“Giant 180 BPM Playlist” Update

It has been a while since the original post on my “Giant 180 BPM Playlist,”  and I believe it’s time for an update. Please see the original post if you need an explanation of why you might be interested in running to 180 BPM music specifically.

Here’s the link to the current playlist:

180 BPM Running All Genres

Current Status

The playlist is now populated with nearly 2500 songs of nearly all genres. There are some problems with the size and scope of the list:

  1. Mobile playback. The playlist is rather large to port to your mobile phone on Spotify. It takes a great deal of space and time to sync the entire list for offline listening. If the playlist is important to you, and you need to have offline access, this remains an option. However, you can always play the list online only, or copy/edit the playlist to better suit your music tastes and mobile storage capabilities.
  2. Shuffle. The large size of the playlist doesn’t seem to work well with Spotify’s “shuffle” capabilities. It seems to me that when I use shuffle, only the first few hundred songs on the list are used. To get around this, I no longer use shuffle and simply scroll to a random location in the list to start playing.
  3. Genre Sorting. The genres are mixed in a very random way, which can cause a listener some head spinning transitions. For example you may be listening to a rather quiet acoustic guitar piece, then switch rapidly into some hard core metal on occasion. I wish there were more I could do about this issue. At present, Spotify doesn’t provide a way to sort the playlist based on genre, so the songs are listed in the order I encountered and added them. At some point in the future I would love to do more specific genre sorting, but the work involved in doing a manual sort is not something that I have the time or energy to do. If you have any thoughts or solutions to this issue, please comment!

How I Update the Playlist

I am constantly adding music to the playlist, and thought that perhaps I could give more insight into the process I use. When I first encounter a song that I feel has the correct BPM, I will add the music to a transitional playlist. You can find that playlist here:

Possible Run Songs

Before the music is added to the official list, I go out for a run. I test every song with a test run. If they work reasonably well, they are then copied to the main playlist.

There are many reasons to test possible running music with a real run, but the first is simply to avoid the issue that we’ve all experienced — a song that doesn’t have the right tempo at all! In addition, while many songs will keep a consistent tempo throughout, some will change tempo in the middle of the song. Some pieces will have a rather extended slow lead-in, or a guitar solo that sounds awesome but doesn’t work for running. These techniques may make for great and interesting music, but unfortunately don’t make the cut for runners relying on a steady beat. In some cases I have left a few of these songs in the playlist because I can’t bear to cut them.

There is a problem with the test method I’ve described above, in that when my mileage drops due to an injury, the rate at which new songs can be added to the list also drops. However, I’ve been able to keep up the additions at a reasonable pace so far.

I try to keep an open mind when adding music and don’t necessarily enjoy every song/genre in the list. I hope that if you encounter the same issue, you can either skip the song(s) in question, or copy and edit the list to suite your own tastes.

I hope that you enjoy the playlist, and put it to good use in whatever way works best for you.

Happy Running!

Advertisements
Posted in Running, Running Music | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Palmer Park Trail Running

IMG_9007

Pikes Peak from Palmer Park (click to biggify)

Palmer Park is is an oasis for trail runners that live on the east/central side of Colorado Springs. In my case, the park is much closer than the mountain trails and foothills to the west of the city. It has 730 acres of natural terrain, most of it only accessible by trail. As a matter of fact, there are over 25 miles of trails to explore! It’s a busy place, but the views and variety of the trails make it all worth it.

IMG_1866

On Templeton Trail in Palmer Park

The park is named after the founder of the city, General Palmer, who donated the area know as “Austin Bluffs” at the time:

Austin Bluffs was gifted to the city in 1907 by the executors of Palmer’s estate, “to be forever kept open as a park solely for the outdoor recreation and enjoyment of the people.” After acquiring the property, the city named the park Palmer Park.

springsgov.com

Palmer Park is well-loved, and used by families, dog owners, hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and even horses. It has great views, multiple canyons, unique rock formations, and twisted old trees. Because of how much we love it, it’s overused in many areas, and has problems with erosion and social trails killing out the arid vegetation. Colorado has been suffering under an extreme drought, and it has taken a toll here as well. The park is very much in a high fire danger situation.

Maps and Trails

The city of Colorado Springs has a very nice PDF Trail map posted on their website: Palmer Park Trail Map.

In addition, the local running club, the Pikes Peak Road Runners, has a excellent post that includes detailed maps, listing specific trails and their distances. The links at the bottom of the page will show you detailed maps of each trail type (Green, Blue, Black).

