Ragnar Trail Snowmass Bound – Again!

If you’re reading this on Friday, the day I scheduled it to post, I’ll be up in Snowmass, Colorado! Depending on the time of day, I may still be in the tent, catching some sleep, getting ready for my first loop, or recovering from the 6+ mile red loop!

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This is my 5th time running the Snowmass Trail Ragnar. I’ve run it every year they’ve brought the trail race to Colorado. It’s a blast and a new adventure every time with a new team and new memories.

Read about some of my past Ragnar adventures:

My favorite blog post ever and it’s about Ragnar (2016)

Trail Ragnar 2014 Part 1

Trail Ragnar 2014 Part 2

Road Ragnar 2014 Part 1

Road Ragnar 2014 Part 2

Post Bolder Boulder Thoughts & A Look Back On The Years

Now that it’s been a little over a week since the Bolder Boulder, I’ve finally had time to compile my thoughts…

I just love running the Bolder Boulder. As I’ve written before, this event is fantastic! The swag is great, the organization is impressive, and there’s a party around every corner. It’s well worth the low registration fee! As a way to celebrate those that have fought for our country and remember those that have lost their lives, the Bolder Boulder is always on Memorial Day and the race is followed by a show and celebration including paragliders landing in the stadium.

This year was my 8th year running and every year has brought new and unique experiences.

2010
This was my first year running the Bolder Boulder. I had just graduated college and was just breaking into the running events scene. I had done my first half marathon a month prior, so my friend Joanna invited me to join her and her family at the Bolder Boulder. They introduced me to the whole event, including the bus system, the wave system, and everything; things that I still follow to this day! I remember something about her Grandpa having had done this race almost every year prior – or something equally as awesome. I had so much fun! They had cotton t-shirts still (because that’s what races did back then and I wore it ON race day – tisk, tisk!) and Joanna and I ran and walked together the whole event, I think.
Finish Time: 1:10:35


2011
After the previous year, I knew I wanted to run the race again. Looking at Athlinks, and my race document, this is the only race I ran in 2011. I brought up the idea to the boy I was dating at the time who was not a runner – ever, but he decided it sounded fun and wanted to do it with me. I still remember our random training runs, running around the hills of Arvada, the city we both grew up in, with our Camelbak for water on the run, cotton training shirts and shorts, and then stopping by the gas station to get a power bar afterward because we knew we needed the protein. Looking back, it makes we realized how much I have changed as a person and as a runner, in addition to the advancements in running gear, clothing, and technology. I still wore the race shirt on race day – how terrible – but at least it was tech fabric! 😉 Since then, I have also become a personal trainer and RRCA run coach and have learned so much more about training and nutrition.
Finish Time: 1:01:19


2012
Ah! The year I started this blog! I was super gung-ho about training and doing as many races as possible having just started my “racing the states” goal. I was getting faster overall, figuring out training and reading a lot of running books, magazines and articles. I had finally been taught that wearing that race’s shirt on race day was bad luck. I traveled a lot this year and ran a lot of races out of state (including Alaska). Of course, I was going to do the Bolder Boulder again; I had to blog about it! I don’t remember much about that year’s race except that I wanted to get under one hour. I do remember my friend Teresa ran it too (we did a few races together that year) but I can’t remember if we traveled together and met at the end or what!
Finish time: 53:03 (I believe this was a new 10k PR at the time)


2013
This is the year I skipped and when I first started this post, I couldn’t remember why! I was racking my brain trying to figure out why in the world would I not do the Bolder Boulder!?! I was looking through pictures, thinking through where I was in life at the time….But thanks to Athlinks, I figured it out! The week before Bolder Boulder 2013, I was out of town for my best friend’s wedding AND, more related to running, I had just run my first marathon, the Vermont City Marathon, which is Memorial Day weekend!
Finish time: DNS

Holding up one finger for my 1st marathon!


