Saturday, July 2, 2016

Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run 50k

The ridge behind us was the first six miles of a beautiful course
Photo credit Rob Finley
Wyoming is one of the last states bordering Colorado that I needed to run on my way to running a marathon in all 50 states. Perhaps it was being around enough of Boulder’s ultra trail-running crowd or my wife’s encouragement, but I decided that my Wyoming “marathon” would be a trail ultra. While Alita actually found the Bighorn races, my decision to go for this one was solidified by some glowing reviews of the race by fellow Boulder runners.

Training

Since I felt I knew marathon training reasonably well and a 50k was only five miles longer, I decided to follow my usual marathon training approach of 50 – 70 miles a week with long runs starting around 1h 45m and progressing to 2h 30m – 3hrs. I started the long runs in February and was able to get in one 20-miler. I would have preferred to do one or two more (20 milers) but the Bolder Boulder and Army drills precluded that. I also got in 3 – 4 decent speedworks with the Boulder Track Club most months. Once the trails were clear and somewhat dry I added two to three hour-long runs per weeks featuring about a 1,000 feet of elevation gain. My favorite loop for this is the SkunkCanyon – Mesa Trail – Bear Canyon Loop. This was actually a pretty reasonable approximation of course conditions to boot.

Lodging & Packet Pick-up

The packet pick-up was efficient and the staff there was very helpful. Aside from the usual fliers for other races I was pleased to see a nice cotton t-shirt and some electrolyte tablets. My friend and I went into town to pick up our free water bottle and then went to get dinner.

Sheridan is the nearest town of appreciable size and has plenty of good lodging options if you are not up for camping. When I was planning the race we were still thinking of taking the family and so we opted to stay at the Holiday  Lodge Motel. A nice bonus of this place was that it was within walking distance of the pre-race official pasta dinner – a decent $12 all-you-could eat pasta and pizza buffet at Ole Pizza.

From our hotel there was a nice bikepath along the river. My friend and I used this for a short shakedown run to loosen our legs after the six-hour drive from Boulder. There was a massive mayfly hatch happening which kinda made we wish I had brought a rod.


Race-day logistics

I would recommend getting a bus ticket from the Dayton Community Center. Since I was either going solo or not going to make my family share my wee-hours-of-the-morning fun this was a good deal for me. We drove to the community center in Dayton (about 30 min from Sheridan) and got on the buses with about 5 – 10 minutes to spare. The drive to the start at Dry Fork was a beautiful winding uphill road that forecasted the quad-pounding downhills that we would be enduring.

Strategy

It was around 60 °F at the start but the forecast was calling for things to crack 90 °F. My train-up constraints (and personal preferences) had put most of my training in the morning and I was worried about the heat. I decided to go against conventional wisdom and try some electrolyte tablets that came in the race packet for the first time on race-day (which turned out to be a good call). From having run in Colorado I knew the high desert summer could make it hard to appreciate how much you had sweated and lost in salts.

The 50k course started with a 500-ft / mile climb which I planned to take easy. I would push on the ridgeline and then try to survive the descent back into the valley. From there I hoped to use my strength in hill climbing after the dry fork aid station. Then I would once again try to survive the even longer downhill. The last 5 miles were on a comparably level dirt road which I planned to reserve enough energy to make a hard push on. I had trained with Gu gels which happened to be what they stocked at aid stations. I planned to have a gel at each and then maybe some salty foods in the second half. It was never more than six miles between aid stations so I decided to go with one 12-oz hand-held water bottle.

Elevation Profile from Strava
Race Description

I managed to stick fairly closely to my race strategy. The climb up to the ridgeline was non-trivial but it was early in the race and we all took things fairly easy. I was in fourth place by the time we made the top and held site of 2nd and 3rd as we went along the ridgeline. There were nice alternating patches of open meadows with beautiful views and welcomed patches of shady trees.


Photo courtesy of Rob Finley
A little before six miles we came to the first aid station. One of the volunteers asked if I had done this course before. When he learned I hadn’t he warned me of the upcoming descent. As I expected I was passed by four other runners as I navigated the descent. It was not technical (like going to down a rock-strewn boulder field) but at times the trail was spotty and sometimes across open meadow marked only by flagging. I most often got lost when a runner would pass me and I would mental relax a bit and follow them. Fortunately, none of the of “trail” adventures were too far and we eventually rejoined a service road or well-worn trails for the rest of the way.

