If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cold, snow, running, and caffeine

The weather man really blew it for our holiday weekend. All week we were expecting some sun and at least high 40's - good running weather for the end of November...
...however, anyone who lives in the Rockies knows that weather professionals get paid to be accurate 20% of the time - if they do that, they get to keep their jobs! As you can see, we got another 2 - 3 inches of fresh powder over night (and someone forgot to bring in the door mat...) After a fantastic fall of blue skies and WAY above average temps, we're getting slapped in the face with mountain reality - winter has arrived! Now it does help to put the holiday spirit in gear and ramp up for Christmas. BUT, it also puts a real damper on the "trail" portion of trail running. We are now in the entry to winter version of Mud Season. Two inches of snow, temps hovering in the 30's, and a little of our high altitude UV rating produces a nice mixture of mud in the open areas and snowpack/ice in the sheltered areas. We try to not brutalize our trails, so mud is usually not an option for our runs unless it is limited and keeps the trail in a manageable state. As for the ice...
... it is time to dig the Screw Shoes from the closet and dust them off for winter. For those who are not accustomed to ice on the trails, fall on it hard once and then you'll beg for screw shoes. If you run trails in the snow and ice, these are essential and very easy to manufacture. Just grab some 3/8" and 1/2" slotted sheet metal screws from your hardware store and pull out your (or your neighbor's) cordless screwdriver and find a pair of shoes that you are comfortable wearing but don't mind putting some holes in the tread. As you can see in the pic, mine have 11 screws each - probably just about right depending on how icy and how much you weigh. Be careful if you are using a gel or air cushioned shoe as to the placement of the screws. Also try to attach at the tallest part of the tread so the screws actually make good contact. That's it, you are ready for the ice.
We did get out for a short run today, just to get some leg turnover after a couple pretty hard runs. It was a balmy 28 degrees with 14 wind chill with beautiful gray skies and light snow when we ventured out. With tired legs, we put in a quick 4.5 miles on our local multi-use trails and then came in for the day as it continued to snow. We ran two completely new routes in the past 3 days, which is not normal for us (we like routine), and both were hard runs. We will continue to add runs such as these to our lineup so we continue to build a base of both mileage and strength. We finished with our current favorite recovery fuel - caffeine, milk, and chocolate syrup - yummy. For you java heads out there, my current bean on-deck is from Dazbog, a Denver micro-roaster. Good stuff for sure, we used organic French roast for the espresso today, but their organic KGBlend is also quite good. If you live in a warm climate with dry trails, we envy you today. If you don't, bundle up and run anyway. Happy Trails!
Shoes - K Asics Gel Nimbus
S Brooks Cascadia


Footfeathers said...

Wow, you guys got socked with the white stuff. We had a dusting last night but only in the higher elevations. Chilly day for a run for sure!

HappyTrails said...

We got about 5 inches - just enough to make a mess of the "real" trails!

Candy said...


i miss that snow!!!!

(btw- I RECEIVED your package today!! thank you!!! can't wait to listen to it!)

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