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

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hit the Trail

After our foray into the colder side of sport for several days, we got back to running by hitting the trails at Pueblo Reservoir last Friday.  Forecast was for 62 degrees and windy, which was all right after a week of cold activities.  It has been quite a while since we ran at Pueblo - it is a lot of desert out there and you must take it in small doses.  So we headed south on I-25 for some warm singletrack.
 Bright sunshine on Cuatro Sinko trail
 Outer Limits Trail

The sunshine and warm temperatures were over the top for this late in the year and we just couldn't pass on the chance to get in some great trails in December in such great conditions.  The weather has been all over the charts lately, which is normal for our area, but you grab the window of opportunity while it is open!  As was forecast, the wind really kicked up off the lake and probably reached 40 mph by the time we reached the intersection of Outer Limits and Pedro's Point.  Grin and bear it - penance for the 62 degree temps maybe???  But I thought we paid our dues on the skis and snowshoes....
 Rolling the Outer Limits

We worked in a great 15 mile run on a phenomenal, sunny December day and had a great time.  This trail system is really quite a winter oasis and we rarely see runners there - too bad for everyone else, I guess.

Shoes - K Columbia Ravenous
S Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC 

 Cheyenne Mountain

Following our sweet run on Friday, we took Saturday off and then last Sunday headed out to Cheyenne Mountain State Park.  Though it was 20 degrees cooler, it was still really great conditions and the day started off with a sunny blue sky.  We got in some great early work on the Talons, which we have not visited on our last couple trips there.  With some of the closest and best vistas to the frontside of the mountain, Talon North has some great photo spots, as seen in these pics.  We saw a couple groups of bikes up here enjoying the same views!
 Fantastic Day
 Heading off to Talon South

We made a large loop coming down off the Talons, out around Sundance Trail's prairie dog communities, and then back up onto Blackmer.  As has been our weather pattern of late, the early brilliant sunshine gave way to some filtered cloud cover.  Combined with the low trajectory of the sun at this point in the equinox, it cooled dramatically over the next hour and we went from comfortable to borderline underdressed - this can happen so quickly in the mountains, so we normally err on the side of too warm.  Easier to remove than it is to add something you don't have with you!   But we still had another great run of 15 miles, rounding out our week with a nice mix of activities and a great block of winter training.

Shoes - K Columbia Ravenous
S Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC

Back to the Future?
Jumping ahead a week, today we did a run from home. After an early morning run yesterday that started at 13 degrees, we were headed for 50 and sunny today - gotta love our weather patterns!  We started out over Flying W and down into the Garden of the Gods.  Once in the Garden, we did a great outer loop of trails.
 30th street - heading to the Garden - only Partial Peak today...
 It was fabulous - Palmer Trail
 More Palmer Trail

It was quite simply one of those days that is hard to beat in winter.  Since we get a few of those here and there, the opportunity to take advantage of the warmth helps maintain when the single digit temps hang out for a while.  We ran around the Palmer Trail out to the Siamese Twins, over the Cabin Canyon trail, and then did some new trails that I learned on the CRUD run a while back.  It was a lot of fun to get in some new scenery.
 Columbia Trail
Stopped for a pic at Siamese Twins
Outstanding views from Niobrara Trail

After making the outer loop, we headed back over to 30th street to catch the trail up and over Flying W and back home. Though tired, it was hard to cut off a run on such a spectacular day. It was 54 degrees and sunny when we finished up - very awesome and we'll take all we can get of that action. After 15.5 miles, the tired legs were a nice reminder of some good effort out on the trails. We're hoping to possibly spend Christmas day doing some Norwegian style activity (aka, skinny skis). Since my folks fly in late in the evening on the 25th, we have all day to play!!!  Merry Christmas, Happy Trails, and safe travels to those who are on the road for the holidays.

Shoes - K Asics 2150 Trail
S Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC


Slomohusky said...

Merry Christmas guys! Have a great one this year - Peace and JOY!

Jill said...

Ah, the matching outfits on red and black day last weekend :). You guys are the best!

I haven't spent much time in Pueblo but do know it's notorious for high winds - but obviously not too tough for you guys. Pretty area, though!

Ryan had a 10K yesterday and I froze to death watching him (though I did run the end miles as he was having breathing problems) yet today was sunshine and 58. Blessed we are that we no longer live in midwest with long, gray winters.

I'm headed to the Incline on Tuesday with the track team - wish me luck, I hope I don't burst a lung!

A very Merry Christmas to you two; a blessing to have met you. May 2011 bring you tons and tons of happy trails!

Johann said...

Wow, you really got in some fantastic runs! Super beautiful photos! One day I'll join you for a run. May you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Meg said...

Merry Christmas, I can't believe you were back in a skirt K, I guess that's just Colorado!
Enjoy the holiday and blessings to you both!!

ajh said...

Merry Christmas! I noticed the matching outfits too. very cute! Your runs look fantastic as usual. You have such a nice variety. I did better on the bike experiencing variety than I seem to be doing running.

Enjoy this pre Christmas week! Hope Santa brings you both some fun running stuff!

Average A said...

Outer limits train = S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G!!!

I looooove all your pink outfits, too, Kathleen! :)

Average A said...

*trail, not train. whoops. :)

HappyTrails said...

Jill and AJH - Believe it or not, we DO NOT plan the matchy-matchy thing in regard to the clothes, really! NEVER! Steve actually had a neon green jersey on but once out in the crispy wind, opted for the heavier RED one-totally UNPLANNED! LOL! It just happens....... :-)

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Looks like I may be able to manage, (at least some of) the Outer Limits Trail. Liking that flat, no downhill, running trail. (I'm weird...don't mind the up, hate the down - scary!)

Merry Christmas!

Ace said...

Merry Christmas in beautiful Boca Raton -err Colorado Springs.

How do y'all like runnning with the CRUD folks? I've been lurking...

Slomohusky said...

sorry the discovery trail marathon is the same day as Disneyland for our family. WE will never miss that one! thanks for thinking of me though! I was thinking the Georgetown HM out there - yet now it looks like I will have a family reunion near that time now.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Merry Christmas Happy Trails! Love reading your blog throughout the year and the pictures...the pictures are just fantastic, always.

Glenn Jones said...

Nice! We're still waiting for everyting to dry out here. Trails in the County/State Parks are closed for a few days after storms to keep the bikes from ripping the trails up.

Merry Christmas!

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