ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Our original Thanksgiving plans had us moving into our new house, but if you've been reading this journal, you know that our move-in has been delayed until sometime in January. This left us with both a hole in our schedule, and some frustration, since we've been putting off vacationing in order to keep an eye on the building process. Because of this, Britt suggested we - go on vacation. And I had the perfect idea. During last year's Thanksgiving trip to Arizona, during which Britt and a couple of our friends rode a hard point-to-point trail while I car shuttled for them and did easier day rides, a real highlight was my solo day at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. I had told Britt that someday we had to take a trip there together, so he could experience it as well - and so we decided to go to Scottsdale, Arizona, and stay in a hotel near the Preserve, and ride there and in other nearby areas. (Of which there are many. We rode and hiked in the two large connected areas on the east of this map, and also on the "Sonoran Loop" which is the furthest south part of the large area at the top-center of the map.) Spoiler alert: excellent decision.

I'd actually been up for camping, but Britt wanted to go full-vacation-mode and stay in a fancy resort. As it happens, Thanksgiving is still low season in Scottsdale - one of the waiters I spoke with said that it's really not that busy until Christmas - so we were able to get a decent deal at The Boulders. This is a lovely resort with two golf courses, but for us the main attraction was that it is only a few miles from a connector trail to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (Well, that and the hot tub. And the four restaurants!) Also, the name is not a lie:

IMG_20181126_100315

Lots of photos! And me blathering on! )

In conclusion:

2018-11-25 14.54.44

(40 photos - and I might add more - and no blah blah blah at Flickr. I haven't put captions on the photos yet, though, and...I might not get to it, be warned.)
ilanarama: me in Escalante (yatta!)
Two weeks to go to the Thirsty Thirteen half marathon! I'm...less excited than I might be, because I seem to have pulled a muscle (?) in my groin; it started hurting while in Telluride (where I was doing biking only, no running!) and it hasn't stopped yet. At first I was nervous that I'd somehow re-injured my stress fracture, because it hurts in about the same place, but the pattern is different: it hurts most at night and in the morning, and when I start walking (or running), or stand up from a sitting position, but it eases up after some activity, and doesn't bother me much on runs after a mile or so. My body guy thinks it's a case of inner thigh muscles working when they shouldn't, and I'm doing exercises and have my second appointment tomorrow, but I'm really not pleased with the way things are feeling.

Anyway, the last two weeks. First week was mostly in Telluride and therefore mostly biking:

Monday: 27 mtb with ~2300' climb/descent
Tuesday: 14 mtb and 3.8 hiking (total ~4000')
Wednesday: 14 mtb with ~1200'
Thursday: 11 mtb with ~400'
Friday: 8 miles running with 2x2 tempo (7:57 average tempo pace)
Saturday: 3.8 easy
Sunday: 13 easy and quite a bit slower than I'd like (10:15 pace)

For a total of just under 25 miles of running, plus 66 miles of riding. The second week was back to running, and although I had planned on doing some riding too, it didn't work out that way:

Monday: rest (trying to ease the groin issue)
Tuesday: 6.3 easy
Wednesday: 8.3 with 5 tempo. I have been feeling as though my HMP goal is a bit aggressive, so I deliberately didn't push too hard out of worry that I wouldn't be able to complete the whole distance, but 8:17 was way slower than I wanted! I didn't feel I could go any faster at the end, either, so...I dunno. Maybe I'm delusional about my half goal. :-(
Thursday: 6.3 easy
Friday: 4.9 trail. A bit faster than my previous trail run, yay!
Saturday: 14.4 with 1-minute surges at the beginning of miles 6-14. It went really well, and I felt really good; overall pace was 9:18 which surprised me. I don't record the surge pace specifically, but generally it was in the 7:30-7:45 region, even in the last miles.
Sunday: Had been planning to mtb, but got a migraine and basically vegetated all day.

Total 40 miles nearly on the dot!

Now I'm planning to cut back my running volume and work in a bit more faster running in small doses, as my taper/sharpening period. As I commented four weeks ago, looking at past race failures has suggested I need to be more serious about my taper, even though I never used to do more than front-load race week (back when I was doing half marathons as marathon tune-up races). Hopefully this will give my adductors and glutes a chance to settle down, and give me a better race on the 25th.
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
One great thing about living where we do is that we're close enough to a lot of spectacular places that we can make a long weekend (or a short week) into a minivacation, instead of it being so long to get there that it makes no sense to stay only a few days. (Of course, another great thing about living where we do is that it's a vacation destination in its own right; I am immensely grateful that I get to do hikes and rides right here from my house that most people have to be on vacation for!) Britt decided on impulse that he wanted to take a few days of mountain biking in Telluride over his birthday (August 1), and since I'm a total pushover for anything that sounds like fun, I happily agreed.

