Long,hard morning run touching almost every bit of trail in Jefferson County's Mt. Falcon Open Space near Morrison.
Weather: Sunny and cool
When I look at a GPS rendering of most of my runs I either see symmetry, as in when I run a nice long loop, or the simple, thick, squigly line of an out-and-back. Today's run provided neither familiar pattern.
Today's GPS rendering of a run in Mt. Falcon Open Space park looked more like something one would get by radio-collaring an inebriated bear and turning him loose in the foothills..
The route Scott J. and I ran today, which Scott calls "Version One," takes one to nearly every trail in the park, save for a brief equestrian bypass up top and the lower portion of the Castle Trail, which descends down the frontside of the park and is the alternative to the hiker-only Turkey Trot Trail (a more scenic and singletrack ascent/descent).
After a quick greeting in the chilly winds buffeting the lower parking lot, we set out at a steady climbing pace up through the early steeps and then onto the more gentle grades of the Turkey Trot Trail. We then merged onto the Castle Trail and climbed to the picnic shelter and hit a split of 31:19 (a PR for me by a couple of minutes...but only the third time I've run up that route).
From there, we ran up a couple of dead-end ascents (with views) before getting back on the Castle Trail and running it to it's high point. Next up were a series of loops on the Parmalee, Old Ute and Devils Elbow Trails before returning to the Castle Trail for the descent.
I was dragging on the last few ascents, feeling like I'd pretty much out-run the calories provided by the homemade fruit/greens/protein smoothie I'd had for breakfast. I was ready for some gravity-assist by the time we hit the picnic shelter and began cruising back down to the lower parking lot.
All-in-all, a good, tough run on a beautiful Thursday morning. The wind was all but gone by the time we got back to our cars.
2,903 feet of elevation gain.