June 30 – July 1307/17/2014

Phew! It’s been a busy few weeks, but I finally got a two-week update here:

Mon – Venice, IT (0:34)
After the 1h15min boat ride from the airport to the city center, I found a hotel room for the night and changed to head out for my first run since the race. It was an out-n-back along the waterfront on cobbles—with lots of small up/downs on the bridges spanning the frequent canals—and I was pleased to find that the only thing sore was my bone-bruised right knee. But, damn, it was really sore. Afterwards, I promptly got lost and spent three hours wandering the corridors and canals of Venice. If I’d just gone left from my hotel door instead of right…Venice is an incredibly beautiful city, though…

June 23 – 2907/02/2014

Mon – Rifugio Ra Vales – Cortina, IT (2:31, 5400′)
On the west side of Cortina there is an imposing cluster of craggy summits, the three Tofana’s: Tofana di Rozes (I), Tofana di Mezzo (II), and Tofana di Dentro (III), from south to north. They are all over 3200m in elevation (di Mezzo being the tallest at 3244m), putting their summits a full 2000m above town. Improbably, they are also host to a lift-serviced ski resort, and di Mezzo’s summit is—true to European style—accessible via a gondola from town. On an intermediate ridge between town and the summit, however, the gondola passes through a rifugio at just over 2400m, Ra Vales. This seems like a natural destination…

June 16 – 2206/23/2014

Mon-AM: 1st Flatiron+Green Mt (1:55, 3000′)
Descended Ranger-Flagstaff. Wow, kind of a piece of wreckage of a run. First, I was clearly feeling Saturday’s big outing because I slept 11hr last night meaning this run didn’t happen until mid-morning in the full heat of the day. As such, I just punted along, taking it easy and enjoying being out in the hills. On a very routine descent of the Viewpoint trail down to Eben G Fine, though, I caught a toe and went down, not even super hard, but I managed to whack my right knee on a rock, directly on the medial knee cap. My left knee was scraped and bloodied, but I knew my unmarked right knee was the more serious issue…

June 9 – 1506/16/2014

Mon-AM: Mt. Rosa & Mt. Buckhorn (2:41, 5000′)
This was a great run. Parked at the upper Gold Camp lot at 7500′ and went up 7 Bridges. I had some tired legs from yesterday’s race/double outing, but once I got going I really enjoyed the mountain. Rosa (11,500′) is a great peak that I would hit on a near-daily basis if I still lived in the Springs. Alas, I just wasn’t quite in that mindset when I did live here. There was fresh snow on Pikes this morning—and a dusting on the last 1000′ or so of Rosa—and it was a surprisingly chilly, blustery summit. I maintain that the 4k’ drop off the east side of Rosa into Buffalo Canyon is the best in COS, and today didn’t disappoint…

June 2 – 806/09/2014

Mon-AM: Mt. Elbert (2:07, 4500′)
Up and down the NE ridge from Halfmoon Creek. Surprising energy in the legs this morning; I ran more of the steep stuff than I thought I would. Snow conditions are also much better than I thought they would be, really only an issue in the usual 500′ below treeline. It was odd, though. At some point on today’s outing it felt like the last 9 months didn’t even happen to me, like I was picking up right where I’d left off last summer, marching uphill through thin air and brilliant sunshine over talus and scree. There’s definitely something special about the big relief here in the Sawatch…