Five months have past since I last posted an entry, which was about vegan running. Eating a dairyless and meatless diet and running have been completely compatible. (I occasionally violate the veganism with some nonfat yogurt and egg whites.) September through May my days are typically busy and they don't leave much time for running. I managed to reach 1100 total miles for 2012, and although it's early in the year I believe I am in a good position to do something similar this year.
Recently, my running has taken the following pattern: On Tuesdays and Thursdays I cover about four miles with a small group of beginning student runners. They are in the walk-run stage but we typically head to a hilly area and I make sure I run all the ascents. Then on the weekends I get out to the foothills near Eldorado Springs and Boulder for one or both days. Lately, I have been enjoying a run that starts out at the southern Mesa Trail head in Eldorado Springs and heads north, then up Upper Bluestem, reconnecting with the Mesa Trail, continuing until Bear Canyon. I take the Bear Canyon Trail to the Bear Green Trail and work my way around to the summit of Green Mountain and return via the same route. This run typically takes about 4 hours. I had an unsettling moment, when about 25 minutes from the end I stumbled and the light flew out of my hand and went out. I discovered I was in a darkness so dark I could see where the ground and trees ended and the sky began. I managed to find the light and turn it on, but the prospect of crawling blind down such a rugged trail made me consider bring two lights the next time I run trails in the dark.
Yesterday, I didn't hit the trail until 4PM so I decided to do one of my favorite runs that starts on the other side of the road from the above-described run. I take the Dowdy Draw Trail to the South Springbrook Loop to Goshawk to Fowler. I then head back up to the top of the Springbrook Loops and descend via the North Springbrook Loop and back to Dowdy. There I cross the valley on Dowdy up to the ridge where the Flatiron Vista trails connect to Dowdy. At that point I turn around and take Dowdy back to the parking lot. This run was just under two hours and with the days getting longer I didn't even need a light at the end.
Yesterday's run seemed so easy. I cruised on the ascents. There are basically three ascents. The first is about 900 ft., the second is about 500ft., and the third about 400 ft. Even though my weekly mileage had been somewhat low, I think the 4 hour runs with 3800 ft. of elevation have done a lot to maintain my conditioning. Previously, yesterday's route would have found me taking a couple of breaks at certain points, but I didn't even think to yesterday.