"Soul shine is better than sunshine" -Government Mule
North Fork Trailhead Colorado Trail
So my first week back to work. I'm still not sure how I felt about it. Sure it was great to get off the treadmill and log some trail miles during the week, but I really missed the morning hikes with my boys and afternoon cuddle time. More than ever I watch the clock for that elusive 3:00 when I can lace up my shoes and hit the trails. It's definitely hard not to just run right out of the office and pick up the lil grommie though. But I know I'm a better person, wife and mom when I get in my runs. Its my time and we all need some of our time. I may have given up sleep, eating with two hands, reading a book, having a couple of beers and Mexican food, but you can't ask me to give up running.
Monday I went back to Matthew Winters Park to run my old tried and true trails. How nice it was to be able just to cruise over the trails, the last time I was there was the last run before I had James. It seemed fitting that my last of work before James was born and first one after he was born were on the same trail. One that is chock full of memories. Tuesday I decided it was time for some new trails. James' daycare is at the trailhead for Apex Park so I spent the rest of the week exploring these trails. It was great getting out on some new trails. Plus Wednesday I got to meet Dan for a quick run. Saturday was cut short since we had the BBQ so I did a quick loop of Buck Gulch at Pine Valley. I felt amazing on this run and took 9 minutes off my best time from this summer, which isn't bad for a 8-mile loop. I was just hammering the ups and cruising the downs, it felt wonderful!
Sunday I finally had a chance to really get an all day run. Dan arranged for a babysitter so we went out to run Segments 4 and 5 of the Colorado Trail. We got dropped off at Kenosha Pass and headed out for the 32.5 mile run to Rolling Creek, okay well it should have only been 31.7, but we got off trail for a short bit. It had been forever since Dan and I got in a long run together. The first 10 miles were gorgeous, but a bit on the slow side for me. Probably good training though to get me in the mindset of not starting to fast. We would run through a grove of Aspens and then open up into a gorgeous valley with amazing views. When we got to the Long Gulch trailhead about 15 miles in we decided to pump water. As luck would have it our pump wasn't working and after a few failed attempts to fix it we realized that it just wasn't going to work. Another few miles down the trail we found a fast moving creek that posed less risk than where we had been pumping so Dan opted to go with creek water and quickly filled his bottles. I couldn't risk drinking creek water since I'm breastfeeding/pumping for James. Dan gave me the last of his clean water, but I really ran pretty low on fluids for quite a few miles. Around mile 25 the storms moved in and we ended up getting soaked. Of course the cooler temps and higher humidity greatly helped with not having much water left to drink. We also crested the last climb just as the storm hit so we were able to cruise downhill pretty quick to reduce our chances of making contact with some of the lightening. The last few miles the storm subsided and the trail turned into a jeep trail with a gradual decent. It made for the perfect finish, just running side by side with Dan and easily chatting as we cruised back to the car. All in all it was a great run, working the legs for most of the day, learning to adapt to changing conditions, working on patience when things don't go quite as planned and having some time to run with Dan. After some great running this weekend I am beginning to trust that I have what it takes to finish 100 miles. It may not have been the exact training I was hoping for, but I have the strength back in my legs and I know now that I just have to believe I can get back to the finish! Now lets just hope Dan's stomach doesn't reject the creek water and we should be good to go!