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

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sun and fun on Monday!

I was completely ecstatic for the forecast for today - lots of sunshine and a high in the mid-60's.  Well Mr. Weatherman, you spoke the truth and came through - I love you!!!!

Consequently, I gleefully headed out for my run mid morning (50's but glorious full sun and bluebird skies!).  Stayed on the maintained dirt paths around our neighborhood which are beginning to dry out nicely.  The route I did today is one of my basic, "normal" routes - nothing especially spectacular or noteworthy but good - I do it frequently and generally don't get too tired of it.
Up and over Flying W to 30th, turn around and head back over, loop around Starbucks, then head home.  The nice thing about this route is that there are quite a few options to change it up for variety and add mileage and elevation - mostly on dirt.  I stuck with the standard route of 8 miles and 1100 feet of elevation.  It's good.
After I got home, made myself an iced decaf non-fat mocha, leashed up The Girl, and headed right back out the door for a walk.  After a lovely walk and my recovery mocha drink, it was time to load up the road bike to meet my dear friend, Deb, at the Air Force Academy for a "first ride" of the season.  The AFA is one of our favorite places to ride - wide, clean shoulders, and controlled traffic.  It was WONDERFUL!  I felt very good and fairly strong - certainly not top notch, in-season strong - but I could feel the potential lurking beneath the surface and that made me HAPPY, particularly since there have been zero miles outside on the bike in the past few months.  The hills felt good and there are enough on the Academy to work it.  Deb and I always enjoy our time together, although it isn't nearly frequent enough.  She is a local high school track coach and teacher.  Interestingly enough, she was telling me about how she has been running almost exclusively (when weather permits) in Vibram's Five Fingers for the past 6 months.  When the weather is fowl, she runs in the Nike Free.  I have known Deb for many years and most of those years she has been a passionate proponent of barefoot drills so the switch to the Five Fingers was a fairly easy adjustment.  But she did it gradually, one mile at a time.
I'm still not sold, although I understand the philosophy behind it.  Anyway, after expounding on the pros and cons of Five Fingers, barefoot running, and the interesting aspects of coaching high schoolers,we ended up with 33 high quality miles and about 3000 ft (??? - I don't totally remember - I need to get the altimeter back on my bike) of climbing.  AWESOME!  I was REALLY hungry during the entire ride (because I forgot to eat much after my recovery mocha other than yogurt and blueberries) and ended up sidling up to the energy food buffet - 3 Strawberry Banana Power Gels and 2 packs of Honey Stinger blocks.  I always carry LOTS of food with me - my friends know that if they get hungry, my Camel Bak is a rolling/running energy food grocery store! 

Threw the bike in the back of the Pilot (the Pilot has a pretty voluminous rear area - I crammed the bike in without even taking off the front tire or needing to fold down the rear seats!), raced over to Borders to pick up my new cookbook (above), hit Natural Grocers for a few supplies and then headed home.  I was excited to get home to try out this recipe for dinner, of course, out of the new book.  Yes, I am going gluten free - more on the why and how at a later date.  Suffice to say, my periodic indulgence of hubcap size cinnamon rolls from the Donut Mill in Woodland Park after long runs or rides is a thing of the past.  Sigh.  Weep for me Slomo...   :-)

What can I say???  It was a GREAT day all around - did a good run, a fantastic ride with a dear friend, got lots accomplished, and had awesome weather as icing on the cake.  Life is always good, despite some occasional bumps in the road.  Those bumps just serve as character builders and are refining tools.  Happy Trails to everyone this week!
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