Monday, June 14, 2010

Georgetown Silverplume Loop - 12 Miles

Ran the Georgetown Silverplume Loop run today. I've run this run or a similar one every summer for about 6 years now, since I trained on it for my first Colorado Relay. Today was different though. It was cold, rainy and snow about 9000 feet.

I woke up this morning to rain and stayed in bed an extra hour, so I didn't get to Georgetown till 10:00. It was raining all the way there, with some ice pelts along the way. When I got to Georgetown it was more of a light drizzle, temperature was right at 32 degrees. I think the elevation helped, above 8000 feet it wasn't raining as hard. It's 8500 feet at Georgetown. I wore shorts, two long sleeve tech shirts, gloves and a waterproof shell.

I knew Guanella pass was under construction from last year, but did not realize it was so close to Georgetown. Right away I hit construction, although on a Saturday only a couple of workers. Water was pouring down the road in little streams all over with mud and rock. I had to pick my way across water as I ran uphill. It is a steep start and I felt it with no altitude running in several months. I took off my shell at the mile point, I was hot from the steep climb. I only saw two cars on the way up. Normally the views are great, but with the clouds and fog, not so much this year. A nice view of Georgetown at the mile mark and another one on the trail looking down the valley as the train chugged it's way up are two that I remember this run.

At the Jeep Road around the 3 mile mark, it was really snowing and the roads were snow packed. The jeep trail is rough and tough to run normally but the snow made it very hard to run any distance without stopping to walk and pick your way around. There were some recent tire tracks most of the way which helped.

The stream was really roaring from the rain and snow. Pretty intense. I was concerned the jeep road was washed out where it crosses with a little bridge over a drain pipe, but it was fine. A lot of water was pumping through there but it was good. I had to walk a lot on the trail. I lost my tire tracks near the top and it was really tough to find a good path to run on. Finally making it to the trail at the 4 mile mark and peak elevation of 10,050 feet. It was cold and wet so I put my shell back on. Easy to run on though as it is flat and some downhill for a while, then slight uphill to the Chimney on the SilverPlume Side.

I stopped at the Chimney for some Gu and then headed on the trail. Usually I fly on the trail, but with 3 inches of fresh snow and steep cliffs, I took it cautious. There were footprints and paw prints which helped some. Some huge puddles on the lower part slowed me down also. It was pretty though and the sun even came out for brief periods. As I got lower the snow decreased and it became more wet trail. I passed the guy and his dog about half way down.

I had originally planned a 14 mile out and back today, but due to the conditions and the fatigue of running in the snow, I decided to do the loop and add a couple of extra miles in Silverplume. I took the long way down to the dirt road which adds about a 1/2 mile to the route also. When I got to the road it was drizzling rain but warmer, I took off my shell again. I tried to pick up the pace but it was tough. I did pick it up some on the downhill into Georgetown on the Bike Path. Good views here of the trains with people and the roaring river going down the mountain back to Georgetown. I was trying to mimic Slacker which is in two weeks, my pace was way off where it needs to be for that though around 7:30 here.

I ran back to the car and dropped off a couple of layers of wet clothes and then did an out and back into Georgetown for 2 miles to give me 12 for the day. Again trying to mimic the last mile of Slacker that is tough on the flat streets of Georgetown after all the downhill. My pace was slow here too but I hit a couple of hills.

Overall Good Endurance Run with 2:15 minutes of running at altitude and some pretty good elevation.
12 Miles 2:13:57

Garmin Watch Data for Run

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