Local Mountain Loop, One World Running, and Emerald Needles Tea
Been really digging my local mountain loop - up Apex, over to Lookout and around, then down Chimney Gulch and back. 13 miles and 3,000' of gain. With some good trail sections, some road sections to work on turnover and tempo, and some solid downhill singletrack sections, this loop has it all. Seems pretty quite in the mornings as well, except for the elk which I run into regularly.
I've been helping out Sandrock and One World Running for a number of years now - helping with international customs, fundraisers, collecting shoes, etc. It's really an amazing organization, run all by volunteers, no staff, on a shoestring budget. They personally hand wash every pair of shoes donated, match them up, then ship them to different countries, and hand deliver the shoes to kids in need. They also put on fun races in Cameroon, Belize, Honduras, Cuba, and other places to get the local community involved in running and exercise. Here is a poster for one of their upcoming trips to Honduras is anyone wants to go. If you run, you can donate your shoes by dropping them off at Runner's High in Golden, Boulder Running Company in Boulder or Cherry Creek, Fleet Feet stores, and Runner's Roost stores, as well as a bunch of other locations.
Yesterday's tea was a wonderful large-leaf green tea from the Hengduan Mountains (Simao district, Yunnan province) of China. Picked about 5 weeks ago, this early spring harvest tea (Emerald Needles) was only lightly roasted and minimally processed to preserve it's green, vegetal flavors. During my hectic day yesterday, it was my only moment of peace.