Weekend miles in the wind: Walker Ranch + Davidson Mesa

5:58 a.m.

My alarm goes off at 5:40 a.m. every morning. Sometimes earlier when I go into the office for the day. But every morning when the alarm goes off, and scares the living daylights out of me, I roll over with one eye cracked open and check the weather so I know how many layers my 6:45 a.m. run will require. After the weather, I shimmy out from underneath the warm covers (I bought flannel sheets a couple years ago and I’m never ever going back) and hit BREW on my coffee pot. Then? I pad back to bed and cocoon myself in the quilts for a few more minutes while my fancy coffee machine sputters and burbles and fills the carafe with liquid gold. Oh, you thought liquid gold was reserved pasta water? Or homemade chicken stock? Perhaps, but it is also several cups of freshly brewed and fully caffeinated coffee. I digress. In fact, it’s not one word of a lie when I tell you I go to bed excited to get up in the morning just to have coffee. Is that addiction?

Anyway, I did this whole song and dance yesterday morning as I do, and when I checked the weather, it said 14*. I don’t know about you, but that is about five degrees colder than my minimum requirement for being outside in spandex. No run on Monday for Lindsay. Instead, I rode the trainer for 90 minutes while my Bluetooth speaker blaring my favorite songs shook the walls. It was actually a great ride.

This morning, my sleepy-eyed weather check read 10*. I trust that you can do the math here, but that is almost single digits, and my wimpy ass would really love to keep all her fingers and toes. I grew up in Buffalo, NY so I can handle some cold, but I know where the line is. I hopped on the trainer again for another 90 minutes of scream-singing The Glorious Sons as I watched the sun stream through my windows and light up the frost covering the corners. Now, it’s not supposed to stay 10* all day today, but afternoon runs just don’t go so great for me, and sometimes my days spin out of control with meetings and hot projects and whatever else is considered an emergency in the advertising and marketing world, so I feel better getting a sweat session out of the way first thing if I can help it.

Unlike this week, we did have some beautiful temperatures this past weekend on Saturday and Sunday. But whenever the temperatures are decent and the sun is shining in February, that only means one thing: wind.

On Saturday, I decided to take my chances at Walker Ranch, a popular trail west of Boulder in the mountains. I dedicated an entire post to it right here if you want to read that.

Since it’s a bit higher in elevation, lots of the trail is shaded and I had a feeling it would be icy…and my intuition was right. I took the loop counterclockwise at first and made it maybe 1.5 miles before having to turn around.

Then, I tried my luck and took it clockwise from the trailhead and only had a little bit more luck when I was forced to turn around maybe 2 miles in when I hit ice again.

I think I could’ve gotten away with doing the whole loop in spikes, but I didn’t bring any with me, like an idiot. I clocked just over six miles with more than 1,000 feet of climbing for the day, which was plenty for me.

On Sunday, the wind was forecasted to really pick up, so I headed out the door in the morning hoping to get in some miles before the worst of it came through town in the afternoon. Spoiler: I didn’t miss any of the wind, and I didn’t pick a great trail to run that day because Davidson Mesa is completely exposed and the wind blows over the trail like even the gusts themselves have tailwinds.

I got pushed around, but enjoyed a very lovely tailwind almost the entire way home, smashing my PRs in both the mile and the half mile. Has that ever happened to you? Do you you feel guilty? I do…kinda. But I guess it gives me something to work toward in normal conditions, on flat surfaces, without Mother Nature’s helping hand.

Ok. Well, I’m crossing my fingers for some bearable running weather tomorrow morning. Have a lovely week.

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