I realize the knee high compression socks make me appear like a school girl, but they are actually in fashion for runners so I don’t look out of place in that venue. At least I don’t wear short racing shorts. And I don’t tuck in my shirt for the same reason I don’t wear a belt with shorts. That’s for old men and golfers. Speaking of old men, the Boulder Marathon marks the first time for me since I returned to running road races that no one 60 or older beat me. It is one thing for a 70 yr old to beat me in the IPR when he lives and trains with the other mountain goats at that elevation, but another thing entirely to be out kicked at the end of a 10K in Boulder by a septuagenarian.
I found myself talking to Chris last night at the Burlington Elementary Fall Ball about what age division is the easiest – relatively. My thought is that the two 30 year old age divisions are the least competitive. Not by number of participants, but by how competitive their times are. Said another way – these guys are the biggest slackers. Most likely their focus is on family and careers. Still, thirty year olds are the relative slow guys.
I’m prepared to slow down. The 2012 season is over for me. Had a great run today on the LoBo Trail but overdressed a tad. I said this to a runner who passed by in the other direction around the 2 mile mark. He was wearing leg tights and a jacket. Shortly after I removed my top layer – a Broncos orange long-sleeved t-shirt – and laid it on the ground at the LoBo singage near the Ogallala Road crossing. I also ran the furthest I ever have on this trail. I’ve done ten miles before so know where the five mile turn around is. I suspect today I ran to the six mile turn around for a twelve mile run. The course winds into Niwot housing developments and is spectacular. The trail is nearly invisible under the broad leaves from Cottonwood trees. The path under the canopy of Cottonwood dripped with melting snow so hard it was like running behind a waterfall. Or like dining at the Rainforest Cafe. Metaphors depend on your personal experience.
I began scanning the trail for a meaningful turn-around as I trotted past a smaller dirt path branch off to the right via some open source bridge across the creek. Looked like it just continued along in the same direction on the other side of the creek. Would have been more interesting than this pedestrian trail but I ran past it before having that thought. A quarter mile later I determined to turn back at a spot I thought I could remember because some nice homes came up close to the trail at this point. As I reached it I discovered the other end of the dirt path crossing the creek again. This time I took it. Perfect because I already know where it comes back out now. And it changed up the scenery by changing my running surface with a narrow, slightly muddy trail.
I could have kept going I felt so good but that was an awesome spot to turn back around. I maintained a slow stride the entire run. I collected my shirt at Ogallala Road and tied it around my waist for the last couple of miles. I think now for the winter I will plan to run nice, long slow routes on weekends just like this out my backdoor.