ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
This morning I got up early and rode down to the Farmer's Market, and also watched the start of the citizen's ride of the Iron Horse. Then at midday, I did some riding of my own. Britt's still a little sick but wanted to get out, so we decided to do the Log Chutes trail (which I rode solo two weeks ago). This time, I brought a picnic lunch and a camera.

Silver Mtn

A few more photos: )
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
The park where I've been doing most of my mountain biking lately is called Horse Gulch - it's a big hunk of city and private land on the southeast side of town. (Incidentally, this is also where I do my trail running - when I can run trails!) It's a very high desert-y climate, rocks and sand and scrub, but it's particularly nice in the spring because of the wildflowers.

bluebonnet in Horse Gulch meadow

I think this is bluebonnet, a kind of lupine. Phlox and paintbrush... )
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
I have a truly spectacular fist-sized bruise on my right buttcheek. Ow ow mc owie.

On the other hand, today I took another ride - what is becoming my "regular loop", about 8.5 easy/moderate miles, mostly singletrack - and for the first time, completed it 100% on the bike, with no walking over scary spots or even dabbing my foot down. AND no falling on my butt. I count that as a WIN.
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Britt and I had been planning on going backpacking in Utah this weekend, but early in the week he came down with a cold, and he was miserable enough by Thursday, our planned departure day, that it was clearly a no-go. So instead yesterday I did yard work, and today I went mountain biking.

I have been riding my mountain bike (not the one in the icon; I have a fancier newer one, that was part of the deal when we bought our Sportsmobile, as the seller owned a bike store and was more willing to throw in a couple of bikes than lower the price) a lot lately as I am taking a break from running to let my peroneal tendinitis heal. The tendinitis seems mostly unaffected by cycling, probably because my foot is locked into place by the clipless pedal (which, of course, my shoe clips into - weird terminology!) and my PT said any exercise is good as it increases the blood flow.

I started out a couple of weeks ago doing the shortest, easiest loop in the Horse Gulch system (where I used to trail run, and hopefully will again soon) and have been gradually extending my rides and increasing their difficulty. I've been trying to apply my lessons from last summer's MTB clinic, in particular trying to attack technical and/or steep sections rather than just assuming I can't ride them and bailing ahead of time. This has resulted in my riding over things that I never would have thought I could do - plus a few fall-down-go-booms and new bruises on my legs.

Today I wanted to do something a bit longer, so I rode up Junction Creek to the Log Chutes trail, about 5 miles of pavement and 2 miles of gravel/dirt road to get there, pretty much all uphill with a few quite steep spots. I'd never ridden this trail and knew only that there were a couple of "intermediate" loops, 4 and 7 miles. When I got there, I found no signage at all, and no people to ask, just two parked vehicles, so I took a guess and rode out the dirt road at the back of the parking lot, which had a barrier for vehicles but which bikes clearly had ridden around.

It turned out to be my favorite kind of mountain biking - a narrow, bumpy rock-and-dirt closed Forest Service road, a little uphill and then a little down. Using the best maze-solving philosophy I turned left at the first intersection, where it became narrower and more steeply uphill, and then left again when a singletrack trail (marked by tree blazes, and a post with a green circle for difficulty, but no map or name) veered off into the woods. (I was wearing my wrist GPS which I use for after-the-fact mapping and for mileage and speed tracking, and theoretically I think I could have used it to figure out how to get back to known territory, but I have never actually used the GPS functions so I'm not really sure how.) The trail was a little trickier but perfectly rideable, even for a wimp like me, although someone needs to go through with a pair of pruning shears and lop off the encroaching willows. I did have a few nervous moments on some of the rockier sections, and I walked across one boggy bit, and I fell at a creek crossing followed by a steep and loose uphill I couldn't quite negotiate. But otherwise, it was an awesome ride, and right at 4 miles I spotted the Junction Creek road ahead of me.