Read more and look at pictures )
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Just under 40 miles running (because I forgot to check to see how long I needed to run to make exactly 40!) and about 19.5 miles cycling.

Monday: easy 4.6, felt kinda creaky since I'd run long the day before.
Tuesday: 8.7 with 5 tempo miles. Aimed on the slow side for the tempo and averaged 8:08, which is...a little slower than I wanted. HR was also a little low. But I feel like it was a good workout anyway, and built confidence.
Wednesday: rest. Normally I bike up to get my CSA veggies at the college on the mesa but it was hot, so I got a lift from Britt, who was going up to check on our house, and then hiked down.
Thursday: 9.6 in the morning, started out a little late and it got hot, so it wasn't very fast. In the afternoon I did 4 miles of biking to pick up eggs and some peaches and corn at a farmstand.
Friday: 4.6 trail running with Britt, rather slow but a pleasant run.
Saturday: 12.4 miles with surges in the first minute of miles 5-12.
Sunday: 15.5 miles mountain biking. We did part of this route back in April and I was much faster this time!

Next week will be a mulligan of sorts for my half marathon training, as we're taking a mini-vacation to Telluride to go mountain biking (and incidentally for Britt's birthday, which is August 1st). So Monday through Thursday will be biking rather than running, but I'm sure I'll get lots of exercise in.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Another good week, 41.5 miles running and 28.5 miles cycling.

Monday: 8.1 easy with 7x10 sec hill sprints.
Tuesday: 8.7 with tempo. I'd planned on the 2x2.5 tempo I didn't do last week, but I forgot to program it into my watch, and I don't like having to look at it during hard running, so instead I did 3 miles tempo, 2 minutes easy, 2 miles tempo. I think I pushed too hard early and so didn't quite hit my hoped-for pace in the second part, but it was a good workout nonetheless.
Wednesday: 8.7 mile mountain bike ride (680') ending at the college to pick up my CSA. It was quite hot and so when I got caught by some rain sprinkles it felt good!
Thursday: 6.3 with strides, the hard end of easy.
Friday: 4.4 trail running. I haven't done any trail running since last year, as any trail running here involves lots of steep hills, and between that and the technical difficulty I'm much slower on trails, so they take longer, and as I was trying to build my mileage I figured I'd stick to pavement until my paces got back to more or less normal. Well, my trail pace is still very very slow! But it was nice to do the college rim trail on foot instead of on my bike for a change!
Saturday: Biking with Britt, a big loop of a combination of road, dirt road, and trail, ending with going up and over a ridge I've done a few times now (my fastest time on it so far, but it's still hard!) and then going to check on our house-in-progress. (More photos soon!) Nearly 20 miles and 2000 feet of climbing.
Sunday: 14 miles, yippee! That's the longest I've run in 22 months. Got hot toward the end but it felt pretty good.

I have been trying to do a set of hip mobility exercises before each run. It's not very much - a couple of minutes of dynamic stretching - but I think it helps.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Look, I'm actually getting a post in after only one week! The rains have indeed started to fall in the high country, so we no longer have smoky mornings and I can run before breakfast as I prefer in the summer.

This week I still had 35mpw on the plan, but I ended up running 40mpw (which I'm going to try to keep up), and it felt good.

Monday: 8.1 easy outside (yay!) with 6x10 sec hill sprints.
Tuesday: 7.9 with tempo. I'd penciled in 2x2.5 tempo as a treadmill workout, but since I could run outside I decided to do the same I did last week on the treadmill, 2x2 with 3 min jog. Tempo miles averaged 7:52, HR smack dab HMP HR.
Wednesday: biked to pick up CSA and run other errands, 5.7 miles mixed trail and road, 450' vertical.
Thursday: Easy 5.3 with strides, cut short from planned 6.3 because I got a call from my dentist's office (while running!) offering to move my afternoon appointment to get my permanent crown to the morning.
Friday: Easy 6.3, which came out at 9:20, a fast pace for me, probably because I started earlier than usual and it was nice and cool.
Saturday: 12.5 on a moderately hilly route (not as hilly as last week's) which I did as a progression since I wanted to make sure I had energy for the whole thing. Started super easy, last three full miles between 9:15-9:20, then an easy half-mile warm-down.
Sunday: 10-mile MTB ride consisting of about 1500' climb (with a lot of hike-a-bike) over an often-steep, often-rocky 4.5 miles of old forest service road and singletrack (and old forest service road that had deteriorated to singletrack) followed by a long downhill on a dirt road. The view from the top was worth the climb:

Overlook Point

Total 40 riding, about 16 of biking. It all looks very good on my training log program, especially when I looked back at my log from this time last year, just before I ran Kendall Mountain and gave myself a stress fracture - in fact my paces are quite similar, including my tempo runs. But I was running higher mileage then, and doing trail running (which I haven't started up again), and I still only ran 1:47 at the 2017 Steamworks Half last June despite thinking I was in 1:43 shape. In my post-race analysis, I attributed this to 1) a hot day, 2) being overly-optimistic about my fitness and going out too fast, 3) failing to recover from a race two weeks prior, and 4) tapering poorly.

At the end of my race report from that half, I wrote: Anyway, I think it comes down to this: Now that I'm an old lady, I can't just half-ass my training and still improve. I need to allow a lot of recovery after races, I need to get and keep my mileage (relatively) high, I need to be conservative with my taper, and I need to be realistic about my goals. I think it's good that I was inspired to revisit that report, because these are the things that I will need to keep in mind going into the Thirsty Thirteen in six weeks!
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Things are going fairly well despite the complication of having to run either on the treadmill or in hotter-than-comfortable temperatures over the past two weeks. This past Friday and Saturday night we got a little rain in the mountains where the fire is, and the following mornings were much less smoky, so I'm crossing my fingers that this pattern will continue and I'll be back to my usual morning outside runs soon.

Week 4 plan: 35mpw, 10M LR with surges, key 3x1M with 3 min jog between, plus hill sprints and strides. Too hot for hill sprints and strides, and did two long dayhikes instead of a LR. )

Total 26.1 running, 13 biking, 25.5 hiking (which I posted about here).

Week 5 plan: 35mpw, 12M LR, key 2x2M with 3 min jog between, plus hill sprints and strides. Too hot for hill sprints and strides, split the difference on the LR between last and this week, and babby's first hash run )

Total 35.5 running and 25.4 biking - that's the kind of week I like!

Next week I'm hoping to do more running outside. If it's smoky early I'll have to do my workout runs on the treadmill, still, but now that we're regularly getting afternoon rains we should be getting clearer mornings.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
At the end of May I posted about training to run a half marathon in August as the next step in my comeback from the pelvic stress fracture I suffered last July. I began my "official" training program the following Monday, three weeks ago. (I should point out that I don't use canned plans, but instead write my own "unplanny plan" based on the principles and workouts in Brad Hudson's Run Faster, which I have been doing since - gosh, 2009? By "unplanny" I mean that, rather than having specific distances and workouts for each day, I list only a mileage goal, a long run distance goal, and key workout(s) for each week. Actual distances and the days I do them may vary. Also per Hudson, I may change the plan as needed along the way.)

I started the plan with 31mpw the week before on 5 days running (all easy, one run with strides, another with hill sprints) and a longest run of 8 miles, plus two biking. I've maintained the 5/2, and last week bumped up to 35mpw (well, actually 34, but the goal is 35), which I will hold for a while before bumping up to 40mpw mid-July.

Week 1 plan: 30mpw, 8M LR, key 6x0.25 with 3 min jog recoveries, plus hill sprints and strides. Week 1 went pretty well except the LR became a hike. )

Works out to 23.5 miles running (with the 7.6 hike that gets me 31.1 miles on my feet) and 11 miles riding.
No hill sprints or strides, oops.

Week 2 plan: 30mpw, 10M LR, key 4x0.5 with 3 min jog recoveries, plus hill sprints and strides. Week 2 was largely on the treadmill due to smoke. )

Total was 32.9 miles running and 6.2 miles riding. The city and county had closed all the trails due to the fire danger, so there was nowhere to actually go for a ride, and the smoke was pretty bad all week. (I bought an N95 respirator mask for wearing to ride to the gym. It's okay for easy effort but I can't imagine running with it on.)

