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

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Pretty Good Week

Falcon Trail Holiday Run
Blodgett Peak from Falcon Trail

It is unusual for me to run on Mondays, however, bonus holiday mileage is always a plus.  On Labor Day I headed over to the US Air Force Academy to take in the Falcon Trail.   Kathleen decided to stick with a bit lower mileage at Ute Valley Park to try and take it easy on the hips and legs, so it was a solo run.  It turns out, I was not the only one with the bright idea to head out to Falcon - it was a freeway on the trails!
Hello Mr Bull Snake, thanks for the brown shorts!!!
The Cadet Chapel
Wonderful Trail!

It was an incredible day with typical Colorado Fall weather - crisp morning, bluebird skies, and pleasant temps during the day.  Even with the trail traffic and two long days in the legs, I had a great run (aside from missing K) and felt really solid the whole time. 

13 Miles, 1800' elevation gain
Shoes - Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC
Post-run Starbucks - Happy Trails revved up!

Who stole Summer?
Saturday morning on weather.com - what?

Saturday, Kathleen had to work and she got out early for a run near home.  I was up really early and headed for Boulder to meet Tim for a run and help him move into his new digs on the east side of town.  Before leaving, I was horrified to see the above reading on the weather channel.  Wasn't it just last week that we were needing to get up at the crack of dawn just to beat the 90 degree temps???
Dowdy Draw Trail
Eldorado Canyon

(I neglected to bring my camera on the run, so the two photos above are public domain from various OSMP web links.)  Tim and I had a great run on some of the southern trails in the Boulder OSMP trail system, hitting Dowdy Draw, Springbrook, and Goshawk before taking Rattlesnake Gulch into Eldorado Canyon State Park for a short grunt up Eldorado Canyon trail before turning around and heading back along mostly the same route.  Tim is busy training (and stressing out over) for the Bear 100 near Logan, Utah in two weeks.  So we did a nice "recovery" run before his last big run in preparation for the race.  Of course we were hungry, so we moved some stuff to the new place, then hit up Beaujo's Pizza for a little salad bar and Prairie Pie - oh yeah!  

We had an interesting chat about logging mileage for trail runners.  In typical, normal running circles, output over time is logged with straight numbers - mileage run and time spent.  However, as is the case with so many trail runs, there are significant variables that can make a 15 mile run take 3 hours, which on a running log, looks really bad.  Significant accumulated vertical gain, extreme technical footing, and raw starting elevation all conspire to make mileage a secondary factor.  So if you run trails, how do you account for these factors when you log your runs so that 6 months from now, you will know what your Effort was?

14.6 miles, 2650' elevation gain
Shoes - Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC

Fantastic Day at Cheyenne Mtn
Part of NORAD's Antenna Farm atop Cheyenne Mtn
-keeping an "eye" on the Western World!
Sunday morning we headed to Cheyenne Mountain State Park for a little trail activity and brilliant sunshine.  Another gorgeous day was on tap and we have to take advantage before old man winter shows up.  Had a nice view of the gobs of aerial devices atop Cheyenne Mountain from the parking area.  If our blog disappears, you know I photographed the wrong ones.....
You again???

For the second time in a week, rounded a bend to find a well-fed bull snake sunning on the trail.  This guy was more bashful, retreating hastily before I could get the camera out.  These are one of the more common snakes we see and are not venomous, but can be large and intimidating.  This one was a bit over 3 foot long I would guess.  If you are not a large insect, rodent, small bird, or lizard, he is most likely not at all interested in your company!  They are hoarding for winter right now, so watch your step.
Kathleen enjoying the Sundance Trail...
...Steve was, too!
 Trail with a view
Heading into the Rock Garden
Nice forest photo
Parting Shot of the mountain

Once again, it was an awesome day to run trails in Colorado.  We had a great time at the park, headed home  and enjoyed a cold soak for the legs, followed by a leisurely afternoon with the return of NFL on Sundays. Happy Trails!
12 miles, 1725' elevation gain
Shoes - K Asics 2150 Trail
S - Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC


Slomohusky said...

