Saturday's run was a medium-length run along Bear Creek, and I ended up running from Lakewood to the town of Morrison and back.
Distance was 17.20 miles, time 3:42 (moving 3:04), elevation gain/loss 921 feet, avg. pace 12:57 (moving 10:42), and best pace 7:49.
I guess at this point, on flat terrain, regular = up to 12 miles, medium = 13-19 and long = 20+. It's arbitrary, but that's how I think about it these days. It was a fun, easy run, undisciplined compared to last week's 50k, and certainly slow. My short attention span came into play in full force.
I keep taking photos of green corridors because they are unusually green for Colorado, and because it's still filling in for the season. The richness and variety in the woods is shocking after a few years in the arid West. Still surprisingly few bugs, but at one point mosquitoes tried to land when I slowed down.
Go a few yards away from the river however, and things quickly become near-desert. The small cacti were not in bloom, but these yucca flowers were over in Morrison near one of the Red Rocks entrances.
I was checking out how far it is to the Mt. Morrison trailhead, because that would make for a pretty cool out-and-back run, about 22 miles and maybe 3k of vertical. The Bear Creek path goes under C-470 and links up with the bike path in Morrison, then there's a very short bit on shoulders before you get to Red Rocks.
This orange rock is on singletrack between Morrison Road and the Bear Creek Lake, where I go to use the water pump:
The presence of water and restrooms in this park does make it pretty convenient. It's kind of cool to run singletrack through the woods and along Bear Creek, then pop out in picnic/parking areas as needed.
Looking south to where the lake sits (the rain held off during my run):
There was a break in the threatening storm clouds, and low light slanted over the park, illuminating far hills. For a while the light skimmed the top of the rolling hills I was running on, and my surroundings took on a golden cast.
As the path was about to re-enter the woods where the golf course ends and the homes begin, I looked back and saw this:
And the sky was like stained glass in the gaps between trees, which were green and ghostly gray. It was unusual and surreal, like a set from some science fiction movie with dinosaur bones, where live specimens could be lurking in the trees:
When I was standing there composing this shot, something was rustling in the brush behind me, and when I finished and turned around, a mouse darted back into the weeds. As I rounded a corner on the path a few hundred feet later, I surprised a coyote in a clearing that was headed towards the houses near by, and it nervously bounded back into the weeds. The night shift had clocked in.
Later in the evening, the clouds morphed into crazy lightning storms, with noise rolling continuously overhead (not just single shots), and with rain and hail. Amazingly the power stayed on, and Sunday it is sunny again.