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

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Something Local - Something Afar...


Red Rock Canyon / Section 16
 Looking down on Red Rock Canyon from high up on Section 16.

Friday we wanted to continue with our solid block of training for a spring boost.  We figured we would take some down time from running next week to allow the legs to process the race followed up with the block of mileage afterward.  We also wanted to continue to get in some elevation gain on the runs to prepare for some summer runs in the mountains (...if summer ever arrives...)  Docked the mothership at Red Rock Canyon Open Space with the plan to run to the top and connect with Section 16 via the Intemann Trail.
The back side of Section 16 is more power hike than run, but that happens in the mountains as well, so practice is needed.  After the steep section (1000' vert in a bit over a mile), the remainder of the climb to the top of the saddle is quite run-able.  This is the view across the canyon - the tan streaks in the center are the VERY steep switchbacks on upper High Drive.  From the summit, there is a sweet 2.5 mile descent that allows for a maintainable cadence and helps "season" the quads for some good downhill running.  On the descent, you cross Hunters Run, an intermittent brook that comes out of some rocks in the hillside - plenty coming out right now!
Hunters Run
Kathleen on one of the long runouts - Section 16.
Steve on an exposed section of Intemann Trail.
After completing the loop on Section 16, we caught Intemann Trail and started back down to Red Rock Canyon.  The views to the north were outstanding - Garden of the Gods looks tiny on the horizon from this viewpoint.  We completed the outer loop at Red Rock and finished up with 11.25 miles and some tired legs!  With temps hovering in the low 40's, it was much cooler weather than we had in New Mexico and we are really hoping for some of that to start creeping it's way up into Colorado...

Shoes - K Asics 2150 Trail
S - LaSportiva Wildcat
Stats:  11.25 miles, 3300' elevation gain

Boulder - South OSMP Trails
Took Saturday off from running in anticipation of a trip up to Boulder to run with Tim today.  He put out the "bait" a few weeks back with a description of a favorite loop of his which included lots of sweet trails and a little more mellow on the vertical than running Boulder's Skyline Traverse (see photo above), including summits of Green, Bear, and SoBo peaks - we'll save that for another day when we've got more leg!  Just a quick word - Boulder is a cool town and the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks division has one heck of a trail network.  If you can't find a trail here to suit your fancy, give up...  Our tour guide would be taking us on some fine trails in the southern part of OSMP today.
Kathleen and Tim heading out of Flatirons Vista area.

We started out from Tim's place and made our way over to the Dowdy Draw area, then traversed a hillside over to and then above Highway 93.  This was a nice way to start as the gradual climbs gave us some time to get the legs warmed up.  By the way - notice how awesome the weather was?  Finally!  70ish temps and blue skies, combined with good company and awesome trails = Shangri La.
This is looking out toward Eldorado Canyon, with a distant, snowcapped peak in the center.  Next visit to Boulder will include a voyage back into Eldo with a loop around Walker Ranch, or so our guide promised...
Tim and Steve flogging the trails...
Happy Trails!

We circled south and started west through the Flatirons Vista area on some incredible rocky singletrack trails.  We were making a big loop back up the western side of the lower foothills and then headed north toward our starting point.  The views cannot fully be captured in photos or explained in type - simply put, you need to go run here.  It is somewhat of an interesting contrast for us.  Most of our trails in Colorado Springs are open to bike and foot traffic, and are more toward the smooth side, although we have a fair amount of technical to run.   In contrast, many of the OSMP trails are foot only and are quite rocky, requiring constant attention to foot work - difficult at times with the breath-taking vistas!!
Finishing up - one last view out to the west...
We had a fantastic time today and are very grateful to our accommodating tour guide.  Our run ended up being 14.5 miles and was filled with jawdropping scenery and some high quality trails!   It is always great to run with friends, and we followed it up with some great grub at one of Tim's favorite haunts in downtown Boulder.  Great Day and hope everyone has an awesome week - Happy Trails!

