If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Running Solo ... and Spring in Colorado

No Kathleen on the runs for a couple weeks with the Bronchitis episode, so I headed out Friday with me, myself and i(Pod). It was a weird, grayish morning with almost fog-like haze hanging out and keeping the temp pretty cool. I landed on the trails at Garden of the Gods, hoping to get in some singletrack before the next round of weather hit the Rockies.
The haziness made for some good highlights on the layers of the hills that are usually flattened by our bright sunshine. The lighting gave a nice view of the layers at Red Rock Canyon, seen here from the Ute Trail. The scenery actually was quite nice today, and I'm always at a toss-up over using the iPod, especially on trail runs. I really hate to pass up the sounds and sights if I am wrapped up in a tune. At the same time, I so rarely run alone that the silence can be a bit disconcerting.
The haze finally started to burn off about 20 minutes or so into the run and gave the sun a little permission to start warming up the bones. I had to get some help from the fence posts and rocks in the park to get an action pic or two thrown in.
I loved this view heading down the Niobrara trail - I was under a cloud, but the big rock formations were poking out in the sunlight. It was a nicely textured landscape, I thought.
Taking a breather on the Scotsman Trail, with a nice overlook to Pikes Peak...
... and another look at the mountain from the "lovely" sand steps.
Running the Niobrara Trail along the southern wall of the old reservoir. It was nice to get out today and enjoy the dirt underfoot. I eneded up squeezing out about 11 miles and felt really good after the run. I miss my running partner and definitely cannot be accomodated by the iPod, but it was a good day and a fun run. Happy Trails!

Shoe - Asics Gel Trabuco

Spring time??
As predicted, we had snow falling Saturday morning. It was wet stuff and was soaking in as fast as it fell - at 33 degrees it was just enough to keep from sticking. That is a bad combination for our trails, and sure enough, the trail into Ute Valley Park was ankle deep mud. So instead of the beautiful singletrack on the right, I was left with the multi-use trail. I waited for most of the snow to stop but still had some snow and sleet on the run. It was very quiet and I saw no one running, riding, or walking.
I was pretty soggy by the time I made my way to the start of the climb up and over Flying W Ranch. This view is lined with the foothills as a backdrop, but not today. I could not even see the quarry close to our house as the clouds were so low. This is a good thing, though, because we need the water so desparately. We just wish we had a handful of trails that could handle the wet conditions better. We're certainly not ones to leave 3" deep pock-marks all down the trail just because we could not stay off them for a day or two.
Not far now - wet runner spotted at the top of Flying W! I was content with a 6 mile run today and also satisfied with a week of good training. I ran 5 days this week, the most since early last fall, so that will be a nice step up in the training block. Since I am normally a weekend only runner, that is good for me.
Kathleen and I had hoped to be using the week off as a spring into some good training for a few events coming up, but her bad luck with the health lottery is going to dampen that enthusiasm. I may take a shot at the Greenland 25K in May, since we certainly will not be going over to Gunnison for the Sage Burner at this point. I'm not complaining though, so don't take it that way. My mom is one year out from thyroid cancer and 5 years surviving breast cancer. And Kathleen's mom just had her second major cancer surgery in 6 months. We are SO VERY THANKFUL to have our health, regardless of blips on the fitness radar. We never take our days for granted - Happy Trails everyone, (even if they're soggy!)
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