Week 3 plan: 35mpw, 12M LR, key 0.25/0.5/1/0.5/0.25 ladder with 3 min jog recoveries, plus hill sprints and strides.Week 3 back on the roads and trails, yay! )

Total was 34.2 miles running and about 17.2 miles riding. And no hill sprints or strides, bad me.

The fire's perked up again as we've had hot, windy weather. I couldn't start today's run until 10:30, as I was waiting for the air quality to get decent, and by then it was really warm and my heart rate was too high for the slow pace I had to run. So it's back to the treadmill, sigh. No rain in the forecast, either.
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
We had a great trip on the White Rim, and even though I wasn't in awesome cycling shape I managed to make it up the Shafer Trail without walking (though not without stopping to breathe. Other climbs I did have to walk a bit, particularly Murphy's). I didn't take photos, but if you haven't heard of/seen this epic trip you can look at my write-up from last year, which has links to two previous trips as well. Despite it being awfully late in the spring season, we had decent weather, not too hot. We did have some mechanical failures - one bike (not mine) and one support truck - so three of our group of ten ended up driving all the way out and heading home on day 3 (of 4).

As I was hoping, this trip jump-started my fitness somewhat, and I'm trying to keep it up. To that end I (gulp) signed up for a half marathon, the Thirsty Thirteen, which I ran in 1:44:53 in 2015 as my "comeback race" after recovery from a herniated disc. I half-assed the training, by which I mean I went on a month+ roadtrip vacation just before the race during which I ran twice (but hiked a lot), and the only reason I ran that well (relatively speaking) is that the race is net downhill (though there are some steep uphills). I'm just hoping to train a bit better, and beat that time this year.

My plan is to push my running from 4x/week to 5x/week, and bike 2x/week. I hate to admit it, but my running seems to improve more when I'm biking, perhaps because it is additional aerobic exercise without the impact (except when I fall!). I should probably lift weights, too, but that's so boring. I'm hoping we get in some backpacking as well. I'm still about 5 pounds over my preferred weight, and I'd sure like to drop that - but I hate dieting more than I hate being a little heavy!
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
I haven't posted since Thanksgiving, oops. So here's the short version:

  • After returning from hiking and biking over Thanksgiving, I had a great week of working out, a combination of walking, mountain biking, and the elliptical at the gym. I also started doing short sessions on the indoor track at the gym, alternate loops of a slow jog and a walk, after elliptical sessions, just to ease into running again.

  • Then I had a not-so-great week, though I am not sure why - I think I must have been sick - but after a ride on Wednesday I didn't do any exercise until the following Wednesday, when I went for a walk. I got back up to the rec center for some more elliptical and mini-jog on Thursday, December 14th. I also called my mother, as it was her birthday; she was in a nursing rehab facility recovering from a fall the week before, and my father and some of their friends were there, giving her a little party in her room.

  • Then it was time for my own party, as Britt's company had scheduled a holiday weekend in Telluride! Since it had been so warm and dry, we packed both ski stuff and bike stuff. On Friday afternoon we left work early and mountain biked at Phil's World, which is more or less on the way (we rarely go there because it's a long drive, so we took the opportunity!) and then when we arrived in Telluride we had just enough time to shower before meeting the rest of the group for drinks and dinner. Saturday was for skiing, which was only possible on a small subset of runs with man-made snow, but for what it was it was fine, and the relatively warm weather meant we could have lunch on the mountain at the outdoor French restaurant Bon Vivant. Stupid expensive for lunch, but really excellent food, and the view couldn't be beat:

    cut for photo )

    After a few more runs, we decamped to the hot tub, then went to the big company party. Sunday (December 18th) we had a leisurely breakfast with a couple of friends and then drove back home, taking a detour through Cortez to buy a picnic lunch to take on the Canyons of the Ancients Loop in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. We'd done this ride a few years ago, also during an unusually warm and dry winter. This time, on our newer bikes and in better shape, I think we managed a lot more riding and less bike-pushing!

  • We got home, put away our gear, showered, and sat down to dinner...and my phone rang. It was my youngest brother, telling me that my father was in the hospital, having just suffered a cerebral hemorrhage...and my mother was due to return from the nursing rehab center the next day! He and his family live fairly close to our parents, and they'd been helping out while Mom had been in the nursing center, but having simultaneous health crises with both parents was a bit much to cope with.