Some typical service roads
Photo courtesy of Rob Finley
At the bottom of the first ridge we joined the course with the 50 and 100-milers. These weary souls were easy to recognize and inspiring in their determination. It put my minor aches rather in perspective. While it made it easy to loose site of my 50k competitors, the company was more than adequate compensation.

After a slow but steady uphill I made it back to the 50k (and 30k) start at Dry Fork. By this point I had caught up to three of the runners that passed me on the downhill. After some Gu, water, Gu-water and two of the four electrolyte tablets, I started on the slow ascent up the second ridge.

On the way here I got to know Dan and Monty – two of the runners who passed me on the downhill. We walked one of the steeper inclines and then Dan and Monty starting pulling away. I kept plodding along and eventually saw Dan off to the side working on a cramp. I gave him my last two electrolyte tablets and some encouragement before going on my way.

At this point I started running into some of the 30k runners. We were in the high meadows and, as promised in the course description, there were wildflowers everywhere. Somewhere around mile 18 I got the feeling that I was going to make this and maybe even finish in good form.

The much promised meadows of wildflowers
After the meadows we began our descent into the canyon. The day was bringing its full heat to bear. Perhaps all the good downhill runners who were going to pass me had already done so or maybe the previous 20 miles had taken their toll on everyone, but no one passed me the rest of the race as I made my way down the canyon. Occasionally I was able to mentally step back from the pain in my quads and appreciate what a beautiful site the canyon was.

Starting the descent
Photo credit: Rob Finley
As we got to the bottom I saw the rock arch that adorned every race shirt and many a memorabilia of the Bighorn Wilderness. This presaged the final aid station and the last five miles of dirt road. While parts of this last stretch of road were tough I found my training left me up to the task and I was able (at least mentally if not noticeably) to push the pace. At some point along the way I passed my friend Monty to move into fifth place.

The iconic rock arch
Photo credit: Rob Finley
Scott Bicentenial Park was a beautiful site. When I was waiting for my friend to finish I saw a lady scanning folks’ bibs as they came in. I never noticed her, but at that point the finish line sign was the only thing I noticed. She could have been doing jumping jacks and back flips while scanning my number and I wouldn’t have noticed.

My feet and lips were buzzing after I finished and I sat for about a half-hour recovering. The volunteers brought me various fluids and wet towels. The home stretch parallels a beautiful river and I joined several other runners in sitting down in it. It was the perfect depth and temperature.

Aid stations

Aid Station Distances and Elevation Gain from my watch & Garmin Connect
The aid station volunteers and aid stations themselves were great. All of the volunteers were encouraging and imparted great energy to all the runners as they went through. The aid stations that were near the river had pitchers of river water that they would dump on you (fortunately they were held by volunteers or I probably would have accidentally filled my water bottle with one of them). While I went for the Gu, Gu-drink and salty chips there was a nice assortment of fruit (grapes, water mellon and oranges) as well as sweets.

For the course rules I had been worried about missing a check-in, but the volunteers were great about catching your number as you went through.



Finish

There was a nice standard fare of picnic food with hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, cole slaw, water mellon, oranges and chips. I took my food and found a good spot in the shade to watch for my friend and the other runners. It was inspiring to see the range of 100 milers and 30k runners who competed on this hot and beautiful course.

When my friend finished we took the race shuttle back to our vehicles at the community center. It was still open and we were able to use the showers before getting on the road. Definitely bring some shower gear.

Parting Thoughts

It was a challenging and beautiful course and one that I would recommend to anyone looking to do their first ultra. A marathon training program prepared me well although a bit more training on technical descents would have served me well.

16 states down, 34 to go.

Map courtesy of EPG soft

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Resolve 10k


One of the things that I decided to give up in 2016 was racing alone. For me running has always been a mix of community and solo and for a while races were like that too. Many times in the last few years I had decided that I wanted to do a 5k or a 10k and just gone down to Denver or somewhere, run the race and then come home. But running with the KRM reminded me of the fun of running with friends both before, during and after the run. I decided that going down to a race by myself just was not that fun anymore. So when two friends from the Boulder Track Club said they were running a 10k on an open Saturday I decided to jump onboard.

Parking for the Resolve 10k
The best place I have found for parking at the City Park races is right of E 23rd street almost immediately after you turn off of Colorado. From here it is a 10 minute walk (half mile) to the registration. It was about 17 °F when I picked up my bib. Good thing the bathroom was heated.

