Couch-bound…

Keep your icy feet away from me, Mr. Freezey. ~ Akbar… or Jeff… I get those two guys mixed up

Seriously, my feet are like bricks of ice. Gotta get that situation fixed pronto. Rach, go boil some water or something…

Well, today I just feel like going for a run. But it is supposed to be my rest day and realistically, I need the rest, so run I will not. I may just kick the new cat around a little and hope that the impact doesn’t shatter my feet.

It was pretty nippy up here last night. 3° to be exact. Which, as defined by Webebster* is nippy. So that makes 3 + 8 = horseshoe. Math… who gets that stuff?

So instead of a thrill-a-minute, action-packed tome about tromping around the woods for 17 hours, today, I’ll pick something to review and well… review it, for your reading pleasure. See, I got your back.**

Today’s review: The Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover – Mmmmmmmm Pufffy

My new favorite garment of the year is the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover. That is a lot of words but there is some serious alliteration in there so we can forgive them. It is not only fun to say, but fun to wear and has kept me toasty warm in a wide range of conditions. This awesome jacket proves that good things DO come in small packages as it is amazingly lightweight, packs down to a tiny, easy-to-store bundle, and keeps you warm and dry even when wet. This is the advantage to Patagonia’s PrimaLoft One insulation over Down – well, that and no birds are harmed – and it gets the stubert seal of approval. The outer shell is even made from recycled material so that makes, like, three thumbs up which means I need to go out and find a third thumb somewhere. Where’s Walter Sobchak when you need him?

Just yesterday, I was removing a foot and a half of snow from our driveway and, as I am known to do, misjudged the wind direction a bit with the snowblower resulting in a seriously coated Stu. No problem for the Nano Puff… I stayed toasty warm. It’s like wearing some sort of magical anti-coldness cloak. Now, if I could only get them to make one for my feet…

~stubert.

*Webebster is a completely fictional reference book made up by the author to cement a punchline. I cheat. Sue me. Webebster did.

**Yes, though occasionally I misspell “contemplate”, I am not a complete moron and do know that “I got your back” is not correct grammar. Punctuation and where commas and shit go when tossing quotes into sentences, I really need to brush up on that but right now I am in the zone and as I discovered when I startled our cat one time while he was playing with a piece of tinfoil or something, you should never disturb someone who is in the zone… particularly when your nose is within clawing distance.

Location, location, location…

Perfect practice makes perfect. ~ Vince Lombardi

1:05, 6ish, surges

One of the things I love about living where we do is our proximity to interesting people and terrain. In the winter, running in the high country becomes somewhat challenging as trails disappear beneath drifts of snow, the wind kicks it up to eleven and the temps drop. The Boulder/Denver basin, however, sees many days of sunshine and warmer temps that allow runners to get out and enjoy a wide variety of trails and safe running circuits. You can ski in the morning then drop down to Boulder and get in 20 miles in the afternoon. No sweat. (Well, maybe a little sweat.)

Today I headed down early to drop our kitty off at the vet then got a little work done and ran a few errands before heading out to Janet’s for our regularly scheduled training session (just a portion mapped there… forgot my Garmin). I warmed up in shorts and a Patagonia Capilene 1 T-Shirt (yeah, it was lightweight t-shirt weather) then worked with Janet on surges. Felt pretty great, actually. We worked on getting me to initiate the stride from my hips instead of my feet and I felt like I was really starting to get it. Sweet!

Then I went to Shirley for a great (if brutal) massage, picked up Beep and jammed back up to the hills. I did pick up some screws while down in Boulder to make some screw shoes. Probably not a bad addition to the gear list… just in case.

~stubert.

No business like snow business…

Cause one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor ~ The Beastie Boys

There is just something exciting about a snow storm… particularly one that comes whistling in and pounds you with fresh flakes during your long solo run. Not that 2.5 hours is particularly “long” but conditions do play a major role in how long that feels and how fast one can cover the distance during the planned time.

I used this handy tool for judging what to wear, added a couple of items for backup and to combat what I knew were going to be challenging conditions, and headed out the door under heavy clouds, falling temps and intermittent snow showers that quickly turned to full-on blizzard activity. I was in the zone, however… so much so that I blew through one important turn that I missed due to the trail being covered with fresh pow and my not really paying attention. So I went another way.

The beauty of running familiar territory is that when you do blow a turn and find yourself staring at an adamant “no trespassing” sign, you can just take another route, knowing that eventually, you’ll be back on common ground. So I dropped down an old mining road that eventually spilled me out with minimal bushwhacking to the Beav’. Crisis averted, on with my run.

So instead of doing the planned, clockwise loop, I modified my game to roll counter-clockwise – actually the more familiar direction of the two. I power-hiked up to Little Hope then dropped off the back side and into the system of mining roads and singletrack trails which have become my regular stomping grounds. Little Hope feeds to Ski Thing which then heads around the shoulder to Sofa Spring and Funky Boss. A quick, steep climb follows to the shoulder summit and I dropped down Tupperware, fed back to the Casa Trails on which I started (but now hooked into a different section) and headed up to try to find Dan the Man without success. Too much fresh had fallen between my last venture in these woods. So plans changed again, I hit the Fire Station and worked my way back around to Saddlebend, Diver Down, then back up to the other end of Dan the Man to Ladybug then home. I am sure that other people have names for these trails, or perhaps they just refer to them all as one bulk item. Either way, they are a blast.

I actually felt great for most of the run. At times, the going was slowed a bit due to the conditions and by the end I was tired and getting pretty chilly. Temps throughout were in the mid 20s and I was relatively comfortable most of the day with just long pants, a long-sleeved Patagonia Capilene 3 Crew, and gloves but donned a hat and my Patagonia Houdini Jacket when the snow was really coming down. One interesting equipment issue I had early on was with the gaiters (which actually look a lot more like spats) I was wearing. I actually really like them for times when I am sure that dirt and debris are going to be a problem but the string that runs under my foot (to keep the gaiters in place), kept collecting snow, ice and detritus. Eventually, one broke and I removed the other one without further incident. Makes me better understand why some manufacturers go with a Velcro attachment.

All in all, it was a pretty awesome day for a run.

In other news, we got a new kitty about 3 weeks ago. She is a Siamese short hair, is nuts (though that may be redundant) and her name is Nino. She likes to drink out of the faucet and is slightly less aggressive about it than this kitty. I’ll post photos soon. We also are saddened by the death of one of our long-term foster bunnies, Rosie le Rose who died late last week. She was a sweetie and will be very sorely missed. Rach does such an awesome job taking care of the little guys and providing them with lots of love and tenderness. Rosie responded in kind and was a welcome addition to our family. We’ll miss her tons.

~stubert.