Sunday, March 27, 2011

Falcon Trail Run

In a few weeks I'm running the Cheyenne Mountain 25k trail race (that's 15.5 miles). So when I have a 2hr 45min endurance run on the schedule, I better be hitting the trails. Today I decided to check out Falcon Trail at the Air Force Academy. It's not too far from my house and should be a good 13 mile loop. So off I drove to the trailhead of a spur near the B-52 lot (and yes, there is a big B-52 there). I got my bottles ready, put on my jacket, hat and gloves, as it was very foggy and probably only 35 degrees, if even that. I walked to the trailhead and it was closed. There is some construction going on and this short access trail apparently goes right through that. So...back in the car I went and drove up the hill to the main trailhead. Made sure I was ready again and off I went. 

The main trailhead is up at the top of the hill, so I knew the first part of the trail wouldn't be too bad. It was actually a gorgeous run. I only saw a couple people the entire time I was out there, and the views (what I could see through the fog) were phenomenal!  The first half felt good and my legs were hanging in there. I'm at the end of a 3 week block so my legs were already pretty beat up. Riding my bike over here yesterday on the roads with Team In Training on my first climbing session in about 6 months didn't help much either. 

Some highlights...
Last week I ran 2:30 without any calories - just electrolytes. Today I stopped around mile 7 and ate half a LaraBar. I felt better and trotted along. I was also popping Hammer Endurolytes. I felt any bit of a hill and walked quite a bit between mile 9 and 11. Had a Mint Chocolate Gu somewhere in there as well.  It gave me a little more energy, but my legs were just feeling toasted and roasted! Once the trail started slightly downhill again, I was able to pick up the pace and chug along to the finish. Glad to be back at the car - a great workout to end a 3-week block of training...and I do hope my recovery week is a good one! But I'll definitely be back on this trail, either running or with my mountain bike in the future!
Here's the Garmin Data.

Here are some photos from the trailhead - I didn't bring my phone on the trail to take pictures.

the clouds and mountains above the AFA
it was foggy/snowy/rainy
imagine the view without the fog...
clouds couldn't make up their mind


Dustin said...

I LOVE the Falcon Trail! My favorite mountain bike trail in our area. Last year's inaugural 24 Hours of Colorado Springs was held there and will host the National Championships this year on October 1st. That's the last race on my schedule this year, Nicole! Woohoo!

Nicole said...

Hey Dustin! I was thinking about you and that race while I was running...
I am definitely going to have to get my mountain bike on that trail for sure!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Gorgeous pics!