Today, I ventured over to Red Rocks State Park for a 5-mile trail run. I’ve gone hiking in the foothills at this time of year before, and always regret it, because even though the snow has melted everywhere in Denver, it’s just beginning to melt up there – making the dirt trails very muddy and slippery.
But that doesn’t stop hardcore Coloradans (such as myself?). I got to the trailhead at 11:30 and the place was packed. Not a single open parking spot. There was a side section reserved for horse trailers until noon – and since there weren’t any horse trailers to be seen, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to grab a spot 30 minutes early.
The weather was absolutely beautiful today – clear skies, sunny, 60 degrees, a cool breeze just strong enough to feel good but not make it hard to run. It’s too bad I was almost working too hard to enjoy it. Almost.
Since this is my first trail run since last September, I was huffing and puffing up the steep parts. The steepest part also happened to be on the north side of the mountain, meaning it was also the muddiest and slipperiest. Which worked out okay, since I wanted to
walk hike those parts anyway.
Before I knew it, I was at the top.
I really enjoy this trail.
My legs were pretty tired by the time I got to Mile 2 but I pushed on. I ended up finishing 5.37 miles in 1:21:09, a 15:08/mile pace. Pretty slow BUT that’s 8 seconds per mile faster than the last time I did this trail and this time, I did 2 more miles. I like progress, even if it’s small.
I don’t have splits again because my smartphone is being stupid (like that little play on words?). It’s 2 years old and while I am completely content with it and don’t want a new phone, I think I might have to get one.
Another sad thing is that the chest strap for my heart rate monitor is losing its juice as well – and to replace it will be about $75. I’m still debating if now is the right time to just spring for a Garmin. They do make Garmins that are also heart rate monitors – which I would really like – but they’re like $250. Ouch. Maybe for my birthday?
Anyway, it took me 46:44 to run the first 3 miles of this run, at which point I took a break to eat a Montana Huckleberry Hammer Gel and drink some water (I was carrying my Camelbak). I liked the flavor, but the gel was thicker than the Gu brand, which I wasn’t particularly a fan of.
The last 2.4 miles took me about 34 minutes.
And my legs were really dirty by the time I was done.
Well, I’m off to walk the pooches and then we’re going out to dinner and bowling with some new church friends.
Have a great Saturday night!