Saturday, February 26, 2011

Apex Run- revisited

Mtnrunner posted some new pics from our mud-fest run last Saturday.

Click here to check them out! 

Also, a great friend (and awesome ultra runner who's in the midst of some potentially record breaking plans) steered me toward some must-have trail maps. I admit I got a bit carried away looking at them online and soon found I had loaded every single map of the fabulous state of Colorado, and one of the Grand Canyon, into my shopping cart. In a moment of sheer excitement I clicked "buy" and nearly fainted from the anticipation.

If you want some wicked trail maps (printed on waterproof paper = bonus!) check them out.

They're by Kent Schulte and here's the link. I just got them in the mail the other day and I am incredibly impressed. He outlines the trails at the bottom of the map, giving a great technical description of each trail.

I can't even begin to measure the amount of excitement pent up in this body to get out on the trails and explore! This year is all about checking out new places and learning more about my beautiful state.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How My Day Went Today

Wanted to be here:

But ended up going here:

And here:

Felt like this the entire time:

After showering and chilling around the house for an hour I sneezed. 

Then twice. 
Then three times.

I am a solo sneezer.


Arrived at work tonight and sneezed twice again.

 Oh crap.

Now I feel like this:
Nose is running, eyes are tearing up, head is stuffy, and drinking tea like a chain smoker. 

I feel pretty darn good if I could just lop off my head.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Signs of a Fabulous Trail Run

Status post trail run at Apex- mud up our thighs...

Went to the gym early morning with Cowboy meaning to work on arms but gravitated towards the treadmill. Not sure this was the greatest idea since I already had planned to hit the trails after the gym, but...
Just over three miles later plus some sit ups/push ups and the trail was calling my name (or maybe that was Argos's excessive whining to get out on this lovely day). Mtnrunner texted me, said he was throwing on his gear, and would meet me at the trailhead. Sweet!

Starting out, we passed two ladies just coming off the trail. When asked how the trail conditions were they replied "Muddy and Snowy with a little ice." 

In unison I replied, "I can handle mud!" just as Mtnrunner said, "I can handle snow." It elicited a chuckle from all. I guess between the two of us we were prepared for anything. Unfortunately, my last run snapped my YakTrax and I hadn't gotten some new spikes for snow/ice running. I figured I would wing it and walk where I couldn't run. Mtnrunner had brought along his Kahtoola spikes (see pic) and strapped those on immediately. 

The trail proved to be tough yet invigorating. A good fun hard run. I knew I was going to be slow due to the gym workout but decided to go as much as I could. That proved to be not as big of an obstacle as the ice was. At many points along the hills I had to nearly crawl on hands and knees so as not to slide off the side of the trail. It was a bit frustrating, especially seeing Mtnrunner ahead of me cruising with no issues. Arrg! I knew to not get impatient and just take it slow, glad that I was out getting on the trails even if I was hiking a bunch. If I let my stubbornness take over I was sure to slip and tear something. I cursed my procrastination on getting some spikes and just kept moving forward on the skating rink!

Mtnrunner would run ahead then come back every so often to check on me. I felt burdensome being so slow but a little grateful that he was making sure I wasn't lying in a heap somewhere half broken. 

There were a handful of areas that cleared out onto dirt and hard packed snow, giving me relief from the ice and making me really enjoy the run. Mud splattered all over me and I could hear the pleasurable slapping noise my feet made in the muck. I remembered at one point, years ago, how I was fearful of getting my feet wet and getting blisters. After more running experience mixed with John Vonhof's book, I fear mud, water, and snow no longer. I get a thrill in running through the stuff. 

At the end of the run, Mtnrunner and I high fived each other for a wickedly fun run. We both were covered in mud, including the pup. 
7.81 miles for me (total for the day = 10.81), Mtnrunner had over 8. 

In other adventures, I tried more of my Amazing Grass products. Pre-run I drank the Berry SuperFood in 8oz. water.

It was palatable but not my favorite of the bunch. I have a tendency to stay away from "berry" flavored things. I like my berries individual: strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, etc. Once they are mixed they lose their unique flavor and kind of taste like cough syrup to me. That said, I'll still eat berry flavored items but I just don't go out of my way to chose them. 

Post-run I drank Pomegranate Mango Infusion Amazing Meal in 10oz water for a good healthy 10g protein and 110 calories. A little skimpy on the calories for a post workout meal but I figured within another hour I would have a "real" meal so this in-between recovery drink was perfect. 

