I Am Not Super Mom

the mountains are calling and I must go -John Muir

Bear Creek Lake Park
I don't choose the easiest races or the easiest paths through life. I've always taken the road less traveled. So as Friday approached I found myself less and less excited about running an easy course for 12 hours through the night. Thursday night I was begrudgingly packing my gear when Dan asked if I was at all excited about racing. I emphatically said no. He told me you know you can't run 12 hours if your head's not in it. Of course at the time Dan was also packing his gear for a Hope double on Friday. 

And then he said the magic words...if you decide not to race you could come do a killer climb with me.

Why does that sound so appealing? 

For about 15 minutes I was completely distraught...on one hand I felt guilty skipping the race, but on the other an adventure sounded way more fun! Plus it made the weekend a lot easier. Somehow, in some alternate universe I had honestly thought I could run 12 hr overnight, drive myself up to Boulder to watch Ironkids, then drive back down to Denver for a wedding shower. Okay seriously? What was I thinking? There was no way I could Super Mom that list of to do items. In the end the guilt faded away to logic and Dan and I laid out our plans for tackling Ben Tyler on Friday. 

The only other time I've been up Ben Tyler I was by myself and made it just over 2 miles up the trail before I was nearly tackled by a bear. So I was excited to finally get out to do this climb. Friday morning after dropping off James at daycare we headed up to Grant. We ticked off the first few miles pretty quickly as we easily made our way to the top. Of course easily is a relative term for the 3500 foot climb over 6 miles it takes to make it to the top. It was gorgeous on top so we snapped a few photos before heading down the backside. Some clouds were starting to move in so we weren't sure we would make it all the way up the Colorado Trail to Kenosha, but figured we'd evaluate the weather at the bottom. 

Top of Ben Tyler
About a mile down the trail we ducked back into the woods and soon found the trail completely obliterated by what we assumed to be a microburst. There was this line of dead fall that had covered the trail and made it nearly impassable. Trees had been blown in every direction. We managed to find an area a bit to the south that we could get through, but it was still relatively slow going. Finally we somehow caught back up to the trail just as the weather was really starting to turn. There was nothing we could do now. No way out, no cell service, but at least we weren't on top. We guessed that by the time we got back up the storm that was passing through would be over. Or maybe that was more of a hope.

The run back up was brutal. Within a mile or so we had lost the trail, although this was probably a good thing since we weren't going to get up the trail anyways. We started seeing pink ribbons which we followed for quite a ways. Our guess is that this is marking the re-route for the trail. Suddenly we popped out on an old rock slide and the only way up was a steep ascent up the rocks. We knew we were near the top and as predicted a window in the storm had opened up so we pushed hard to the top. Eventually we dropped back down the front to find the trail covered in hail. We were certainly lucky to miss that part of the storm on the backside. Half a mile from the car the skies opened up again and it was a complete downpour, but we made it safely back to the car. All in all it was a great training run for Leadville and Run Rabbit, much better than Chase the Moon would have been and much more fun. 

Fun in the sand
James has been doing awesome lately. I swear every time I turn around he's learned a new sign or making another word approximation. His latest is "up". We got on the elevator after his speech appointment at Children's last week and I signed and said down, but James just kept yelling up. Everyone else was just cracking up. Sunday we took James to Bear Creek for anther family run and let him play on the beach for a bit. He wasn't too sure about the sand and water at first, but still had a blast. 

Week July 7 - 13

Miles Running: 50.0
Hours Hiking and Running: 11.5



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