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

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Running, LOTS more Spring, and a race

I was able to get in a run after work on Wednesday night at Palmer Park. The weatherman was forecasting a huge storm system for Colorado starting Thursday night, so I figured I should try to get some miles in for a "worst case scenario" weekend. It was sunny and 65 when I left the parking lot at work and drove 3 blocks to Palmer Park. It was a great evening with the sun flooding the mesa on top of the park with it's radiant beams. However, 20 minutes into the run, the sun gave way to some fast moving clouds coming in over Pikes Peak...
... and by the time I got in a quick 7 miles, there was no Peak and barely any foothills still showing through. Before I could even drive down out of the park, it was pouring rain. WOW! Weather moves fast in the mountains, there is no doubt about that! But I got my run in, which was a good thing because ----
Wednesday I signed up for the Greenland 25k race on May 9! I figured since we would not be going over to Gunnison for the Sage Burner, I might as well just get signed up for this one. 15.5 miles - I have never raced that far but we know the course from running and biking it, so I think it will be fine. I am actually looking forward to it. I'm not big on goals for racing (someone else is the competitive one!!!) but I would like to hit somewhere in the 8:30 - 8:40 per mile pace. I was going to set my goal pace as Just Don't Suck, but figured that was setting the bar a little low!!! LOL!
So the weatherman was right. It started hailing Thursday evening, then rain, then snow. And it did not stop, except for a few brief rest periods, until tonight (Saturday). Lots of heavy wet spring snow. There were a couple areas in our mountains that received 50"+ of the white stuff. I think the April Showers thingy has worn out it's welcome in Colorado this year!
I knew that regular trails were so far out of the question that I did not even attempt that option. So I headed off to the Santa Fe trail to at least get some leg turnover. Here is the view across our neighborhood park on the way over.
The wind was blowing hard from the north, so the start of the run was directly into it. There was sleet at first, which then turned to snow and it stung on the face at times. Here I am at about mile 2 - already soaked but not doing too bad.
Almost the entire length of what I ran was either standing water or slushy. So I hit the three mile turn around and headed back. This is what was left of the snow on Santa Fe after having rain this morning. There was much less than we had at home - amazing what 600' difference in elevation does!
All the wet snow and rain had Sand Creek well beyond it's normal trickle - alpine desert + water = GOOD!
I was completely satisfied to get in 6 miles at a nice pace under these weather conditions. I am hoping to find something decent tomorrow to get in a long run without knee deep mud. I am hoping for a couple weeks of warm and sun - the Greenland area (where the race will be held) reportedly received 20" or more of snow from this storm. That is a lot of melting to get done in the coming weeks. Happy Trails and we're hoping maybe next weekend Kathleen will be up to at least some activity!

Shoes - Asics Gel Trabuco
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