Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rez Run

This morning my oldest child had a speech and debate tournament, and since I'm her personal chauffeur, I found myself out near the Pueblo Reservoir in Pueblo West this early this morning.  The weather in SoCo has been unseasonably warm the last couple of weeks think (65-75 degrees) and though it was a bit cool and cloudy this morning, it made for perfect running weather.

My route included a mix of paved trail, dirt roads, and mountain bike trail.  I also managed to accidentally work in about a half mile of "off piste" when I happened to run out of discernible trail.  All told, my run was sixteen miles.  Here's a map of the route:

The "rez" is fairly quiet this time of year, unlike the summer where there's plenty of boaters, campers, anglers, and other "outdoors enthusiasts."  The fact that it was just a bit after seven in the morning also helped. I saw only a few cars here and there, along with a few people.  I also used this run to do a little "recon" for some potential Paddle Boarding locations.  The far end of the lake seems to be the ideal location for hanging out.

February makes for a calm, tranquil time out at the reservoir
The first five miles of the run flew by fairly quickly as most of it was on paved path or dirt roads.  There were a few rolling hills here and there, but nothing too dramatic.  A ways into the trail, that changed a bit. Miles 5.5 to 7.5 were a mixture of short, steep climbs, and winding mountain bike trails.  This was also the point where I found myself losing the trail and just running among the scrub brush that dots the landscape.   I tried a few times to pick up a path, but nothing lasted for more than a few hundred feet.  Thank goodness it's the middle of winter so I didn't have to worry about snakes (the reservoir area is prime rattlesnake country).  I was high up on a ridge line skirting the side of a few cliffs and since I'm not the biggest fan of heights,  I finally doubled back and caught a trail that eventually spit me out into a neighborhood in Pueblo West.  I followed a few streets that led back toward the trails before coming to "the end of the road."  Fortunately for me, the sign below only referred to vehicles!  It wasn't a true dead end, but rather a trail head.

I worked my way back down to the trails and under a railroad bridge.  I was now on the return leg of my out and back run.  Although the trail was steep in some points, it was nothing compared to last weekend's slog up the side of Pike's Peak along the Barr trail.  That run was only a total of about six and a half miles, although it felt much longer.  Although I had to stop a time or two to get my bearings, I was not doing my usual 5:1 run:walk ratio that I often do on long runs.  I tried to keep a bit stronger pace throughout the run today.
The railroad bridge near the reservoir.
Close-up under the bridge

Just past the bridge, I ran up to the point where the railroad maintenance road comes to an end.  I'd run by this point a few miles earlier and noticed that there had been a recent bonfire, perhaps from the night before.  As I passed by again, this time I noticed that some of the wood from the fire was starting to burn anew.  Although it wasn't out of control or anything, I decided I better let them know back at the entrance gate in the event that the wind started to pick up.  There's plenty of brush or trees, and coupled with the dry warm weather, it could turn into a bad situation pretty easily.  However, when I arrived at the gate, it was still closed. I did manage to find the number for the visitor's center and I gave them a quick call to let them know what was up.  Better to be safe than sorry, they decided to send a couple of park rangers over to check it out.  With my citizenship badge earned for the day I continued with my run!

I still had about 5 more miles that I needed to run.  However, because I'd made a straight line for the park gate, I was only about a mile and half from the car.  I turned right and ran back down towards the reservoir picking up another trail (Skyline) which followed above the water line.  Eventually this trail slid north and kicked me back out onto the road.  I passed back by the gate again and checked my phone.  This little loop had added about three and a half miles, so I was able to head towards the parking lot and my awaiting car.
For some reason, I started thinking about Golf at this point, even though I don't play!
I made it back to the car with a total moving time of two hours and forty minutes.  Overall, I felt pretty good.  My legs were a bit tired, but I chalk that up to a bit more trail running than I'd planned.  I'll do another lower mileage run next weekend before making a push up into the 25-30 mile range in two weeks.
Nice view of Pikes Peak from the path.