I’m usually obsessive about planning my runs, but Palmer Park is different. The most planning I usually do is to make sure I hit the restroom before I get there, then choose where I’m going to park. That’s where the planning ends, and then I simply run and explore.

If you are a beginner and aren’t afraid of dogs, the trail with the least hills will be the Mesa Trail at the north of the park. If you don’t like dogs, this isn’t the area for you, as this is an off-leash dog trail. I wrote a previous post about this area, if you are interested.

Also, Templeton Trail can be difficult because of the rocks and terrain more than the grade. In particular, the southwestern side will require even the best trail runners to slow down or walk along a very rocky trail. The effort here is rewarded with some great views and a nice single track through the trees and bluffs.

Parking and Restrooms

There are a number of places to park, all mapped out clearly on the PDF version of the trail map. There is some parking at the trailheads, and the parking lot near the main entrance accommodates the most vehicles. Some people park off the street in the Greencrest area near Lazy Land, as this area is easily accessible from Austin Bluffs Blvd. Parking is legal here, but I’m not sure how appreciated by the local residents. I think my favorite parking spot is the Paseo Rd Gate. Although parking is limited, there are many different directions to head from this spot.

Take note of the restroom facilities on the map, but don’t plan on using them. They are rarely open except in the summer, and even then there are no guarantees. The facilities at the main entrance are the most likely to be open on any give summer day. Unlike other parks, port-a-potties are not readily available, so plan accordingly.

Photography

Palmer Park is one of my favorite places to take landscape photos. Bring a camera or camera phone on your run, because you’re sure to wish you had it at some point.

IMG_1860

Jack on Grandview Trail

Templeton Trail Views:

IMG_8460 IMG_8441

IMG_1869

Pikes Peak from Yucca Trail

Posted in Colorado, Colorado Springs, Parks, Running, Trails | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Running in Monument Valley Park

Monument Valley Park in Colorado Springs is a runner’s park. If you are a runner, you probably know more about this park than I do. The Pikes Peak Road Runners hold many events that either start in the park, or run through it. The popular Jack Quinn’s Running Club also uses the park on it’s weekly runs.

Monument Valley Benefits:

  1. It’s centrally located near downtown Colorado Springs
  2. It has wide gravel trails – not paved!
  3. It’s generally warmer downtown, and they plow.
  4. It’s flat.

I usually end up at Monument Valley Park after a snow storm, when I know that other parks, trails and sidewalks will be covered in deep snow, or icy and snow-packed. Because of the amount of pedestrian and bicycle traffic, the warmer downtown climate, and the plows, the Monument Valley trails are usually in pretty good shape. After a snowstorm and a few days running on a treadmill, Monument Valley Park is close to heaven.

IMG_1764

Pikes Peak from a plowed trail in Monument Valley Park in downtown Colorado Springs

The park and the main trail is part of the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail, which spans 16 miles from Fountain, where it connects to the Fountain Creek Regional Trail, all the way up to the Air Force Academy, where it connects to the New Santa Fe Trail. The entire trail system currently lets you run or bike 35 miles along the Colorado Front Range from Fountain to Palmer Lake. If you run the American Discovery Trail Marathon, you start in Palmer Lake, and run “downhill” one way into Colorado Springs on this trail.

Monument Valley Park is located along Monument Creek as it flows through downtown. It’s split into 2 main areas, the North Reach and South Reach, which are connected via a narrow section near Uintah, where you will run past the Colorado College athletic facilities. Here are two maps of the park, courtesy of the City of Colorado Springs (Interactive Urban Trail Map). Click on them to make them to biggify:

ppgrnwy7a ppgrnwy7b

If you run both the north and south loops, the total distance is 4.25 miles. However, there are many alternate trails to take, with some smaller “wilderness-type” trails that you can explore in the northern section. You can also gain access to the trail that runs next to the creek, which is a more challenging single-track in some areas. The trail in the northern section of the park on the west side of the creek is less well-maintained, and also single-track in places.

IMG_1754

Monument Creek, taken looking south from the northern section of the park.

In the photo above, you can see both the main trail at the top and left, where I am standing, and the lower trail down by the creek. The main trail is generally busy with pedestrians, runners, and cyclists. There are various easy access points to the lower trail. One is at the Uintah Street bridge pedestrian underpass. There is also a trail “underpass” in the northern reach that provides access (head west from the restrooms). I am sure there are others, and if you feel like sharing, please note them in the comments section.

