Sunday, January 2, 2011

Greeting 2011 Head On

Started out the brand new year with a frigid trail run at Mesa Trail in Boulder. It was a balmy 15 degrees with a slight breeze. I had planned to go to Nederland for a snowshoe run but changed plans mid-drive when I found out that temps up there were in the negatives.

I shucked my snowpants and heavy jacket for cold weather running pants and laced up my sneakers. I tucked my Yak Trax in the pup's backpack in case I needed to "chain up" midway. I have learned that you should plan for ALL types of weather and events when in Colorado. What may appear one way when you first start your run can change all together a few miles in...that being a few miles too far to just run back to the car.

My eyes teared up as soon as the cold air hit my face and I quickly pulled my Smartwool hat and neck gaiter on to limit my skin exposure. I knew I just needed to get moving and I would warm up. Hot hands tucked in my gloves and a Gore-Tex shell over two other layers (Under Armour Coldgear LS shirt and Nike Heavyweight Zip-up) and I was off. I had forgotten my Injinji socks and had on a pair of Smartwool mid-weight hiking socks. These proved to be very effective and kept my toes warm without overheating. I think if I had had just the Injinjis my feet would have felt the cold some.

A mile into the run I realized I had forgotten to blow out the water in my Camelbak tubing (a lesson learned my first winter here in Colorado). A quick check showed my tubing was filled with ice. Dang....

I played with the tubing a little and wrestled between blowing out and sucking in until finally I got a break and water flowed out of the valve. Sweet. I took a long swig and then promptly blew the water back into the bladder to prevent the tubing from freezing again.

I warmed up relatively well within the first mile to mile and half. The only things left still painfully chilly were the tips of my fingers. I always have this issue. I swung my arms as I ran to try to get more blood down to the tips and sure enough with the combo of running and swinging/shaking my fingers started to heat up.  The run from there on out was pleasant and refreshing. Every so often I would feel my lungs burning from the cold and snot running down my lip. I would pull up my neck gaiter (it was an on and off again kind of thing) only to find the vapor from my breath had frozen the gaiter. A few sharp breaths and the wool released and thawed. I thought this all kind of funny. From the sounds of it the run should have been miserable but in actuality I was quite comfortable and toasty.

Many people were out on the trail today with their dogs. I like this trail because Boulder allows off-leash under voice control. Argos met and pounced on a few dogs, taking up a good 10-15 minutes of my run...oh well, the run is for him just as much for me. It is great to see him so happy. I highly doubt he has any idea how spoiled rotten he is. That boy eats prime organic bison dry food mixed with raw chicken, lamb, beef, etc., gets daily sessions with the Chuck-it (Glow Ball= BEST INVENTION EVER) AND gets to play in the mountains. Rotten, I tell ya.

We saw a few deer and several coyote along the run. They were far enough in the distance to not be an issue but I would see them notice us and sit there on their haunches, ears perked, watching us. One of them was pouncing high in the air onto some tasty morsel of the evening. Some days out here on my trail runs I feel as if I have walked right onto the Discovery Channel and have to almost pinch myself to believe that all the cool nature things I am seeing is really right in front of me.

We turned around and headed back as the sun started to fade behind the mountains. Within thirty minutes the wind picked up to howling speeds and started knocking me around. Ugh this was suddenly turning into a very uncomfortable situation. I pulled my gaiter up higher and my hat down lower, tucked my chin into my chest and forged on going as fast as the snow would allow me. I could feel my abs, knees and ankles getting a great workout in the snow.

I finally reached the car and realized, as I slid into the drivers seat, that my ass was half frozen. Seriously numb! It was an odd feeling once the blood started to return as my seat warmers thawed out my ass.

Excellent run for the brand new year. It was chilly but an all around great time.

I am really not one for "New Year Resolutions" since, sadly I am in the belief that most people who make them do so out of negative self thinking, flighty ideas, and rarely follow through. Instead of calling them Resolutions which are so wishy washy and non-adherent...I title them GOALS. Goals are made any time of the year, in any specific mood or need, and can be updated or deleted at any time without feeling defeat. In fact, it is important to constantly check and recheck your progress on goals. Resolutions leave you feeling defeated if you don't conquer to the fullest that specific target...leading many into the downward spiral of negativity.

Goals mean setting the bar high and working hard to reach them. Even if you don't fulfill the goal entirely, you have made a great stab at it and many times realize reaching the entire goal may not have been completely necessary for the greatest amount of success or happiness. Not to ding those that have made's just not my thing. I wish to stay healthy, enjoy married life to its fullest, travel, keep up my passion for running, be active in my new blog on food storage and preparedness, and start selling some of my sewing/craft projects. Long term goals are even loftier.

Happy New Years!!

1 comment:

Karl said...

Thanks for the update Thea, your adventures are always great to read about. What races will the wild child be doing this year?