This past Sunday, the boy and I headed to the trails. Him, with his mountain bike; me, with the only equipment I need: running shoes. Okay, okay. And maybe my Garmin 610. A Type A girl has to know how far she’s gone and how fast she’s going.
We started at the Coyote Ridge Trailhead, in the foothills, where Loveland ends and Fort Collins begins. While this trail alone is just a few miles, it connects to several other trails that can take you north or south for miles on end. My intention was to run 10. First, starting out through Coyote Ridge, and eventually connecting to Rimrock Open Space. Depending on mileage, I would head south at Devil’s Backbone and start the Indian Summer loop. The boy would ride for as long as I would be running. He’s accommodating that way.
While the overall elevation was nothing to speak of, the long vertical climbs were! It was no Rim Rock Marathon, but the first two miles were at a gradual incline; first on dirt road, then on single track trails. This was followed by some reprieve, only to continue the rocky incline to the top of the ridge. Once there, the views were breathtaking, looking down into the valley, and across to the other ridge. So, I just kept going.
The next 1.5 miles included a decent downhill, but then another slow climb along the Indian Summer Trail. At the 5 mile turn-around point, I looked back to where I had just come. Thinking about making that ridge was a little daunting. I wish I had pics to prove it, but I don’t typically run with my phone. Hopefully, that won’t come back to bite me at some point. Risk taker. I would
steal borrow some pics from someone else’s site, but then I’d feel bad for a day or two. And I have enough on my mind right now to wonder if “big brother” is watching and going to get mad and sue-crazy about some stolen borrowed pics of Coyote Ridge. So, you’ll have to take my word for it. The incline of the ridge, that is.
But, I’m a tough one, so I headed back with determination. Mostly determination to pass someone who was already on the ridge, making decent progress in that hot sun. Don’t worry, I passed her. My legs might have been totally shot by the time I reached the top, but it was worth it.
By the time I made it back to the trailhead, I was tired. And sunburnt. And elated. Trail running is just that fun. It works you in ways you didn’t think could be worked. Brain included. I couldn’t zone out for this run, but I had to stay alert, so as not to face plant hopping through those rocky sections.
This simple run got me SO excited to do more trail running in preparation for my big summer.
One thing: I need trail shoes. Stat.