Total of 19 miles at a blazing 8mph average, although that hides the variance; on the paved part of the downhill I zoomed at 16-20mph, and my average over the actual Log Chutes trail was 5mph, or about trail running speed. I'm looking forward to riding it again (and trying the right fork, which I think leads to the longer loop; and bringing a camera, 'cause it's pretty!) with Britt once he gets over his ick.

Then I came home, took a shower, and went to the Taste of Durango street fair where I stuffed my face on tapas and mini-plates from our finest restaurants, washed down with a beer and a margarita. A perfect Sunday!
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Um, yeah, that would be ME.

Phil's World 7/18/09

Britt and I had heard a lot about Phil's World, a newly-created trail system near Cortez (about 45 minutes west of here) and so despite 1) getting a late start and 2) it shaping up to be an insanely hot day, we headed out this morning to ride. It turned out to be great fun, although each of us crashed once, and there were several spots where each of us shook our heads and said, "Uh-uh, me not doing that." Still, I rode a lot more than I walked, which I count as a win. I also managed to not expire of the heat, although toward the end you could probably have fried an egg on my skin.

I will do it again. In October or November.

More photos here. For some reason I look oddly rotund in them.
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Oh, I did, by the way, blow off the Wednesday afternoon sessions and go mountain biking. Took the Peaks Trail to Frisco, 8 miles of singletrack, and yes, I was by myself, and so I very much erred on the side of caution. Still, I rode bits that I am pretty sure I got off and walked before (I rode about 1/3 of it with a group last year; we turned around at a nasty river crossing which is now bridged) and did not actually fall off the bike at any time, although I possibly came close. Then I rode back on the paved path directly into the howling wind, which was extremely not fun. A total of just under 20 miles of riding, averaging the same average speed at which I ran the Baltimore Marathon. :-)

I also ran 7 miles on Tuesday morning, and about 4 this morning. I pretend that living at 6600 feet makes me impervious to altitude, but all it takes is a tiny uphill here at 9600 feet and I am gasping and miserable. Clearly I need to get more altitude training before the Imogene Pass Run in September. I wanted to go biking again tonight, or running tomorrow morning before driving home, but I'm running the Steamworks Half Marathon on Saturday and must conserve glycogen. To that end I am carboloading a bomber of Switchback Amber from the Backcountry Brewery in Frisco, and have polished off most of a bag of Rold Gold Honey Wheat Braided Twist pretzels. La la la.

I did make it back for the Wednesday evening special session, which was James Balog of the Extreme Ice Survey showing all sorts of nifty time-lapse photography of glacier faces falling into the ocean. As soon as I got back to my room I put his NOVA/PBS documentary on Netflix. REALLY COOL, folks. After his presentation he made a heartfelt plea for scientists interested in using his images to extract land-ice data to help him get funding, because he really needs $600,000 to keep going, and all I could think of was, wow, in the world of scientific projects that is such a tiny little amount. I actually don't know how useful his stuff is in the world of glaciology - we are just starting to fold glaciology into our models, so it's a kind of climate science I'm only barely conversant with - but wow, it's science in action!

Tomorrow morning I shall drive home. Whee.
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Today I managed to get to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory 2nd quality sale long enough before the doors opened to be in the first batch of people admitted, which means I scored the small amount they had of the java toffee and dark chocolate macadamia toffee and some of the few truffles. Alas, they had only a small truffle selection, and no Rocky Mountain mints. But we are re-chocolated for the summer. (Also? I can't believe how many people were standing in line before the doors opened. I guess this is what passes for a big event in Durango!)

I got out of there a half hour and approximately $50 later, raced home, got in my cycling clothes and hopped on my bike and went to the second Durango Mountain Bike Camp women's clinic. And managed not to kill myself horribly or even take a spill, although I did bail on a couple of switchbacks I ought to have tried. One woman did fall on an exposed curve and went flying off the edge of the cliff into a dead tree, which pretty much is why I cautiously bailed on it. (She did not die horribly, but there was a good deal of blood.)

So I call it a successful day. Tomorrow I run a trail 10K up a steep-ass hill, and down the even steeper-ass other side. I shall try not to kill myself horribly.


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @



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