IMG_1755IMG_1762IMG_1756IMG_1768

Here are a number of views of the park in the winter. The top 2 were taken in the northern section of the park. The bottom left is the pedestrian bridge on the southern-most end of the park, and the bottom right was taken on the trail down by the creek.

If you are a member of the Pikes Peak Road Runners, you may be familiar with this race marker:

IMG_1758

Neilson Challenge Race Marker in the northern section.

The Nielson Challenge is a 2 mile race handicap race that the club hosts every month that is free to members, and can be used to track your performance and progress.

It has become my tradition to include a picture of a bench. This bench is located at the pond just north of the Demonstration Gardens in the southern portion of the park. Doesn’t it just look cozy? Okay, maybe a little bit cold instead.

IMG_1780

It’s a bench!

Posted in Colorado, Colorado Springs, Parks, Running, Trails | Leave a comment

Fox Run Regional Park

I ran the trails at Fox Run Regional Park about 2 weeks ago. I usually like to have a post up within a couple days, but it seems our house was struck by the “plague” and I am only now getting back to a normal schedule.

Fox Run is not a local park for me, and this is an area I only visit occasionally when someone has booked the picnic pavilions for the occasional large group event. At these times, I’ll often take a hike in the area, but I’ve never gone out of my way to go there for a run. As a gift to myself, I decided to pick a place that I hadn’t run before, and just headed out the door one fine day. Fox Run is where I ended up.

According to the El Paso County Parks website:

Fox Run Park is located in the Black Forest approximately three miles east of Interstate 25. The 417-acre park features spectacular views of Pikes Peak, four miles of trails, multi-use fields, two playgrounds, two ponds, and five picnic pavilions.

In contrast, Palmer Park is located in the middle of town and has over 25 miles of trails on 730.7 acres. I make a comparison because Fox Run is a little over 1/2 the size but only has 16% of the trail distance.

Run at Fox Run Regional Park

The posted trail map showing the 2 main trail loops

Because I don’t go there often, I decided to using my phone GPS. I love the adventure of this, because you never end up at the main entrance when using these apps. I was first directed to a sign on the north end of the park (no parking), but ended up at a trailhead on the north end of the park, off of Roller Coaster Road. I rather liked starting here instead of down by all the big parking lots and events areas. I was surprised to see snow covering the ground, considering that there isn’t any in town, until I remembered the elevation difference. Fox Run is at about 7350 ft in elevation, whereas downtown Colorado Springs is at about 6010 ft.

IMG_1651

Here’s Roller Coaster Trailhead, off of Roller Coaster Road. The bathrooms were closed, of course.

Fox Run is located in the middle of the Black Forest. The trails are smooth, without the rocks and obstacles, which makes this a pretty easy trail run. There are hills, and some of them are fairly steep, but I considered it a relaxed run none-the-less. I was able to get in about 4 miles going around the outer limits of the park with some minor back-tracking/looping. The main attraction is the tall and majestic ponderosa pine forest, and there are some pretty nice views of Pikes Peak.

IMG_1626

Here’s a view of the wide and gentle trails; tall ponderosas with limited underbrush and obstacles.

Because I’m a bench person, I ended up taking pictures of 2 great benches, both with great views. I’ll only include only one to avoid boring you. I don’t understand why I’m fascinated with benches other than I like to dream of sitting and doing nothing, but never actually do this.

20130226-053624.jpg

What a great place to contemplate the meaning of life….

In general, Fox Run is a local park, and you should be prepared for the fact that people will be out walking their dogs, some without leashes. On a weekend, there will be lots happening in the pavilions and around the ponds and play areas. All in all, it’s a nice place for an easy casual run through the trees. However, because Palmer Park is so much closer to me, I probably won’t be back here to run often.

IMG_1641

Here’s the current state of the goldfish pond. Nobody but me, a frozen lake, and some cold goldfish.

Posted in Running | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spotify and the Giant 180BPM Running Playlist

This post provides a summary of why people run with music, why some runners choose to run to 90/180 BPM music, and provides a link to a Spotify playlist with 1400+ running songs in the 90/180 BPM range.

Why Run with Music?

