Sunday, December 5, 2010

Late Afternoon Run: N.Table

After staying up til the wee hours of the morning being crafty and sewing some more Christmas presents, I overslept a touch (darn night shift schedule) and didn't get out for my run until late afternoon.

Due to the recent sightings of mountain lions throughout most of my favorite trails, I tried to pick one today that would give me at least a little more advanced notice if a cougar was salivating over my pace booty. North Table was chosen due to it's near treeless and relatively well-traveled trails as well as the plethora of deer grazing there (I want to allow the lions options other than,

seriously I think this is the lone tree on the hill

Similar to Green Mtn, the entire "mountain" is near bald but I enjoy the trails never-the-less and they are more vacant than Green Mtn which always seems to be like an ant hill crawling with bikers whenever I go. Not that I have any beef with bikers, I just wanted to focus on a steady non-interrupted run rather than having to stop every  quarter of a mile to allow a biker to go by.

I started out a little chilly (30's) at the old trailhead on the west side and headed up towards the fire road. I veered right (near the water (?) tank) and kept running right. This is a fun trail that is severe single track with beautiful grasses tickling your legs as you run by. About a half a mile down that trail I took a sharp left that turns into an instant hard hike and scramble up the side of the cliff's rocky side. Summiting onto the plateau of N. Table Mtn I ran right and then another right for a climb to the Coors plant overlook. The city of Golden is spread out below and it is a grand site, jaw-dropping if you've ever seen it at night.

Headed back down, saw my first herd of deer grazing, and continued right until the dead end of another cliff overlook. Backtracked to where I summited and continued straight until I looped right instead of taking the fire road back down to my left.

I kept on running until I came to Rim Rock Trail. I have never taken this trail before, so I headed out knowing it dead-ended in a mile. I was on a time limit today so I figured this would help limit my exuberance from being out on a gorgeous day.

Hit the end of the trail,

turned back around and headed back the way I came except took the fire road back down where it connected to my original trail at the trailhead. Almost 8 miles, no cougar sightings, and felt great!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gobble *Burp* Gobble

I.      Am.      Stuffed.

As much as I tell myself not to overeat, it is always a struggle to turn your back and downcast your eyes upon so much delicious food. Friends who put in so much effort and time to cook such a wonderful meal, it would be almost sinful not to indulge. Thankfully, I don't tend to be an emotional eater and I know when to say when (except Thanksgiving) so getting stuffed to the maximous doesn't happen often.

Got home early this morning from work and headed straight to bed knowing full well 1pm was going to arrive way too quick. I was going to cook my newly crowned favorite recipe: Pumpkin Streusel Bread for the Thanksgiving feast Cowboy and I were to attend at our Colorado family's house by 4:00. Cowboy got home shortly after me and we spent, as we usually do, way too much time chitty-chatting and giggling about our nights while snuggled up in the cozy comforter. I finally got to sleep and sure enough, what felt like an hour later my alarm was chiming in my ear.

I threw the ingredients together (baking and pureeing the homemade pumpkin a few days ago helped speed this process up significantly so that I could use fresh pumpkin-yum!) and tossed them all in the oven. I made two loaves to take to tonight's meal, a loaf for each of us to take to work to spoil our coworkers, and a 9x9" to see how the bread turned out "coffee cake" style. With just a little bit of batter left in the bowl, I couldn't toss it out. I pulled out a mini loaf pan and filled it. I have no idea what will become of the little guy but I am really not concerned it will go to waste as I witnessed Cowboy jokingly attempt to steal the little bugger into his pocket. After all that pumpkin-y goodness the house was smelling divine! A wave of nostalgia swept over me as I remembered the smell of my mom's baking during the holidays. I missed my family but also submerged myself in the delight of spending my first holiday with my husband.

I was able to sneak in a treadmill run, a simple 5K "sprint", while the bread was baking. This is how it went:

Toss the stoneware loaf pans into the oven, slam the door, set the timers and dash upstairs magically transitioning from corduroy jeans into my running attire along the way.