Registration area
For a warm-up I found it helpful to run the first mile of the course. Even having done it once before it is a somewhat confusing set of turns in the first mile and it’s nice to be able to know how to run the tangents in the first mile.

This race was cold. Earlier in the week it had been in the high 20’s and I was hoping that it would be warm enough to race in shorts. This was not to be. Fortunately I had brought a pair of gloves with mitten pull-overs. These have been a great cold-weather pair of gloves which have saved my hands on many sub-25 °F runs. The bathrooms, while having only curtains for doors were well heated and not too crowded even 15 minutes before the start.

It did indeed feel like 5 F
The course itself consisted a 5k loop which you did once or twice depending on the race. I was happy to see that this race posted itscourse online for study before which was very useful. The one discrepancy was in how you ran the traffic circle in the middle – but this was well marked and worked much better as it was executed with runners who were going in opposite directions on opposite sides of the traffic circle (instead of on the same side).

Course on the website
Actual course
There were about 150 runners at the start and the announcements were a little long. Someone from Work Options for Women talked about the worthy cause that our registration money was going towards. The 5k and 10k runners all start together but things thinned out pretty quickly. A somewhat crazy dude in shorts and a singlet took off to lead the 5k. He took along one of the 10k runners (who I learned after dropped down to the 5k).

You go dude in singlet in 20 degree weather
The roads were also pretty clear of snow and ice – save one or two less-traveled spots. The first / third mile loops around several roundabouts and you do have to pay attention to run your tangents. Then you run on the south side of the zoo up a very slight incline to the 2 / 5 mile turn-around. The loop finishes out with a fairly straight run past the eastern side of the lake and then a fairly straight shot to the finish.

And we're off!
After a somewhat ambitious start of a 3:19 and a 3:30 kilometer I was passed by the fellow who eventually won the race. He maintained a 15-second lead as we both settled into a 3:36 km (5:49 mile) pace. I finished with a 35:58 which my watch claimed was 9.95 km – well within the margin of error for a pretty darn accurate course in my books.



The race provided free photos which is a nice feature I have seen in a few races now. They aren’t as fancy as other races but they also aren’t a comical price. Your bib also gets you a free drink after a nearby bar where they do awards.

A bit faded yes, but not $7.99

I cooled down with the Boulder Track Club folks that I ran with and went on home. This is a pretty fast course and a good winter primer for the summer racing season. I’d do this one again.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

New York City Marathon


While I was still stewing in the sands of Kuwait, Alita and I passed some of our phone conversation dreaming up a fun fall trip. We settled on trying for a week in New York, anchored on the New York City Marathon. While neither of us desire to live in a large city, we both love travel and doing touristy things that a city like New York has to offer.

Such as posing in front of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline
At over 50,000 finishers, the New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world. In spite of having more spots available than your average race, there are still more willing runners than spots. New York does a hybrid approach of a lottery and a qualifying standard. Sadly, my training for the Boise Marathon was so-so and my time was about 30 seconds above the qualifying time*; so, into the lottery it was. Fortune smiled on my hot and dusty circumstances and in a few weeks I got the email letting me know that I would get to be a part of it.

Train-up

One of the first things that you are asked to choose fairly early in the process is a checked bag versus a space blanket. Most marathons that handle a mere thousand or so runners offer both, but in New York you get one or the other. In the numerous races and marathons that I have done I have had pretty good luck with getting my bag. I felt it would be nice to have my cell phone for linking up with fellow runners before the race and my wife after the race. I opted for the checked bag.

The other choice was what ferry you would take to Staten Island. There was a definite benefit to signing up for your transportation option early as the later ferries filled up first leaving the procrastinators to get a 5am or earlier ferry and have a little more time with their 50,000 closest friends at the starting area.



For our lodging, we went with Air Bnb. Hotels closed in on $200 a night pretty quickly so these were out for us. While there were some Air BnB places I saw in the $50 – 60 range they did not have the queen bed we were looking for or they did not respond**. We decided to stay in Brooklyn near prospect heights (partially because it was near a friend). It was a 30 minute train ride to the start and many good rooms were available for $100/night. Had we been able to snag a Manhattan room for around $100 that would have been better for post-race site-seeing though.

Training for this race started about when I got back from Kuwait. I was able to get in almost all of my long runs. My biggest deficiency was that my family took two separate week-long trips that cut into my overall mileage and speedworks. I ran one trial 10-k about three weeks out in 36:11. I was fairly happy with this race and my pace although my splits faded a little towards the end. I would have preferred to do a 10k and a half marathon as warm-up races but it was a busy summer and fall.

