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

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fun on Two Feet ... and Two Wheels

Last weekend started with a little trip over to the US Air Force Academy for a good run around the Falcon Trail loop with Craig and his son Alex.  It was the first time over there for the guys, and this is a must run trail if you live in our area.  We had a good time just taking an easy stroll around the loop.  Although we got started when the gates opened to the public to get on base, by mid-loop it was already blazing hot out there! 
 Sunny and warm on the Falcon Trail - crossing the Stanley Canyon access point
 Had a blast being tour guide for these two guys

These two have some good races coming up and goal for the day was time on the feet and some climbing thrown in - both accomplished.  While this is not the hardest run in our neck of the woods by any stretch, you won't see too many 13 year old youngsters spending their Saturday mornings running 13 miles with the old guys - most of them are home in bed until the crack of noon, then glued to an X-box for 6 hours or whatever the national average is these days.  While we had a couple of what Craig calls "teenager moments", it was a good run and we all enjoyed the trail.  We were also glad to be done as it was heading into the upper 80's when we finished.  Good Times!  (By the way - Craig took a bunch more photos - go over to his blog and have a look.)

Shoes - Brooks Pure Grit

Meanwhile, while the boys were out running, Kathleen was out on the roads of the Academy enjoying some quality time on the road bike.  She is working through some musculo-skeletal issues related to the Graves Disease, so she will be spending some good time on the bike here and there to help with the rebuilding process.  She was able to get in a sweet 30 mile ride while we were out playing on the trails and had her feet kicked up waiting on us when we reached the trailhead.

Hit The Road!
 Enjoying the blossoming Jupiter's Beard - a.k.a. Red Valerian - in our Xeric Garden out front
 Italian Cycling Slippers
 Starbucks and Pikes Peak - aaah....

This morning we headed out early for a road ride and we needed to beat the heat.  It was forecast to hit 90's by noon, so we wanted no part of that especially since we would be spending our workout time on asphalt!  We also wanted to be out early to beat the nut-jobs driving on the west side of town, but we didn't totally avoid that...  And what is up with the wind this year - it can be over any time.  Had to run in it yesterday and it was gusting heavily while riding today.... The route for the day was a combination of The Garden of the Gods area, Gold Camp Road, and Mountain Shadows area.
 Riding up Gold Camp, almost to Section 16 parking lot
 Up on the open stretches of Gold Camp - no hiding from the wind here...
 Almost to the top
 End of the road - at least for skinny tires

Riding up to the end of the pavement is a great out and back.  On the weekends, you will have plenty of two-wheeled company.  This is a popular route for gradual and steady grade hill repeats thanks to the extended climb - from 31st street and Highway 24, you climb 1000' in a bit over 4 miles, for around a 4% grade.  You'll have mountain bike company as well, headed up past the pavement into Cheyenne Canyon where countless miles of steep trails await.
 The suburban reservoirs at Stratton Open Space and the Broadmoor Hotel
You should stay there if you come visit....
 The Trusty Rigs
Back in our neck of the "woods" - Mesa bike path looking into Queen's Canyon

We had a great ride - 30 miles for the day and the heat was building, so we got ourselves out of the sun!  It was a good week - I ran two solid tempo runs this week - a short and a long, and finally felt decent doing so.  I had quite a lengthy funk after Greenland but appear to be hitting solid stride again.  Looking forward to some longs runs in the high country, but those will have to wait until at least mid-July.  Our niece is getting married and my folks will be here for two weeks, so family time comes first!!

Happy Trails!
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