Hit the incline to 2% and throw that baby into high speed #7.0 (I think that's about an 8 min mile pace?). Flick the switch on the ipod and away we go. Heart racing as I keep glancing at my bread timers and increasing my speed to #7.5. I was so distracted by the timers that my stride felt easy and I rejoiced in going fast!

8 minute timer dings, I hop of the treadmill (placing it in "pause") and dash downstairs to check the bread.

mmmm. smells so good...put bread back in oven, reset timer for another 8 minutes and dash back upstairs. Jump back on treadmill, switch the ipod back on, and pound another mile out. Repeat.....

After 3 strong miles the bread was done, I was in full sweat, and I was ready to FEAST! Show me to the stuffing!!! (Yeah I am much more of a stuffing girl than "the bird")

Our Colorado family presented quite the amazing spread, as they are known to do. Turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, gravy...I am sure I am leaving something out here. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING tasted gourmet.

The Pumpkin Streusel Bread went over fabulously with coffee and all were happy and stuffed. It took a great effort to get up from the table so we all just sat around chatting lazily. There was definitely much to be thankful for and I soaked it all in.

Back to work now, ass dragging and eyes heavy. My bed is calling me and it's only midnight...I do not look forward to tomorrow's drive home through the misery of insanity called Black Friday. Seriously, this day should be renamed to "How America Shows It's Ass Day". Remember the year they had that massive Walmart stampede? Elmo dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids...this year if I hear the name Bieber one more time I am going to vomit on the person standing next to me.

I ventured out once....long long ago, on this fateful day and was appalled. Appalled I say. Truly appalled at the behavior of man-kind. Adults were acting like toddlers screaming "mine" and throwing temper tantrums in aisles over barren shelves. Children, in plain site of their parents, were running up and grabbing toys and such out of other people's carts. People shoving and being ruder than my ears would tolerate. It was sensory overload and I swore I would never ever go out shopping on this day ever again. I like to try to keep the hope that most individuals, if given a chance, are mostly decent and "good". Recalling the screen shots in my head of that day goes against that notion in a very big way.

So Happy Thanksgiving to all and please be responsible, polite Americans as you push through the crowds tomorrow in search for your bargains. For me, I will be happily sleeping the day away tucked down deep in my covers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Argos' Trail

Spent yesterday discovering a new(ish) trail over at Apex. It was low 40's with a slight breeze- enough for me to throw on a thin long sleeve, but still warm enough for my cw-x stabilyx capris (I 'heart' these). Started out on Apex Trail up the hill and then swerved off onto.....

Yep, Argos Trail (and yes, Argos approves!)

I noticed the new addition sometime this summer but never ventured onto it. Today was the day and I admit it's a very nice trail. It is definitely going to be put into the rotation as it's good switchback climbing  training for the big ditch next year. Not unlike lower Mt. Falcon it climbs, climbs, and climbs some more. The views are slightly dull on the climb compared to so many of the other trails in the area, but not too shabby. The ground is fresh soft dirt, smooth and mostly even- excellent for letting loose on the downhills (although careful on the switchbacks as my shoes skidded out a few times trying to corner too hard *grin*). Argos Trail connects to Pick 'N Sledge Trail and then Grubstake Loop (at least the way I went). Once on PNS Trail, the path becomes a bit rockier, although still very enjoyable.

Grubstake Loop is surprisingly an amazing trail. The previous path held views of mostly dried out grass and desert-y fields with the city of Golden/Lakewood in the distance. Once you got onto Grubstake Loop you curved around the mountain into a few lengths of shaded wooded path- I love wooded paths. 

I took PNS Trail back towards the Argos Trail. If I had more time I would have taken Sluicebox or Hardscrabble down to Apex Trail and ventured up to Lookout Mtn. I have always taken the Enchanted Forest back down and never gone to Lookout, so that is something that will have to be done in the near future. 

