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

Monday, April 27, 2009

Week in review

Tuesday Run - Palmer Park

Tuesday after work, I put some trail under foot at one of my my favorite post-work spots, Palmer Park. While some might get bored with the same trails, the fact is that when a park like this is convenient and easy to access within minutes of leaving work, you are more likely to stay motivated to run after being at the grind all day. Above is a shot peering through the rock formations on the top of the Yucca Trail, overlooking one of the busier intersections in town - quite a contrast. I prefer the trails myself!
There were hordes of trail users out, and especially a lot of traffic on the mesas as everyone was making the most of the available daylight. With waves of pillow-like clouds rolling over, there were intermittent periods of blazing evening sunlight and deep gray shadows as the day's light was fading away.
Nothing like the last rays of a beautiful day streaming through the cloud cover to show off the silhouette of Pikes Peak! I was able to get a nice run in and enjoy the last of the days' sunshine on some fine trails - hard to beat!

Deja Vu at Palmer Park

It seems as though I was just here running...
... I was able to make it out again for a quick run at Palmer Park on Thursday night. I was planning my runs around two schedules - 1. My folks were here visiting/watching my nephew, so I was able to get some time in while they were driving to baseball games and practices. (on an unrelated note, I don't see why 13 year old kids need to have 3 nights of practice and 2 nights of games - when does that leave time to be a kid?) 2. At the same time, I was trying to keep an eye on my lovely wife and (usually) running partner who is having a whale of a time getting over this round of bronchitis.
It felt great to be out on the trails again - two weeknight runs certainly helps put down some base miles. The trails were even more crowded tonight - mostly bikes though. It is odd how few trail runners we see at Palmer Park as it is an outstanding place to run.
I was able to capture the Peak at sunset driving out of the park - I especially enjoy the night skyline with the sun going down behind the mountains.

Ahh .. The Weekend

It was an interesting contrast of weather this weekend and Spring is definitely still here! Saturday morning we were greeted with thick fog and drizzle. I waited for it to break and it did not. So I took a run in the drizzle with no camera, got a little damp trail under foot, and called it a day.
Sunday, the sun was back out and we headed up to Greenland Open Space, about 40 minutes north of home. These are the trails that will play host to the 25k race I am signed up for in 2 weeks. Instead of staying home (which is driving her out of her mind), Kathleen came along and was at least able to get out for a nice long walk with Sage. My goal was to study the course and plan a little for the race. It will be my longest run to date and I wanted to have a little preparation under my belt. Pikes Peak was just sneaking it's head above the hills as seen from the trailhead.
The view out from the Greenland Trail as an engine awaits a passing train.
The sights of Spring - 20" of snow mixed with winter's dormant prairie and two weeks of sunshine yields signs of life! These flowers were popping out everywhere along the trails.
This is definitely "Open" space!!
It appears as though the singletrack will lead you right to the tip of Pikes Peak - except for the 50 miles that lies between the top of the hill and the BIG mountain! It really is a great area to run, with the wide open vistas lined with rolling trails. One thing is for sure, there are going to be some people drag racing on this course. The trails are in good condition and the climbs are a nice gradient making for some very fast track for the gazelles at the front!
I was able to run 14.5 miles - my longest run ever - and my legs felt really good after the run. It was a nice day, with great trails and sunshine, which is always a recipe for a long-lasting grin!
We got in a family photo at the trailhead. I am really anxious for Kathleen to get back on the trails with me soon. She is extremely frustrated with this bout of crud she has had and is itching to get back to running. I am glad my girls made the trip with me today and were patient while I did my long run! Happy Trails and have a great week!
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