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

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where to begin...?

It has been a while since there was a sighting on this blog.  If I had a good place to begin, I would have posted earlier, but real life has conspired heavily against trail life for the past month.  First off, Kathleen is not running much.  Kind of a mystery as there was no injury,  doesn't seem running induced, but something structural going on that has caused most runs to come to a halt prematurely.  The past two weeks, she hasn't been able to go more than 4 miles.  So our chiropractor thinks he is on to something but it is frustrating for her because she feels her fitness, and the awesome fall weather, slipping away. So I have been doing long runs solo, which I don't like.  After all, we got into biking and running to share outdoor time together....
Garden of the Gods beauty

So two weekends ago got in an 18 miler, starting in Ute Valley Park with Kathleen, then ran over to Garden of the Gods for a couple loops and home.  It was a great run and it was cool to link multiple areas together.  Six months ago, I would not have thought of running to GOG and then running loops - normally we drive to the visitor's center.  Long runs that cover seemingly disconnected areas open up your mind to the freedom that long distance running affords you.  It was cool.

18 miles, 2550' elevation gain
Shoes - Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC
Remember me???

So you remember Yogi  from our Limbaugh Canyon run?  Well, he has been busy.  My sister's boss called her that Tuesday morning and said, "Hey, your brother's bear is on my patio looking in the window..."  Since when is he my bear?  Then our friend Jon, who lives adjacent to the park where we saw him, sends this photo that his neighbor took.  Sir Yogi allowed himself into the garage, found some snacks, and headed out to the driveway to eat...  

Stable Road - USAFA
 Kathleen's fine Italian bike slippers!
So Kathleen has been experimenting on the mountain bike to see if she can tolerate longer rides while we figure out her musculoskeletal issue.  Not to worry, we have MORE than enough places to ride!!  She took a nice Monday mountain bike ride two weeks ago over to the Air Force Academy.  Fall colors really starting to show, which makes everything more scenic!  She was able to ride 28 miles and enjoy some great Colorado fall warmth!

Next up on real world distractions, on September 15 we get a call that Kathleen's dad is on a helicopter to Sioux City and they don't think he'll survive the flight.  Massive aneurysm on his Aorta.  A normal aorta is 2.5 cm, at 5 cm it is considered life threatening and warrants emergency surgery.  His was 22.5 cm - WOW!  Long story short, he survived a risky surgery, which was a miracle.  So we were off to Iowa when he got out of the hospital. 
 The only game in town
So not much to choose from for trail running in this little Iowa town, if you recall from past visits.  Made use of the Puddle Jumper "trail" and a bunch of asphalt, but managed an 11 miler and a 7 miler while we were there.  We also did tractor duty - each of us on a riding mower, drag racing to get  the 2 acre lawn at dad's house mowed - cross training, right? We drove back home from Iowa Tuesday and were glad to be back in Colorado.

 Ridge trail, looking over to the bluffs of Ute Valley Park
 Fall colors in Ute

Saturday morning, headed over to Ute Valley Park for some cool trail running weather.  Gone are our unseasonable 80 degree days, replaced by 46 degree start and warming into the upper 50's.  But it is still good (and it beats snow...)
 Trickle of stream left
 Favorite arch
 Pikes Peak - snow from Thursday melted
 Fall is in full swing
 Trail through the trees

It was a great day to be out running.  I was able to get in 11 miles and had some kinks to work out of the legs from the two 12 hour driving days on our trip.  Once the legs got turning over though, it was good to be on familiar trails and getting into a comfortable rhythm.  Maybe Happy Trails are returning....

11 miles, 1600' elevation gain
Shoes - Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC

Shoe Love

I don't normally give much in the way of shoe reviews, but wanted to give a shout out to Pearl Izumi's SyncroFuel XC.  I have crappy feet.  There, I said it.  So what works for me may or may not work for anyone else.  But this shoe has a little for everyone.  I started with the green pair and they have worked so well, I welcomed the red pair out on their maiden run today.  The shoe is fairly light (sub 11 ounces in 9.5) but does not suffer from a lack of stability on the trails.  These have been on some gnarly terrain and are rock solid.  There is a slight amount of stability added for minimal pronation control, which is perfect for me.  The seamless upper is a dream - these puppies feel like your favorite slipper when you put them on.  NO hot spots from day one, and the upper conforms to your foot immediately.  This means the shoe will fit a variety of shapes of feet, and it also has an open toe box to allow your piggies some freedom when they start to swell.  I have only found a couple minor things I would change.  The outsole is a bit lacking in traction on loose surfaces, so they require a little care on steep downs or ups when loose surface is present.  I know most companies are going away from this, but I also would not mind a little forefoot rock protection in the midsole.  All told, a great shoe in my book.  Best I have run in in a couple years.
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