In preparation for a difficult mountain race, I am including mountain trail runs as much as possible. In order to do this I leave very early in the morning so I can still be back in time to help with family and get to work on time! So, it gets fun running in the mountains early in the morning.
Today, we started running right when you could see the sun begining to shed a little light on the skyline. I had my headlamp on for the first 45 minutes of the run. The first few miles of the run is going straight up the mountain. Well, it was really running switchbacks that take you to the top of the mountain. Early in this ascent I turned on a switchback and saw the reflection of about 40 red beads shining at me. It was incredible there were 20 big elk just staring at me! They took off up the mountain side. For the next 30 minutes we continued to run into the elk as we continue up the switchbacks. We saw a great deal of wild life. Trail runs always include beautiful scenery…. I love running in Colorado!
Now, some may ask, “Why run in the mountains when you can run all of the pathways in Denver?” Good question, my response is twofold….
1. MENTAL- I have to be able to look at several ascents up a mountain and have the CONFIDENCE that I can make it up the mountain and back down! Furthermore, the process of the difficult task is actually refreshing.
2. PHYSICAL- Trail running works different muscles. My muscles need to be trained to make it up and down the mountain. Learning how to navigate a technical course is just as important.
It is important to switch up training from trails and pathways!