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

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lots of Stuff...

I was eating breakfast and getting ready for work this past week and walked out of the kitchen to see this guy staring in the front door at me! How rude of me to interrupt his flower grazing...!!! He has frequent flyer miles at our salad bar, ummm I mean, garden!
Kathleen's xeric garden has been exceptionally active this year. Although all of these plants survive with little or no additional water, they have really enjoyed our unusual rainfall pattern this summer.
Aside from attracting our daily deer traffic, the humming birds and bumble bees have been quite appreciative of their smorgasboard of delicious nectars!
We arrived at Cheyenne Mountain State Park last Sunday to new postings - Great, now Cougar's Shadow is not just a nifty name for a trail!?!? Although we are aware of the lion population along the foothills, even near our home, we sometimes operate under the "out of sight, out of mind" principle, which unfortunately plays right into the hands of mountain lions. The signs just give that extra precaution that we live at the intersection of wild and civilized! Some better news about CMSP - The Xterra Marathon of Trail Races will hold marathon, half marathon, and 5k trail races here October 3 - awesome!
Kathleen cruising on the Coyote Run trail. It was a great day for running and we had plans to get in about 10 - 12 miles. However, Steve severely sprained his ankle on one of the easier trails in the park and had to cut off at 6 miles. What a drag! I was deciding how I would navigate around an older gentlemen with walking poles and hooked my left shoe on a root snag - that was all she wrote, run over... Kathleen was able to get an extra loop in, though, and finish strong with 10.5 miles.
Group photo after Kathleen finished.

Another interesting wildlife side note. One night this week, we sat straight up in bed to the sound of splintering/tearing wood at 3 AM. Not a comforting noise to hear in the pitch black but I could not see much in the direction of the noise except the neighbor's motion light on the back porch. A few minutes later he is in the back yard with flashlight in hand, obviously rudely awakened from his slumber as well. As it turned out, a bear was in his back yard and panicked looking for an escape route. He tore an 8 foot section of fence free and then ripped the gate off in order to exit the front and down the road. WOW!

Went to the doc Thursday for an exam on the appendage. X-rays were clear, joint was stable with no dislocation, so I was given the blessing from Dr. Z to gradually work back to running. He was greatly relieved when I told him my plan to only attempt cycling this weekend!
So, yesterday Kathleen got to head out for her run, sans husband with gimpy leg. While she ran, I prepped road bikes so we could head out when she finished. Kathleen ran Ute Valley Park and got in 8.5 miles of trails to get warmed up.
We were able to get in a nice 20 mile ride, with warm sunny weather and relatively no traffic. And a bonus brick workout for Kathleen - run and ride!!! We took a couple shots over by the Sisters of Saint Francis complex, just over the hill from our home. This abbey's nuns established a hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis in 1887 as Colorado's climate was ideally suited for the arrest of the disease. Lots of history there. Kathleen is riding here just below the abbey with Blodgett Peak behind.
Steve riding just up the road a bit. Good news, too, as the ankle responded well to the riding. No additional swelling and no pain. Cool!

Today, Kathleen headed out for a run and I headed out for another road ride. It was hot early today and we started later than we anticipated because we were watching live Tour de France coverage!!!
Running has kept us strong, we found out, as we were able to do some climbs (in similar split times) that we have done frequently in the past. Since these were the first 2 times on the road bike for me this year, I was not sure how my legs would work, but they were good. Today I climbed 26th street/Gold Camp road to the end of the pavement, which is about a 4.5 mile climbing section. It felt great and the views from the top were great as always. Here is the view down to the Gold Camp Reservoir and the Broadmoor Hotel complex.
And here is the view north, with plenty of blue skies ... for now. I summited Gold Camp approximately 12 miles out from the house, and by the time I crested Flying W Ranch road at a mile and a half from home, there was lightning behind Blodgett Peak and the rain started within 5 minutes of being inside the house. Weather moves FAST in the mountains! Ended up with 24 miles and am a bit saddle sore ... oh well!!!

Kathleen got in a nice 8.5 mile tempo run on Santa Fe, and keeps getting stronger. Her "spring break" is, hopefully, going to be a distant memory soon!

Happy Trails and have a great week!
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