Another weekend, another big training run. The weather has been nice lately, so Ben and I scheduled a little exploratory run on the Colorado Trail. Yeah, yeah, Colorado Trail in spring… you’d think I’d have learned my lesson there. We got a semi-early start and biked up Waterton Canyon seven miles to the start of the “interesting” part of the easternmost segment of Colorado Trail. In fact, the canyon road was lovely and cold in the early morning. Running it would have been nice enough, but we had bigger plans.
We stashed the bikes in the conveniently-located bike rack near the dam, then started hoofing it up really lovely trail through lush forest on CT Segment 1 headed “west”. There were a couple good climbs and a couple decent descents in the first ten miles with views along various directions. We turned around at the South Platte (the Gudy Gaskill Bridge), and puffed back up the long climb to the viewpoint. There had been some rather slick icy on the way in, but it had softened up nicely by the time we hit it on the way out.
I got a bit bonky around mile 14 or so, but we stuck to the plan and tacked on an extra 4 mile loop of the Indian Creek trail rather than head straight back to the bikes. This seemed like a good idea at the time but both of us were a bit chipped on the final few miles. The ride back “down” the canyon didn’t seem as effortless as we’d hoped, but it was still a stout day of good training.
It was my longest run of the season so far at 24.4 miles and it taught me a lot about what I do and don’t have to worry about. Plus, it was a nice exploration of an area I’ve never been in before and a good way to kick off what’s going to be a HUGE spring! Many thanks to Ben for some kindred company. I look forward to stringing segments 2 and 3 together to connect with my previous traverses of segments 4 and 5 and segment 6. Heck, maybe I’ll head all the way to Durango one of these years 😉
Maps and such: https://www.strava.com/activities/276214342