Sunday, June 21, 2009

Windy Saddle

One of the most fantastic places to run in the greater metro area is a series of trails that begins right across Highway 6 and the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. This convenient location made it easy for me to be on the trail by 6:15 and all alone. Starting from the beginning of Chimney Gulch trail is a demanding task as the trail really hits you in the face with steep climbing for the first 3 miles.

As is usual for me, it took me a while before I was even awake and I ran/hiked the majority of the first 4 miles pretty slowly before I began to get in a groove.

After reaching Beaver Brook trail, I used my best focus to get through both boulder fields and navigate some extremely hairy cliffs. From there I really got into a smooth rhythm and drank in the beautiful scenery. Turning onto Clear Creek overlook I had to pinch myself to be sure I wasn't dreaming. It was almost like the final chapter of Peace Like a River where the fields are full of wildflowers and I was running through them effortlessly. There were loads of Columbines, Indian Paintbrushes, and Lupin scattered through the high grass as the view cascades out over the canyon walls. Turning back up Beaver Brook took me right to the peak summit of Windy Saddle where I took in some views and started back.

I ran into a few folks on the way back, more than a few that were startled by me running on their hiking trail as well as a few mountain bikers after I got back on Chimney Gulch trail. Before long I had made it back to the smell of hops and I could feel myself being lifted back to my car. I thought a lot about how cool it would be to hold a race here and run a huge out and back to Chief Hosa. Overall it was a wonderful day that was capped off by a visit from some old friends. My buddy Jacob and his wife Caellin are in town for the summer, or at least in Ft. Collins, so I'm stoked to be seeing them some more.

My week in Full:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 13 AM, 13 PM +/- '4000
Thursday: 5 in a heat suit
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 20 +/- '6200
Sunday: 9 flat trails

Total: 60 miles, my biggest week ever.

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