Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Still Kickin': 50th Birthday Running Tour of Fort Collins

You only turn 50 once.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Consistent with my past behavior, I decided to have a moving tour for my birthday. No multiple trips around the cemetery this time, and no Walmart shopping. This year it was a tour of Fort Collins. No tour of Fort Collins would be complete without a trip through Old Town, a visit to a brewery, and a few other landmarks along the way.

We congregated to start at Starbucks at 8 am and we had a small group to see us off. My neighbor Stan showed up with his camera and my friend Grace showed up to see us off. Kristin was there for her first 20 mile run, she's training for her first marathon later this year, and Josh showed up for the tour. Ping just got home from Hong Kong and was still jet-lagged but she showed up to run the first mile with us. photo: Stan Wolf

Dale, aka Sasquatch, aka the weather man, was supposed to show but the night before he got dumped on and had car trouble, even the weatherman gets snowed in...but he redeemed himself by providing perfect running conditions all day.

Kristin had been worried about not being able to keep up but I kept reassuring her that it was an easy pace and she'd be fine. She had no problem all day, running up the hills in the last miles and even sprinted at the end past both of us. I keep telling her she has an ultra in her. When she gets done with that marathon I'll be dropping all kinds of ultra hints...
Josh, Kristin and I took off down east Drake and hit the Power Trail going north. The streets and sidewalks were icy in so many places, from the rain and snow the day before. It was clear but cold and throughout the day, even until the end of the run, we were still hitting icy patches in the shade. We had planned to go through Riverbend Ponds but from the looks of the mud next to the bike path, we decided to stick to the path instead of slopping through the mud. It cut about a half mile off of the course, but was a better choice, as the sun was warming the ground fast.

We went west on the Poudre Trail until we hit the first construction detour that took us up Mulberry and into Old Town. About this time we were getting hungry and Josh broke out his compost. He makes this vegan mixture of ingredients that everyone raves about. My issue with it is that it has cinnamon in it, which I don't like. If he made it without the cinnamon I would try it. So I tease him about it being compost. It does look somewhat like compost. I can't tell the difference!

We stopped in Old Town at Silver Grill, which was packed as usual. I chose that spot in case anyone wanted a cinnamon roll, since it is a Fort Collins classic stop. But we got there 20 minutes early and waited around. Hunter and Joanne showed up, Joanne was going to run the next leg with us until the brewery where Hunter would meet us again. We took off from there through Old Town and headed for the cemetery.

On our way up Mountain, Elise met us with her dog, and ran the cemetery and City Park sections with us. I got a text from Felix saying he was on his way up Mountain, he missed us at the Silver Grill. We started our loop around the cemetery and on our way through, we saw Scott running, he caught up to us and joined us on our trip to Odell Brewing.

After the cemetery, we ran through City Park, doing a loop around the lake, and passing the frogs. Then it was time to head for the brewery, and it was beer-thirty.

Josh broke out his compost again for Joanne to try.
At Odell, we hung out and drank a beer. I tried a dry hopped ale called Leprechaun Flute. It was good. I still miss that stuff I had on the beer tour, that was amazing.

Scott took off to finish his run, Joanne and Hunter took off, and Kristin, Josh, Felix and I headed back into Old Town for the final leg through the CSU Oval and to the restaurant. On our way back across Riverside and Mountain, we were stopped waiting for the light to change, and we saw a very elderly man drive his car directly into oncoming traffic in the left turning lane. Fortunately the traffic was stopped but here was this man, stuck in his little car in the middle of a major intersection with semis coming down the road behind him, and all the traffic was stopped. He looked bewildered, and no one was doing anything.

I went out in the middle of the intersection and talked to him through his window, and asked him if he knew how to get himself out of the situation, to see if he understood what was going on. He seemed to be confused about the turning lane, but he told me he was afraid to back out with the trucks coming. I felt like he was coherent enough, and fortunately everyone waited for him to back his car out, and turn around to go down Lincoln.

I don't know what was going on, hopefully he was just confused about the traffic lanes, but I'm not sure...scary.

Felix left us at Library Park and the three of us diehards continued through campus and back to the restaurant, where we arrived an hour and a half early. We completed the loop back to Starbucks and I ran home, logging 20.5 miles for the day. That gave us time to go home and shower to get back to the restaurant for the party at 3.

photo: Shannon Price

It was a fun group at the party, Dennis, running club friends, friends I used to work with at the hospital, our neighbors, and Mr. & Mrs. Wheaties Boy.
Wheaties Boy and I discussed the time change and how we won't need headlamps anymore in the evening, and that means it's time to get serious about speed. Music to my ears.

My neighbor across the street shares a birthday with me, so we are going to continue the party on Monday.

It was such an honor to have everyone there, I can't think of any better way to spend a birthday than with these friends. That is best gift of all.

I had tons of energy and felt great despite having 96.5 miles already logged for the week. I remembered to change the clocks before I went to bed. I woke up early anyway.

Dennis gave me an iPod Nano as a gift. Something I've been wanting to do for a while before my old MP3 player disintegrates completely from thousands of miles of sweat and sunshine.

All I have to do today is a quick 3.5 miles and I'll have 100 for the week. Double my age in miles. Just three weeks until I get to test these 50 year old legs at an ultra for the first time!

And I have to start working on the 51st birthday theme run...


HappyTrails said...


giraffy said...


Happy belated!

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks Kathleen and Heather!