Wednesday, August 07, 2013


The last of the bridges at Lory was finally repaired and the full bike course for the Xterra race next weekend opened for riding on Saturday.  I went up first thing in the morning to check out the course and see if anything had changed due to the fire and new bridges.  The place was full of other triathletes doing the same.  Was funny seeing so many people there, usually the trails are pretty quiet, even on a weekend.

The course seemed largely unchanged though I have to admit I was in a bit of a distracted haze.  I'd gotten a call from my aunt the night before that my grandmother in Chicago was not doing well and that I should probably come in if I want to see her.  My aunt who's also from out of state planned on coming in on Monday so I also booked a flight on Monday.  So I was distracted with being upset over my grandmother and also fretting over the trip.  I don't like traveling under the best of circumstances but a last minute trip adds a whole new dimension of stress.  And I couldn't get a flight back until Friday so I would be stuck there longer than I wanted to be.  With all the planning and worrying running through my head I can't say as my head was all that much on my race.

I also ran most of the run course and was surprised to find that the steepy steep hills that I sometimes have to walk didn't seem all that bad.  Not sure if it's because I'm in better shape or if it's because my legs weren't tired from riding hard during the bike portion of the race.  I took a bunch of photos that I'll probably save for my race report but here's a few for now.

This fire damage is probably from the High Park Fire last year rather than the fire from March.

If you squint you can see the cyclists at the top of the ridge.  Gives you an idea of the climb involved.  And that's not even near the top.

View of Horsetooth Reservoir from nearly the top of the run course.

After the run I got back to the car half expecting a phone call with bad news but there were no messages so I felt a little encouraged.  And when my aunt called on Saturday night it sounded like my grandmother was doing o.k., not great but no worry about her not lasting until Monday at least.  And then she called me a couple of hours later to say she had taken a downturn and wasn't likely to make it through the night.  And she didn't.  I felt awful that I never made it back in time.  But I'd be lying if I didn't admit to a big relief at not having to make the last minute trip.  All I can do is console myself that I did the best I could with the information I had. 

I'll go back when my family in Chicago decides on a date for the 'memorial' for her.  They won't have a formal funeral or anything, just a gathering at someone's house but that's how my family rolls.  In the meantime I still plan on racing on Saturday.  Not sure how much my head will be in it and I'm fine with that.  I remember having a race the day after my grandfather passed away and I remember it being weird.  My grandmother raised me so I've lost both a mother and a grandmother in one fell swoop so I can't worry too much about a race.  However much I'm able to give to it on race day will be o.k.

In the meantime I took a nice hike with Strummer on Monday to honor her memory.  I was initially planning to go the high country but the weather was looking iffy and I couldn't be bothered with an hour of driving when there was a perfectly nice trail a mere 9 minutes away.


  1. Oh Elayne I'm so sorry about your grandmother :( That's so hard to be far away too, I'm worried I'm going to be in a similar situation soon.

    That is a beautiful trail only 9 minutes away, I want details on how to find it someday :)

  2. Yeah, I long ago came to terms with the fact that I might not be able to get to Chicago in time.

    The trail is called Chapman Drive Trail, very easy to find. Drive about 5 minutes up Boulder Canyon and it's on the left side of the road, next to the Red Lion. There's a sign on Canyon warning that it's coming up. There are some other trails off of Chapman that are also really nice (Tenderfoot) and hook up with the Flagstaff Trails. I stayed on Chapman though because the other trails are super steep and I don't need that so close to a race.

  3. Sorry again about your grandmother. And glad again that you have such a wonderful place in which to roam and remember her.