Sunday, May 22, 2011

Birthday Run

I turn 53 yesterday and earned my cake and ice cream with a birthday run of 13 miles that included three climbs that totaled 1800 feet. The first 2.5 miles were uphill for about 600 ft., then I covered a couple of more miles of relatively flat up and down to reach the mouth of Rattlesnake Gulch. The gulch has some gravely and rocky single track that rises 800 ft. in 1.4 miles.

The trail ends at a railroad tunnel for a route that winds through the Rockies. Taking a moment to squeeze down a gel I a deep vibration. It was about 6PM; was the world ending? No, but the train was a-comin'. I set my iphone to video and pointed it at the tunnel opening. Three locomotives came through with seemingly endless coal cars all equally filled on their way to fuel our summer air-conditioning needs. Three more engines appeared pushing the long chain of cars plus towing their own load. Again, countless coal cars and two more engines pushing at the end. What a nice birthday treat.

I headed back down the gulch trail feeling as if I were skiing a mogul run. I covered the same relative flat for a couple of miles and then turned off and up the north end of the Goshawk Trail. I'd never run up it, only down. It's a smooth-surfaced 400 ft. climb in about 8/10 of a mile up to the top of the saddle; the running is made more difficult because of the smoothness of the trail; some rocks or gravel would be nice for traction, but there is none.

All that was left at this point was 3.5 miles of descent. Sometimes downhill can be an effort but my energy was still good and I just cruised. I hadn't done this exact route before but twice I've done the same distance and climbs on the same trails and this time I'd cut 10 and 20 minutes respectively off those two outings.

Today I'd like to do about 7 miles of milder hills, then later this week do one tempo run, one hills run, and one easy jog with the Bolder Boulder coming up on Memorial Day. My hope is to do the 10K in 47 something. I like that my birthday is a week before the race because since the BB does ages brackets by each individual age, I get to be about the youngest in my group; there should be about 350 fifty-three year old men. I better write another sentence so that my last two words of the blog aren't "old men".


  1. Happy Birthday! I don't understand your ending sentiment.

  2. Read it as if the last sentence weren't there and then look at the difference with the last attempt at mild humor.