Once I connected back to Argos, I took a quick right down to Apex Trail, turned around, went back up (for extra mileage) and then back down Argos to the parking lot (tail end/beginning of Apex Trail). All that totaled six miles in about an hour. Not too shabby for all that climbing, map navigating, and stopping to let bikers/hikers pass. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gore-Tex TransAlpine Trail Run: Stage VIII

Niederdorf im Pustertal to Sexten
33.4 km (20.7 miles)
Vertical Distance: 1269 meters ascent, 1123 meters descent
Total Time: 5hrs 45 min

"The final stage of the Gore-Tex® Transalpine-Run 2010 leads from Niederdorf in Puster Valley to the beautiful location of Sexten in the Dolomites. Before crossing the finish line in Sexten, there are again nearly 34 kilometers to run which are going to be quite intense due to a total altitude difference of more than 1200 meters. But the backdrop of this stage couldn’t be more beautiful and breathtaking, because with the Three Peaks, the symbol of the Dolomites, the field of participants will finish in truly inspiring surroundings!"- TransAlps website

Let's just say Stephanie and I rocked our last day. I am glad now that we took those two days off so that we could finish strong and happy. 
We woke up early and headed to the medic tent to get our gimpy parts pre-taped. The lady took one look at us and expertly cut, wrapped, and pressed our limbs into place with brightly colored Kinesio tape. We jumped off the table, high fived each other and headed for some breakfast. 
Groan....I am soooo tired of deli meats and cheeses. I dream of oatmeal, buttermilk pancakes, french toast dusted with cinnamon, cool milky cereal with blueberries, toast with peanut butter, eggs.....someone feed me some REAL breakfast foods!!! 
During breakfast Steph and I had our patience tested with DF (aka Douchebag "F"- name withheld)- a guy we met a few days before that was now permanently out of the race due to a bum knee. He was blonde with a soccer player's body and oh so cute...
until he opened his mouth. 

The dazzling British accent created a diversion while his stupidity and self-centeredness flanked you, hitting you upside the head. Just pure ignorant cockiness. We were annoyed to say the least. DF went on and on about how, "it would be one thing if I had to drop out of the race because I was tired, but my knee is busted, know 99% of runners get injured at one point in their life...blah blah blah".


Steph, known for her ability to say exactly what was on her mind, practiced great restraint and said quite honestly and politely, "well, I don't know about you, but I'm fucking exhausted! Injured or not, I'm totally wiped out." I nodded in agreement and we excused ourselves from his company, brushed off our shoulders and stood a little taller. With that we headed to the start line.

We gathered alongside our great friends Carl and Dave, Jerry and Linda, Emily and her husband. We cheered, whooped, hugged, and snapped pictures. It was a great morning. We patiently waited for the Highway To Hell songs and such to get over with and we headed out the gate.

The first 5-7km were on the road. We passed a yard full of odd naked statues. Of course we had to stop and take evidence!

Once I got onto the crushed gravel path (not quite dirt but hey, I'll take it over asphalt) I kicked it up a notch and chic'd a bunch of runners. I was feeling fantastic and the music was making my heart soar. Each aid station I noticed Steph was right on my heels (atta girl!!) and we took off climbing up the mountain with the Dolomites looming in the distance. 

At the top of the mountain, still feeling great, I unwrapped my last Granny B's pink frosted sugar cookie and savored it while I ran. I got so excited about my cookie that I noticed I was eating some of the plastic wrap with the cookie. oops.

On a delightful sugar rush, I FLEW down the mountain. The music in my ears, along with the great views just put me over the edge in happiness and I opened it up, giving it all I had. A team of guys from Spain were on my tail, so I put on the brakes and stepped to the side to let them pass."no, no, you go ahead, we follow" they said in broken English, "you going super fast! You go girl! we follow you".

I decided right there and then...yep, I had achieved PACE BOOTY status. I grinned to myself and opened back up.