Expo and Packet Pick-up

By total luck, I ran into one of my good running friends from Maine on W 46th street on the way to the Expo. He mentioned that he was going to a Broadway play in the afternoon. If I do New York again I think a 2 p.m. matinee would be a great way to relax before the race. You can get half-priced tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square on the way to the expo if you hit up the expo in the morning.

The packet pick-up was well organized and pretty easy. I went around 1 p.m. on Saturday and had my number and shirt in less than 10 minutes. The expo itself was unremarkable. There was 50 percent off Asics gear but the line was rather long and I did not need anything in particular at the moment. There were the usual plethora of energy gel, gummy and bar samples.

Entering the Expo



The one thing interesting for a first-timer like myself was the course strategy talk that they gave every hour on the hour near the entrance.

The worth-attending strategy session

One really neat discovery that I made just before the Expo was the TCS New York Marathon app. Among its coolest features, this app allowed you to track up to 10 runners. It would not only give you about 10 splits on the course but it would use this information to predict their finishing time and location on the course – both of which proved pretty accurate. It also had a neat course map that let you jump to various locations by touching the point on the elevation map.

Tracking friends in the marathon

Nice way to preview the course

Race Morning

The one drawback to using Air BnB (as opposed to a hotel) was that this year Halloween fell on the Saturday right before the marathon. There was a mild party (and I do actually mean mild – think normal music and talking, not keg stands) above the apartment that we stayed in. Fortunately, the hosts were nice and turned down the music when I talked to them in my running shorts and shirt at 1 a.m.

In spite of the festivities, I managed to get enough sleep (and had enough adrenaline anyway) that I felt pretty fine as I walked to catch the R train from Brooklyn to the Staten Island Ferry. While it would have been bad form to go at a time other than the one I signed up for, it was good to see that no one really checked us as we got on the ferry so were an unfortunate runner to miss the time he or she signed up for, they would still get to the start.

Pre dawn Manhattan skyline

The Statue of Liberty lit up with the morning sun
New York has three starting areas organized by color (corresponding to three slightly different but equidistant courses over the first three miles). I drew the blue village. This was especially fortunate as one of my friends who served with me in Kuwait also drew this corral and we were able to pass the time before the race together.

KRM reunion
He also showed me a rather underused set of latrines in the blue village that I was very grateful for. The ones right before entered the starting area were mobbed within an hour of the check-in time, but these ones (just a 5 minute walk away) had virtually no line.

Less used latrines shown on the right of the Blue Village
I stuck to my usual pre-race strategy of oatmeal when I got up at 4 a.m. and I stopped drinking water about two hours before the start (to ensure that I would not get caught in the long pre-race lines). I was well hydrated from the days leading up to the race and it was not overly hot for this November race so I figured this was reasonably safe. While I was far enough up to not worry, another good piece of advice from my friend Bret for this race (and Boston) was to carry your own water bottle for the first few miles so that you do not have to fight your way through the earliest water / Gatorade stations.

Just before the 9 a.m cut-off I dutifully went into the Blue A1 corral. There I truly randomly met up with a fellow Tuesday Tempo Runner, Brian MacPhearson, from the Boulder Trail Runners. Around 9:30 or so, we started moving towards the start.

The one thing that I would do differently if I do this race again is to take advantage of the one open area on the way to the start to jog as far to the front as possible. Instead I simply stayed ahead of the 3 hr pace sign, figuring that most of the runners around me would be running in the 2:45 range (or a close enough pace at the start). Instead I found the pace off the gun to be oddly slow for the A1 coral and I am pretty sure I lost about 90 seconds off my finishing time. While not a big deal in the grand scheme of my race, I would have been rather sad if I had been within 90 seconds of my PR.

Here the crowds open up on the way to the start and you have a brief chance to get further forward

A Course is a Course, of course, of course

NYC Marathon Course (courtesy of their site)
After the first half-kilometer things started to open up. My ambitious goal was to get close to a 2:40 which translated to a 3:47 kilometer. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have switched to using kilometer splits on my watch for races as I like the faster feedback and the feeling of seeing milestones (or kilometer-stones) go by faster. To keep on-pace I set up a watch screen with my split time, split pace and split distance. By glancing at the average split pace from time to time I was able to nail my kilometer splits right up until about kilometer 25 when the wind and the two missed weeks of training started to catch up with me.

