Saturday, August 9, 2008
Thirsty Trail Gods
After getting to my parents house in Colorado Springs on Sunday and taking a day off, I was ready to run on Monday morning! My favorite hike when I was young was Waldo Canyon, so I had put it on my list of runs I had to do while home. Dad's quads were still trashed from running down Rabbit Ears Pass, so he called his running partner Gerry to run with me while he hiked with his dog Zeke. I met Gerry when he came out to do Psycho Wyco in February, & he still talks about the mud, but not in a fond way. He has been training his butt off for the Leadville 100 so I was just crossing my fingers and hoping he wouldn't run my legs off. I was also hoping not to have any altitude issues, the canyon loop is just over 7 miles and goes from just about 7,000 ft to just over 8,000 ft and back down.
We started off up the stairs and the climb started, my legs felt pretty darn good, but it took me awhile to get my breathing & heart rate to a comfortable rhythm. Gerry took off but kindly waited for me at a trail intersection. He had me take over the lead and set pace and pretty promptly after that I tripped on god-knows-what and went ass over teakettle. I got myself picked up and inspected the damage: knees, hands, elbow, shoulder but nothing super serious. Gerry rinsed my knees off and I started off again, only to feel like I was going to puke. So I walked for a few minutes until my stomach settled down and then I felt great! The views are so breathtaking in that canyon, and Pikes Peak is my all time favorite mountain, so anytime I can come around a corner of the trail and find it spread out in front of me is a stellar day.
Gerry was telling me all about the Jemenez 50 that he had done in May, I think he was trying to warn me off it by describing how dang difficult it was, but kinda like waving a red flag in front of a bull, all it did was intrigue me. We met up with Dad & Zeke who were resting in the shade, Zeke is a great trail running dog but is getting up there in age and slowing down quite a bit. We took off again after a quick chat and shortly after that the trail gods decided that they hadn't had enough blood and Gerry went down. Damage check: hands, elbows, knees & chest. It freaked us both out a bit since it is only a few weeks until Leadville and it would suck most mightily to end up seriously injured while tapering. We slowed down and took it easy to the parking lot. It was exactly the run I was looking for in Colorado, cool morning, gorgeous views, some good hills and no bugs!
I spent the afternoon lunching and shopping downtown Colorado Springs with my mom, sister-in-law and cutest ever niece and when we got back to the house, Dad was getting ready to go out for a run with his friend Carl.
So I changed clothes real quick and headed out for another 5 mile jaunt. We ran part of the Santa Fe Trail which winds from Palmer Lake to south Colorado Springs. The American Discovery Trail Marathon is held on this trail and one I have on the schedule but it might be in jeopardy due to being broke! I was feeling pretty good so I dropped Dad & Carl and worked on some speed (I never do speedwork... I'm so lazy!) A few miles into it, I was passed by some kids on motorcycles, now the trail is closed to all motorized vehicles so the loud intrusion into my solitude made me very cranky. Me and my big mouth had to call them assholes as they passed, and I hoped that Dad had called the cops on 'em. I hung out and waited for Dad & Carl to catch up since I wasn't sure how far they were planning on going. After I hooked up with them, we continued on our way, trading complaints about the motorcycle idiots and lo and behold the said idiots were coming down the trail on foot. As we passed we all exchanged the stink eye and Dad said they were probably coming back to kick my ass for calling them assholes! (I think they were just looking for a place to get high) As we got a bit further up the trail we came across their bikes, and I so wanted to knock them over or drag them off into the weeds so they had to hunt for them but that idea got ixnayed by Dad. I stuck with the guys for the rest of the run in any case! After that run I was ready to eat and relax on my parents deck while gazing at the mountains.