The trail was incredibly rocky and technical all the way down. I scanned, leaped, jumped, and glided over the big rocks, navigating several feet ahead of myself. It was as if my body was part robot and calculating all the highly technical mathematical equations of body position + terrain - obstacle = where to place body next. My torso, legs and arms automatically adjusted their fine movements to create a gazelle leaping effortlessly down the mountain.

ok, so I probably looked like a total gimpy goon and out of control on a sugar high, but a gazelle is how I felt at the moment, so let me live in my lovely fantasy. 

Just as I was nearing the bottom, I miscalculated a move and rolled my foot off a muddy patch on a boulder. My leg flew out from under me and in a fleeting self-sacrificial attempt to prevent myself from falling I braked hard, real hard, with my right leg. 
Pain like I've never felt radiated up my ankle, into my shin, and pierced every single friggin nerve in my body. I crumpled to the ground and balled up instantly, holding my entire body in the crouched position with my head between my knees for extra measure and just breathed hard through the pain. Stephanie appeared out of nowhere and made sure I was ok.

"I'll be fine, keep going, I'll meet you at the bottom. I just need the ground to stop spinning and the stars to go away for a sec." I breathed. "you rock".

I got up eventually and gingerly made myself down. It took about 3km to finally feel stable on my leg. Steph cheered me into the aid station, we filled up our water and took off with only 6km left in the run. I blasted my music and melted my body into the rhythm of the ipod. My steps matched the beat and it helped me keep going forward at a great stride. We flew past a handful of teams and paced each other into the finish line. 

I was E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D...and proud. Proud of Stephanie, proud of myself, and proud of every single runner that came in. 

There was supposed to be free pizza and cokes at the finish line, however the boxes were empty when we arrived. A few runners ahead of us explained that a bunch of teams took entire boxes of pizza over to a chair and ate them. How RUDE! Irritation flashed across my face for a second before I sucked it in and declared myself unable to be annoyed at a time like this. I refused. Fuck 'em, rude people....

Stephanie and I posed for a pic with our medals and headed to the concession stands to buy some grub. I picked over a few things until I craved a shower and bed. After talking it over, we decided to try to find us a room. Camp was going to be miserable after all the drinking and partying that was going to happen in celebration. We really did not wish to be part of that. 

We hiked several miles to try to find a room. Every single place was full (we later found out there was a separate race happening the following day that had filled the town up). Accepting the fact that camp was the only option, we limped back into the "barn" and took a communal shower. After a short nap, we headed to the pasta dinner and met up with Dave and Carl. Hugs all around and a quick phone call to the parents and was at a very high point for me. Steph and I opted out of the after party and awards again and decided to have a little post celebration of our own. A "girls night out" if you may. 

We ducked into a small restaurant called Willy's and settled into a booth. I ordered a hot apple pancake dessert with vanilla gelato and a macchiato while Steph ordered a hot chocolate gelato. YUM. We both ordered a red wine (which ended up being on the house!) and toasted the night away.

The table next to us, consisting of an older couple from Munich, struck up a conversation and we chatted for several hours. The husband was running the race the following day and was eager to pick our brains about the TransAlps. He was openly excited for the both of us. They were an incredibly sweet couple and by the end of the night, they offered us a place to stay in Munich if we couldn't find a hotel the night before we leave Europe. I was floored at their generosity and almost feeling that they viewed us like daughters. As we were leaving I paid for their beverages. It was the least I could do. You don't find hearts like that in the world's so very rare. 

In fabulous spirits, Stephanie and I headed back to camp while we discussed what the night held for us. We each took two Percocets for our injuries hoping to make our night a little more tolerable. We decided against taking our nightly Ambien due to the wine consumption and the pain killers. Neither of us had a great amount of weight on our bodies to hold everything together, the last thing we needed was to be physically revived. On our walk we discussed our plans to hop on a bus to Venice tomorrow and see ITALY!

What a PERFECT ending to our day and our amazing adventure through the back-country of Europe. We felt loved and had no regrets about our decisions. We both worked our asses off and gave 110%. 

