One thing I really enjoy about Fort Collins is that it is set up very simply. It is a grid with several main roads going north/south and east/west. It is very difficult to get lost. You will eventually come upon one of the main thoroughfares and know where you are. There is also a great system of multi-use trails weaving through the city. After a brief look at a map of these trails, I had a good idea of my route.
I started out on Power Trail, a trail that runs along the railroad tracks. There are some cool murals painted on some utility boxes, but other than that, this isn't the most beautiful path I have run since moving here.
From there I ran on the Spring Creek Trail. I have run on this trail, in some portion or another, on each of my long runs. It runs about 7 miles east/west. My first long run I ran on the middle portion of that path and last week I ran on the western portion. Saturday, I ran east from the Power Trail, for just under a mile, to meet up with the Poudre River Trail.
The Poudre River Trail runs along the main river in Fort Collins through the northeast part of town. It is a gorgeous path. I ran on this trail in January when I first visited the town and again in May during my house-hunting trip.
I needed to turn toward home, so when the trail hit Lemay, a major north/south road leading back to my house, I got off the beautiful trail and headed back south on the road. This last chunk of the run wasn't as pretty or pleasant as the first chunk. It is a nice road with a good sidewalk, but the trail system really spoils me. Why do I run on sidewalk when there are such great paths that are nowhere near traffic?
There are definitely some pretty parts of the road. It goes next to a couple lakes, including the one below. Honestly, I haven't really found an "ugly" part of Fort Collins!
It was a long, HOT sixteen miles. I still haven't fully acclimated to the elevation. I take more walk breaks than I ever have. I am not sure if I would push through those urges to walk if I were running with someone else. Probably. My pace is SO much slower than it had been. I have two months to get rid of those walk breaks and speed up that pace.
I am happy that I got my long run in as scheduled. It wasn't pretty, but I did it. It can only get better.
I hope your long runs went well this weekend. Happy Running!