Thanks! Now I can go to bed. I was just piddling around online waiting for my Sunday evening colorado trail fix. Sorry about the snakes and the perplexing issue of tracking your trail efforts. I think it doesn't matter in the end (I mean that in the nicest of possible ways as well). Both of ya look fit beyond fit and keeping so on the most beautiful soil on earth. Keep up the great effort!

ajh said...

Now you know I love your blog but two pictures of snakes in one post! At least I wasn't the one running by them. I have seen tons of snake skins but no live ones. What is prairie pie? We are getting cooler weather and I am not good at dressing for it on the bike yet! I hope Kathleen's injury heals soon!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

That is some cold weather! The snake sightings would have added some excitement to the run. I used to see snakes around our old house often. It was an adventure.

It would be fun if we could meet you in mid-October when I'm in Denver for the marathon a few days before and after 10/17.

Laura@Run_Eat_Date said...

Awesome pictures! Kathleen hope your hips/ITB are feeling better! I know some day I'll stumble onto a snake...but I'm hopeful to put off that day as long as possible...Thanks for identifying the magpie!

Jennifer said...

I never really thought about logging trail runs and issues related to it. I could see how it could be perplexing. Great pic as always and I happen to like snakes so I always love to see the pictures! On our trail I mostly see lack rat snakes, like the bull they can get pretty large but are non-venomous and also copperheads, need to watch out for them guys. Cheers!

Glenn Jones said...

Wow. That snake *sure* looks like a rattler to me! I'd be there with the brown pants!

ShutUpandRun said...

I'd really to try the Eldorado Springs run you did. Amazing. As long as there are no snakes.

Julie said...

OMG! Do you run into snakes like that all the time!?! I don't know if I could of continued on:) I get terrified looking at the little Minnesota Gardner snakes!

You posted some beautiful pictures again of the great places that you get to run...thanks!

Take care!

Jill said...

I saw a rather large Bull Snake on my run last weekend over at CC Park - ick. I'm loving the evening temps right now; with my window wide open, I'm sleeping mightly well :). Suppose to be 90 in Denverland today again...but we'll take what we can get before the snow covers peaks. Great running and beautiful country, of course :). And I have no advice for you on keeping track of your fitness while trail running, other than you should join the masses on concrete once a month?? Nah, that wouldn't be the same "Happy Trails"!!
Happy Week, guys!!!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Dinner on Saturday would be great! Is there a pasta place you like in Denver? We're staying near the 16th street mall.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love those snakes! Haven't seen a bully yet this summer, but one too many rattlers, and a bunch of quite large garter snakes.. that tend to make me jump too... :)
Your discussion in blue... I have turned myself blue in the face, giving that explanation to my dad, who in his younger years was a marathon runner, and fast one at that, running Boston numerous times, w/ his best race averaging a 6.5 mpm! So he hears my times, etc., and is like.. .huh?!? I'm like "Dad"... "I'm a trail runner... it's almost like an entirely different sport!".... But only those of us who do it... get it.. right?! :))

Meg said...

Yikes, I thought that snake was a rattle snake! Of course, around here we only see King Snakes and Rattle Snakes so I'm kind of lame when it comes to the different types. It looks like your weather is changing a bit, that must be nice!

Johann said...

Absolutely beautiful! I must make plans to come run with you one day. I like the snakes.

The highest point in South Africa is at Njesuthi in the Drakensberg at 11181ft. This is on the border between SA and Lesotho.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Yeah, I'm with Meg, I'm sure it was a rattlesnake (I know nothing about snakes, ha) I can tell you this, the snake pics are not helping to convince me to become a trail runner.

We were at 58 this morning and it was fantastic.

Ace said...

I've had the same thought on the trail training log. I think including elevation gain as you often do makes a big difference. Perhaps trail conditions in a summary as well?

scarlet said...

Wonderful! I like the pictures. you had a blastful week!
Wanted to experience the same. Nice one!

scarlet saucony running shoes

Amy said...

Great place and good post too. Thanks for sharing us your experience.


GZ said...

Nice photos as become the norm here.

Using the Garmin, my run tracks distance, speed, elevation, and HR - so I can actually get rather stupid with my comparisons (as in do too many of them).

Summer comes back today as I understand it.

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