Saturday proved to be one of those days that makes you happy to be in Boulder. The weather was absolutely gorgeous when we woke up. It was even more perfect when you consider the weather of the previous few days.
I headed over to Elks for the 8:00 a.m. swim. Gordo put together a fairly moderate, but long set of 5 x 900 meters as swim, band/buoy/band/buoy/paddles, paddles only, swim. All on about 30-45 sec rest.
A couple hours later Gordo, Dennis, Monica, Josh and I headed up to Magnolia Road for a long run.
Mags is pretty famous. I'm not sure who started running there first, but I have no doubt that Lear upped its popularlity substantially and gave it a lot of glamour when he profiled the CU runners running there in his book "Running with Buffaloes." Whetmore does some of the Sunday long runs for the XC team up there on that long rolling road and everyone wants to do what national champions do.
Magnolia Road begins as a paved road from Boulder Canyon and continues for about 4.5 miles. Then a dirt road begins and continues another 7.5 miles to the Peak-to-Peak Highway. It actually continues another three kilometers on the other side of the highway where it dead ends into some single track. The beginning of the dirt is somewhere in the 8000+ elevation range and you climb all the way to the turnaround which, I would speculate, is around 8800 feet. I need to get the exact number on that because I have been speculating for far too long.
There are two roads in Colorado that serve as my favorite long run locations. One is Magnolia Road in Boulder. The other is Slate River Road in Crested Butte. Slate RR is wonderful because of its solitude and the river that runs along it that you can hear the entire time. Magnolia is wonderful because every single mile has its own character. The road has mile markers so you can really break the entire run into mini sections as they all provide their own challenges.
I normally cook myself a bit when I run Magnolia for the first time each year, but this time I opted to 'cruise' it and keep my HR under 160. I ran 60 minutes out (about 156 HR avg and 55 back (about 150 Hr avg) and I did_not_cook myself so I was very pleased with the session. I tacked on another 5 minutes of easy running to bring it to two hours. That also brings a seven day total of about 126 km (about 77 miles) .
After returning from Mags I headed out on an easy two-plus hour spin in the flats around Boulder. Then came home and chowed down on some burritos.