The course through Brooklyn and Queens was fantastic. We had a light southwesterly tailwind and great crowds. My good friend who lives just west of Prospect Park got my attention and gave me a good boost at mile 7.

Unfortunately, I missed my wife at mile 8. She had a good course watching strategy though. She saw me at mile 8 and would have made the subway stop to see me at mile 16 but got caught up by some weekend subway route changes. Instead she went to mile 25 in Central Park (which I think she could have made even if she caught me at mile 16). She able to get up to the front (and thus get a kiss on the way by) and provide some much-needed support.

For me things started getting tough around kilometer 25 (mile 16). My splits started to inch up into the low 3:50’s. Then we crossed over the Queensboro Bridge and the nice tailwind became a headwind. Suddenly the overcast conditions which had been a blessing combined with the wind to make me feel a bit cold. My splits broke 4:00 where they stayed for most of the remaining 15 kilometers. While I had fallen off my goal pace, I was heartened to feel that I was not falling apart (I did fortunately get in all but one of my long runs). My legs were tired but my mind was still in the game.

At this point I must also confess that I goofed with my shoe management. The two pairs that I had trained up in were too old and I ordered my new pair too late. While I managed just fine in my Gel-Lyte 33’s with only 25 pre-marathon miles on them, I did suffer through some minor hot-spots. It was an embarrassingly rookie move.

The Gel-Lyte 33's have served me well, but they do need some seasoning. . .
The legendary crowds on First Avenue kept my splits near 4:00. Even the light hill at mile 21 did not throw things off more than 10 seconds a kilometer. When I saw Alita at mile 25 I made a beeline for her (the throngs of runners were not too bad) and gave her a quick kiss. Armed with the energy of seeing my favorite person in the world I pushed though the last two kilometers and apparently made the TV coverage. I was happy with my time of 2:47:42. Even though it was 6 minutes off my PR, I was happy that I kept mentally together and I still felt I ran a reasonably smart race.

Photo courtesy of Cathy Sibly

Post race

Stop twisting my arm, we'll go, we'll go!
The one disadvantage of using the bag-check is that I had about a mile walk ahead of me once I finished. On the other hand, I like to walk a lot on the afternoon following a marathon and so even this detail was actually a bit of a blessing.

Alita and I stuck to the advice from the expo and picked a link-up spot a couple of blocks west of Central Park. As a bag check runner I left the park around 85th Street. We linked up at Zabar’s at 4th and 72nd. After a spinach knish and cheese blintz we met up with Bret and his nephew.



From there Alita and I walked the Highline Park. This converted above-ground train track is a great example of urban renewal at its best.  We were treated to great sunset views as we lounged on some wooden lawn-style chairs near the southern end.


Our favorite post-race sites

If you can spare flying back on Tuesday, New York has more than you can do in a couple years’ worth of weekends. We took a week to explore, but if we only had Monday I would have done one or two of the following:

1.       Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island: Tickets to the crown disappear months out and even the pedestal tickets go a few weeks out. However, I think a pretty good tour can be done without either of these perks (after all, you can’t see the statue from her crown). I would go early as the statue and Ellis island can take you well into the afternoon. We skipped the audio-guide for one of the ranger tours and it was a good call.



2.       Broadway show: if you don’t do it on Saturday afternoon, an evening show would be fun. The TKTS gives out some pretty amazing seats. When they said we were in the orchestra section I did not realize we would be able to pat the conductor on the back.



3.       Tenement Museum: This museum is by guided tour only and most tours run around $25, but it’s worth it. We did both a walking tour and a building  tours (Hard Times).  We both  liked the building tour  better.



There were, of course, other places that I would recommend with more time and there were many more restaurants with yummy food than I feel like covering. While I remain convinced that the city is not for me, New York was definitely an amazing race and some of the best post-race fun that I have had.

15 states down, 35 to go.



* Someone told me later that the qualifying time does not necessarily guarantee you entry – it just greatly increases the odds.

** Had we been staying for just the weekend I think we could have nabbed a couch surfing room, but as we wanted to get a week of New York in we were not able to find any takers.





 [KAH1]Look into what my algorithms predicted for this race

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Run-Fishing 2: Flyathlon

Among the many things that lay dormant while I was deployed was my fly fishing. While there might have been salmon fishing in the Yemen for Ewen McGregor, there was no trout fishing to be had in Kuwait (although some friends did catch fish at the Kuwait Naval Base). One concept that I had been looking forward to reviving was the idea of combining trail running and flyfishing. I had done a test run before I left last year, but I never got around to running up to a high mountain lake and really taking advantage of a trail run to get away from it all.

