Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mallory Cave

It's been a pretty mild Winter in Colorado this year, so Alex and I decided to finally take advantage of the sunshine and hit the trails for some easy hiking in Boulder on Sunday. We decided to hike to Mallory Cave.

We reached the trailhead at around 11:30AM. Instead of braving the weekend crowd at Chautauqua, we parked in the expensive neighborhoods near 17th and King and started our hike on the Four Pines Trail. This turned out to be a solid choice. Parking was a whole lot easier and the trail itself was less crowded. We really didn't see many other folks until we linked up with the Mesa Trail later on.

The first stretch or Four Pines is relatively steep, so we were huffing and puffing a bit while our legs got used to the effort. But once we branched off onto the Koehler Mesa Trail, the terrain mellowed out significantly and we really got to enjoy the shade of the pines.

Once we linked up with Mesa Trail, it went from quiet and serene to frat-guy-central. I'm not a snob by any means, but it sorta puts a damper on the afternoon when these huge groups of loud college kids go storming around the trails. But that's the price of hiking on the weekend, I suppose.

We didn't encounter any snow or mud the entire afternoon (a testament to the dryness around here the past few weeks), and the final stretch of rocks leading up to the cave was pretty easy to scramble up. It was about 1:15 when we got there. There are bars over the entrance to the cave to protect the bat population from disease, but the view of the Front Range is pretty good from there. We pounded some protein bars and turned around just as a huge group of college kids came bounding up over the rocks. Needless to say we got the heck outta there.

Alex and I made it back to the car by around 3PM. We used trekking poles for extra stability on most of the descent, but they weren't necessary. The West End was calling our name, so we chilled downtown on their rooftop bar with cold drinks and good grub before heading back to the 'burbs.

Springtime in Colorado is just the best.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Lucky Laces 10k 2016

I'm not typically a person you'll find celebrating St. Patrick's day with a gallon of green beer. But give me a race to run and I'll be there faster than you can say "Shillelagh!" This time around, it was the Lucky Laces 10k with good friend and fellow runner Laura Adducci. I hadn't run a 10k in a couple years, so I was eager to join her for some fun in City Park.

3...2...1...GO. I started with Laura near the rear of the corral, but managed to weave my way into some free space by the time I reached the first mile-marker. From here, I cruised at just under a 7:00/mi pace. The weather couldn't have been more agreeable, and my legs felt surprisingly strong (I had just come off a 20-miler two days prior).

There's really no bad-assery to speak of on my end. I wound up finishing 16th overall in a field of about 400, so I felt pretty good about that, but the real winner of the day was Laura! This was her first 10k and she finished strong! I was super impressed with her tenacity and spirit.

We hit up Annie's Cafe afterward to enjoy some brunch and post-race glory. The biscuits and gravy were on point.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hello....It's Me...

Hi! I'm Joe Von Bokern. I'm somebody who really enjoys running and hiking, and I've created this blog to chronicle my adventures here in Colorado.

I've run a handful of marathons across the country, and I hope to complete an ultra-marathon in the near future. This blog is where I'll tell stories about training, races, hikes, diet, and inspiration on the road to...uh...wherever it is I'm headed!

The reason I decided to call this blog Breaking 'Burbs is because that's exactly what I'm doing. My lovely wife and I live in the quiet suburbs of Denver, surrounded by a whole lot of good folks. It's a comfortable existence, but it's easy to get sucked into the belief that happiness is being a fat, lazy consumer. Here, success is often measured by the numbers on a bank statement, or the car in a driveway.

I want to measure my success in the miles I've run. In the summits I've reached. In the finish lines I've crossed. In the self-doubts I've shattered.

Maybe nobody will read this, but that's alright. I'm doing this mostly for myself anyway. But if you are reading this, then I hope you enjoy it!