Soccer blogging season

It's soccer season on my blog through the end of May: after three seasons of coaching my oldest's U9 and U10 teams in 2015 and 2016, I'm coaching my youngest's U9 team for the first time.

We had our first game today and got routed by a very good team. I talked to the coach afterward and she told me that her kids have been playing together for years and she's been coaching them for 3 seasons. It shows! My team has a way to go before we can hang with a team like this one.

Maybe it was the hard ground, maybe it was first game nervousness, but between the two teams, I think we might have set a record for hand balls in this game. This was hard on our volunteer referees, who had to make a lot of decisions to call or not call based on advantage, which was unfortunate. It was a tough game to call.

Quad Rock recon no. 1

Sunday, my family and I kicked off spring break by going to an early showing of Black Panther. We enjoyed every bit of it.

Afterwards, I drove to the Timber trailhead at the north end of Lory State Park to do my first run this year on the Quad Rock course. I planned to run up to 27 kilometers, the first 1/3 and last 1/3 of the 25 mile course, with a couple shorter options. I can see about half of the terrain of the race from my deck and there's still some snow up there. I wasn't sure what the conditions would be, but the park websites said all the trails were open, so I went to find out.

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Leaving Lory State Park, in fact, and starting to head up the Sawmill Trail in Horsetooth Open Space

In the flatter and sunny parts of Lory, whether below or above, the trails were mostly dry.

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Almost 2000 feet above Fort Collins on the Tower Trail

The wooded, north and east facing, stretches of the trail were often muddy and/or icy. I wasn't able to descend any faster than I could climb and fell behind schedule for making it back to my car before the park closed, so I cut out the last climb to Arthur's Rock and returned by the trail I'd come in on. I did my best to take it easy and go at a comfortable pace, and ran 20 km and climbed 600 meters in 2 hours and 45 minutes.

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Early spring conditions on the Mill Creek Trail

I'm so glad I did an early recon run. I've never run to the top of Lory so early in spring (or late in winter, depending on how you look at it) and enjoyed seeing the snow and little frozen waterfalls. It was also good to get a reminder of how much more fit I need to get over the next 2 months. This is a tough course with 3 big climbs. I only did one of them and can feel it today.

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My new shoes

I tried out some new gear on this run. The Fresh Foam Hierro is the shoe that's replacing the NB Leadville, which I wore in the Trail Quillan. I like them better than the Leadville. They're well cushioned, fit my feet well, and the vibram sole is suited to the rocky, gritty trails here. As far as I can tell, they're going to be fine for the race.