12/25: Mines of Spain: 49:19/477ft gained - Josh Sun and I kept our Christmas morning run streak alive and hit the road that runs through the Mines early on Christmas morning. The run felt more like a trail thanks to the snow and ice covered roads.
12/26: Mines of Spain: 45:18/682ft gained - I started at the same place as I did yesterday but opted for trails instead of the road. I was pleasantly surprised with how packed they were. I ran the trail out and the road back.
12/27: Roads of DBQ: 49:40/390ft gained - I joined Wes for a predawn run around his, my old, neighborhood. Of course the streets were very familiar and it was fun to run past my old apartment.
12/29: Mines of Spain: 3:00:06/1,828ft gained - By far the highlight of the week as far as running goes. An awesome mix of road and trails typical of what I used to do as a long run back home during the winter. The Mines of Spain is beautiful as ever right now with the snow cover and the company couldn’t be beat with Josh joining me for one more run before Hannah and I head home to Colorado.
Wow... I knew running back home would feel easy but I underestimated just how much easier it would feel. It almost felt like cheating. I realize that anyone can go live and train at altitude but I've never gone to bed one night, woke up the next, and felt like I was superhuman. I was thinking about running a mile all out or something like that to somehow compare the effort level of running at sea level to that of 6,000 feet. I ended up skipping that, so I don't have any real numbers to back anything up. All I can say is that many of the short but steep hills at the Mines that would leave me gasping for air quickly didn't really phase me at all. Of course like any other run if I went long enough or hard enough fatigue would sink in and hit me but after living in Colorado since May I'm going to have to go a lot longer or harder when back home to feel like I did when I was running and living there.
I also have to mention how beautiful and inspiring it was being back home. I always take for granted what I have in my backyard. When I first moved to Colorado and became more and more comfortable in the mountains it was easy to disregard the trail running I did back home. The hills weren't long enough, the views just failed to even compare, and lets face it.. no one "famous" runs the trails of Dubuque Iowa. Was I turning into a trail running snob? Flatirons this, or 14er that.. All of that thinking is just plain wrong. The trail running I did back home, the trails in which I fell in love with trail running, are as every bit legit as trail running out here. Green Mountain vs Calcite Hill, one isn't better than the other. They both have a rightful place in the trail running community, especially in my trail running community and I hope to run many more miles up and over both of them for years to come.
|Yet another long run logged at The Mines for Josh and myself.|
|Up on the bluff with the mighty Mississippi in the background.|