Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Beauty of All Things Wild

After working last night and watching the dawn appear in vivid oranges, yellows, and reds

I crawled into bed looking forward to my night run. My third shift schedule prevents me from enjoying a lot of my group runs lately so I have to be extra diligent on getting my training in on my own time. Unfortunately that doesn't leave me with a lot of daylight to work with. Tonight I headed out around 2030 to Matthews/Winters Park in Morrison armed with two lights and my dog.

Some days I hit the trail knowing the exact route and mileage I will be taking, especially if I don't know the trail well ahead of time. Most days, however, I play eenie-meenie-miney-moe as to what trail I will run (as I nosh on breakfast: "hmmm what trail calls me today?") and then don't make a route choice until I have already started running. I like it that way. Although kinda crazy, it gives me a nice dose of internal suspense.

The trail was a breath of fresh air- soft packed dirt, well-placed (by nature) rocks to leap and bound off of, great climbs and descents with a fair amount of greenery to add a dampness to the air. The sun started setting fast once I reached the top of the climb and began my descent down the other side, casting bright pinks and purples over the city.
the climb was off to the right of this pic

As always, I clicked off the ipod as soon as dusk hit so that I could hear the chirpings of the night and become better aware of my surroundings.  I switched on my handheld lamp first to chase away the beginning shadows and then eventually flicked on the headlamp for better depth perception. I like to wait until there is absolutely no more visible light before I put on my lights. It is fun to concentrate hard on foot placement and feel like a child of the night before succumbing to our "human-ness" and lack of night vision. The air cooled off to the perfect temperature as I began to sweat and feel my heartbeat pulse in my ears. 

It was a gorgeous night as I looked up to see the stars peeping out into the night sky. Seven miles, five deer, one snake, one mouse trying to get a drink from the stream I crossed, a bunch of birds, and a baby skunk later I jogged back up to the car. What a wonderful run to remind me of all things lovely in Colorado. My legs felt the burn going up but were given enough downhill to stretch it all out and make them warm and cozy.

And...right now I have a sacked out pup snoring at my feet and pumping his giant paws chasing that deer I refused to let him run after tonight. Life is grand.

-oooh and mid-run, cowboy texted me a surprise: a picture of one individually wrapped giant Granny B's pink frosted cookie we now dub "the crack cookie" that he discovered at a store on his route to work. He hasn't notified me yet where he bought said crack cookie but be darn sure as soon as I find out I will be marching in demanding them sell me a case!! Maybe I can even get them to put me on a frequent buyer discount program, ya think?

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