Shoes - K Asics 2150 Trail
S - LaSportiva Wildcat
Stats:  14.5 miles, 2080' elevation gain
****************
We had intended to somewhat overload the legs this week, in spite of our race last weekend.  With a nice block of 51 trail miles since the Greenland race, and logging nearly 11,000' feet of vertical, we will see how the legs respond as we approach summer season.  Hopefully after a few days of complete rest and repair this week, our fitness will climb up to the next rung on the ladder!  We'll see how it goes...

16 comments:

Slomohusky said...

I have been to Boulder a few times. I hike or walked some of the trails there. Boulder is a favorite University town of mine. How long of a drive from Co. Springs is it though?

Keep kickin the dirt!

HappyTrails said...

Hey Slomo - 1:40 from door to door. Not too bad!

ajh said...

You must be in awesome shape! Can't wait to see what the next rung of the ladder entails. Gorgeous pics as usual.

ultrarunnerbrianphilpot said...

That's a nice run and some really nice trail's. Still cold, but everything look's like it's getting green.

tammylwuerth said...

If I could live anywhere else in Colorado, other than here.. it would be Boulder.. just love it! Looks like such a great day! You guys are kickin' out those miles :) Good job! Have a great week!!!

Jill said...

I've actually run on that Boulder trail before - shocked, huh??!! The other run looks amazing; I'd love to run up there. Anytime you guys have a "slow" week, give me a shout and I'll meet you on a trail run, I even bought a camelbak the other day in anticipation of some trail runs. I know, what's the world coming to? Your pictures always amazing!!

Julie said...

That's it...I am booking a ticket and heading to Colorado soon:) I have seen enough pictures to make me want to run one or two of your trails! Gorgeous pictures once again:) Seriously, I would like to do one trail run/race before heading to your neck of the woods! Is it hard to keep your breathing regulated...or are you just so used to it?

Have a great week!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

We've been to Boulder. Wish we would have had time for a run! You two sure know how to find the great trails!

Meg said...

Yikes, that one cliff trail kind of gave me the heebie jeebies! The meadow pictures are just gorgeous and so green. Thanks for the little slice of the Colorado spring time!

Ace said...

Outstanding runs and pics! You guys are getting some awesome training in! Plus I love being able to run trails vicariously through you, those Boulder trails look great!

Average A said...

So, so, so beautiful -- and it gets more beautiful every time you talk about all the great running you get to do there.

Run happy!
A

Jill said...

Okay, guys....how'd ya like that snow...on May 12th for crying out loud!! Grr. I think the worst is behind us, though, yes????

Okay, so I've been scouring the internet for some trail running/races and found the Ft. Collins one on May 23rd and June 13th. Hum. June 13th is also GotG 10-miler, which I did about 400 years ago and would love to do it again (it's tough); so not sure which sounds more inticing. 23rd?? Anyway, whenever you have a SLOW training run, I'm free and ready to go so just holler!! I am running very slow lately and still having heel issues, but maybe the trails will help fix that??!!?? Give me a shout and let's get something on the calendar (runlikeagirljp@gmail.com) Oh, and my new camelbak is actually a NorthFace one, with a woman's cut (???); I liked how it fit better than the Camelbak's. Now, to figure out how to use it ;). And yah, that link you sent me??? Totally BA!!! I'm in!!!! :) Thanks!

Here's to hoping for a nice, warm, weekend!! :)

Jennifer said...

You guys always blow me away with your pictures! Cheers!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

I'm with Meg, that's a little too close to the edge for me. I did mention that I'm a chicken, right?

Average A said...

Tandoori Naan is like a massive piece of flat bread, kind of like pita, but with more bubbles, a little more burned, and just slightly denser. Actually, it's really similar to baked pizza dough! It's really sweet and probably a better dinner choice than a breakfast choice. :) A lot of Naan is made with yogurt and milk to make the dough creamier, but the Tandoori version I get is dairy-free. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Slomohusky said...

Hey Happy Trails! Has it been two weeks since a posting? I think this is the last one? We are waitng for our Colorado Trails fix. :)

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