2014
This year, I knew I wanted to come back to the Bolder Boulder. I was a new 3W Ambassador and they had a few free entries they had gotten. After a raffle, I won one! I was still in training mode and working as a personal trainer here and there. I wanted to run fast but I don’t remember what my specific goals may have been.
Finish time: 55:11


2015
I had become a 3W employee and earned a free race entry again. I don’t remember my specific goals, again, but that I wanted to try and do pretty well. I had also run the Colfax Marathon relay the week before and had just finish coaching track so I was pretty tired. However, it ended up being the fastest time I ever got on this course/race. 3W had a booth in the expo, and I’m not quite sure how I got out of working it that year. 2015 was the strongest year for me in terms of running. I was running A LOT and had a ton of running friends. I was working as a personal trainer, a coach and for 3W Races, so I was really fit. Even though I had a couple of jobs, they were very low-key, and I still had a lot of time to train. This was a good running year and when I last felt really strong.
Finish time: 51:53 (Course Best for me, but not a PR. I had PR’d the 10k at the Heart and Sole 10k a few months prior.)


2016
This was a really fun year. My Mom told me she really wanted to do a 10k and do the Bolder Boulder – so we did! We walked/ran and I had a lot of fun taking in the sights and enjoying some of the fun things along the side. I do remember really wanting to do one of the slip and slides, but the lines were always way too long!
Finish time: 1:34:28


2017
Last year! It was the end of 2015 and into 2016 and 2017 when I really start slowing down on running and having a hard finding motivation to train. I did way fewer races than I had the previous 5 years. I think I was finally feeling the effects of working three jobs. Springtime is when track season is and I was starting to become a race director with 3W Races …. all while starting a business with my boyfriend! Since this time, I have still been on and off with training and running, but last year, I wanted to do the Bolder Boulder again. I got another entry through 3W and tried to get a good time, always shooting for a course PR. I didn’t have that in me that year, not by a long shot, and I do remember feeling very tired on the course. I still finished with a respectable time in general but I remember feeling very down about running in general.
Finish time: 55:16


2018
This year, I’m mixed with thoughts. For my lack of training prior, I did pretty well actually, but overall, I know I can do better and I want to. I really, really, really want to be fast again. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m pretty speedy compared to the general running population, but compared to ME, to my past times, I know I have more in me. What it really comes down to is…well, I’m not quite sure and I could probably write a whole post on this topic. To put it in simple terms, I’ve still been dealing with on and off again love and motivation for running. Having only run literally about 13 times during the months of March and April (truth), I still wanted to do the Bolder Boulder this year. I know it will just sound like excuses, but simply, I’ve been tired. Like, really, really, really, tired. It is probably due to my many jobs, but I just haven’t quite found that happy medium and right motivation to make running a priority again. Anyway, I digress. This year, I wanted to run because I love the event as a whole, but I went in with an open mind that I was going to just treat it like a long run (yes, 6 miles is a long run for me right now) and run how I feel. After finishing, I had to immediately make my way to the expo to work the 3W booth.
Finish time: 56:35


Looking back at all the years I’ve run the Bolder Boulder, it is really cool to see the advances in running gear, the racing industry and myself. From race shirts going from cotton to moisture-wicking tech fabric and my running knowledge of training, form and race practices evolving. It’s cool to see trends in the racing industry too, from pictures moving from having to pay for a print to getting sponsors for them so they can be free for racers and so much more!

I will probably try to keep running this race every year. There are few races I do this with; I’m typically a “one and done” type of racer. I do have a few goals in mind associated with this race specifically:

-I want to introduce a new people to this event; whether they are new to running or just new to the event itself.
-Run for complete fun, drink beer, eat all the food, do the slip and slides and the trampoline…all of it… one year!
-Break 50 minutes at this specific event/race because the course is pretty challenging.

Finish photos from every year! They usually get a good one of me except for this year!


Find out for yourself, come run next year! BolderBoulder.com

They used to only have the one event but now have the Colder Boulder in the winter and the Fortitude 10k at my alma mater, CSU in September.

#60HikesDenverChallenge – Rabbit Mountain

(For 2017, I had a goal of getting through all 60 trails in the book “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Denver”  While I didn’t make it through all 60 that year, I have carried this goal into 2018.  All the specific trail details can be found in the book or online, but I’ll highlight some things about each trail in addition to including my experience and opinion on the trail here. The numbers below are associated with how they are labeled in the book if you have it.)

