I’m not sure what possessed me today. I think it was the spirit of my friend, Heidi, who is the best runabler I know (and running blogger extraordinaire). Maybe it was all the caffeine. Maybe I just lost my damn mind.
So now my schedule is full of insanity. Oh, and I also still need to make sure I make progress on that whole Ph.D. thing. No big deal.
This past weekend, I went to the Human Potential Running Series‘ Fatass Frozen Front Range Marathon and had an absolute blast. The fatass runs aren’t races. They’re just loosely organized group runs. There’s no registration fee, and you can bail from the “course” at any time. Even though I hadn’t been training much (cough::at all::cough), I figured, why the hell not?
Saturday morning, Heidi, Cheryl, and I gathered at the Centennial trail head with about 80-something other runners in the pre-dawn light.
Everyone headed out to begin the trek across what’s known as “The Skyline.” This traverse covers all five of the large peaks in Boulder’s front range: Sanitas, Flagstaff, Green, Bear, and South Boulder Peak. A few individuals would also continue on to summit Eldorado at the end of the day.
Sanitas was up first. Heidi, Cheryl, and I started out together, but Cheryl quickly left us (mostly me) in her dust. Heidi was nice enough to stick along with my slow butt and we power-hiked our way to the top of Sanitas, shedding warmer layers and telling stories as we went. Heidi was also highly entertained by my “short girl problems” as she would hop up onto boulders that I had to hoist myself up.
On our way back down Sanitas, we caught back up to Cheryl – who only recently saw the light and moved from LA to Boulder, and wasn’t yet used to running on snow and ice. The downhills were much easier for me, so I often led the way on those sections, while trailing behind on the ascents.
Up next: Flagstaff!
I’ve driven up Flagstaff a number of times, and have always thought how ridiculous it was that people ran and rode up it. Apparently Cheryl and Heidi had the same thoughts. We were all amused by the fact that we were now the ridiculous ones.
At this point, Heidi and Cheryl started to get into their climbing groove, and I was always bringing up the rear. But every once in a while they would stop and wait a minute for me to catch up. Fortunately, about 1/3 of the way up Flagstaff, we caught up with another girl with the fatass group – Holly. Holly seemed to be going at a fairly similar pace as me, and she seemed pretty cool, so we adopted her into our band of ladies, and continued on together for the rest of the day.
At the summit of Flagstaff, we made a brief detour to stop at the overlook and take a goofy group selfie.
We left the Flagstaff summit, and started off toward Green. There wasn’t much of a downhill before it was time to start climbing again, so we settled into our now fairly well-established climbing order: Heidi, Cheryl, Holly, and then me, and continued our way up.
After a bit of scrambling at the top, we arrived at the summit of Green!
There was a guy and his kid playing around at the summit, and he was nice enough to take our picture for us. It wasn’t until later that day that we realized it was the amazing pro ultrarunner, Timothy Olsen. Interactions like this are part of what makes living in Boulder so unique and awesome.
At that point, we were going to continue on to Bear and South Boulder Peaks, but the thoughts of pizza, beer, and donuts had gotten the better of us, so we decided to head back to town. We made our way down Bear Canyon, with visions of food and drink in our heads.
Overall, we ended up doing 15.67 miles with 4,500 feet of climbing, in just under 7 hours. Slow, but super fun, and a fantastic way to spend a Saturday. Can’t wait for the next one!
Read Heidi’s (much better) version of this run here.