So when I finally got back to Colorado I started reviving the idea. Along the way I discovered that I was not only not the first person to think of this idea, but that someone had come along and done it even better. A fisheries biologist and trail runner came up with the brilliant concept of a flyathlon: run a trail to some high lake or stream, catch a fish, run back and drink a beer. I could identify with this guy.

Refining the Packing List

But before I started doing some serious climbing I wanted to review things a bit more. I did one run down to Walker Ranch (which was just a mile, but featured about 600 ft of vertical) and a fish / run / hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. These two trips proved useful in refining the packing list from what I had developed last year. I realized that I needed some snacks if I was going to be pushing myself for eight plus miles often over 1,500 vertical feet. I dropped the sandals – for most high mountain lakes I realized the fishing could be done just as well from the shore. I also finally got  fishing lanyard and ditched my trusty but bulky chest pack.

But most importantly I added a leave-behind kit for the truck. This included a cooler with snacks, frozen water bottles and beer for when I get back (running and fishing at altitude works up a healthy appetite and thirst).

So the new list came out to:

Running pack
Running bag (7.0 lbs, minus the handheld water bottle)
Hat
Sunglasses
Water bottle
Rod
Reel
GPS / maps
Camera
Flies
Fishing Lanyard
Water purifier
Fishing license
Toilet paper

Stay behind stuff
Stay behind bag:
Sunscreen
Snacks
(2) water bottles
Guidebook
Change of clothes

Cooler:
Snacks
Frozen water bottles
Beer

All the gear, ready to go!

Sandbeach Lake Flyathlon Training Run

From the Flyathlon website I found a “training course” inAllenspark that was a reasonable drive from Boulder. The excellent guidebook Fly Fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park suggested that it was a greenback cutthroat fishery with some good potential.

After dropping of my son at child care I left Boulder and made the trailhead by 10:45 am. On a Tuesday there were only about five other cars in the parking lot. The trail featured a steady climb that was (for me) runnable for 90-95% of the way. 

Some nice views on the Sandbeach Lake Trail
It climbed 1,979 ft over 4.3 miles according to Strava. The technical running was minimal and the views were good. On a Tuesday I encountered only three other hikers on the way up. Once at the lake I had the place to myself for all but a few minutes when a few other hikers stopped by.


Images courtesy of Strava
The lake did not feature the steep rock scree side that most high mountain lakes have, but it did feature the namesake sand beach. 

Mount Meeker and the namesake sand beach
I decided to first go right and try what I hoped was the steeper side. I did not catch any fish there but as I was changing my fly I heard some grunting behind me. I turned around to see a black bear about 100 feet behind me. I suspect he saw me first because he was mercifully not that startled by me. I was not sure how fast I could swim and was a bit worried that I was about to find out. Fortunately, the bear was in a decent mood and more concerned with fattening up on berries than fishermen and hikers. I took off my shoes and waded into the lake and walked along the shoreline until I felt I was sufficiently far away. I made a mental note to add bear bells to the packing list.

Black bear, black bear what do you see? I see a tasty fisherman looking at me.

I much prefer to see bears from this distance
I then fished a jut of land on the other side of the lake for the remainder of my time. Fish started rising in the center of the lake but they were mostly beyond my casting reach. Finally around 2:45 I decided to call it so that I could get back in time to pick up my son from child care. If I come back again I think I will bee-line it to the outlet, but that will have to wait for another day.

Looking north from the west side of the lake
I filled up the water bottle and ran down. The non-technical trail made for a fun and (for a less-coordinated person like me) pretty safe run.

Nice view of the valley on the way down
It was wonderful to have cold thawed water and food waiting at the end. While I missed the “fish” leg of the flyathlon I decided to celebrate not pissing off a half-ton-plus omnivore by drinking a Denver Pale Ale anyway.

In spite of not catching any fish, trail running and fishing worked beautifully together. While I think I can get my set-up lighter, its current weight of 7 lbs was just fine even with climbing around 500 ft per mile above 8,000 ft. I figured running bought me close to an hour extra fishing time. On the way up I averaged 12:12 minute miles. I figure with walking I would have, at best, probably done 20 minute miles. Over 4.3 miles (one way) that is over 33 minutes saved. And I got in a good run on a beautiful trail. Success.