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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Trails in January

It is January, right?  I thought I might check into it since the normal weather cues that usually tip one off to the presence of WINTER are by and large missing in action in these parts of Colorado.  Other than a few decent storms that have left us some seriously icy trails up on the western areas of town, it has been downright balmy.  As any good trail runner would do in this scenario, we have to take advantage of the conditions - sort of that 'Make Hay while the Sun Shines' mentality!! 

As had been ever so briefly mentioned in the previous monologue, a slight issue flared up on the measly 6 miler at Bear Creek Lake which I have had to baby a bit the last few runs.  With that, and the aforementioned icy trails west and up the side of yonder hills, we regretfully passed on the Ponderous Posterior 2012 edition.  It is a great mid-winter, get out and socialize, and mingle with trail luminaries (such as JT) but the thought of spending the entire spring nursing hip/groin issues due to a silly ice incident made the decision easy. 

Saturday was a VERY nice day and we used the sunshine and warm temps to get in a nice flat tempo run on the Santa Fe Trail.  We worked ourselves pretty hard but are enjoying the continued attention to maintaining a bit of speed.  We also met some new trail running folks while we were out that have been at some of the same races we have - always nice to have some familiar faces to pass while out doing what we love!

When we woke today to brilliant gray skies, I must say we were less than enthusiastic about getting the motor running and hitting the trails.  Seriously now, gray sky and 50 degrees in January, in Colorado no less, is worthy of a bit of sour puss, right???  We decided to head over to Palmer Park again as we had thoroughly enjoyed our run there back in the start of December.  It was readily apparent from our first miles that the gray skies had been no deterrent to the throng of other trail users - it was game on!  Mountain bikers, trail runners, hikers, a bazillion dogs - everyone was jockeying for their piece of the outdoor space with the 50 plus degree weather.

While we both felt less than stellar (even talked about driving back home :-o ) taking the first steps from the trailhead, we gave it the "couple mile" grace period before passing judgement on the legs and are glad we did.  Despite the lack of dopamine generated by the gloomy skies, we warmed up nicely and got into a nice mellow rhythm, enjoying the trails, chatting with other trail users and their pups, and soaking up a pleasant vibe from the pure delight of running sweet trails - ever have that transcendent feeling on your runs?  I must say, Jim's post from earlier in the week replayed in my head a time or two and brought a smile to my face as we tread across the technical terrain at Palmer Park. 

I even gave the Cascadia's a shot at a redemption run today.  While they have spectacular ice traction, they do irritate my toes a fair amount and Brooks was far less than helpful when I contacted them after the Barr Trail disaster in them.  I doubt I will  wear this beast many more times and will most likely send it's slightly used carcass on to a worthy cause for "re-issue".   Worse things happen I suppose.  All told, it ended up being a really nice run and we enjoyed the day, even though we had contemplated bagging the run before it ever started.  Sometimes you just have to give the mind a chance to "warm up", along with the legs and lungs.  Once engaged, it turned out to be a great day to run after all!

12 miles
Shoes - K Nike Lunarfly Trail
S Brooks Cascadia

Enjoy some pics from the day:
Kathleen getting things rolling
Surveying the landscape from Grandview Overlook - note Garden of the Gods in the distance
Cruising below the Grandview mesa
Perspective is everything...
This was only two feet to the left of where the above photo was snapped.
Yeah... photography geek moment there...
Enjoying the sandstone singletrack
The pink really stands out on a gray day!!!
Running the sweet cliffside on Kinnickinick Trail
Heading out - just about done for the day
Parting shot - Happy Trails!


Tina @GottaRunNow said...

You live in such a great place! Happy to see you're happy trailing!

Meg said...

LOVE, LOVE,LOVE those bright and cheerful colors. Safety colors as well, stay safe!
Way to give that trail run a try even though you weren't well, I sounds like it turned out great!

mtnrunner2 said...

Ack! Where is the bright yellow orb I usually see on your blog? Aaaah!

Hey, with those rock formations, I wouldn't even notice the sky.

Steve - If you're looking to replace the Cascadia, I just saw Saucony's Xodus 2.0, which is wider in the sole and has better-looking traction than the Peregrine (which I liked but thought was too unstable for a trail shoe). It's very similar in shape and specs to the Cascadia and I would check it out if you have not. I saw it at Boulder Running Company.

Jill said...

Oooo, maybe I'll have to venture to that place instead of the Garden when I go down to pick up Brendan in a couple weeks....but since the Garden is closer to the Broadmoor, maybe not. It is really pretty there, though. I vaguely remember running there many moons ago when I lived in the Springs. 12 mile run on a gray day feeling sort of blah is better than none, right?

Steve, give the new Brooks Flow Grit a try on in the store, I think you may like it.

HappyTrails said...

Tina - Thanks! Nice sub-4 at Houston yesterday!

Meg - Kathleen is all about the bright colors ;-)

MR2 - Waiting on the Xodus 3 - supposed to be a 4mm heel to toe drop now!

Jill - Palmer is easily accesible if you want directions. And I'm done with Brooks...

Danni said...

This no snow thing is tough but it's good to see you making the best of it!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

thnx for the pix! you both look very strong out there. love the pink!

Christi said...

The weather has been really funny lately but I have been out enjoying it also. I have to take advantage right!

I hope your tweak is feeling better!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Hi there! I loved your comment on my blog--thanks! I found yours by playing around on google searching for some local hiking. I'm NOT a runner, but I do love a great hike and last Saturday was gorgeous hiking (and running!) weather--especially for January. So glad you got out there and enjoyed Sunday despite the gray. Hope you have a great week! So glad to have found your blog.

PS: My favorite post so far was the one where you saw the bear sitting on the trail (Limbaugh Canyon maybe?). That was a huge bear! I always *think* I want to see one when I'm out hiking but the reality is that I'd be scared to death. They're so magnificent though!

Ace said...

Love me some Palmer Park action. Though I could do w/out no look mountain bikers (probably not too many out these days!

Which version of the Cascadias are those? I stocked up on last year's and am still burning through them happily, but haven't tried the new ones...

Jim P. said...

Thanks for the shout-out. This weather is, indeed, remarkable. Makes one wonder, though, what is happening at the macro climatic scale...

I made it down for the PP50K. So jealous of the trails surrounding the area. So sweet, and so snow-free!

Most of the stuff up here are still snow/ice covered.

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