Head to toe assessment: ankle/calf is sore and swelling, back is abraded from my pack but tolerable, left 2nd toenail slightly black (no pain), no blisters (yay!), hips tight and tender but the rest of the body feels top notch. I done good....

Good night.

I am now sitting upright in my sleeping bag. Watch says 2356 and I am

AWAKE. What the hell....

My belly throws out a grumble of dispair and I realize I am starving. Peel open a Bonk Bar and nosh, looking around the gym. I put my backpack at the foot of my sleeping bag and elevate my throbbing legs. There is incessant coughing, snoring, and general rustling around. Ugh. A handful of runners come in drunk and stumbling to their sleeping bags after snapping a few photos of themselves. For the most part everyone is quiet and respectful though. I lay back down and pull my Buff over my eyes to help me sleep.

Annnnddd someone's watch alarm just went off along with a loud fart.  Nice.

I sit back up and pull the Buff off my face and sigh. This is going to be a long night. I make a rash decision and move quickly so I can't change my mind. I slip out a little pink pill and swallow the tab of Ambien. Please don't let me stop breathing, please don't let me stop breathing.

I know in reality I will be fine. I am wide awake, feeling pain in my leg and not drowsy one bit. Ambien is not going to be the thing that puts me over the edge.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gore-Tex TransAlpine Trail Run: Stage VII

St.Vigil to Niederdorf im Pustertal
42.2 km (26.2 miles)
Vertical Distance: 1963 meters ascent, 1990 meters descent
Total Time: approx 5hrs stopped at aid station #2 after 17 miles (Stephanie DAY OFF)

"On the 7. stage from St. Vigil in Enneberg to Niederdorf there’s one highlight after the other. The first 13 kilometers from the town of St. Vigil through Tamers Valley toward Pederu are an ideal start for the runners due to its slight incline, but the first steep climb up Senneshütte is definitely something else. In an extreme climb, the course squirms in short bends up to the alpine plateau of Sennes, one of the most beautiful mountain pastures in the Dolomites. Via Seekofelhütte and Alta Via Dolomiti Nr. 1 we reach Pragser Wildsee, before another climb begins up Weißlahnscharte. Only now do we leave the Dolomites again toward the North in the direction of Niederdorf. At the end of the day we will have covered an altitude difference totaling almost 1700 meters and a distance of over 42 kilometers."- TransAlps website

Today was going to be a glorious day I had decided to myself. I was going to run, albeit slow and potentially not very far, but I was going to run! On top of that I found me a hard-boiled egg for breakfast! Jackpot!!

I woke up bright and early. Low and behold, the swelling in my leg was reduced tremendously. The skin was sort of pasty and wrinkly from the moisture of the cheese, but I did noticed it wasn't so puffy. Wow...wait til the states get a load of this.

Stephanie cheered me out the gate and I settled into a nice even pace. I could feel the leg just slightly but it wasn't screaming warnings at me so I let it ride. The first bit of the run was on road and I was grumbling to get onto some dirt.

When we finally hit trail I let my body fly and pushed a little harder than I had anticipated. I hit the first aid station (which I had anticipated stopping and ending the day at: I just wanted to run "a little") around 1hr 10 minutes. Whew! Not too shabby for a gimpy runner chick doing 7ish miles! I had chick'd a bunch of guys on the rolling rooty forested trails. I grabbed a few tidbits to eat along the run and kept going, heading towards aid station 2. 

The climb up was fun with beautiful views of the Dolomites we would see more of tomorrow. As I climbed, though, I couldn't keep warm. I started to shiver and piled on the layers, finally breaking open my emergency hot hands and putting them into my bra. Shh, that's my secret weapon. It seriously works. I have put them in my gloves frequently, but I found that when I get beyond cold fingers it's time to get to the 'core' of the matter. 

Hot hands in the ta-tas (grin). My chest gets nice and toasty which then spreads the heat to the rest of my body. I'm quite proud of myself for discovering this gem, by the way.

