No track mind…

Snow at the Casa
Plonk.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. ~ Lao Tzu

Tues 23 Mar: 00:47, 4.25 miles, Treadmill surges

An upslope storm rolled in last night and dumped about 18″ of fresh stuff on the Casa del Critters. Standard operating procedure for the Front Range this time of year. What is significantly less standard is my “meh” reaction to the whole thing. Typically, I would be standing in a line with a thousand other yahoos waiting for the lifts to start churning. This year, not so much.

Lots of factors contribute to my blah reaction to what would normally be unbridled enthusiasm for blower pow conditions. The death of my friend, Jonny Copp, in an avalanche last Spring certainly isn’t getting me overly thrilled to go out and tackle the backcountry and the shitty snow conditions we have experienced all year aren’t helping either. I tend to get into patterns of behavior and if things don’t line up, I move on.

I am a bit bummed that I bought passes again this year that have remained virtually unused. And I think my bummed-ness comes less from the money I spent on the passes than from the loss of enthusiasm for something I once cherished. I have been trying to look at it all from a more Zen perspective (with mixed results). Over the past 10 years or so, I have racked up an average of about 60 days per year. So over the long haul, I have gotten my money’s worth. I think that the overall change in attitude has to do with the quality of running I am experiencing this year. All season I have been telling myself that I would rather go for a good run than a mediocre ski and now, well… I think that I would rather go for a good run than a good ski.

Perhaps next year things will change. If the East Wall at the Basin will ever open up, maybe my attitude about skiing this year will come around. But I really only look at that as a way to cross-train for running. Apparently, I now have a no-track mind.

~stubert.

Runs without running…

Pull up at the function and you know I’m Kojak
To all my party people that are on my bozack
I got more action than my man John Woo
And I got mad hits like I was Rod Carew

~ The Beastie Boys

Fri 19 Feb: 00:54, 7 miles, Track barefoot/shoed
Sat 20 Feb: 5:30, Crested Butte skiing
Sun 21 Feb: 3:30, Crested Butte skiing

So I suppose I lied a little. There was some running involved on Friday but Saturday and Sunday were all about logging vert in incredible conditions at Crested Butte.

Friday, I jammed over to the gym to get in one final run for the week. Opted to wear the KSOs for the first half of the run and felt incredible. Was relaxed, ran smoothly, good pacing. Particularly excited about the low heartrate for the speed I was able to sustain. Even more interesting was that when I switched over to shoes mid-run, my heartrate jumped by several bmp at the same pace. Weird. Going to have to experiment with this more as well as trying to adapt a more barefoot stride pattern while wearing shoes. I do realize that as the run progressed, my heartrate would naturally increase but this was a marked jump. Very cool discovery. I’ll be testing this one again.

The only ill-effects I experienced was a tightness/soreness in my calves – particularly the lateral portion of the muscle group on my left calf. Any thoughts on that would be greatly appreciated.

So then the journey to Crested Butte began. Pete and I headed that way for what we hoped would be a couple days of better skiing than we have been able to accomplish this year in Summit County (or at the Rock). And let me tell you… we were not disappointed.

The Butte started getting hammered by a significant winter storm on Friday and it just kept coming. We were greeted with about 19 inches of fresh on Saturday morning and took full advantage of the prime conditions. Seems like everyone else in the county had the same idea and lift-lines were quite long but it was so worth it. Patrol started getting the good stuff open mid-morning and by noon we were spinning laps in tasty pow on Headwall and (after giving Telly’s head a good rub) NFL. All sorts of good.

CB is renowned for the high-caliber of skier and with the Extreme Championships going on, the level of talent on the hill was ratcheted up several notches. It was just cool to be in such close proximity to hundreds of rippers and to talk with people about how awesome the new snow was. This was the Butte’s first major storm since early December and the locals had the excitement level on 11. Pete and I worked the mountain, I showed him some cool stashes and we had a blast. It snowed all day as well which amp’d up the stoke for Sunday.

Post skiing, we wandered around the town of CB for a bit, grabbed a beer at Kochevar’s (a storied bar on Elk Ave.), then settled down to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Donita’s Cantina, for some tasty grub. Kay and Heli, the owners and all-around nice people make an amazing meal. If you are in the area, I HIGHLY recommend it.

A lazy evening watching Olympic coverage followed then we set it for “repeat” on Sunday.

Even more snow greeted us Sunday morning coupled with greatly reduced crowds, better visibility (well, for parts of the day… it was still snowing pretty strongly up there) and extreme terrain open from the gun. Perfect combo. We headed up High lift again and dropped into Figure 11, which was simply amazing and followed that with more NFL action. We stopped for a bit to watch the Extremes (Dead-end Chutes and Body Bags the primary venue for the day) then continued on our quest for excellent terrain coupled with killer conditions. Since a lot of the extreme terrain was closed on Saturday, when the rope dropped on Phoenix/Spellbound on Sunday, there was a LOT of fresh goodness to be had. And we had it. Seriously the best skiing I have had in a long, long time. Rivaled the conditions we found in Canada last year. I’d tell you where we went, but then I’d have to kill ya.

The drive home was fairly uneventful until about a mile west of Eisenhower Tunnel. Then it got ugly. Not sure what the solution to the I-70 corridor problem is (aside from avoiding it) but man… it is a mess. What is normally a 3.5 to 4-hour drive turned to 5.5 and it could have been worse. Rach had soup on for me when I got home. So I ate, ate some more, then hit the sack. Terrific weekend. Hope to put it on repeat soon.

~stubert.

Taper…

Patience, Grasshopper. ~ Master Po

Tues 9 Feb: 00:40, 4.2 miles, Treadmill surges
Wed 10 Feb: 00:39, 4.8 miles, Boulder Creek Path progressive tempo

First of all, my birthday rocked. Went skiing at Eldora in the morning (very briefly) then headed down the hill with Rach to see the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Really enjoyed that film. We then jammed back home, stopping to pick up food at Kathmandu in Nederland. Then some serious kickin’ it was thrown down. All in all, a great way to spend my birthday.

Tuesday I was back at it and hit the gym after meetings in Denver to do a quick, easy run with some surges. Felt fantastic, frankly and spun easy 10s with a few surges thrown in for good measure. Then I did a couple circuits in the weight room and called it a night.

Today I had more meetings in Denver and then a client hike/meeting in Boulder. Hiking Sanitas and talking shop were both great. Still a bit snowpacked and icy in spots but nothing too horrendous. I then got in a quick run along the Boulder Creek Path at dusk. Glute/hamstring was a bit tight throughout and I have a very poor ability to monitor my efforts but overall it was a great run. Yeah, I went a bit too fast but I had fun, dammit.

Tomorrow will be race prep day then I hit the road Friday morning to head to Moab for the race. Looking forward to it for sure. Just need to work on my throttle control.

~stubert.