I really enjoyed this one. It still tastes green, mind you, but if you don't mind the greenness then the mango flavor really kicks your taste buds in a good way. I liked it and would drink it again. I could imagine tossing it in some orange juice maybe even with a banana, or adding in a touch of vanilla whey powder for an extra protein boost and making it taste like an orange creamcicle. 

I felt super healthy after a day of exercise and healthy eating. I topped all this off with a homemade bison burger on a whole wheat bun and a light caesar salad. I was maxed on greens today!

Lastly, post Gudy Gaskill run here I met Cowboy back at the car. He had worked up an appetite and dipped into my emergency snack pack that I keep in the car. One of those items happened to be an Amazing Grass Berry SuperFood Energy Bar. He saved a good chunk for me to try. He raved about it stating "I was a little nervous when I first unwrapped it and saw green. But that is really good! I'd carry more in my pack."

I bit into it and agreed, it was good. Again with the berry thing, but it was indeed tasty. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is it a trail run or a hike?

It reached a balmy 37 degrees at the house today and I could think of no excuse to keep me inside. That and Mr. "Whiny-Pants" Argos was driving me nuts. One thing I have learned through the years is the breed tends to be excessively chatty. Not all, mind you, just most. He will talk talk talk and talk some more. Usually in the form of whines varying in pitch and degree but also in howls, grunts, moans, and barks. Toss in a few acrobatic leaps and head shakes there too. He is not a nuisance barker by any means, but when he's got pent up emotions that he just needs to get off his chest, he nearly explodes. Don't even get me started as to what happens when I put on my jacket to run an errand, or worse just pull out a single article of running gear. Good Golly. The amount of excitement and happiness in this dog is unbound. Drama King I say.

I truly have created a monster in this pup. 

I accept fault for this exercise-addicted dog, I do and my love for him is unmeasurable, it's just sometimes I want to avert my eyes, snuggle back in bed, and play possum. Except then he (upon hearing the potential of me being awake) shuffles directly to my side of the bed, sticks his cold wet nose under the covers, and pokes me a few times as he whinnies like a horse. I thought we had out mastered him one day when we cleverly put our bed up on risers.  He simply solved that obstacle by standing on his tip-toes (seriously can dogs do that?!), thrusting his chin and neck up onto the bed to reach me, while letting out a desperate whoa-is-me-life-is-so-tough sigh. I think he practically choked himself out in the name of waking me. He wasn't technically getting up on the bed, which he is forbid to do, but he managed to do everything but. 

Then he just hung there quietly.

By the chin.

Staring at me.

I couldn't help but giggle in adoration, reach an arm out to pet his massive noggin, and smooch him on the nose. 

So today we headed to Green Mountain to play. I picked Green Mountain for it's notorious high traffic of hikers, bikers, and runners. I figured of all places to go (my other pick was going to be N. Table Mtn) this would have some good hard packed trails with all the snow we received over the last week. 

Laugh...not so much luck.

Hold on. Let me pan out for just a moment to get a better idea of this nasty wrench in my plans:

Ha ha. Yeah. Well...

Determined to have fun and see it as a challenge I continued on my quest for a trail run-hike-post-holing adventure. The snow was quite deep, sometimes knee deep if I stepped wrong, but we trudged through at a moderate pace. I saw some footprints vaguely in the snow ahead of me but I am not positive we were on any actual trail per se. As in most things in life I say "Create your own path and tracks!" And so we did.

There was a slight breeze at the base of the mountain but as we climbed the wind started tearing into us. It was very very windy at the top but I was headstrong and committed to making it to the tower.

I tagged the post to the left victoriously.

We pivoted back around and promptly headed for a much needed downhill relief. This went a bit faster, although we still paused here and there for pictures and videos.

"Look Momma, a coyote friend!"

Argos was chasing his own snowball avalanche. I got an extra laugh at sending him up and down the hill several times to wear him out. 

And my favorite picture of the day

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunday White Ranch Run with MtnRunner2!

Sunday I met up with MtnRunner2, a fellow blogger and nearly neighbor, for the first time at White Ranch. He was the winner of the great Granny B's crack cookie giveaway. I had held onto his cookies as blackmail until he agreed to meet me for a trail run.

See his post with pictures (I was trying to hard to keep up with his speedy ass on the hills and didn't get any pics) here.

It was a great run with amazingly beautiful temps. Within 15-20 minutes into the run I had shucked my layers down to just a short sleeve top and pants. Argos was, of course, along for the run and had a blast running back and forth between the two of us. I think he did 2 miles for every one of ours. He even trotted alongside MtnRunner several times as if he just made a new bff.  Traitor.