Some people run with music. Some people don’t. I’m in the first camp. I love music! It’s both motivational and can also distract you from that little voice that keeps asking you “Why are you doing this?”, and “Can you please stop now?” And it’s not just me. A simple Google search will bring up many articles and references to research on the benefits of music in exercise. For example:

Syncing beats per minute with an exercise pace increases your efficiency. In a recent study, subjects who cycled in time to music found that they required 7 percent less oxygen to do the same work when compared to music playing in the background. Music can also help block out the little voice in your brain telling you its time to quit. Research shows that this dissociation effect results in a 10 percent reduction in perceived effort during treadmill running at a moderate intensity. – livescience.com

This is something that I learned through experience when I started running about 4 years ago. Music was a necessary component of my beginning runner’s plan. I noticed that the tempo of the music was important to the speed and my enjoyment of the run, so I started researching good music lists, and trying to collect music for running to populate my iPod. This is how my “Giant 180 BPM Running Playlist” was born.

Before we move on to the specifics of this playlist, I’ll remind you that not everyone thinks that running with music is a good thing. I’m not going to go into that debate now, but here’s a Runner’s World article that touches on it: Running With Music. Personally, as long as a runner is taking safety seriously (aware of their surroundings, using only one earbud if necessary, etc.), I don’t think it’s a good idea to discourage anyone from getting out and running with any method that helps them out the door.

Why 180 BPM?

180 BPM is a number that many runners believe is the best cadence or stride-rate. What this means is that your foot strikes the ground 180 times a minute, or a single foot strikes 90 times per minute. I’ve seen the 180 and 90 numbers used nearly interchangeably.

The number originates from Jack Daniels, PhD, run coach and author of Daniel’s Running Formula, who observed that all elite runners run at 180bpm or faster. Now normally this would be advice that I would ignore, since I will never be an elite runner. However, the number 180 (or 90) comes up often in the barefoot/natural running methods meant to perfect your running form, avoid overstriding, and decrease injuries. For example, a fast turn-over or cadence of 90 is listed on the Chi running site as one of the 10 Components of Good Running Technique.

As a beginner, who am I to argue? Like many new runners, I read “Born to Run”, was inspired, and started incorporating some barefoot running techniques into my routine. As a matter of fact, the number 180 also shows up in the Born to Run text:

Then he clipped a small electric metronome to his T-shirt. “What’s this for?” “Set it for one hundred eighty beats a minute, then run to the beat.” “Why?”“Kenyans have superquick foot turnover,” Ken said. “Quick, light leg contractions are more economical than big, forceful ones.”

Mcdougall, Christopher (2009-05-04). Born to Run (Kindle Locations 3768-3774). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

A stride-rate of 90 also shows up in Scott Jurek’s (Ultra-Running Champion) recent book:

The most common mistake runners make is overstriding: taking slow, big steps, reaching far forward with the lead foot and landing on the heel. This means more time on the ground, which means the vulnerable heel hits the ground with more force on landing, creating more impact on the joints. Training at a stride rate of 85 to 90 is the quickest way to correct this problem. Short, light, quick steps will minimize impact force and keep you running longer, safer. It also will make you a more efficient runner. Studies have shown that nearly all elite runners competing at distances between 3,000 meters and marathon distances are running at 85 to 90-plus stride rates.)I used to train runners with a metronome. Nowadays there are plenty of websites that list music by BPM (beats per minute)— try http:// cycle.jog.fm/. Either 90 or 180 BPM songs will do the trick.

Jurek, Scott; Friedman, Steve (2012-06-05). Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (pp. 51-52). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Look at that! Even Scott Jurek uses music to train runners to run at a cadence of 180 BPM! He notes that you can use either 90 or 180 BPM songs to synchronize your running. If you run with a beat of 90, your other foot will naturally strike in between and you will get 180 strikes per minute.

Use a Beat to Increase Cadence

One way to train yourself to run at a faster stride-rate is to time your steps with a metronome. Another is to use the beat of music. Fortuitously, the New York Time’s Well Blog published an article yesterday that discusses the science behind using music in this way. Here are the applicable highlights:

So when we walk or run, our bodies tend to choose a particular cadence, a combination of step length and step frequency, that allows us to move at any given speed with as little physiological effort as possible….

But the scientists have found one signal that does seem effectively to override the body’s strong pull toward its preferred ways of moving: a strongly rhythmic beat. When Dr. Donelan and his colleagues fitted runners or walkers with headphones tuned to a metronome, they found that they could increase or decrease volunteers’ step frequency, even if that frequency was faster or slower than a person’s preferred step pattern….

