There has been a fair amount of running in my life lately. The fun kind where you just go out and enjoy life in your running shoes. Without even trying too hard there has been a solid mix of trails, hills, speed work, distance and racing. Without going into too much boring detail here is a quick recap of the runs that have gone down in the past week or so…
Boulder Running Company Speed Work
Hill Repeats with Boulder Running Company’s Wednesday Night Group Run
Almost every week I manage to show up at the Boulder Running Company for a special form of torture – group speed work. It’s a workout I love to hate. It usually hurts quite a bit while I’m fighting through the workouts but the results have been very obvious in my races this year so I shouldn’t complain. This week we mixed it up with hill repeats, which I actually kind of liked!
Impromptu Cherry Creek Reservoir Run
I’m all about getting lost in your own head while running but more often than not I’m going to jump at any chance to run with other people. After some last minute planning Lynne and I met up at the Cherry Creek Reservoir for a quick 6 mile run. We had a time crunch and funky weather so the run was a lot faster than either of us expected. We avoided the weather and earned every drop of sweat that poured off our bodies in the late afternoon humidity that neither of us are used to anymore!
Lookout Mountain via Chimney Gulch Trail
In my quest to explore more trails in the area I got the great idea to run up Lookout Mountain. Every time we’ve driven up this mountain while playing tour guide we’ve seen multiple cyclists riding up the road. That kind of climbing is not exactly my
cup of tea can of Mt Dew but I knew there was single track winding up the mountain so I made big plans for my Saturday morning.
I didn’t want to suffer alone so I convinced Chris to get up early and bike along with me. We got a late start so my big plans to run up Lookout Mountain and down Apex Park got nixed for a simple up/down along the Chimney Gulch Trail. The steady climb up wasn’t nearly as challenging as I had anticipated and the downhill was actually a lot of fun, even with the required people dodging – the trail go busy around 9am! If you’d told me two years ago that I’d be intentionally running up mountains for fun I’d probably punch you for jinxing me…today I’m kind of loving this newfound crazy.
To finish off our week we decided to hike a few miles on Dakota Ridge just as the sun was sinking behind the mountains. We had grabbed our headlamps but with the glow of city lights, moon and fading sunlight we didn’t really need them. Not long into our hike we heard an owl hooting and flipped on the headlamps to look for him. We spotted him atop a tree then continued on merry way…with the headlamps turned back off.
About 50 feet after spotting the owl I consciously stepped over what looked to be a darker-than-usual root. On second thought I turned my headlamp on and turned around to look at the “root” to see this…
…yes, that is a rattlesnake just chilling on the trail! Chris was ahead of me and also stepped over the snake without even noticing it. The snake wasn’t moving at all, no rattle, no tongue, no nothing. So weird and so creepy!
Since he was stretched out between us and the car we continued up the trail…on high alert with the headlamps blazing. We only made it about a quarter mile further before I decided it wasn’t fun anymore, I was freaking out about the possibility of another close call. We headed back along the same trail and luckily the snake was long gone. It was really cool to see a rattlesnake out in nature but I’d prefer my next encounter to have more than 2 inches between me and the snake!
There were a few other runs scattered throughout my week but these are some definite highlights worthy of photos. However, I did manage to finish off my week with a major highlight – a 10K PR the day after running Lookout Mountain, but that deserves its own post where I’ll profess my love for my legs and their crazy skills! Stay tuned, I’m pretty sure the post will include some entertaining photos of me in agony…