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

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Blissful Running

Woohoo - we hit 40's today with sunshine.  There had been thoughts of making the road trip to Pueblo Reservoir for some dry, snow-free singletrack, especially since their forecast was for low 50's.  However, at the last minute we decided to stick close to home and give the Falcon Trail a try at the US Air Force Academy.  We were hoping for a long run, and if the trails were clear, this 13 mile loop would be a perfect fit.

Kathleen, about a mile and a half into the run - smile says it all!
 
On the north side of the loop, we had a perfect overlook on the cadet common area, with the Rampart Range stretched out behind.  Pretty limited access down in there since 9/11 changed the world, but it is a beautiful campus.
 
So we had about 60% snowpacked trail and 40% clear trail - not bad here, as the high mountain bike traffic assures that there is at least a center strip packed down on the trail.  The surface was very good for running today, with but a few very slick spots and a couple good sized ice flows.  Following the narrow way through the snow!
 
I never tire of seeing the awesome chapel at the Academy.  If you are lucky enough to stop by when they are allowing guests at the visitor center, you are still able to have a look inside - it is an architectural marvel of crafted aluminum panels and stained glass inserts.  If you are here visiting, check it out, then go for a run - bonus!
 
Ascending the steep switchbacks up from Interior Drive - Kathleen is grinding out the climb!
 
After dropping off the backside, we came to the creek crossing to find the foot plank completely embedded in ice!  You can see the outline of it just to Kathleen's right.  It was like a hockey rink - Zamboni-glazed ice!
 
Steve enjoying the trails on an awesome sunny day - hard to beat for a winter run!
 

Kathleen cruising through the trees, winding up with a strong finish to the run.  After these past couple cold spells, the 40's today felt almost like a summer day!  It was great to be out and have very runnable conditions on the trails.  Consistent running on uneven snow and ice is a bit draining mentally and physically, so it felt nice out there today.  13 miles, good sun exposure, and no screw shoes - sweeeeeeet!  Happy Trails!

Shoes - K Asics 2150 Trail
S - Nike Triax ESC

13 comments:

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

I've seen the Academy before, from far away. Next time, maybe we'll try a tour.

I'm glad you had some warmer temps. What a nice change! K looks so happy. : )

Sunshine Girl said...

That's a great wishlist K!

I think the Desert Rats 25 miler is totally achievable, if you go with the "Ultra" mentality. You put one foot in front of the other and just keep moving. It doesn't matter if you walk, I do it tons. You can totally do it.

I am one seriously lazy runner as well, programs? Bwa-ha-ha! Pleasure and scenery is what makes running enjoyable....

Slomohusky said...

Great looking run! Glad it has warmed up and the trails are clear enough for ya. Thanks for sharing.
Oh, and Phoenix this weekend 70's for highs. However, the start of the race will be mid 40's. I think I can tough it out? :)

Dana Childress said...

Looks like you guys are having a great time. We are finally getting a break in the weather today. Hope to be back on the trails next weekend. The scarf has really come in handy with our frigid weather here in Oklahoma. Thanks again Kathleen. Have a blessed week!

Ace said...

I love that path by the Academy. Such a cool environment for running! As usual, love the pics...

Maureen said...

40's! I wish....it's in the 20's here but suppose to be around 50 at the end of the week! That's when I'll go outside for a run ; )

Meg said...

Kathleen, you are one strong runner! I really loved the picture by the ice slab, incrediblly beautiful! I would love to see the chapel and run some of those trails. Your smiles do say it all!

T Z said...

Nice pix and trails. Thanks for sharing your 40ish weather with us! On the shoe report....screws or no screws?

HappyTrails said...

TZ - No artificial traction needed on this one - the snow was quite runnable. First time we ever ran the entire Falcon trail in winter and we will be back for more!

Danni said...

Amazing to see you guys always out in shorts! Your weather is a little different than Montana, lol.

HappyTrails said...

Danni-

We've also been a bit desparate, so we have run in shorts when we normally would think twice!!! But the strong UV at altitude does help on the sunny cool days!!!

Tara said...

We've visited the chapel at the Academy before. It's so beautiful! We didn't go for a run however, need to do that!!!

How about those 60 degree temps today? I hope it helped to melt some of the snow off of the trails. I would love to get a mtn bike ride in.

Bob - BlogMYruns.com said...

That's a sweet 13 miler I will keep those imagines in my mind as I run 10 miles on the treadmill tomorrow morning :-(

Happy New Year guys!!!!!

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