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

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fresh Powder

With sun and 30's chasing the icebox weather out of our region for a bit, we hit the "trails" at Cheyenne Mountain State Park Saturday.  We think the trails were there, although we had some nice powdery snow coating the surface and not too many tracks had been made there when we reached the park.  In fact, we were one of only two cars at the main trailhead - and the other diehard folks were on mountain bikes!  Kathleen is just starting up Sundance trail - feet dry but not for long...
 There was actually quite a bit more untracked snow than we expected at the park.  We probably could have done a nice snowshoe run had we brought our gear - another day for that!  The mountain was looking great against the crystal clear Colorado sky.
Steve running through the Talon / Sundance intersection.  This was one of the few packed areas as a couple folks had been through on snowshoes and made a nice path.  In most places that were not packed, snow was about ankle deep - enough to soak the shoes by about mile 3.
 Kathleen running through the old tree on Sundance...
... and climbing Blackmer with an awesome backdrop.  By this point in the run, we were nearing about 40 degrees but the wind chill was still brisk.  The sun, however, was softening the surface a bit and making the climbs quite slick and cumbersome.  Luckily, we had the Trabuco screw shoes on or it would have been tough.  (If you run snow and ice, grab some sheet metal screws, a cordless driver, and get your tutorial here.)
 Dodging the boulders on Soaring Kestrel trail.
Near the bottom of Coyote Run, the snow was a little thinner and will probably start to reveal a bit of mud in the coming days.  Some of the higher trails are probably going to keep snow and ice for some time now, though.  Not good news for race 1 of the winter series - going up high on the Talons could be slippery times on race day!!!
Grabbed a nice snowy group photo before calling it a day.  We picked up 8.5 miles on fresh snow, which always leaves the legs feeling like you ran a lot more!!!  It was a great day to be out after a week in the freezer!

Today we headed out in different conditions.  We had a nice high wind warning in effect and beautiful gray skies, so we stayed close to home.  No sense being far away if you decide to pull the plug early, right?  We decided to just step out the door and loop around the Flying W area on the neighborhood dirt trails and see what happened.
 We were able to avoid the worst of the winds by getting out early, though it was gusting to 40 mph by the time we finished, according to our neighborhood weather station.  Kathleen summits Flying W road above - good thing it was gray, as our legs were bright pink from the wind!!!!  They had plowed on Thursday and Friday, so the sun had exposed some nice stretches of the trail and our feet were happy to find dirt!!!  We were able to squeeze out 10 miles before football even started - woo hoo!
Happy Trails!

Shoes - Saturday Asics Trabuco with screws
Sunday - K Asics Trabuco
               S Nike Structure Triax


Meg Runs said...

Running in shorts in the snow?? Love that! I've never run in snow but you said that it's pretty hard on your legs, is it close to running in sand? Sundance is beautiful!

Slomohusky said...

Shorts!! Wow you folks are hardcore! How do you keep your toes dry when your shoes are wet? Isn't that a little dicey when it some to potential frost bite issues? Sorry, my old Boy Scout snow hiker in me is asking?

HappyTrails said...

Meg - running in the snow is probably comparable to running in deep sand - similar but different. When we were on the climbs, even in the screw shoes, we would slide backward with each step. Also, most of the trails are off-camber for drainage so we were sliding toward the outside also. Plus, plain old post-holing is hard work - I can really feel it in my hips, butt, and core today!

Slomo - The key to running in the snow is to wear merino WOOL. Wool stays warm even when wet. Although our feet and shoes were wet by the time we were done, out feet weren't cold yet (no blisters, either). Wool socks and undershirts are the way to go. We always change to dry clothes immediately when we return home or to the car - sit around in wet clothes for awhile and you will feel like you have frostbite!

Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

I, too, am surprised to see bare legs when it's so cold. Maybe I don't have to worry so much about freezing the next time (!) it snows here!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Your pics remind me of our trips to CO to ski. One year I was training for a marathon so I had to do some runs in the snow. Scary! Felt like I could fall at anytime. You guys are amazing. Your shorts also remind me of the strong winter sun in CO, much different than the sun here in the winter. Isn't it weird how it's so different all over the country?

Tara said...

Only in Colorado will you see someone running in shorts in the snow! I do it all of the time.

I ran in the snow this past weekend too and my heart rate was through the roof!

It's warming up this week; should be great running weather.

Drymax Sports said...

Hello, my name is Bob with Drymax Socks. I was reading your blog and viewing your wonderful photos. If you wouldn't mind contacting me I would love to discuss the use of these photos. My contact information is bob@drymaxsports.com . I would also like to replace any worn out socks.

Thank you and I look foward to hearing from you.


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