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

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Activities

Saturday was a picture-less run day. Got up early to accommodate work scheduling and hit Ute Valley for some morning trails - about 6 miles. It was 50 and cloudy early with warm winds again. After I spent a couple hours at the office, I came home to sunny skies and decided to get a double in - another 7 miles at UVP. Good day!

Sunday was another story. Spitting snow flurries and low 30's when we hit the trail at the Garden of the Gods. No mountain vistas on this morning! The flurries let up and gave way to a biting north wind - fun. Needless to say, we had many of the trails all to ourselves. Saw one big group of horseback riders on the park tour.
Kathleen ascending the ridge on Palmer Trail - bundled up!
Backside view of the Siamese Twins - the trails were nice and tacky after the intermittent snow showers. Don't often see this side of the arch photographed, but there was not much to see through the keyhole side today!
After the wind had cleared out some of the snow showers, the low clouds started to roll back down into the park. The textures and layers of the hills are always more evident when the clouds tuck in against them. It never really got nasty out - as long as you can dress for the temps, the running is quite comfortable even in the wintery conditions.
Kathleen's new girly Camelbak - the SnoAngel.

We had a nice run, with about 10.5 miles for the day. It was good to have a little shelter in the Garden with the blustery conditions - definitely Happy Trails!

Shoes - K Montrail Odyssey
S - Nike Structure Triax

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Steve mentioned my new girly Camelbak (early BD gift, pictured above!) and I wanted to elaborate. I've been on the lookout for a larger capacity hydration pack than my 50 oz Camelbak Charm I have been using. I have run out of water on several longer runs of late - not good! Although I like the larger capacity Nathan pack that Steve uses - it is comfortable, rides well, and has convenient, easily accessible pockets in the front to carry stuff (I love to carry "stuff"! ie: gels, camera, etc.), I tend to feel a bit " smothered" by the wide straps. I have liked the more minimalist feel of the Charm but haven't been able to find a low profile, larger water capacity pack I like - until now. The Snoangel is just what I was looking for. 72 oz insulated bladder and hose (plus, Camelbak has the BEST bladders), low profile, and pockets!!! How I love pockets to carry stuff! There is a smaller pocket on the bottom that will hold lots of gels, bars, keys, phone, camera, etc. A larger pocket behind it can hold a light jacket and gloves. Even though it has a good deal of "sherpa" qualities, it is a compact package. It rides really comfortably and quiet. Steve even commented yesterday that it doesn't move at all when I'm running. And a bonus - the pink floral pattern!

After receiving about 3 inches of snow overnight, this morning smiled upon me with bright blue skies. The intense sun melted the snow quickly (a nice thing about living at altitude - the sun makes it feel warmer than it actually is!). Mondays are usually a designated "ride" day so I decided to dig out the winter riding apparel, in spite of the coolness, and hit the trail on the mountain bike. It was 36 degrees when I left the house.

I headed over to the Santa Fe Trail for some steady aerobic spin activity. Mostly flattish, the trail is punctuated by a few little hills that require a bit of force and torque - good to keep the legs alert and stimulated in the midst of the steady spin.
Above is a section of the trail we call the "Time Trial". It is 2.25 miles of a straight (very rare) false flat where we like to put it in a bigger gear and time trial. It was all good! It felt so great to be out on the bike!
Snow remained in the shady areas of the trail.
Back at the trailhead, with 25 miles in, I caught this train chugging past. Our church's green roof is in the background! Although crisp, it ended up being a wonderful day - I was so thankful for the bluebird skies and wonderful sun! Aaaaahh, life is good! Happy trails this week . . . . . .
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