When we moved to Colorado, at the suggestion of our father, my sister and I joined the First and Main Run Club, hosted out of Rock Bottom. Soon, Trisha and Christina joined us as well.
Wednesday after Wednesday through the summer, we sweated up the biggest hill they could find in Springs Ranch (these run club route designers really are sadists) until all four of us earned our shirts, my sister the last week before she moved off to Boston.
Then, as we lunched after the Great Pumpkin 10K, our delightful server told us about Jose Muldoons’ running club, Muldooniacs. They boasted a free drink each run, a 10K route, another shirt, and a free drink when wearing the shirt.
We switched immediately.
This week, Trisha and I attempted our inaugural run. Trisha decided to indulge October brain and throw a wrench in the works, forgetting her inhaler. When she was audibly wheezing over the sound of our feet in mile 1, we walked it out. I didn’t mind though; I was just content to be out testing a new route.
The route includes some pretty epic hills in the first mile and a half, hills that would have stopped me in my tracks before Cripple Creek. But that same path is beautiful, snaking high into suburbia to yield excellent views.
The miles were long and slow going, but as the terrain leveled out, we started jogging. The night was gorgeous. As I was running with the autumn air on my face, the fall leaves crunching under my shoes, and the sunlight dying in the sky, I experienced that perfect running bliss again. I was just in that moment.
Guided by the shittiest, most worthless map I’ve ever used, we only missed one turn (losing .75 of a mile). But the run felt good. The sprint down the last steep hill felt amazing.
And a free margarita at the end was even better.