Today I am thankful for hot showers!
Pup and I headed out for a chilly run at Lair O' the Bear to chase the blues away. Leaving home my thermometer said 43 degrees and sunny, however once we arrived at the trail head it was a chilly 34 degrees with a very slight breeze. Brrr! Ask me how cold this is in a few months and I'll probably shrug it off but during these months that are 30-40's and chilly one day followed by a day or two of 50-60 degree temps, my body never seems to be able to adjust quickly. It's in an "in-between" stage and confused, I think. If I layer with shirt and sweater I sweat, if I take off the sweater for a long sleeve shirt I freeze...I just can't get it right til it becomes full blown winter. For now, I enjoy lounging around the house in a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and super fuzzy pj pants!
Dressed in CW-X 3/4 tights, a long sleeved wicking shirt, and a light weight wind jacket we set off down the trail. I had preemptively shoved a set of hot hands in the ta-tas to keep the core warm and I immediately slid on my windstopper gloves when the breeze reached my slender fingers. A smartwool cap was in my pack just in case.
Lair O' the Bear parking lot was relatively empty and, looking back, I only passed one mountain biker on my way back down to the car. For the most part I had the entire park to myself! The first mile was pretty icy alongside the creek. I was shivering slightly but knew as soon as I got moving steadily I would warm. I had packed my Kahtoola microspikes in Argos' pack (what a nice pup to carry those for me!) and I found myself slipping them on within the first few hundred feet. What an amazing difference, holy cow. I have had only a small handful of times I have gotten to use them since purchasing them at the tail end of last winter. I had forgotten how great these spikes were. As an avid (previous) user of Yak Trax I can tell you with an honest loving heart to go toss those crappy Yak Trax in the trash and buy yourself some Kahtoolas.
The microspikes dug effortlessly into the snow crusted ice and clung as if I were climbing up the face of a mountain. I had no fear of falling but made sure to lift my legs a little extra to clear the spikes from their grip. It was awesome and I didn't have to adjust my pace or speed as I cruised through the mile-ish of treacherous ice. After we started to climb, the ground cleared up with a few very short icy patches along the switchbacks, I shed my wind jacket, and replaced the spikes back into the pup's pack.
He was full of energy and pounced, scrambled, slid, and bounced along the trail and into every single snow patch he could find. I hadn't been able to get him out the last few days for a run and it was showing. He was happy to be out. In fact, he did the entire 10.25 miles with me without slowing down and falling behind! This just reiterates to me he needs this as much as I do.
We made it up to Panorama Point, swung back around and continued on Bear Creek Trail until we connected with Meadowview Trail. At this point I realized it was getting close to having to get my butt to work so I took a very longing look forward and turned back around. I left the spikes off at the end and just practiced quick delicate stepping with a continuous forward motion across the ice. I did just fine.
Back at the car, I climbed in and looked down at the dash clock. What the heck?! And then I realized that I had forgotten to take my watch off Daylight Saving Time and it was really an hour earlier than I had thought. Dang it, I totally had time for a longer run! Oh well, I decided, I shall take an extra long shower and pamper myself today.
On the way home my sweat soaked shirt started to chill and I was shivering. Heated seats on (sigh, I give thanks for those too) and heat blasting I finally got home, grabbed a bowl full of homemade yogurt with fruit and nut muesli, and bee-lined for the shower. The hot steam and water hitting my chilled body was one of THE best feelings ever. For that, I was oh so grateful!
I slipped into bed with my honey for a quick nap before work and, as I began to doze, heard the pup on his bed snorting out soft dreamy barks in his sleep.