Friday, August 27, 2010

Morning Run

I run in the mornings before work with Strelka two to three times a week; typically Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I usually run a four mile loop near my house. Mentally, it's a great way to start the day and it's physically good for both me and Strelka. I get up at 6:00 am, while Jesper is still sleeping, and am out the door at about 6:10. I take Strelka sans leash, since she knows the route well. We slip out the back gate and run 0.15 miles on pavement to the trail head to the City of Boulder Open Space near my house. From then on, it is all dirt.

As fall approaches, the mornings are getting cooler and the sunsets more beautiful. In the heat of summer, the sun is already way up by the time I head out. But now, it I start out in the coolness of dawn.

Heading east toward Gunbarrel Hill - you can barely see Strelka in the shadows

As we run up toward Gunbarrel Hill, Strelka sniffs everything and usually poops along this stretch. Then we head into a more open area with no houses nearby, just wide open rolling plains and scat evidence of coyotes and bears. While I've never seen the owner of the bear scat, we often encounter one or two coyotes in the morning as well as deer. But not today; only bunnies, prairie dogs and lots of birds.

Strelka posing as we get into the wide open prairie

As the sun comes up, the air gets warm fast. We are on our way to a 95 degree day and I am happy to be getting my run in before we reach that high. We run north up the series of rolling hills, the top of each presenting a view of the Front Range mountains to the west.

Strelka posing on the top of a roller with the mountains in the background

Then we get to the BIG hill up to the water tower. I prefer to do my running loop in this direction primarily because I like to run UP this sucker, sometimes doing hill repeats.

Chasing my shadow up the BIG hill

Strelka "dogging it" up the BIG hill

Since I do the same run every week, I meet up with many of the same neighbors out walking and running with their dogs. We are all on a schedule to get to work, so we end up passing each other in almost exactly the same place every day. There is always time to play when we meet up with other doggy friends of Strelka's.

Strelka and Sadie, her Cattle Dog friend, chasing each other in the prairie grass

Sometimes we see "the BIG Dogs" out on the trails. Strelka is not sure what to think about these critters, but I hold onto her collar tight just in case she thinks about running up to them.

Proof we live out West!

Strelka and I finish up the run with a drop off of her pooh in the bear-proof trashcans at a the main trail head. We continue down the trail and then onto the pavement and in through the back gate, arriving back at home a few minutes past 7:00 am. I wish I'd have taken a picture of the smile on Strelka's face when we finished!

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