Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekend Running and Not Running

Great Saturday morning run at Pine Valley Ranch/Buffalo Creek. Tough day mentally on Sunday.

Time: 2:25
Distance: 15.25 miles
Effort: Easy
Body: Fair
Weather: Sunny and warm

With a 5:30 a.m. Saturday meet-up time, Steve, Lori, Maura and I were running up the Buck Gulch Trail at JeffCo's Pine Valley Ranch just a bit after 6 a.m.  Once we started climbing up out of the Platte Valley, the temps started climbing into perfect running temp territory.

Unfortunately, Steve was not feeling well, so he turned around to catch a cat nap back at the car to see if he could pull things together and still get in some decent miles (he did).  The three of us quickly made time/distance plans and I set off solo running ahead at a bit quicker pace.

The plan was to run about 2:20 and meet back at the cars and decide then what to do next.

I headed up Buck Gulch to Skipper, then hopped on Homestead to Miller Gulch, a two track.  I ran Miller Gulch over to the second Gashouse Gulch connector and made a small 1.5 mile loop, popping back on Miller Gulch at the first Gashouse turn-off.  I continued cruising down Miller Gulch, a really nice, rolling, soft-surfaced old logging road, to the junction with the Homestead Trail.  I hung a left and ran Homestead back to the Strawberry Jack Trail and ran that back to Pine Valley Ranch.

The Miller Gulch/Homestead Trails junction.
The Homestead Trail passes right through a couple really cool rock formations.
I ended up back at the Pine Valley Ranch parking area about 10 seconds after Lori and Maura, who had run a 2-mile shorter version of the route I did.  I opted not to tempt fate too much and called it a day. My back was pretty tight from the descent down Strawberry Jack...nothing serious, but enough warning signals to make the call pretty easy.

So, Maura and I headed back to Evergreen and Steve and Lori headed out to catch a few more miles.

I really like running in the Buffalo Creek Area. It's easy to string together runs of 15 - 50 miles. And, the trails are all runnable, soft-surfaced and scenic. Tough to go wrong.

1,981 feet o' elevation gain.

On Sunday, I was flummoxed by the ferocious wind that was blowing all day. It started about 3 a.m. and never relented. I managed a one-mile walk with the dog in the morning and another in the late afternoon, but was so chastened by the conditions, I bagged running for the day. Thought about a quick trip to the rec center for a treadmill run, but I was mentally shut down. All the injury crap of late was getting to me. Just tired of aching. I really have no acute, can't-run-on-it pain. Just a bunch of background discomfort...just enough to zap energy and mental fortitude and make me wonder when in the hell will I feel like running hard again.

Good thing there's IPA, or IBA - India Black Ale.

The latest find:

This gem of an IBA is from Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Good to know there's good beer coming out of Milwaukee.  Perfect combo of hoppy bite and the smoothness of a mild porter. Good stuff.


  1. Sorry to hear about all the injuries. Hopefully you get them all worked out soon and can get back into a good training rhythm. I see you have a 100 planned in Sept too. Awesome!!

  2. Training rhythm...good way to put it. That's exactly what I'm feeling the need for.

    Also, great to hear from you. Good to know you're still kicking. Running much? Join us for a weekend long(ish) run one of these days.

  3. "Flummoxed" - now there's a great word. Sounds something I would say. Or at least think.

    Buffalo Creek looks like a pretty nice place. How far a drive from say I70/C470?

  4. I try to work in the word "flummoxed" at least once every 37 posts. Makes the liberal arts majors of the world rest a little easier.

    Buffalo Creek is an easy drive from 1-70/C-470. Just head south/east on C-470, hang a right on Highway 285 and take it 35 miles or so to Pine Junction (first stoplight). Hang a left there. Go downhill six miles until you see the Pine Valley Ranch sign (before the town of Pine). Take a right there and in half a mile you're at the trailhead. There's other access points, but PVR offers a great place to start/end a loop.

    Thanks for the comment!

  5. I wish I could join you guys. Unfortunately I've been out of the game for 6 months. Ended up having knee surgery back in Jan and it's only now that I'm getting to the point where I can try some light jogging...and this is after 6 months off. I'm pretty much starting over now....

  6. Damn, JM. Sorry to hear you had to hit the surgery path. Hopefully there's some solace in knowing you did what you had to do to get stronger. I'm sure the rehab has been a blast. Good luck w/ the reentry to running. Stay in touch.