For the 4th time this summer I ventured to this spot in the hills outside of Boulder. It was to be my longest run since the Leadville Heavy Half (15.5 miles) back in July.
It’s about a 45 minute drive to the start of this run. Why drive so far just to run? Seems stupid. Well, it’s not, so stop saying that.
The reason I go is this:
High starting elevation. Rolling hills with some elevation gain (1,550 on this run). Cooler temperatures. Nice, wide, soft dirt roads. Kara Goucher goes here and someday I will run into her and and ask to touch her abs and she will ask to be good friends and I will say yes.
About this run: we won’t talk about the huge black deer flies that swarm around you the sweatier and smellier you get (or if you have to do some roadside pit stop business). And, the many discarded empties of Bud and Keystone Light (although I did not see any used condoms as I did on my run last week). And, road kill. Lots and lots of fresh road kill. If I was on Naked and Afraid I would be in heaven. This road is also heavily travelled by the mascot car of Colorado – the Subaru. Suburu drivers if you are reading this, slow the f&ck down.
The thing is, when you are training for a race your routes need to be race-specific. That means you should train on the surface (trail, asphalt, concrete) your race will run on. You should try to simulate race conditions as best as you can (altitude, climate, etc). I think Magnolia Road is probably the best training simulation I can do for my upcoming ultra relay.
So, Joie and I started out, hydration packs in place at about 8:00 a.m. I brought about 50 ounces of water – it was going to be warm. It was blustery (said Winnie the Pooh to Piglet) and beautiful. It seemed like we had gotten higher than the huge haze of smoke hanging around Boulder/Denver for the past week (from the fires in Washington/Oregon I think).
This road is constantly rising up and heading down, giving your body a chance to vary muscle usage. We hit the turn around at 7.3 miles. I had a peanut butter/chocolate Chia Bar and a couple of strawberry Shot Bloks (margarita flavor would have been better). A weird reason I like Chia bars? Because I continue to find the swollen chia seeds in my teeth for hours to come. It’s like the bar that keeps on giving.
As we started heading back, we heard voices behind us. Many times I’ve shared this road with shirtless/hairless cross country hunks, but I’ve never seen them like this:
It was a whole freaking herd of these specimens. I think they were from CU’s cross country team. We stood aside and I made really hilarious comments like “Hey! Is it a rule you cannot wear shirts if you are on this team?” I am sure the boys are still talking about my wit. And, then I yelled creepy 48-year-old-mom comments like, “Nice pecs” and “Sweet package blue shorts on the right!” <just kidding, did not say that even once.
Overall the run felt good. We kept a pretty chill pace and I tried to stay even on the ups and downs. The best part? When we were driving down the canyon Joie suggested we get in the creek. Nature’s ice bath, baby!
I did get in further than this, but I am a pussy in the icy cold water and almost could not take it. If I had balls they would be very, very small and tucked in.
Why the post run ice-bath torture?
- Reduces swelling and tissue breakdown
- Blood flow increases post-ice bath as tissues try to warm up
- Flushes unwanted debris out of the system
So do it and stop complaining. I will if you will.
What was your run this weekend? Next race you have coming up?
Do you do ice baths? Not nearly as much as I should. I love warm showers, which increases inflammation.Not good.
Weirdest thing you’ve ever found on a run? Last year I found a parakeet.