Dan, James and I at the Step Up for
Down Syndrome Walk
This week I continued to "run free". I have been seeing quite a few signs of recent lion activity at Apex so I decided to return to my old stomping grounds, Matthew-Winters this week. There are usually more people there and since the Hogback is surrounded by freeways I felt a bit more safe. I ran the Hogback loop for the first time since I had James and found out it is still not my favorite run. I like that it's more technical than most of the other trails in the area, but the way the slickrock is angled makes my footing more unsure and I don't get to just fly on the downhills. Regardless its still a good training run. I also did my old standby Red Rocks Slide lollipop route a few times. The first time I ran this route I remember thinking I was pretty sure I could run it in under 45:00 and I was sure the fast runners could break 40:00 I just thought that was a ways off for me. While I still haven't broke 40:00 I ran a 43:24 and followed it up the next day with a 41:12! If I can run a 41:12 I can definitely break 40:00. I felt great. Like I was really running free. It was just easy and felt oh so good!
On Wednesday when I was running at M-W I passed a high school cross country team. I saw one guy in the middle of the pack, struggling but pushing himself as best he could. He turned to his coach, who was standing on the side of the trail near me, and said "I know you said this was a trail run, but I didn't think you were going to make us run up a mountain!" I made sure to give some words of encouragement to all the other runners I passed on my way out. I know I had my moments in HS track where I could have used some encouragement to get me through.
I had some great runs this week, but didn't quite get the mileage I was hoping for, especially with only a few weeks until GT50. Saturday I managed only an 8 mile run by our house before we had to head down to Denver for Rob's memorial. While Saturday's run was short it was one of the best runs I've had in a long time. It was one of those cool, crisp fall mornings that provide the perfect day for a run. Just as it had all week running felt easy! As I crested the hill on Conifer Mountain I had an incredible view of the valley below. The gravel and fallen golden aspen leaves crunched beneath my feet, the sun beat on my face and I just closed my eyes, arms wide open, smile ear to ear, and soaked it all in. There are few moments in life greater than these, when everything comes together and you know all is right with the world, at least for a small moment in time. These are the moments you live and run for. The moments you'll remember for the rest of your life.
Sunday was James' first big "race" as we joined the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk for the Mile High Down Syndrome Association. What a great time! It's always good to see the other local Ds kids and realize the unlimited potential for James.