After yesterday's beautiful hike, I decided I really wanted to run that trail. Today was tempo day, but I decided that with the added elevation (this trail is a little over 9,000 feet) and hills, that I would go for it, knowing I wouldn't be able to maintain my usual tempo run pace.
The end of the first mile had a huge hill - about a 180 foot rise. It was a tough hill but I made it! I was definitely slower than I like, but it gave me some confidence for mile 16 of Portland. Plus it was only mile one, too early to wimp out.
The rest of the trail had lots of little hills, both up and down. It also had views for days! Since our hike was only 4 miles and I needed 7, I also hopped onto a dirt road for a bit. It was much easier to run, but not nearly as fun.
At the end of our run, Axe and I played in the river. It was kind of like a mini ice bath and felt SO good! In case you don't know, Colorado rivers are cold!
What I learned today:
1. Be super careful on mountain terrain. Rocks will jump out and try to trip you or they will shift at the last second in an attempt to make you twist your ankle. Rocks are not friends.
2. Running through puddles (and streams) is fun!
3. Trails by rivers are great for dogs - Axe was happy to have plenty of water to drink along the way.
4. Trail maps are your friend. Be sure you're aware of the area to avoid getting lost (I would be one to do this).
5. Check the weather! Colorado is known for its afternoon thunderstorms. I made sure that the weather was supposed to stay nice so I wouldn't get caught in one.
6. Watch for bikers. There are a lot of them and they're fast! I kept my music off most of the way so that I could enjoy the sounds of nature, but also so a biker wouldn't scare the bejesus out of me if he came up behind me. Share the trails!
7. Take extra water and a snack or two. Just in case you get lost (see #4)
8. Enjoy! We have a beautiful planet. Don't take it for granted - get out there and explore!
It was a great run. Slow and difficult, but amazing. I am looking forward to exploring more of these trails that we are so lucky to have here!