  • And so I flew out to Maryland on a one-way ticket the next day, after spending the morning on the phone with my brother, checking flight schedules online, and emailing my (extremely understanding) boss. Four incredibly difficult but rewarding weeks later, after getting the situation more or less stabilized, I finally came back home. That was two weeks ago.

I'd brought running shoes and exercise clothes, but I only managed three very short runs (15-20 minutes, the last on a treadmill) due to things being in continuous crisis mode. (I also brought my laptop and key cards so I could do work...I did zero work.) So my fitness level is basically back down to zero; I've managed to run pretty much every other day now that I'm home, but I'm very slow and my endurance is pathetic. (The good news is that my stress fracture must be completely healed by now?) We went skiing once, but the winter is still unusually warm and dry, and conditions are not very appealing. I'm hoping to take advantage of the weather to run and bike and slowly get myself back into shape - we've got a White Rim trip on the schedule in mid-May, and we'd like to do some backpacking this summer.

Anyway, that's the scoop. I'll have more to say about that crazy month taking care of my parents, but for the most part, I hope this marks a return to frequent posts about my outdoorsy pursuits!
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
No, not pumpkin pie. That's desert with one 's', as in Arizona and New Mexico, where we spent our four-day weekend. Our friends Ryan and Steve wanted to ride the Black Canyon trail, a 70+ mile singletrack that is typically done over two days; Britt thought it sounded like fun, but I knew that I was in no shape to take on anything that epic, since I've only recently started riding my real bike again. But I was willing to run the car shuttle and go find something easier to ride while they tackled the BCT, so we enthusiastically signed on.

Blah blah and photos )

Just the photos, no blah blah
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
I haven't been posting in a while, bad me, so you're forgiven if you've forgotten that I'm doing the Kendall Mountain Run tomorrow. I'm a little less prepared than I'd like to be, mostly because I fell really hard while trail running twice in successive weeks, then also fell hard mountain biking, and so I've been more cautious and doing less trail running than I really should have been. But I have been hiking and biking and running!

On top of Graham Peak

Read more and see more photos )

So, tomorrow I am getting up way too early and going up to Silverton (it's about an hour's drive) with a friend who is also running. Now that I've seen what the course is like (we drove the first three miles to get to the trailhead of our late-June overnight backpack) I don't think I can make sub-3; I'm hoping to come in somewhere around 3:30. But my main goal is to NOT FALL.
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Our friends Ryan and Steve organized a White Rim trip again this year, and this time we were the only other people on it. (We did it with them last year, and also in 2013. We also did it twice in the 1990s with friends from Boulder, where we lived then.)

Ilana at top of Mineral Bottom switchbacks

Read more! See more pictures! And there's even a linked map! )

Or just look at the Flickr album.
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
A month after my last post in which I bemoaned my February lost to illness, and I'm happy to say that things have been on a steady upward climb. I managed just under 118 miles in March, a huge improvement over February's 48 and the most since last October. My pace is also getting back under 10 minute miles for the most part, which - this is a small victory, since back when I was actually in shape my pace was generally 9-9:20. But it's still a victory.

Last week I ran 35 miles, which is, again, the most in a week since October 2016, with a 9-mile long run yesterday (at 9:54 pace!) that was my longest single run since The Other Half on October 23rd. Today I ache like I was hit by a truck, but I did it. Victory.

I'm trying to stick to a 5 days run, 2 days bike schedule. During the winter I skied once or twice a week, so this is just the logical springtime extension. Plus, we have a White Rim bike trip (four days) planned for mid-April, and a week-long ride to Moab in September (the same hut system as, but a different route from, the ride we did last summer) and anyway I have that gorgeous expensive mtb we bought last year, so riding doesn't suck so bad (and I have to justify the expense). So far we've been on our local trail system three times - it's really only recently become dry enough to ride - and we took one jaunt out to Phil's World, a fabulous trail network about an hour's drive from here. (I should probably go for a ride today, but the weather's kind of icky. Plus, I ache like I was hit by a truck.)ETA: We did actually go for a ride when it cleared up in the afternoon, 12 miles on the paved rec trail. Felt pretty good, actually!

