Friday, July 15, 2011

Monsoon Madness

Looking out across the back yard and to the blue sky as far as one can see it is difficult to imagine that sometime this afternoon dark clouds will be overhead with their monsoon moisture and a need to balance their electrical charge with the ground below, but this has been the pattern for about ten days now.

The weather and an ever-lengthening to-do list has forced me to have some rest days this week, which is probably not so bad. This time last year I was trying to get accustomed to wearing a cam walker to protect a stress-fractured foot. Moving about pre-coffee this morning I sensed that the middle metatarsal on my right foot is fatiguing under the burden of a converted heel-striker and the tightness and sharp pain of Achilles tendinitis is present in the left foot from the adjustment to the new Asics 3020 (which I like for trails although not a trail shoe) which I bought with the hope that they would protect me from the stress that my right foot doesn't seem able to handle in more minimal footwear.

Yesterday I added "long run" to the top of the aforementioned to-do list. If I can keep adding to the bottom of the list, why not add to the top? I rode the motorcycle down to Eldorado Springs. It's been a while since I'd trod on those trails. I headed out under blue skies with a liter of water in each hand, a half a liter, a bowl of Malt-O-Meal, and three cups of coffee in my stomach, and a pocketful of assorted nutrition in my shorts. I thought about how for years I wouldn't enjoy the first three or four miles of a run but now I find pleasure from the first step. The run would be seven miles uphill eventually taking me to the railroad tracks at the top of Rattlesnake Gulch. I doubt is was named as such because of the presence of rattlesnakes but rather to discourage more viper-phobic prospectors from venturing up there. The climb seemed so much easier than it has on other occasions. I typically would walk some of the steeper sections but not yesterday.

I descended the way I went up until I was back to the Fowler Trail which I took to the North Springbrook Loop until it joins to where I had elected the south loop on the way up. I had planned to run across the valley and go up the switchbacks on the other side and do the relatively flat loop on the mesa but the dark clouds had appeared and I was already hearing thunder from the area that I had just come down from so with threatening weather moving in I took a left and headed back to the trailhead.

In three hours and ten minutes of running on some of the greatest trails around I only saw two other runners. Earlier this week Alex had left to do parkour and returned a short while later saying the gym was too full. I told him the trails are never crowded and he said that's because there aren't that many crazy people and I said it's because not that many people know where to find sanity.


  1. Glad you had a nice run. There is freedom in the solitude the mountains provide, cannot find that in a busy gym!