Sunday, July 18, 2010

Return to the Stillwell trails

Today's run (Stillwell Woods trail): 4 miles at 9:52

I returned to the trails this morning and went for a run at Stillwell Woods at 8:00 AM in hopes of beating the heat. The tree cover helped with the sun but the humidity was extreme. I followed a familiar route that's more entertaining than challenging and realized that Stillwell's trails are as beautiful as the trails I ran in Colorado Springs. Of course there are no mountains in the distance and no deer along the way (although some rabbits and chipmunks did cross my path). I had the company of other runners and lots of mountain bikers on the trails this morning, more than usual on a Sunday at that time.

As I ran through the woods I paid attention to my breathing in order to gauge the difference between running at sea level versus the 6,000 foot elevations I had encountered over the week. I found it easier to breathe but didn't perceive a great boost in my stamina. I ended up finishing with an average pace that barely stayed in the nine minute range. No problem there. I always expect to run slower on the trails so pace doesn't matter much to me except during a trail race. I decided to finish after reaching 4 miles because I didn't want to push too hard with the increasing heat and humidity. Now that I've had a taste of mountain running I know what I am missing, but being back on my home turf I can also appreciate what I have.

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