Just when I started getting warm and comfortable, my stomach started growling in hunger! I felt I had eaten a substantial breakfast but my belly was telling me different. I slowly nibbled on items in my pack: honey stingers, single flask of Liquid Gold, flask of mixed paste Perpetuum, anything I could find I ate.  

And the final straw: I didn't pick my foot up high enough and ca-pow! I accidentally kicked a large rock sending needles and screams up my injured leg. I slowed down and tried to walk it out but it wouldn't settle down. I limped from there on out.

I was excited when we hit the summit of the first peak

until I looked down.

The run down was a treacherous, scree-filled, slippery rock, steep slide down. There was little running involved....At one point I rounded a bouldered corner only to find a steep drop off and a chain.  

Yes, a chain.

We had to climb sideways 
                                                          hand over hand with some parts where I rested the hiney down and scooted to get to the next "level" of down. My ankle was very tender and I did not trust my footing. I was S-L-O-W.

I finally hit aid station #2 and called it quits. We still had one more large mountain to climb and from the talk I was hearing around me from crew it was worse than the first by a large amount. 27.4km....I felt I achieved much more than I had initially set out to accomplish. I could hold my head high for the day.

Stephanie had found us a room to rent in a cute little farmhouse. It was unique and adorable! What a teammate!!

 Bidet anyone?

"I like to picture Jesus as a figure skater. He wears like a white outfit, and He does interpretive ice dances of my life's journey. " Talladega Nights (note baby Jesus hanging above the bed)

It was just about cut-off time for the restaurants (did I mention everything, and I mean everything closes between 2 and 5:30?) so I ducked into a little pub and ordered some dumpling soup and gnocci! Woot Score!!
So delicious.

This time the gnocci was nestled in mounds of mozzarella, garlicky roasted cherry tomatoes, basil, and drizzled with olive oil. If the waiter had left me for a few minutes I probably would've licked my plate.

Nap time followed by pasta dinner. Yeah I can eat:)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gore-Tex TransAlpine Trail Run: Stage VI

Sand in Taufers to St. Vigil
39.7 km (24.7 miles)
Vertical Distance: 1512 meters ascent, 1193 meters descent
Total Time: DAY OFF (Stephanie ran approx 7hrs)

"With an altitude difference totaling over 1500 meters and a distance of almost 40 kilometers, the 6. stage on the eastern route of the Transalpine-Run 2010 is probably the hardest that has ever been run in the history of this stage race competition. Till the finish in St. Vigil, the route first leads along the eastern side of Tauferer Valley until Bruneck. After crossing River Rienz the seemingly endless climb toward Kronplatz begins, never allowing even a peak at the Dolomites in the South until reaching the summit region. The final downhill section into St. Vigil in comparison will feel like a relief."- TransAlps website

Day 2 off. Leg was feeling crappy still and I wanted to run the last two stages if I could. Stephanie was feeling better today and decided to run. I stood at the start line all teared up in excitement for her (jealous, yes, but surprisingly I was incredibly proud and excited to watch her take off!). 

I watched the last runner leave the chute and bummed a ride to St. Vigil. I walked as much as I could around town to try to find us a hotel (and maybe even some laundry service- our bags were smelling really rank) but everything was so darn expensive. I gave up once my leg started to put it's two cents in. I headed to the "camp" and searched the building for a nice quiet spot away from the main hub of mattress pads, stink, and sniffling runners. 

I cringed at the thought of the little disease factory that was being produced. Runners were getting colds left and right with their immunity compromised and sharing such close quarters with each other. 

I found a staircase with a little hallway leading to an office door just off the main gym. There were doors separating us from the gym and the noise was muffled a bit into the hallway. Perfect! I carried both Stephanie's and my race bag upstairs and proceeded to lay out our bedding. 

By that time my sleeping bag was looking very inviting so I snacked on a banana then curled up and took a nice nap. I would wake here and there to stretch my ankle out inside my bag and massage it a bit. It was progressively feeling a bit better to the point that I entertained the idea of running the next day. 

