Tempo Training Morphs into Scenic Trail Run

Boulder Creek 5-2015.jpg

I restarted my half marathon training this past week, having passed up the May 2 Windsor Green Half Marathon to run the 10k instead (and surprisingly, did PR of 47:07 (or 7:35 min/ml pace). I didn't feel quite ready for the 13.1 miles as my right hip flexor was a little weak. The Water to Wave Half Marathon is scheduled for August 9, a decent enough amout of time, I hope, to strengthen the hip flexors and related areas and run enough longer miles to accomplish this distance.

Today is one of our final days in Boulder; it was also an interval training day (1 mile easy/5 miles at half marathon pace+15 seconds/1 mile easy). The weather at 7:00 a.m. was exquisite, with expected highs in the 80s, a few cumulus clouds maybe gathering for late afternoon thunder showers. The record Colorado rainfall this spring has turned absolutely every free inch of the area into amazing carpets of green interspersed with every shade of purple, lilac, and lavender flower imaginable. I want to do well on race day; and while I run more slowly at altitude, I hoped to meet the scheduled pace.

I slowly jogged down Fourth Street to Pearl Street, turning right past the trails to Mt. Sanitas, through the underpass, and over the wooden bridge above the swollen, thundering Boulder Creek. I had planned to head east on Boulder Creek Trail, a slight downhill that helps my pace. My body turned right, instead, without any forethought, to the west toward the mountains. I could not resist the opportunity to run along the crashing creek, the sun dappling in and out of the fiercely spring green leaves of aspen, pine and sycamore trees, the wildflowers poking through every crevice in the boulders along the pathway, the welcoming trail soon no longer to be a part of our summer.

The tempo training disappeared; I let my body run free, up the slight incline to the turn-around, and then quickly down to central Boulder and Broadway Street. A few bicycles passed me, yelling "runner ahead" to the peloton, barely missing me in their glorious early morning ride on the trail. Birds were long awake from the early sunrise here in this part of the state. They sang joyously, loudly, trying to be heard above the roar of the stream. My heart lightened, the tight muscles worked loose, I cared not about training or schedules or pace. I ran with joy (thank you, Gilbert).