Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bolder Boulder Done! On to some fun!

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy running the Bolder Boulder - one of the most fun races ever. And I really like training with my running buddies through the spring, getting ready for Boulder's Memorial Day 10k. But my running preference, by far, is sightseeing by foot via the roads and trails of whatever our world has to offer. So as soon as I crossed the 2017 BB finish line, my running ramble recommenced. Weeehawww!

The Bolder Boulder wrap-up in photos:
Frank Shorter statue greets runners at the last hill to the stadium finish

Darned serious at that stadium finish

And darned happy afterward! (pj, Anita & Connie)

Post-race Memorial Day tribute. Very moving.

Post-race spread at the homestead
The annual VaughanMiller post-BB festivities, going strong after all these years

 So now, with the Bolder Boulder all wrapped up with a bow on top, it's time for some fun running!

Anita, Randall & Connie on the ever-delightful Meadowlark trail

Spring blooms along the Meadowlark trail

Yucca season along the Single Tree trail

Just 'cuz we're not training for a race together doesn't mean we stop our Wednesday workouts. NoSireeBob! Hill repeats on Boomerang. We sure do know how to have fun!
pj, Taz, Anita and Randall on Boomerang Hill

And guess what! Summer is here! Time for more trails! Kendall, Taz, and I hit the road tomorrow pointing ourselves toward Petoskey by way of Ohio and the Ohio and Erie Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Then it's on to Petoskey for the Fourth of July - Up North where they most certainly know how to celebrate the 4th. I'm psyched! Bonus feature: on July 8 I will be running the Waugoshance Trail Half-Marathon along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan from Wilderness State Park to Mackinaw City. Finally! A trail in my home state - just north of my home town, along what may be the most pristine stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline.

Waugoshance Point - Wilderness State Park - photo by Anderson Aerial Photography


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mud Season

With all the oscillating between snow-rain-sun, one can just imagine the mud puddles splashing up all over. And if you're one lively cattle dog, you don't have to imagine those mud puddles. Oh no, you get to run right through them. Thus Paul and I decided today, with its 80 degree sunshine, would be the day for Taz's spring bath. Taz just plain does not like water. And Taz, like our previous dogs, has been trained not to go in the bathroom. But when we approach the bathroom with a cup of treats (tuna today) and we point to the tub, he trots right in. Treats win out every time...he's so easy.

Bath done. Towel in place. And! Yummm!  More tuna!

Fresh fuzzy shiny Taz!

Ah well, so much for shiny... But there's nothing better than a happy pup!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Springtime in Boulder

Just as blossoms appear on the cherry trees and hummingbirds return to the feeders, so too do runners begin their annual cycle of Bolder Boulder training each spring. And, because it is Boulder, we get to experience a myriad of seasons during our Bolder Boulder prep.

April 29 - breaking trail through fresh snow for a Saturday tempo workout

One week later, May 6, too hot to wear a shirt


And a bonus feature on this warm day: cowboys getting ready for a cattle round-up!

Now for this past week.
Our Wednesday run, Kendall and Taz showed up during our cool down and got this pic:

...and the next day, Thursday, same time, same place 
(we ended up with about 6 inches of the white stuff!)

This late May snow storm was a bit messy for a day or two - but graced the flatirons and peaks with sparkling beauty bringing smiles to the faces of my Bolder Boulder training buddies and my long-time Satboys training buddies - all rendezvousing for a run in the sunshine on South Boulder Creek trail..
Randall, pj, Anita, and Connie - speedy training buddies

Joe, pj, AndyE - Saturday running gang

I've been running with all these folks for years. They keep me going - fit, happy, and sane. 
Running buddies - the best of friends!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Trail Quest Goes Southeasterly! Part 3 of 3 - Heading Home

From Charleston, it was time to point ourselves back toward Boulder. Happily, there are quite a few states with trails between South Carolina and Colorado!

North Carolina - State #24 - March 23, 2017
Many folks had recommended a visit to Asheville, North Carolina and it just so happens that a magnificent trail runs through there: the Mountains to Sea trail that travels 1,175 miles from the North Carolina/Tennessee border in the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I was lucky enough to run a bit of this trail near Asheville - followed by a wonderful day and evening enjoying many of the delights that Asheville has to offer.

Starting down the forest trail


There is a teeny tiny runner crossing that bridge!

Yummy post-run breakfast at Tupelo Honey!

An evening of bluegrass - a perfect cap to the day!

Tennessee - State #25 - March 24, 2017
Next up for us was a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

My hope was to find a trail to run on the Tennessee side of the Park, and a trail was indeed found - none other than the Appalachian Trail which running buddy Amie had said was a "must do" during this trail quest. It turns out that it crosses Newfound Gap Road, the road we were cruising through the Park to get from North Carolina to Tennessee. And it turns out that the bit that goes from a parking area at the Tennessee/North Carolina state line hugs the Tennessee side of the state line. I only ran a little tiny piece of the trail (and walked some as well through the not-real-runnable bits) - but it was enough to realize that this trail could be rather addictive.

And after the trail run, a real treat! A rendezvous with our friends Mort and Lysa who were also doing a Southeasterly road trip. Picnic, hike and visit. An excellent day!


Kentucky - State #26 - March 25, 2017
We had debated whether or not to go to Lexington, Kentucky to try to catch some Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games of the NCAA women's basketball tournament - but impending snow storms and Paul's upcoming birthday kept us on more of a direct route to Colorado. Lucky for us, this route took us through Kentucky's Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area which offers up a plethora of trails. Which to run? Which to run? Ah hah! How can one pass up a loop called the Honker Trail?!  Forest, lakes, birds galore, and all kinds of woodland creatures. A honking fine run, indeed!


Between the lakes!


Missouri - State #27 - March 26, 2017
The 237-mile-long Katy Trail that runs across Missouri (much of it following Lewis & Clark's path) has been on my dream list of runs since way before this Trail Quest. I figured I'd just have to find a span of time when I was able to fit in 237 miles of running in order to check Missouri off the list. But, when we left Kentucky and headed into Missouri on our way to I70 and Kansas, lo and behold, we went right past a sign for the Katy trail. I quick got out the maps, told Kendall to take the next exit, and we found our way to a Katy Trail trailhead in Matson, Missouri where I waved goodbye to Kendall who would be picking me up a couple of trailheads down the way in Augusta. 'Twas a thoroughly enjoyable run - and it is definitely a trail worth coming back to to run from end-to-end.



Rock bluffs!
Kendall's overlook discovery

Vulture overlook. Yikes!

Forest flora


Blooming redbuds against the rocks

I'll be back!

Missouri was our last state of this southeasterly trail quest - but the fun continued with a visit to the Stanley family in Kansas City, Kansas. Our eldest's partner, Corinne, a teacher, arrived in KC from Portland for spring break with her family the same day we were to be passing through so we stopped in for visit. Thank you Stanleys, we do so enjoy seeing y'all!

From KC, it was a long haul back to Boulder - but not without some treats along the way - most notably an actual soda fountain in Quinter, Kansas just off I70. Road trip surprises continue!
Root beer float time!

 And best of all - a welcoming party when we arrived back home in Boulder!