I woke in time to head down to the finish line and cheer in a bunch of runners. It was kind of neat to be on the other side of things for once and I found myself tearing up in pride and excitement for all that were running in, knowing full well the exhaustion they were feeling. I cheered Stephanie in, gave her a huge hug. and promptly fed her! After she showered, we enjoyed a latte and then headed to camp for our pasta dinner. Today was actually really good: baked/roasted chicken half, veggie lasagna, potato salad, marinated tomatoes, roll with cheese!! Delish! 

Stephanie and I headed to the local market after dinner to pick up a few toiletries. On our way out we met Marcus, the sweeper, who asked us how our injuries were doing (Stephanie had declared after dinner that she was going to sit the next day out from overdoing her knees. She was limping a bit and wanted to be able to run the last day). Then Marcus introduced us to the hidden and secret art form of "cheesing". 

Marcus took us back into the market where he had us buy a large chunk of a particular cheese. The name escapes me, but it looked and felt very similar to farmer's cheese. It was soft and spongy, moist, and tasted a touch sweet. He gave us each gauze and wraps, telling us each to slice off a piece tonight, place it on our swelling and wrap it overnight. "By tomorrow" he said, "the swelling will go down significantly!"

Stephanie and I looked at each other then back at him...

then burst out laughing. 

We were convinced, for sure, that he was messing with us. He was trying to get us to do something so fantastically silly that he could go back to his "boys" and laugh at us dumb Americans. We weren't buyin' it.

Until we saw his utmost serious expression. He was telling the truth.

"Seriously?" we asked him.

"Seriously." he said and waved his hand at the cheese counter lady. She nodded her head in agreement. 

We giggled the entire way back to camp thinking about putting cheese on our legs. We sliced and applied, taking pictures to document. 

The cheese was moist and we were concerned with it leaking in our sleeping bags. We already smelled funky, we knew that, but we didn't want to make it any worse. We used the plastic wrap the cheese was packaged in to cover the cheese and prevent it from creating a soupy mess in our bags. We grinned childishly at each other and tucked into bed. 

I had decided to run the next day and, in my pure excitement, spread out all my gear to be ready for the early 0700 start. I had a "date" with the Gore guys at the start line and I was giddy to run!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


After many many frustrating days, I finally have gotten a few pain free runs in. The leg still swells a bit after a run and feels "twingy" in the joint and along the right side of the shin, but it is all manageable. I am planning on getting it x-rayed....sometime.

Shortly after I got back from Europe, I volunteered for a local race. A half marathon trail race where Argos and I served as the sweeper and clean-up crew. Argos wore his pack in which I stuffed the race mile signs into and picked up flag markers and such. It was fun but a long day...I ran a little here and there with much satisfaction.

The last two weeks I have gotten in some light runs:

Mesa Trail was a gorgeous out and back with beautiful signs of the changing weather. Leaves golden and red, wheat colored grasses, and a wonderful crisp smell in the air.

Matthew Winters was run a couple times with great results. I did well on the climbs and only needed a few walk breaks. Each time I was there, however, a rattler was seen. Today Argos and I did a fabulous ballet leap over a HUGE rattlesnake. It was horrifying to say the least. It was ginormous and very green. After we vaulted over it (both of us going too fast to stop quickly) I turned around, my hand on his pack to hold him steady, and stared at the snake. It suddenly sprung to action and hissed up a storm, it's rattle spinning out of control. He was full of piss-n-vinegar and was ready to strike. My heart was pounding and it took me a good few minutes to recuperate from that adrenaline zing. Holy cow that was close.

N. Table also had a baby rattler on it but it was dead and dried up in the parking lot. Geez-us, I have never seen so many snakes before!

I have been testing out Liquid Gold product and am, so far, very pleased with the results. I will spend more detail reviewing this once I get a few more runs under the belt. For now, back to the TransAlpine review.....