Here in Colorado we have had a LOT of rainy days and many people have been very vocal about their dislike for this gloomier-than-usual weather. Sure, there is a very good chance that 2015 will fail to delivery the “300 days of sunshine” Coloradoans like to brag about but I’ve been kind of loving the cool days + rainy weather + cloudy runs. The trails have been muddy and, while it does make running tricky, I think mud is fun. And since mud running is about all I’ve done outside lately I’m going to go ahead and talk about muddy running, again!
Two weeks ago [which feels like about two months ago!] I hung out at Chautauqua Park in Boulder with a big group of bloggers for the 4th Annual Blend Retreat. This was my fourth year attending and it’s like summer camp for adults…minus the craft time. This year the organizers changed things up a bit by adding a trail run on Friday afternoon [+ yoga on Sunday!] and I was the lucky local in charge of mapping out + leading the trail run with some sponsorship help from General Mills.
We left Chautauqua’s main trailhead as a big group and gradually spread out as we climbed up toward the Flatirons. The Flatirons might be flat but they definitely are not level so we broke off into three groups – runners, run/hikers and hikers. With a little help from Marissa and Laura we all made it back to the trailhead long before the cocktail hour started. I was lucky enough to get out on the Chautauqua trails a few more times before the weekend was over – if you can avoid the area on the weekends/evenings [crowds!] the trails are amazing and quite intense.
Luckily, in the past few days, the skies have cleared a bit and we’ve seen a lot more of the sun. The trails aren’t quite dry and summery but the fields + forests are incredibly green. In my Wisconsin-ite opinion the green makes all the rain worth it! On Saturday I snuck away from reality for a 20-turned-27 mile trail run on a loop-turned-exploratory-out-and-back mismatched maze of Boulder trails. It felt way harder than it should have but I still had a blast [and totally bailed out at 17 miles because things were blowing up!] splashing in the mud and failing miserably at dodging raindrops.
I followed up my Saturday run with a Sunday evening hike/run on Bear Peak. The trails leading up to Bear Peak are never easy but man, my legs were not having it! They were exhausted. Not injured. Not sore. Just plain old tired! Rather than push harder for the sake of a summit we called it a day at the saddle and hopped into my car just as the rain drops started falling. We may have sunnier skies but we’re still getting rain, lots of rain! My shoes are proof of just how wet and muddy the trails still are…and my car kind of smells like a wet shoe, just in case visual evidence isn’t enough for you!
This post seems a bit scattered, almost like a brain dump of words so I have an excuse to share a few trails photos [not entirely untrue]. Ultimately, running has been fun and I’m really thankful for that. I’m lucky enough to be able to run, to be the kind of person that actually enjoys funky weather and to live in an area full of gorgeous trails. I am very thankful for all of that and with my summer getting crazy busy with non-running obligations I know I’ll need to put a focus on staying happy with whatever time I can spend on the trails. If it takes random posts like this…so be it! At the very least I promise to fill them full of photos, if not a few good stories of dramatic stream crossings + chaffing armpits + temper tantrums when the grocery store runs out of donuts! Thanks for being internet strangers I can share these stories with!