Lodge: Trail running frees the mind
It is suddenly summer in Grand County and the trails are dry enough to run on. I finally get to change up my running routine and go off road. This past weekend I ran on the Creekside Trail in the Fraser Experimental Forest; it’s really changed my mental outlook and I am back in love with running. Trail running keeps my mind off the pain and of being out of breath because there are so many distractions like critters running across the trail and not know what will appear around each turn in the trail. Plus, the music from birds and squirrels keeps me entertained. I talked to Elinor Fish, editor of Trail Runner Magazine, and runner extraordinaire, about her women’s trail running retreat at Vagabond Ranch in Granby that will be held the weekend of July 30. As a competitive runner for 20 years, Elinor is the perfect person to lead this running retreat. She ran high school track and cross country, and continued through college. After college she started hosting running clinics and camps in the Canadian Rockies. After moving to Colorado in 2006 to be managing editor at Trail Runner magazine, she led weekend trail running retreats in Estes Park. The Trail Running & Wellness Retreat for Women in Granby has already drawn runners from California, Idaho, and Oregon. Elinor chose Granby and Vagabond Ranch to host the retreat because she was looking for an ideal venue for a big group: “I spent months last winter scouring the Rockies for the right place that offered affordable accommodation with easy access to trails right from the property, and then heard about Vagabond from a friend who had been there. After speaking with the owner Josh Weinstein, I concluded that Vagabond was the perfect venue. It has a wilderness setting near the Continental Divide in the Arapaho National Forest, where we will enjoy beautiful single track trails departing right from the lodge. Vagabond Ranch is associated with Boulder’s Shambhala Center, and is eco-friendly, using solar energy, waste-water recycling and other waste-reducing programs.” During the retreat, runners will learn how to run trails in terms of uphill/downhill technique and confidence gains on technical terrain. Elinor will show runners how to move at a pace that is comfortable, review running form, and talk about nutrition on and off the trail. Just talking to Elinor reminds me about how running enriches everyday life. It teaches discipline and goal-setting. Running can help recharge your batteries. She says, “Spending time alone in the woods, working up a sweat with nothing to worry about except moving forward, looking after my body’s needs for fuel and water, lets me push out the day’s worries and outside pressures. It’s all about me and the trail, and nothing else matters during that time.” As I ran on the Creekside Trail over the holiday weekend I saw mountain bikers, hikers, families, and other runners with their dogs enjoying the trail.My mind wanders to other runs and mountain bike rides on this trail. My first mountain biking friend, Gary, took me to the Winter Park/Fraser trail system. A section of the trail that parallels the creek reminds me of my first ride the summer I moved here. I lost balance and clipped out of my pedals just in time not to fall into the creek, but had one wet shoe and sock for the rest of the ride. Summer is here, and now I need to get my mountain bike out of storage. Shortly, the trails at higher elevations will be ready for hikers, and I can check out my adopted trail Vasquez Pass. The Trail Adoption program is having a kickoff party at Hideaway Park on June 24th. Anyone interested in adopting a hiking or mountain biking trail can contact Kimber Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Trail Running Retreat: http://www.tinyurl.com/28j6e6y
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