Posted by: jawsome | January 23, 2009

Blue Sky Trail

Well I’m in Boulder Colorado for a meeting with one of my potential internship sites. I spent all day yesterday out in Fort Collins scoping out the town and the places to run.  Before I left, I googled places to run and found the Blue Sky Trail. It’s 16 miles (one way) of connected trails for running, biking, and horseback riding (see map). It took a little doing to find the trailhead – I ultimately found a ranger and asked him. I finally found it, and changed out of my interview gear to hit the trail. On my 1/2 marathon training schedule I’m supposed to be doing 8 miles this week, but with the altitude and the fact that I didn’t bring any water, I settled for 6.

This was the greeting at the trailhead

This was the greeting at the trailhead

I was a little concerned about the wildlife, considering I was running alone on a Thursday afternoon and there weren’t really any people out. I brought my cell phone, and figured that way I would at least be able to call someone while being mauled.

The view from the trailhead

The view from the trailhead

(Sorry for the quality of the images, these are from my anti-mauling cell phone)

The weather was perfect, beautiful cloud formations and about 55 degrees. Northern Colorado has been having a heat wave, and it’s been in the low-mid sixties. Finally today it’s cooled down and is now pretty chilly. There were even some flakes in the air this morning!

Anyway, back to the run…the first 1.5 miles wove through some campgrounds, so were a little disappointing in terms of wilderness experience. However, I suppose it also decreased my chances of getting mauled so that was probably good…

View up the trail

View up the trail

Once I got out, the trail was beautiful – a nice mix of rolling hills, so I wasn’t too affected by the altitude. My “medial” right knee has been bugging me on the last few runs – nothing serious, but annoying. Luckily, I’m  staying with a PT in Boulder, and he reiterated what I already thought: I need to strengthen my quads to help stabilize my knee. The knee wasn’t overly pleased with the run, but it wasn’t painful so that’s good. Even sitting here in this coffee shop I can tell my knee is grumbling to itself. Sigh. More lunges…

More scenic trail

More scenic trail

There were a few mountain bikers on the trail, but mostly I had it all to myself. I started to get really thirsty about mile 3 – I had underestimated the dehydrating effects of altitude. I decided to turn around after 3 miles because I would have been super thirsty. Even as it was, by the time I got back to the farthest of the campsites I was parched.

0122091439Unfortunately for me, they turn off the water at these campsites in the winter so the pipes don’t freeze. I must have looked so pathetic stopping at the water fountain and groaning in dismay when no water was forthcoming. Finally, I made it back to the car where I had half a lemonade left over from lunch. I chugged that and filled it with water from the one working pump. Ahhh.

The 1.5 hour drive back to Boulder was a little rough after that run, I really just wanted to stretch out and relax. Oh well! I think tomorrow we’re going snow-shoeing, which should be realy fun. Hopefully my knee will take a chill pill and leave off with the nagging pain.

Happy winter running!

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Responses

  1. Looks awesome. Have fun in CO.


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