Friday, August 10, 2012

Colorado trail running

Why, it's the state flag of Colorado, of course
So we had been planning on visiting our friends, Stuart ( & Diana ever since they moved out to Colorado 5ish years ago, but we have never actually gotten around to it. So, just after getting married, myself and Bren decided that we were doing it. We also took advantage of my Dad being here from Scotland, who is also friends with S&D, and decided that we would bite the bullet and drive over. It is approximately 1,300 miles door to door, so doable in about 22hrs.

On our first day in Colorado we went over to Golden to visit the home of my favourite beer, Blue Moon. While there we heard that Buffalo Bill's graveyard was to be found in the moutains surrounding Golden, so we decided to check it out, at about 7,500ft, I began to feel it, labored breathing, the whole nine yards.

I credit Stuart for really getting me running and this was going to be our first real chance to run together. We had planned to run with his friend, another ultra runner, Chris ( and then in the Beaver Creek 10k in Vail, Colorado. I don't think that I really noticed the altitude difference due to us driving over from Michigan and not flying, hence giving my body a little more time to acclimatize.

Beautiful view on our morning run
On the Friday morning at about 5:30am I dragged myself out of bed, got ready and joined Stuart for a pleasant run on a park fairly close to where they stay. What with this being Colorado and me being from Michigan, it was a whole lot more hilly than I planned on. I did manage to keep up with Stuart & Chris on the first leg, without too much of a problem. I was then asked to lead off on the second leg, which I did so, although I was really starting to struggle with the breathing and ended up asking the guys if we could pause for a couple of minutes, which we ended up doing. We covered three 'loops', totaling about 6.2 miles, the views were well worth and it was a helluva day. I survived, but the >500ft of elevation was way more than I was used to. See here -

The Friday morning run went so well, and because we decided to forego our Vail 10k, we decided that we would go for another run on the Sunday morning, on another one of Stu's regular routes, known as 'The Bluffs'. Again, up, bright and early, this time, no driving to the trail head, but starting straight from the house, it was another glorious day. This route was going to be a 1.6 mile run out, then a loop up, around then back down the bluffs, followed by the 1.6 mile straight back home for a total of >700 feet of elevation. We ended up walking two or three times on this run as I was really feeling the burn in both my thighs and my lungs, but it was well worth it. See here -

To conclude, it was a great trip, long overdue, to a beautiful place, to hang out with some awesome people, thanks very much to Stuart & Diana for their fantastic hospitality.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Strides for Soul 5k - 4th August 2012

I spotted this a few days beforehand and thought it might be kind of cool to do with the kids. I felt a little bad for not running with them at the Passion for Life 5k, earlier in the year, so I thought I'd make up for it with this one.

We registered on the morning or the race, with myself, Gordon, Liam & Iona running the 5k and my dad, unknown to him, walking. Registration was very simple, as the race was very small, we got a nice white t-shirt, one of the better ones, I'd say. The race was chipped for the start and finish, which was quite surprising for its size. I was a beautiful morning, and we were ready to rock 'n' roll. The first half mile went well, the roads weren't closed but the field was small enough that it didn't really matter. It was just about then that the kids started to struggle a wee bit, Liam was getting a pain on his foot that he has had for a week or so and Iona was complaining of stomach pains. The rest of the run was a mixture of long walks and short runs, purely dictated by the kids.

Finished at just over 52 minutes, Gordon met us at the finish line, where he told us about his very respectable 15th place (~25 minutes), papa finished a couple of minutes after us.

It was just great being out there with them, all I can do is encourage and support them and try to instill in them a positive attitude to exercise.

L to R - Gordon, Liam, Papa & Iona
White cotton shirt, footprints are silver, kinda cool, logo though