In practical terms, this finding suggests that music may be one of the best ways to affect the pace of your running or walking, especially if you are trying to maintain a pace with which you are not familiar or which feels awkward.

– Gretchen Reynolds, Getting into Your Exercise Groove

The article continues by suggesting a gradual transition to a higher stride rate in order to avoid injury, and a phone app that can help in the transition.

The Giant 180 BPM Running Playlist

Because I love music, and get tired of my playlist pretty quickly, I started collecting music in the 180 BPM range early on. Before Spotify, this consisted of an E-music subscription, and constant monitoring of the Amazon free music lists. Post-Spotify, my life has gotten so much easier. If I hear a song that might have the right beat, I check the BPM with a phone app, and add it to the Spotify list on the spot. Sources include radio, jog.fm, top 100 lists, and other people’s playlists.

Songs included in this playlist have been manually checked for BPMs ranging from 175 to 185. I have occasionally thrown in a faster tempo song in the 185-190 range for a bit of variety, if it works as a high energy running song. (Remember, Jack Daniels said 180 or faster….)

The playlist contains all types of music, and not all of it is upbeat and high energy. In some cases there are songs that are more sedate but at the right beat, and seem appropriate for a relaxed long run. There is music here for nearly every mood and taste, but I have to admit it is slightly biased. I am not a huge country fan, so there is probably less country music than there could be. With some exceptions, I don’t include religious/holiday songs or music with extremely misogynistic or violent lyrics.

So, without further delay, here’s the link to a running playlist that currently has more than 1400 songs at the 90/180 BPM tempo:

180 BPM Cadence Running

Click on the play button to start listening to the playlist. You will need Spotify, and if you don’t yet have it, clicking on the playlist above will prompt you to go get Spotify (the basic service is free). If you already have spotify, the link will either prompt you to open the application, or open it for you.

Once you play the list, the entire list of tracks should come up in the Spotify desktop application. If it doesn’t, try the following trick. Close the Spotify application on your computer completely, then click on the link. Most of the time the entire playlist will appear.

How to Use the Playlist

Once you have the playlist, you can either subscribe to the list, or make a copy to store in your own playlist, and then you can edit it from there. Or you can do both. I often use this playlist as the basis for creating shorter playlists with a certain mood (ie. a long slow run, or a quicker tempo run).

For use on your runs, you will need to either purchase a basic Spotify subscription so that you have access to Spotify on your mobile phone, or you will need to decide which songs work for you, purchase them from your MP3 store of choice, and load them to your MP3 player of choice. If you consider the number of songs on this playlist that would be required for purchase, you see that the Spotify subscription is an amazing deal for runners who enjoy music.

On casual runs I often just shuffle the list and skip the ones that I don’t like that particular day. For events that allow music, I sometimes create an edited version with my recent favorites. I highly recommend that you make the list available “offline” on your phone. This downloads the music on the list to your phone and means that if you lose access to the internet, that you still have your music offline.

Any Comments or Suggestions?

I am always updating this playlist, and if you have a song that is missing from the list and you would like to see it added, please leave a comment! Now, go have a great run!

Posted in Running, Running Music | 11 Comments

Yucca Flats & Mesa Trail

My dog is a wimp. I don’t mean that in a bad way; it’s just that he doesn’t like to run long distances. You wouldn’t think this by looking at him. He’s an Australian Shepard, and he’s fast. If I let him out back, he runs fast and furiously around all the backyard trees to make sure that there are no stray squirrels lazing around on his property. My guess is that his black coat is too dark, thick and heavy for long runs. I think that if I shaved him, he’d run for hours…. But sadly we can’t bring ourselves to test out this theory, so he remains a shorter distance dog.

023

Here’s Jack. Isn’t he cute?

This brings me to Jack’s favorite place to run. It’s a short run, and he gets to run without a leash! Palmer Park has a nice area for well-behaved dogs to run off-leash. There are some great maps of the location, but they are all copyrighted, and I won’t mess with that. I’ll be linking to some quality maps instead. First, here’s the official Palmer Park trail map (Sorry, it’s a download from the city: PDF Map). You can see the gray area at the top is designated as a “Dog Run Area”. Now here’s the route I run (Runkeeper Map). I think it’s funny how the route I take looks a like a running greyhound, if you stretch that imagination a bit.

Oddly enough, I didn’t realize that the route I take is not 100% off-leash, and neither does every other dog owner out there. My route is pretty standard, and it is just assumed by most people out there that this entire stretch is for the dogs. I learned something today. If you take the Mesa Trail on the route I’ve mapped out, be prepared for lots of off-leash pups.

