The wind, it blows…

This speech is my recital. I think it’s very vital. To rock a rhyme that’s right on time, It’s tricky is the title. Here we go. ~ Run. D.M.C.

If you close your eyes, take a deeeeep breath and relax, you can practically see all the awesome shots I have taken over the past few days of skiing and running. Just picture the most amazing photo and video ever produced, then up that by 23% and you’ll be in the ballpark. Unfortunately, this is the best I can do for you at this point, since I donated my camera to the Brainard Lake wilderness on Sunday afternoon.

Yes, I have been busy training. Even did a 15-miler on Friday in the Boulder drizzle. Luke and I went out Sunday afternoon in gale-force winds to hit up the north-facing chutes on Niwot Ridge. Did I mention the gale-force winds? Yeah. We dropped down D2 (funky snow but fun) then jammed back to the RockShot pitch in the Rabbit Cages. Really funky snow in there. Wet slab conditions prevailed. At some point between the bottom of D2 and the parking lot I lost my faithful camera. The shots on it are award-winning.*

*Proclaimations of awesomeness are contingent upon the discovery of said camera at which point the author can not be held responsible for any lack of photographic awesomeness. But until the camera is found, the author is sticking to his story that the author composed and captured the best images ever created in the history of digital (or non-digital) photography.

Tuesday, I ran 8 miles north of Boulder. Seems the theme for the week is huge headwinds that suddenly die once they become tail winds. I put in the time on Foothills Trail then transitioned over to the trail system west of the Res. Didn’t feel great but after Sunday’s 6-hour trudge and a short, recovery run on Monday, that was to be expected. Stus and heat still don’t mix.

Luke and I headed back out this morning to an abandoned attempt to ski one of the couloirs off of Audubon. Today’s wind made Sunday look like a crappy Nichole Kidman/Billy Zane movie. The weather station at D1 said 80mph gusts and I believe it. It took us an hour to get up to Brainard where we decided that we just weren’t into getting blasted off the Audubon ridge and headed back over to the Cages. Dropped RockShot modified (hit the really steep drop in) but conditions were like Cold Medina with a slippery top layer of relatively fresh on top of a weird crust layer with slush underneath. Tricky.

As I said, it is good to be out there regardless of the munkiness of the skiing and bead-blaster conditions. Figuring out the rest of the week but I suspect it will be more of the same. Good times.

~stubert.

Big shoes…

Rub some dirt on it and get back in there. ~ Coach Sanders

Yesterday’s run was interesting. I definitely learned a few things:

  • Running in headwinds and rain takes it out of you
  • Sticky mud = very big shoes (I knew this already but it was reinforced nicely last night)
  • I need a new jacket – preferably one with a hood
  • I need to practice running at night – MUCH slower than in the daytime
  • I have a great crew

So after a few stumbles, Luke and I finally started running at 5:00. The first few miles were on pavement/bike paths and went quickly. Easy 10-minute pace. We ran on trails here as much as possible but had to spend a bit of time on the hard stuff, which is not really what either of us enjoy. Once we hit dirt, the wind kicked up and it started to rain. This would be the standard off and on for the remainder of our run.

Pete tried to hook up with us out by Boulder Res but we somehow missed him and just kept rolling. We had to walk anything remotely steep as the trails out this way are mostly clay and were pretty slick. We were getting tired from having Gene Simmons shoes and I was trying to stave off the fatigue by pounding yummy humus burritos Rage made.

Several miles later, after running down the Sanitas Valley Trail, we looked up ahead to see our favorite black-haired crew member trotting down the trail towards us. Brad had braved the crummy weather to come join us for a brief section of the run. We shuffled into Eben G. Fine Park and met up with Nichole and Pete just before dusk, roughly 30 minutes off pace but still feeling okay.

Nichole, Pete and Brad practiced crewing (Brad holds a mean apple if you are ever in the need of those services). After a quick shoe change, some dry clothes and refilling our food and water stocks, we were off into the night to run up the first part of Flagstaff on our way to the Mesa trail. This is where things started to fall apart a bit.

I could tell that Luke was not feeling particularly well on the climb up Flag. Usually he is the one pushing the pace but last night, he was experiencing some knee pain that was holding him back. I wasn’t feeling just red hot myself and we decided to take a short break once we got to the Ranger Station. At this point, Luke decided it would be best if he were to call in the cavalry to give his knees a much needed break. I wanted to push on a bit so that I could increase my longest distance and time active and headed out Mesa solo planning to catch the car at NCAR.

I was definitely a bit slower on this section than I had hoped. I also lost my ear buds somehow and, though I searched for several minutes, was unable to locate them in the dark. I must have stepped on them while putting on my jacket or something. So we can add that to the list of needs: New headphones. I finished up at NCAR about 4:45 after starting and estimate my total distance to be ~20 miles. Pete was gracious enough to come pick me up and Luke and Nichole donated a shower. I got home sometime around 11:30 after driving through a pretty good Spring snowstorm to roughly 6 inches on the ground. Spring in the Rockies… gotta love it.

So today, I plan to recuperate – watch some movies, maybe go for a short walk later and let Rage drive the car back and forth over my legs for awhile. Tomorrow I am cleaning cages at The House Rabbit Society in the morning and may do a short run in Boulder in the afternoon or perhaps skin up Eldora for a few turns. Comment if you would like to join me on either or if you have a preference.

~stubert