Sunday Summits [Bear, South Boulder, Green]

#FunFact: weekends are way too short.
In case you didn’t already know…

And how do you make the most of “way too short” weekends? You pack in as much as you into the hours that you have. Last weekend [like, a week ago, not yesterday…being on top of oversharing is a lot of work!] I headed to Boulder to do just that. I’ve done a good chunk of the Boulder Skyline trails but after four years in Colorado I still had not made my way up to the South Boulder peak…I needed to remedy that!
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Just Go Get Dirty

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!
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Trail Running at Chautauqua Park [Blend 2015]

This coming Friday I’ll be leading a group trail run at the base of the Flatirons in Boulder, CO to kick off the Blend Retreat. I’m kind of excited about this…it’ll be the perfect setting to show off some of Boulder’s trails and get a big bunch of IRL friends + internet strangers together for some Colorado sunshine!

While I am the first person to admit I’m no expert on trail running I do have some experience wandering around the Boulder trails and thought it’d be nice to bring together all the questions I’ve gotten about running [and hiking!] the trails from the Chautauqua trailhead.
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Go Get Muddy!

If you’ve had a rough day and need a little break from your own brain I’ve discovered the solution…go get muddy! Yes! Muddy! Stop pouting, pull on your big girl running shorts, lace up those shoes and get your tookus outside! If you’re a runner leave the GPS behind. If you’re a photographer leave the fancy camera behind. If you’re a hiker leave the pack behind. Just leave it all on the kitchen table or in the passenger seat of your car and let your inner child play for a bit.
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Snowy Bribery

I’ve decided I like being one of those weird people who enjoy running in the snow. Sometimes it’s more like “running” but, who cares, snow is fun! If you throw on the right layers you will not freeze to death and gaiters were invented for haphazard veering into snow banks, right?! I fully understand that not everyone feels this way about the snow but it sure is fun to drag snow/cold haters out onto the wintry trails and see them at least sort of have a good time!

That’s exactly what I did with half of my weekend…forced friends into playing in the snow! Because it’s more fun when you have someone else out there “suffering” with you, right?! I’ve never been one to hate on mountain bikers on the trails and after Saturday morning’s run I won’t be complaining any time soon – they did a fantastic job of tracking out the trails for us! No gaiters or traction required in Fort Collins!
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Snow Day Fun

We got snow! Northern Colorado FINALLY got a decent amount of snow! And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one weirdly excited about it! We’ve gotten snow a few times this year, but no major accumulation [ie: 4+ inches] and I’ve missed nearly every snow day since before Christmas so I was pumped to get outside and play in the snow!

There were big plans for a long run on Saturday morning with friends, but they all bailed because roads were supposed to get bad that afternoon [and 20+ mile runs take a LONG time in snow, so roads were a valid concern]. I decided I was still going to head for the trails for a little snowy fun. My initial plan was to run a 7 mile loop twice…then when I hit my first hill I changed my mind.
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When Running Isn’t Easy

When we sign up for races, no matter the distance, we think about the good things – the finish line pictures, the free beer/food/swag, the fun we have eating all the food while training, the time we spend with friends on the trails, the badassary confidence boost after nailing it on track day, the exhausted elation that comes after your final run of peak week training…the good stuff, the warm fuzzies, the happy smiles.
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Snowy Summits [The Boulder Skyline]

After months of very inconsistent running and weeks of thinking “oh, crap…can I still run?” I finally got myself outside and onto the trails for a long run. I met up with a few friends – Cheryl and Sarah – at the Centennial Trailhead with big plans to run along the Boulder Skyline [check out this interactive map for route details]. Our game plan was to head up and around Sanitas then plow our way up to Flagstaff, Green Mountain and Bear Peak…maybe even South Boulder Peak. The only goal we had was…to have fun, smile and not actually die on the icy, snow-covered trails. Spoiler Alert: we may not have gotten to the summit of every mountain but we did have a blast and no blood was shed!
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Escaping to the Mountains

After a long week with many, many moments of “gah, I wish I could just turn the internet off” I spent my weekend doing exactly that. Sure, I had my phone on me and yea, I double tapped posts on Instagram but in the grand scheme of things…the internet did not matter!

It started with a friendly meet up with Chris and Marissa in Boulder. It was a freaking gorgeous day with bluebird skies and temperatures that should have left us in September. We spent some quality time frolicking around trails and making fools of ourselves before we decided we’d earned our weight in fries + beer. I guess the internet isn’t all bad if it gets you friends like these crazies…
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Running? What’s that?

Fun Fact…I have not completely forgotten how to run! Which is good, because just recently I threw a fair amount of money at some seriously terrifying race entries! Funny how all motivation and dedication disappears the minute you lose your mind and commit to crazy things!

The last 3 weeks have been busy, to say the least, and running was not even kind of a priority for me. First it was a week in Park City with Columbia, then a week of storytelling followed up by my first winter camping experience, then a week of…I have no idea what, but running rarely happened!
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