Running is a discipline, and you need discipline in order to succeed at your goals. No amount of scenery or beautiful weather will get you through it in the end. With that said, it definitely helps to have a route that we can depend on to inspire and remind us why we run outside in the first place.
If I had to pick one run that does it for me, it would be the trail that crosses over South Table Mesa in Golden. From the Southern end of the mesa, where we stay, a trail leads up to the flat, basalt cap. On the top I encounter a dry land of sagebrush and short prairie grass with an occasional lone soldier reaching up to the big sky. Uninterrupted vistas extend in every direction. To the West and North are the foothills. To the South and East lie the suburbs of Denver, the dowtown skyline, and the great plains beyond. The theme music to High Plains Drifter comes to mind.
But this place is anything but barren. Colorful birds dart in and out of the brush, a fox hunts, and groups of deer forage. The trail winds North to the iconic Castle Rock which looms over the town Golden. A trail descends to the Coors brewery and quiet neighborhoods. The Clear Creek trail brings me into the canyon. I find a rock to sit on, give thanks, and turn back.
Eleven miles and two hours of perfection.
Do you have a favorite running route?