I felt like mixing it up this morning on the peaks loop (Humphrey's, Weatherford, Kachina Trails) and went counter clockwise. I usually start with the Humphrey's Trail to get the biggest elevation gain out of the way right off the bat but because it is hard to run all of the loop this way I feel that maybe starting with the Kachina Trail instead may give a better workout (slow, gradual climb up Weatherford of just over 7 miles instead of the 3.5 mile climb of Humphreys to get about the same elevation change) and I would be able to run all of it. I also feel that I run the clockwise version all the time because I feel I will get the fastest time on it.
Well, after running it counter clockwise this morning, I need to reassess if one way is indeed faster than the other. It may be a wash...
My fastest time running clockwise is 3 hrs 37 min and change and this morning I ran it counter clockwise in 3 hrs 49 min 48 sec. Not much of a difference considering I never pushed too hard this morning, not feeling all that great, and settled for a steady slow pace on the uphills and tried not to run to fast down the steep, rocky and slick Humphrey's Trail. Maybe I'll be able to run both ways under 3 1/2 hours soon. I was thinking that a reasonable long term goal would be to try to push for under 3 hours. We will see.
I will say that, whatever the time I come in with, the Peaks loop is and always will be one of my favorite runs. Always beautiful, always animal sightings (saw a bunch of Elk up by Doyle Saddle this morning), always challenging, always changing and right in my back yard. What a great loop!