbs over 900 Feet in 1 mile - And I did it in about 16 minutes...which was actually really fast for me.
The second mile is more than twice as easy since it only climbs 400 Feet. I got my avg pace down to 13:59 by the end of that mile. I was shooting for a 15 min/mile avg total to the peak, so I knew I had some work to do in the last mile because it climbs another 1000 Feet in the last 1.3 miles.
Then all of a sudden I found myself mysteriously trying to make out a faint trail with dead tree fall crossing the trail all over. At first I thought it was just a bit odd, and since I had never been this high without snow cover I just assumed that's what the trail looked like. But the faint trail I was on was now going straight up an insane incline and I realized I was off track. I had no idea where I had lost the real trail. so just decided to keep heading up. I got really disoriented and couldn't even tell if I was on the right mountain any more, it was really strange. And it was disheartening. And did I mention it was now insanely steep? I was barely even walking at this point. And at points I was scrambling up cliffs...yeah, I'm pretty sure I was off the trail.
Eventually (20 minutes later) I popped out on a trail and saw people and I was a 100 feet from the peak of Green, happily still on the right mountain so my bushwhacking could come to an end.
My detour had shortened the distance to the top by over 1/4 mile. And I learned very clearly that you would have to be in some AMAZING shape to be able to actually run up an incline of 700 Feet over .4 miles which is what the last portion of my 'run' today was. At that point in the run I was barely walking, let alone running up something that steep. My avg pace for the ascent ended up at 20:10 per mile...SMOKING FAST EH!?
I felt like I could relate to the Barkley runners in some really tiny small way, and it did not give me any desire to ever do that race for some crazy reason.
By the time I was on top I was dripping sweat like crazy and it took me 10 minutes longer than it would have if I had stayed on track.
I felt great running down and felt like I was almost cheating being able to blast down rocky sections with my padded and protective roclites.
I hope all the steep running I've been doing lately has prepared me well enough for MY FIRST ULTRA THIS COMING SATURDAY! The race I'm doing has about 9,000 feet of climbing over 30 miles, but none of it is quite as steep as the Green mtn. ascent, so I think I've been training on the right terrain. But also, 31 miles is way farther than I have ever run before, I'm excited to see how it goes. My body, legs, and feet all feel like they are finally ready to go and not injured, so I'm pretty stoked to go into next weekend feeling good...its going to be fun...I can feel it.