Monday, April 11, 2011

Hall Ranch 14 Mile Trail Run

Do you ever have a night that is just perfect? Cory and I fell into bed Saturday night with one of our bedroom windows open, it's still pretty chilly overnight but we both like a cold room to sleep in. I woke up sometime during the night to hear rain and probably hail, it was so peaceful to lay in bed and listen to the rain, it reminded me of being a kid in Oregon. When we got up later in the morning it was blue skies and sunny, perfect, we get the much needed moisture but I don't have to run through it!

Cory quickly whipped up a batch up whole-wheat blackberry pancakes and eggs while I searched for a fun new trail for us to run. I wanted to run anywhere between 10 and 16 miles. I came across Hall Ranch Trail in Lyons with this description:
It does not get any better than the first half of this route, which is on the Nighthawk Trail - really one of the finest runs in the Colorado Front Range, especially near its western end where spectacular views of Longs Peak appear. Grade: An average six degree angle of ascent seems easy on the excellent Nighthawk Trail. The route becomes more rocky and uncertain during its second half, primarily on the Bitterbrush Trail, which is somewhat more eroded.
Sounded perfect so I packed up everything I needed and headed up to Lyons.
I brought two pairs of shoes, in case my new trail shoes gave me trouble, they didn't =). I am not a light traveler, I tend to throw in anything I think I might need, plus at least two magazines, heaven forbid I don't have something to entertain me for two minutes.

I threw on my compression capris, long sleeve shirt and jacket thinking I would be good for a mid 40-50 degree run. As soon as I stepped outside I was cold so I ran back in to throw on my full tights. I should have grabbed gloves and ear warmers too since the wind was very cold.

We got the the trail head easily and got ready to go.

We started off with a nice gentle uphill, the trail gains 1550 ft in the first four miles so it was runnable but I was feeling the incline and feeling grateful that the Colorado marathon is mostly downhill.
If you look closely you can see the trail winding down the hill. We had some prairie dogs visitors along the way, before heading back down to the parking lot. The path back down was much steeper the way up.
We ran into a heard of deer with lots of juveniles in tow, such a cool sight, they were still fluffy with their winter coats.
When we got back to the parking lot we wanted to add a few miles so we did a quick out and back for a total of 14 miles. Over all it was a good run, but the trails kicked my butt, so much harder than roads! On our way home we stopped in Boulder at Whole Foods to grab sandwiches. We then took ice baths showered and relaxed at home.

Today is a rest day and I need to figure out what to do with our training plan since our gym canceled our normal spin class. And rethink summer race plans since two family weddings are on the same day as two races we were planning on, at least we hadn't signed up yet.

Happy Monday Everyone!


  1. Looks like an awesome run!! I wish I had trails like that near me.

  2. gosh, that is totally my kind of day. I love the trails, being in nature and taking it all in. Cheers!

  3. I'm so jealous of those trail runs... they look amazing!

  4. That sounds awesome! I totally want to do some trail runs this spring/summer!