Trail #39 – Rabbit Mountain: Eagle Wind Trail
Completed: 4/1/18 | Number Completed: 20/60 (One third done!)
Mode: Hiking
Location:  2 Miles north of Highway 66 and 53rd (north of Boulder and Longmont and just east of Lyons)
Distance: 3.9 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Type of trail: Hard packed dirt with larger rocks, balloon configuration
Exposure: Not much shade
Facilities: Toilets, Pavillion with picnic tables and a barbeque (no water)

My Experience:
We’re already in April of 2018 and I’ve only had a chance to do a few hikes. Easter Sunday arrived and I finally had a free moment and decided to check off a hike from my book. Since I was up in Longmont at my Mom’s house, I ventured to a trail not far from there. About a 10-minute drive led me to Rabbit Mountain. It wasn’t that busy and the temperature was perfect for a quick hike. I chose to do this trail this time of year because I have been warned by my family that there tends to be a ton of rattlesnakes in the summer.

Pros:
-Close to the city
-Great for families – there are a ton of benches and educational signs along the way
-Bathrooms and a pavilion with a barbeque at the trailhead

Cons:
-Not much shade
-Lots of rattlesnakes in the summer

Overall:
While I did enjoy my hike, I probably won’t be too eager to come back. Would I come here just to hike? No. Might I come here to get a run in? Yes. It’s a relatively easy trail and would be great for a trail run. I also don’t think I would come here in the warm months since I was warned multiple times of snakes and I’m terrified.

So, was it worth it the one time? Yes, but I’m not jumping at the opportunity to come back and wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for out of town guests.


Get the book

Check out the trail

#60HikesDenverChallenge – Bear Creek Park

(For 2017, I have a goal of getting through all 60 trails in the book “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Denver”  You’ll see these posts all year-long. You can find a lot of info on each of the trails in the book, but I’ll highlight some things each time in addition to including my experience and opinion on the trail. The number below is associated with how they are labeled in the book if you have it.)

Trail #16 – Bear Creek Lake Park: Bear Creek Trail
Completed: 5/2/17 | Number Completed: 13/60
Mode: Running
Location: Morrison/Lakewood, CO – C-470 & Morrison Exit (CO – 8)
Distance: 4.42 miles
Difficulty: easy
Type of trail: Hard packed dirt, balloon configuration
Exposure: half of the trail is in the shade
Facilities: Pit toilet restrooms along the park (none at the trailhead)

 

My Experience:
There’s really not much to say. I wanted to get a run in after track practice and drove a few miles to Bear Creek Lake Park, parked in the free lot, and ran the trail from the book.

This trail isn’t all that special. Submersed in the middle of the city, it’s a nice escape from the hustle and bustle without a far trek. The trail system can get a little confusing, but, there only so many miles, that if you did get off track, you’d just loop right back to the main park. There are also lot of trail races here and I’ve done a 10k around the lake.

To follow the trail from the book, park in the free lot just north-west of the C-470 and CO-8 (Morrison Rd) intersection. Carefully cross the street, and hang a left on the biking trail. This takes you under the highway and is the walk-in access to the park. Follow the sidewalk until the bridge, crossing over the river and make a quick left on the trail. This leads you through a parking lot (a paid access lot), across the street and you’ll enter the Owl Trail on the other side. Parallel the river until the Fitness Loop Trail (a looped trail that used to have exercise equipment). This is will loop around, giving you views of the lake, Mt Carbon and the area camping. It will reconnect to the Owl Trail and you’ll retrace your steps back to your car.

Pros:
-Close to town
-Easy miles (unless you add in Mt. Carbon)
-Lots of other things to do
-Dirt trails making it a nice soft surface

Cons:
-Crowded
-Not that scenic
-Can still hear the noise from the roads

Tips:
-Tip avoid crossing the major street from your car, you can drive into the park, and pay a few bucks to get in. State parks passes don’t work here.
-There’s a lot of stuff to do in the park: camping, horse back riding, water sports
-If you’re a runner, check your local racing calendar for races inside the park. A great one is the Bear Chase Series.
-To actually get a HIKE in, add Mt. Carbon into your journey.

Overall:
A lot of tourists flock here for some reason, same with locals. No offense to them, but there’s much better, scenic, more relaxing places to camp and visit not far away. For people coming from out of state, you’ve already come this far, just drive a bit longer and go into the mountains! If you’re a local, yes, run here, play here, etc. It’s a great, close by area to squeeze in some activity to a busy life. But if you have more time, just add a bit more to your travel time for a much better place to play. As for being in the 60 Hikes Within 60 miles of Denver book…. It’s not much of a “hike.”

Bear Creek Lake, Mt Carbon