Yesterday, I had my first run in the high country of the San Juan Mountains above Silverton, CO. Marco, who I met at the Jemez Trail Runs, and his girlfriend Marissa took me out on the Highland Mary’s trail. This the highest elevation I had ever ran at, climbing up near 13,000 feet. I could definitely feel it in my legs and lungs as they were a little oxygen deprived but overall felt good. Running might be an overstatement as I hiked most of the climbs but ran when I could. The thin air creates muscle fatigue pretty fast and one has to be cautious so as not to bonk too fast. Typical of the high mountains we encountered a little rain and hail but no real serious weather. The scenery helped distract one from physical discomforts, though.
The San Juan mountains are spectacular and home to the brutal and awe inspiring Hardrock 100, taking place in a couple weeks. Several Hardrock runners were dropping into the local coffee shop, the Avalanche, as they acclimated for the race. I’ll be back up here to volunteer at the race and for many trips during the summer.