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

Sunday, January 25, 2009

(COLD) Reality Bites!

We really enjoyed our 10 day run of WAY above average temperatures and probably got a little spoiled by the warm running... OK, not probably, we just expect it now! However, there is a slight problem in that we live in Colorado and it IS January - the TROPICS have left the building!!! So when the mercury could not top 35 Friday and the expected 40's for this weekend disappeared by Friday night's weather forecast, we knew it was back to bundled up running.
We woke to light snow falling again this morning and when the sun finally peeled back the clouds, we decided to head out for some leg turnover on the Santa Fe trail. We have been very lucky that we have not been required to tap Santa Fe much this winter - it is mostly wide open and generally never gets too muddy, so it is occasionally a winter staple. While "flat" for Colorado trail running standards, it still requires a good effort to maintain some speed. The other issue becomes one of boredom - not much in the way of the regular spectacular scenery we get to enjoy on our runs. So we hooked up some tunes and set out for a run. It was quite cold when we started but the sun helped. You always have to be careful on this trail when it's cold because there is NO shelter from the wind.
We made the turn around point we had decided on in really good time and still had some sun. What we had not realized was that our good pace out was not iPod induced, but rather tailwind induced. We had not paid much attention to that because it was quite cold on the way out. Shortly after the photo above, we lost the sun, the wind kicked up hard, and flurries started. Now we have run some cold days this year and done very well maintaining a positive attitude, but this last 4 miles today was a character building event. The wind got so cold that Kathleen started to have blurred vision from her eyeballs freezing and we did not have much conversation on the way back - our mouths and faces were frozen stiff! What a difference 1/2 hour can make in the mountains. We finished with an amazingly respectable time for a mid-winter, frozen jaunt, decided to SKIP the cool down walk because we were FROZEN, and immediately jumped into our rental vehicle (see yesterday's post for that jolly time). It was an interesting scene - I had Ice-locks - my hair was frozen solid from the sweat on the way out and my wool headband was frozen stiff!!! But, it was quite a good run and it was one of those efforts that pays dividends in Spring and Summer when you think about bailing on a run because of cheesy stuff like lack of motivation, wind, or cloudy days. That is ultimately why we run when many don't - earn your fitness now and enjoy the base you build in three months when others are trying to get in shape! BTW, we saw 5 other humans while out for 10 miles.
By the time we made the 5 minute drive home from the trail head, this was the view of the mountains from our driveway - well, they ARE there, you just cannot see them!!! Needless to say, the caffeine production equipment kicked into high gear when we got home - jet black, steaming espresso helps thaw out the body after a frigid outing. We got in a good ten miler and then parked it in front of the "Lance Returns" special on Versus - nothing like Lance for some good motivation! (We're glad he is back!) Good Times!

Shoes - K Asics Trail Sensor
S- Asics Gel Trabuco
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