Keith pinged Steve and me last night to get together this morning for a hill run.  Keith is training for a mountain trail run and so he is working the trails in the foothills above Boulder into his training regimen.  We didn’t synch up because we all have different perspectives on time and what constitutes a morning run.  For me, 10am would be the earliest, after I’ve read the paper and drank a pot of coffee.  Good thing because Keith ran Betasso.  That climb is clearly beyond my current capabilities.  I have the cardio but my legs are much too weak.  I don’t want to risk re-injury of my hamstrings.  Lest you think I’m a wimp, the start to Betasso is an extremely steep mile rise.  The Empire State building is a quarter mile high, so you just think about starting your run by climbing four Empire State buildings.  At altitude.  The free fall back down on the return is another adventure my legs don’t need.

Instead, I ran the East Boulder Trail.  This trail is no picnic, but the hills are much more gentle than the start to Betasso Trail.  The bridge over Boulder Creek is still out so I only got in five miles.  Good run though, all the hills are contained in that stretch between Boulder Creek and the water tower.  Even though I ran slow, I could tell my cardio was strong on the hills.  Good to know.

I set goals for this year around increasing my speed at the 10K distance.  So far, my injuries have set my training regimen.  Every injury is a learning opportunity.  This time around, I determined I need more strength in my hamstrings.  I’ve been running more off muscle memory than muscle mass.  After my runs, I dedicated time to leg weights.  I have since turned that more into calisthenics.  They feel more natural than weights.  More recently, I am doing less calisthenics and instead am dedicating more post-run time to stretching.  Sure, this pattern will soon have me on the couch drinking beer after my runs.  I’m evolving.

I run the Colorado Marathon 10K next weekend.  This will be my first race in five months.  I initially planned it to be a warmup to the Bolder Boulder.  Possibly a time trial to qualify me for a fast starting wave.  Those plans have changed.  I’ll probably only push myself the final 3 miles of the 10K, after a good 3 mile warmup.  This will still be good to condition me for the Bolder Boulder, although I’ve given up on running any speedy times the first half of this year.

The photo of Ellie in her new dress signifies a big birthday weekend.  I’ll complete my 54th trip around the sun tomorrow and Ellie turns 14 Tuesday.  The story on the dress is she wanted to buy it a few weeks ago from a dress shop in the neighborhood.  She went to coffee this morning with her friend Lindsey and walked by the shop to look at the dress.  Ellie was utterly destroyed when she saw it was no longer for sale in the window.  She coveted that dress.  An hour later, our neighbors Wendy and Chase stopped by to present it to her as a birthday gift.  I expect the smile currently beaming on Ellie’s face to be there all day.