12 January 2013

Weather Report

I've lived in good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate." - John Steinbeck 

It has been freakin' cold here the past two weekends as I’ve ventured out for my long runs.  Last Saturday, I ran 9 miles up the Barr Trail (5,500 ft of vert) starting at 10° wind chill and obviously by the time I was up above tree line, it was well below zero with the wind.  But the views were worthy of the 3.5 hr uphill slog.  I was pretty beat afterwards; between the cold and the altitude, I got a good spanking.
At the tree line
Chillaxin' for 30 seconds
Since I’ve been putting in tough 18 - 20 milers the past few weekends, I needed to give my legs a break.  I went up to a park in West Denver today that has 13 miles of trails and 2,900 ft of vert.  I was pleased to see that the trails were in good shape.  As on the Incline & the Barr, I saw many people in Yaktrax, but my Mountain Masochists have handled the snow just fine.  I used my spikes only when descending the upper portion of the Barr last week, where the terrain is steeper and there were a few icy patches.  

The temps today hovered between 5° and 10° and the only challenge I had was keeping my water tube from clogging with ice.  I stuffed it down my shirt and in 10 minutes the ice had thawed enough to drink.  The hubs offered another tip of holding the line up, opening up the valve and shaking it out.  He's smart, my guy. 
We were supposed to have clouds and snow 
Parmalee Transverse = windy
Devil's Elbow = not so windy
It would be nice to have the flexibility of scheduling my long runs on warmer days in the forecast, but I suppose that being forced to run when conditions are not ideal is better.  After all, isn't venturing for hours in the mountains supposed to be mysterious and unpredictable?  As someone who acts on life rather than waiting to react to it, it’s good training for adapting to unwanted and unavoidable situations, something that is very unnatural for me.  My hope is that I can learn to apply that same acceptance and grit in my non-running life that I do when facing similar situations in the mountains.  

At least this week I wasn't so tired that I couldn't enjoy a night out with my dude. We had another delicious six-course Moroccan meal at Tajine Alami followed by our customary trip to REI:
Shrimp Pel Pel and mint tea... so good.
I certainly couldn't dream of doing an ultra without the support of J-man.  I'm grateful to have a husband who values exercise as much as I do and encourages me as I pursue my dreams.  

In keeping with the weather theme, here's the great Jaco Pastorius on bass, circa 1978.  You're welcome.

Ever read Steinbeck's Travels with Charley?  Read it.  You'll love it.

Happy Trails,


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