I escaped Aspen on Friday and got to spend the weekend in Moab, Utah. It was nice to get away from the crowds and the X Games hullabaloo. Moab was perfectly quiet.
The goal was two days of simple and uncomplicated running. I was hoping for a big day on Saturday and then see what I could follow up with on Sunday.
The weather was not as warm as I was hoping or fantasizing about. I will have to wait until March in Mexico for that but the trails were all dry and clear which is something that I have not seen since mid-November.
Saturday we ran what I guess is the first part of the Moab Red Hot 55K. We parked at the junction of Highway 191 and Gemini Bridges Road. I ran up Gemini Bridges, did the Metal Masher loop and then back to car. That got me 23.25 miles and about 3200 of gain for the day. I felt worked but not trashed and decided that I wanted to hold it there so that I would be able to run on Sunday too.
Sunday the weather was nicer and we headed up to the Slickrock Trail. I've ridden this trail tons back in the 90's and always thought that it would be interesting to run. I think I saw a grand total of four cyclists out there. It was quiet, somewhat warm, and of course it was beautiful to look at.
Running it was another story... We ran it counter-clockwise and while it was fun to be able to grip so well on the rocks while climbing, the constant amount of climbing began to wear on me around mile five and lasted until around mile seven. When I finished it felt like I had done over two hours of hill repeats. Finished feeling fatigued but all in all pretty good. 9.5 miles for Sunday with about 950 feet of climbing.
For the past nearly 20 years I have always said that someday I would like to run the Slickrock trail and I am glad that I finally got to do it but I doubt I will do it again as once was enough.
Ended the week with 58 miles done and about 5900 feet of climbing. This is my best week since the end of October/beginning of November and Saturday's run was the longest since the end of October as well.
Today when I was walking around I noticed that I am feeling pretty good overall. I think the volume from this weekend was perfect. Just enough to stress me but not so much that I came home and have to look at a week to get over it all.
The forecast for Aspen this week is WARM which I would normally be very happy about but in reality it will make things messy with all of the melting snow (turns to ice at night) and mud out there.