Now let me start this trail description with a caveat. If I didn’t have a dog, I probably wouldn’t run here. It’ very much a high-prairie desert environment, and I would rather run through trees on a single track trail (other trails in Palmer Park work for this). But if you have a friendly dog that behaves well off-leash, this is a real treat for them.

To start, you park at the Yucca Flats area in Palmer Park. It can be crowded, so be prepared. Early mornings and weekdays are the most relaxed and there are fewer people and cars.

IMG_1569

Here’s the parking lot at 9:00am on a Sunday.

IMG_1570

Hmmmm. I wonder why they call it Yucca Flats?

The trails are car-width wide, well-traveled gravel. The route I run is a nice easy beginner’s loop, with about 100 ft in elevation climb over the 2.25 mile distance. Although the mesa itself is mostly grass and yucca, the views over the city are really nice.

IMG_1429

The trails are wide, well-traveled gravel. Jack is wondering why I stopped.

And here’s the reason that this run is worthwhile…

IMG_1571

There’s a bench and a picnic table here, and this is a great place to relax and enjoy the views.

IMG_1575

This bench is place in honor of all great moms, and dedicated to Dorothy Cahill Staggs.

IMG_1574

The amazing view from my favorite bench.

This is one of my favorite places to look out over the city and the mountains. In the photo of the view from the bench, you can see Cheyenne Mountain on the left, with downtown Colorado Springs slightly to the right and below it, and Pikes Peak almost hidden by the small tree.

I admit to having a Mother’s Day brunch at this very location with my family and dog some years ago. It’s 3/4 mile out to this location, so it’s not very crowded early on Mother’s Day. I call this bench my favorite bench. It’s dedicated to someone’s mother. I don’t know anything about Dorothy, but how lucky is she to have the best bench in the city dedicated to her?

Posted in Colorado, Colorado Springs, dogs, Running, Trails | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Garden of the Gods Run

Yesterday I needed to run 8 miles, and I also needed some inspiration, so I headed to the Garden of the Gods. This is the place pictured in my blog header.

The Garden is a mixed bag. It has the most incredible scenery, but it also has lots of visitors. You will see lots of cars, lots of other runners and hikers, and lots of road bikes. Depending on where you are, you will run into mountain bikers or horses on the trails.  The best strategy is to avoid the weekends and show up early in the morning.

When I run here, I like to park at the visitor’s center, and then run the main trail into the park. If open, the center has nice restroom facilities. This is a major bonus for most runners. The distance to the main loop is 1/2 mile in, then 1/2 mile out (and down) at the end of your run. Here’s a look at what you see when you first come into the park. You can click on any of these photos to get a better look.

IMG_1467

Because I was tired, I chose to run a few times around the paved road that loops around the main rock formations. It’s a one-way road, has a very large lane for the cars, and also has a pretty significant lane for bikes and pedestrians. The picture below shows the most popular overlook (the spot from where I took the picture on the top of my blog). You can see it’s busy even on a Friday morning, but you can also see the pedestrian lane that is kept free of cars.

IMG_1469

The paved loop is about 2.25 miles in length, and the climb is about 200 feet for each loop. You will pass the main parking lot on each loop. There are restrooms and a water fountain here, making it less of a chore to carry water. This isn’t a great run for beginners, unless they understand that a walk up the hills may be in order. When I was just starting to run, and I had about 6 months under my belt, I felt that I might be ready for a trail run in the Garden of the Gods. It was pretty discouraging when I realized that I could probably have walked those trails just as fast as I had attempted to run them. A few years later I came back with a friend for a trail run, and it was the best experience of my life.

The trails are fantastic, and are not far from this main loop. At any time you can break off into the “wild” and hit the trails if you are feeling energetic enough. There are some significant slopes, but the scenery makes the trip completely worthwhile. Below are some photos I took right off the main loop during my run. I even managed to get a photo with some horses on the trail!

IMG_1475 IMG_1471 IMG_1473

And when you’re done with the scenery, and are focused on the run, you are kept amused by the road itself. This guy seems to have a broken leg. Glad I’m not in the same shape.

IMG_1470

And it seems that the road maintenance crew has a sense of humor. I always smile when I see this guy. It helps that he shows up on a downhill stretch.

IMG_1476

Posted in Colorado, Colorado Springs, Running | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments