Easy week. I ran roughly half of what I am running on a normal week. My back feels better from staying off the hills and pavement, my hip flexors still hurt from walking 12 minute miles, and my butt and quads are better. Dennis gave me a massage and it seems to have helped today.
The past two days felt like a vacation, each day I only ran for an hour around Pineridge Reservoir on the trails and then did some easy walking afterwards. I wore my hazmat shirt and hat. My hat arrived the other day. Only one guy on the trail looked at me like I was a freak. I see him out there running all the time. He'll get used to it. I took naps each day and after my massage I was asleep by 7:30 on Friday night.
Friday afternoon I went for a drive up Rist Canyon to check it out for a possible running route. It's a long climb, about 10 miles steady uphill, which would simulate Townes Pass conditions. But driving up there I remembered how narrow the road is and all those curves, and houses by the road with dogs running out, and no place to stash your water, and I'd have to drive up and drop things off, unless I got a baby jogger. I don't have time to be driving and stashing water, I need to use my time for running. Plus it's all paved now! Running back down those 10 miles would be hard on my body and not worth it!
When I got to the top I turned left and headed toward Masonville, down Buckhorn Canyon. The road is paved the whole way! I remember doing some great runs up there training for Leadville with Snakebite and Wally. We used to do this awesome 40 mile loop over Old Flowers Road to Pingree, up Pennock Pass, down Buckhorn Canyon and back. Most of it was on dirt. I thought maybe the road from Masonville to Stove Prairie would be a good alternative, but with it being paved, the tight curves, and people driving fast, no way.
As I drove back toward Fort Collins I decided my old repeat route up the service road to Horsetooth Rock would be best for my hill training if I need to get some steady climbs. No traffic, no pavement, and no crazy drivers. The scariest things out there would be mountain lions, bears and snakes. I won't be running too early or late in the day, so most likely it would only be me and the snakes.
I can park at the trailhead and have my aid station in my car every 5 miles. I can overdress and have food, drinks, and ice. It's roughly a 1000 foot climb in 2.5 miles. All I need to do is 10 repeats and I'll have 50 miles with 10,000 feet of vertical climb and the same of descent, and I'll be ready for any hill on the Badwater course. It gets warm up there, it's on the south facing slope and is exposed most of the way up. Last summer I did it 7 times as a training run for Lean Horse. I got some good speed training in on the downhills, too.
With all this in mind I went home and bought an annual park pass online.
I haven't been out to check out the health clubs with saunas, that's my project for next week.
Speaking of snakes, it was 70 degrees today! Spring is here, even if it snows tomorrow. I saw flies and bugs, and the last patches of snow finally melted from the yard. It was time for the annual spring ritual, picking up the dog poop that was hidden under the snow all winter. Two dogs worth. I've been waiting for two weeks for the snow to finish melting and every time I planned to do it, it would snow.
Today was the lucky day, and I was able to bend over and kneel down without any soreness. Afterwards I picked up the chipmunks, the hedgehog, the snake and the donut that were all hidden under the snow and washed them.
The girls are so happy, a clean yard and clean toys. If it doesn't snow tonight, which was the forecast, I will run the Devil's Backbone & Blue Sky trail tomorrow.