July 22, 2014

A 5K, North Cheyenne Canon Park, and Pho and Grille

Last Friday, a friend and I decided to run the Firecracker 5K on Ft. Carson.  She enjoys running more than I do, but hasn't done much of it here yet.  I think the altitude got the better of us both.  I felt SO out of shape.  I usually rely on whatever cardio ability I've naturally retained to get me through 5Ks and such (7 minute mile in high school, #neverforget).  My first 5K was 32:00 minutes, my first 10K was 55:27, and this 5K was 33:18.  Not my proudest moment but considering that I: didn't train, had never run in Colorado before, and had never run in this pair of sneakers before, it wasn't too bad.  I came away feeling like the world's most unprepared person.  But, in my defense, it was a trail run and there were HILLS.  As if the elevation weren't enough, they added gravel hills.  It was terrible.

And my shirt was too big.  Pitfalls of signing up late. 

Moving on…

As my friend and I were running, we talked about the fact that "this is it till Monday when it comes to working out, so if it hurts tomorrow, that's okay". I wasn't expecting Scott to be home on Saturday and was planning on having a lazy day.  Instead, he came home Friday night and wanted to "do" something on Saturday and we ended up going hiking.

My poor feet.

We went to North Cheyenne Canon Park, which is right in the middle of Colorado Springs.  It's right near the Broadmoor Hotel and has several trails to offer.  I went into the Starsmore Discovery Center (which reminded me of the Eagle River Nature Center, for any Alaska readers out there) and asked the ladies at the desk what a good hike would be.  We had two dogs and weren't prepared for anything strenuous.  They gave me a map and suggested the Lower Columbine Trail.  It led to the Middle and Upper Columbine Trails, so it progressively got harder and took you 4 miles to Helen Hunt Falls. We did not make it all 4 miles because it was kind of a tough trail and we, going along with my unprepared theme, were not planning on such a hike.  We went the entire Lower trail, and did 3 switchbacks of the middle trail.  We were huffing and puffing and Jett was truly pulling me along.

My little sled dog. 

If you point at something and tell Jett to look, he will instead look at you.  This includes food, quail, and cameras.

Scout had had enough of us holding him back at this point.

After we went back to the truck for water and dog treats, we walked up to the reservoir and had a nice view, but there wasn't much to see up there.

Co Springs' water supply

The Broadmoor Hotel

We went back to the truck (slowly and painfully in my case…Jett just walks too fast) and headed off in search of a place to eat.  There is a TON of shopping and dining options on Powers Blvd.  It's where all my favorite stores are, plus Panera (ate there on Thursday), Super Target, Whole Foods, etc.  They even have a farmers' market on Thursdays.  It's on the opposite end of town, but the highway cuts right across to where our house is, so we can go in the back way and avoid all the I-25 traffic.

As we were driving through the parking lots, we saw Pho and Grille.  Scott had been wanting pho last week and we couldn't find a place near us.  Pho is Vietamese noodle soup and we really came to love it while we lived in Alaska.  Anchorage, being incredibly diverse, had just about every kind of cuisine you could imagine (except Panera, of course) and I don't remember if we ever found pho in the midwest.  I'm guessing not in Waynesville anyway.

After the 5K and that ridiculous hike, I wanted something more substantial than soup, so I had the Grilled Chicken Bowl.  We had shrimp spring rolls and Scott had a Thai iced tea (I took a sip or two…even my sweet tooth can't handle those things.)

This was, without a doubt, the best thing I'd eaten so far in Colorado.  I can't say it any more clearly.  If you want to make me happy, give me a big bowl of Asian noodles.  I don't even understand how it is possible to cook chicken so perfectly.  Plus, there was cucumber, carrots, bean sprouts, shredded lettuce, cilantro, peanuts, and a sweet and sour dressing over the whole thing.  I added some soy sauce and chili paste.  I ate as much as I could, but ended up taking half of it home. Scott said the pho was some of the best he'd ever had.

If you are in the mood for Thai/Asian/Vietnamese food in Colorado Springs, go to Pho and Grille.  It's right next to an I-max theater, along a street of outdoor shops.  We can already tell that this is going to be our go-to location for dinner and movie nights.  It was absolutely fantastic.

And then we went to Coldstone Creamery, which was right next door.

  • If you are going to hike in North Cheyenne Canon, take a backpack with water and snacks.
  • You do not have to pay to park or hike.  It's all free!
  • If you are going to eat Asian food in Colorado Springs, go to Pho and Grille.


  1. Wow! Those pictures are beautiful! Sounds like a stellar day.

  2. Seriously, running on gravel is THE WORST!! Looks like you definitely earned yourself some good sweets this week ;) Love that photo of you and the pups!

  3. Seriously, running on gravel is THE WORST!! Looks like you definitely earned yourself some good sweets this week ;) Love that photo of you and the pups!

  4. Running in Colorado is no joke!!! Great job!

  5. I love the pics of you and the dogs near the rocks, and the dogs in the stream. LOL @ you, Scott, and Jett. That is how a lot of our pics happen too.

    I think you did great for not training and being otherwise not focused on this race! Elevation kills me.

  6. That food looks great - and I'm not into a lot of types like that.

    Eventually you'll get use to the altitude change. I'm a swimmer and I remember going every year for our summer trip there and laps here in MO are nothing like the half laps in CO because of the air. Its like you're working double hard, so I guess that's good! ;)

  7. I love our dogs, I do. But because they have short legs, they poop out on me at a mile or mile and a half with me. I'd love to take them on more trails. Also, North Cheyenne Canon seems beautiful!

  8. Running here is so hard! I've been trying to start again here and it is no joke! I feel so out of shape! North Cheyenne Canon is on our list of places to visit/hike. Would you say it's kid friendly? That food looks delish, may have to check that place out! You weren't too terribly far from us, I bet we'll run into each other one day!

  9. You are brave for hiking after running! And that food looks awesome

  10. This immediately made me miss the pho place that was *semi* near me in Raleigh just after college. It wasn't far from a big shopping center I used to go to frequently so I could justify it. Now, there's no one to go with and it's just too far. Oh, man. I want it so badly now!! A hike sounds...fun? Except I'd want to be prepared :) Yay for your 5k! I'm SO DANG SLOW so your time sounds pretty impressive to me! haha!


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