If I can manage 35mpw more or less through April, that would be about 140 miles. (I'm talking running, now.) And if I can manage 40-45mpw in May, the Steamworks Half in June might not be horrible. I might even win my age group, though that's more because I'm old than because I'm any good. Which would be awesome, since prizes are beer. And then I'd have a real victory!
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
Moab, in Utah, isn't very far away from Durango. We go there three or four times a year, for the Canyonlands running races in March and October, for the nearby backpacking when our mountains are too snow-covered for access, and for the world-class mountain biking. It takes a bit less than three hours to get there by car; how much less depends on your willingness to exceed the speed limit, and your need for gas and bathroom stops.

Or you can bike there in seven arduous days, over 215 miles of secondary roads, jeep roads, and trails, up mountains and across desert valleys along the route set up by San Juan Huts. (Here is a map Britt put together, showing the route - click "->7.5' Topo Maps" and zoom in to see it more clearly.)

Want to guess what we did? Yeah. Strenuous climbs, scary descents, rain, heat, mud, and mosquitoes - also killer views, deserted roads, and cold beers enjoyed with good friends. I call it a win.

Riding toward Geyser Pass

Day by day trip report, with lots of photos )

All the photos (119!), none of the blahblah

Advice I'd give to anyone contemplating this trip )
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
I go to a conference every June in Breckenridge, which for me is partly an opportunity to listen to climate modelers talk about just how doomed we are, partly a chance to reconnect with my old friends from Boulder and remind my co-workers that I am more than just a mysterious voice on the conference calls and a response on the other end of the email, and partly an excuse to go mountain biking on some awesome high-elevation trails. :-) Biking in Breck! With photos! )
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
I've been biking a lot lately. This isn't because I've fallen out of love with running, or because I'm too injured to run - okay, I'm a little injured, but it doesn't keep me from running. But Britt and I, and four friends, will be doing the San Juan Huts Durango to Moab ride at the end of the month: that's 215 miles over 7 days, mostly on secondary dirt road, with a whole lot of elevation gain and loss. So we've been getting our butts in shape by riding a lot of steep high-elevation jeep roads and dirt roads, and a bit of single track.

So have some photos. )
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Uh, hi! Remember me? I used to do stuff and post about it!

Last week we joined friends for a White Rim bike trip. This is the same trip we did three years ago (and look, I wrote about it here!) and it was organized by the same couple, though this year it was mostly a different cast of characters, and also in the opposite direction. And also, I have a new bicycle!

Ilana and new bike

For those of you who care about such things )

The ride was to start Wednesday, but Britt had a meeting he couldn't miss and would come later, so I got a lift to the start with some of the other riders. We had lunch at the top of the Mineral Bottom switchbacks and then rode the ~10 miles to the Hardscrabble campground. The road between the bottom of the switchbacks and the camp is often very sandy, which makes for hard riding; due to recent heavy rainfall, it was instead nicely packed, with occasional mud that was mostly avoidable by choosing a path wisely (or briefly leaving the road). Britt rolled in sometime around 8 pm, which was still well before sunset.

In addition to the mud, the rain had made the desert bloom. We rode by orange globe mallow and blue blanketflower, by the pinks and yellows of flowering prickly pear cactus. (Photo by Ryan)

Cactus flower (by Ryan)

Read more... )

All 15 of my photos at Flickr (the ones in this post, plus a few more)

Brendan's photos, which are better than mine, at Google Photos
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Well, as you do in southwest Colorado when you're having an unusually warm, dry winter. We usually go skiing every Friday, but we punted the last two weeks because our ski day on January 30 was the last time it snowed up at Purgatory, our local resort. But Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday this year, a great day to take off and do something special with my sweetheart...so why not go mountain biking?

Here in Durango the trails are still muddy, with snow lingering in the shady spots, but I had learned from the website of the local trails advocacy group about trail conditions elsewhere, and so I decided we ought to go to Sand Canyon, in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, which is about a 1:15 drive from here. The canyons here are south-facing and on a broad mesa about 1200 feet lower than Durango, so it's even warmer and drier. If you scroll down on that link you'll see a map; we rode to the first dotted-line connector trail, then rode around East Rock Creek Trail in a counter-clockwise loop and back to the connector, and back to the trailhead. It was mostly easy riding, but we had to frequently stop to walk through steep, rocky sections, particularly at the head of the canyon.

Britt and alcove ruins Ilana by pillar

More photos and a few more words )

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

January 2019

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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 @ gmail.com

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