There's an impressively large network of trails just on the west edge of Boulder that bikes are frustratingly kept off by the strong arm of a small contingent of vocal locals. Because of this, I've really not explored at all despite having lived here for more than three years. Well that's changing, and it's rather exciting. With the nagging tendonitis below my knee that has been improving ever so gradually since the Divide, intense training for cyclocross hasn't been possible, so I haven't been racing much. And I haven't been riding much. But I discovered that running doesn't aggravate this problem, so what better way to explore some new territory than on quickly-stepping feet?
After some shorter runs during which my body felt great, I've been pushing the envelope a little to see what my legs are capable of. Today's test was supposed to be a 15-mile loop around South Boulder Peak, but part of my plan apparently involved a private road that is under video surveillance. That came 10 miles into the run, and I made the decision to detour around it, adding an hour of running and 1500' of climbing. Damn. I came armed with only a bit of Hammergel and one big bottle, so the last hour was a serious struggle, with my body finally hitting the emergency stop button with half a mile to go, after which there was no more running. I haven't suffered that much since the final 3 hours of the AZT 300 earlier this year. But even with the bonus miles, my body held together, my legs carried me almost the entire way with only minimal walking on the steeper sections, and I had a pretty good time. I'll be doing this loop again sometime, with a few changes to add in more singletrack (singletrack is pretty fun on foot, too) and 6 more miles to make it an "even" 26.2.