I finally made the right choice for running this weekend.
After my run at Fruita, I knew I didn't want to feel like that again in two weeks, and the idea of waking up at 3 am, going for a bus ride and getting motion sickness, freezing my butt off up Poudre Canyon waiting for the start, and pounding my body for 26 miles downhill on pavement, none of it sounded like fun. I am so happy to be blogging here this morning, preparing to take the Buffaloes out and get a leisurely 10 to 15 miles once the sun comes out.
Yesterday after "sleeping in" until 6:00, I drove up to Wyoming to join Katy for a run on the Wyoming Double Marathon course. We did one out and back on the course, for a 26+ mile run. Driving up in the morning it was foggy and raining in different places all the way up to the summit at the Lincoln Monument, but it wasn't snowing, and the wind wasn't too bad.
Katy's husband Wade drove us to the monument from the Turtle Rock trailhead so I could park my car and leave extra water, food and clothes, so we'd have an aid station at about 10 and 15 miles on the course.
We ran a lot but that course is deceptively hard, and we felt like we were in slow motion, even though we were running strong on most of it and keeping our walk breaks to a minimum. Still we were calling ourselves pedestrians because of the slow pace. I reminded Katy that in the early 1900s they used to call multi-day runners and ultrarunners "pedestrians".
We had typical Wyoming weather though. Every five minutes we were in a different climate. It would look like the sun was going to break through the thick fog, and we'd feel warm and start taking off layers, and down the next dip in the course we'd be able to see our breath, and we'd be freezing again. Then the fog would get so thick you couldn't see. Then it would rain. Then it would snow. Then we would warm up again.
The fog gave us enough breaks so that we were able to see the beautiful granite rock formations along the road, all though the Vedauwoo area. There were little pine trees growing out of cracks in the rocks everywhere. I've never been able to look closely at the rock formations before because the only times I've been up here have been for the race, and then I've been less focused on the scenery.
The only unpleasant part of this course is generally the two-plus mile stretch of pavement along the I-80 frontage road. That's usually where you catch the wind blowing full-blast in your face. The wind wasn't bad for our run, but it was cold.
On our way out on the frontage road we were looking at the thick fog. We could have used more of that fog on the way back along the frontage road, because there wasn't enough fog to cover the cracks.
I'm not talking about the cracks in the rocks.
As we turned the corner after the east underpass below I-80, we were noticing how cold it was, and we could see our breath. We saw a Subaru drive by slowly and it parked at the corner where the exit offramp came down to the road we were on. Two people got out of the car, a very large man and a woman. They walked over to a light pole and seemed to be interested in the bolts around the base of the pole.
Katy and I didn't say much, we just made our right turn onto the frontage road and we slowed down to cross the cattle guard with Kira. As we looked to the right, all we could see was the man's HUGE PLUMBER'S CRACK, his jeans down to about his knees, bent over looking at the bolts on the ground.
OMIGOD. I don't think they make a coin large enough for that slot.
It was enough to make us start running again. Fast.
After we got away from the crack, Kira started to pull toward the snow again. Katy helped her cool off by cleaning the gravel off the snow she was eating, and gave her another snow hat. Kira loves it.
Kira ran with us for 20 miles, until Wade checked on us and took her with him while Katy and I finished our run. He told us about a cow moose he saw down in the willows but by the time we got there, there were several cars and we didn't see the moose.
We saw clusters of pasque flowers all along the east part of the course.
Later on this spring and summer I will come up here when the snow has melted and we can get into the trails in this area.
So much better than 26 miles downhill on pavement!