Monday, February 14, 2011

Winter running

This has been the kind of winter where, when wintry weather strikes, it seems to hang on for a longer-than-desired number of days of, shall we say, "challenging" running. Then, just when you're ready to thrown in your running shoes, out bursts the sun, glistening off the snow-covered mountain tops and brightening the Colorado-blue sky.

Those bursting-with-sunshine days also offer up plenty of incentive to run in new venues or revisit old favorites long buried in snow. Some of the highlights of this winter's sunshine days running:

A new version of an old favorite affectionately known as the Cirelli loop after the fella who designed the route for our satboys running gang back 15 years or so ago when we were all training for marathons. At the time, only a few of the miles were on trail, the remainder on roads ranging from dirt to highway. Slowly over the years new trails have been developed replacing all of our road segments, with the final segment just now opening to the public. And, as an extra bonus, much of the trail mileage is up high offering incredible views of the Continental Divide. A new trail loop is just about the best gift a runner can receive during the height of winter!

A variation of a favorite trail loop. Since my usual 'up' segment, a rather rocky bit, was still covered with snow I went up my usual 'down' segment but rather than up and back, I went up then zigged over, up, and into the woods on a different trail. A run on an old favorite with a bit of variety thrown in - an excellent interlude to the winter's challenges. Extra bonus here: this particular trailhead boasts Boulder's "outhouse with the best view" winner.
[The view from inside the Big Bluestem/South Boulder Creek trailhead outhouse]

A cabin fever buster of a run - off to Longmont, just east of Boulder, for a run along the full length of the St. Vrain Greenway Trail. A lovely trail through the town of Longmont, but tucked peacefully back along the St. Vrain River. Refreshing and relaxing all rolled up into a delightful morning's run.
[Just finishing theSt. Vrain Greenway Trail
Looking west from the east-most trailhead ]

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