27 December 2010

Winter Miles

The Atacama Desert Crossing adventure race is just over two months away.  

While I always run during the winter, this is the first winter that I've "trained."  I'm keeping up my weekly mileage in snow and wind and ice.  More importantly, I've been doing all my long runs (and many shorter runs) with my race pack.  It's good to get used to running with a pack on -- different form, foot-strike, cadence, etc.  Right now I have about 15 pounds of newspaper stuffed into it.  I haven't purchased all my gear for the race yet, but when I do I'll transition from newspaper weight to the actual gear I'll be carrying in Chile.  The race website says participants generally carry between 15-20 pounds of gear.  I aim to make it as light as I can.  

I definitely feel myself getting stronger.  It's a little weird training in snow and sub-freezing temperatures for a hot and dry desert race...but there's not a lot I can do about that.  My main goal for the next couple months is to make my legs stronger.  Not surprisingly, the snow is doing a good job toughening me up a bit.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays.  Sadie and I had a wonderful weekend on the trails.  Here are a few photos from Saturday's 25-miler:

Keep running!



  1. Great adventure on the ice! Those pics are amazing, the third is wonderful.

  2. nothing like training in the winter desert for a dry desert race! but you will definitely be stronger!

  3. Yes great photos.
    I guess the advantage of carrying 15lb of newspapers is;
    1/If you get too cold you can start a fire and have a read at the same time:]
    2/ You will always have enough toilet paper for you and Sadie, even on the longest run :]
    Seasons greating, long happy running and good health alround!

  4. Yes, this will toughen you up a little. I was worried you might be a little soft :)

  5. i agree this weather will toughen us up but i still hate it. i enjoy feeling my fingers and toes when i run...

  6. Wow! Awesome pics! Quick question, did you just luck into a dog with great running ability or did you test her out first? Our dog is a rescue, but looks to be mostly pointer. She is a decent runner when we can get her to trails and let her off leash (not a lot of opportunity for that since we currently live on a small island), but on leash you can hear her feet scuffing like this is the most boring thing ever. It doesn't seem to matter what the pace is (I'm 9:30, but my husband goes under 7:00 miles) - she just always seems bored. Any ideas to help us get her to love the run?

  7. @Rick-

    @Chris and Amy-
    Thanks for stopping by. When I started running a few years ago I knew I wanted to get an endurance dog. Border Collies were right up there near the top of the list when I did my research. Sadie was a pick out of a litter, so I was just banking on the fact that she should be a good running dog.

    Sadie's runs off leash probably 95% of the time. When she's on leash, she's just deals with it (so do I). But she's gotten A LOT better on leash with some practice.

    I don't have any specific ideas for your dog, but if she loves to run off leash, then I think she'll learn to love running on leash the more she does it. How long have you had her?

  8. We've had her a little over two years. We live on Okinawa so our trails are fairly limited, but we try to get her out there at least once a week. I'd probably be able to take her more often if I was confident that she could handle some longer runs. She definitely loves the trails and I think when we move to the states next year she'll have more trail opportunities and become a better runner. Thanks for your reply and I'm glad I found your blog. Amy

  9. Mine's a border collie cross and I've had him up to about 22 miles on the trails (of course, he does twice that since he's off chasing squirrels and swimming in the rivers!). On leash, we keep the runs short because it's less fun for both of us!! But with practice they can learn to run nicely on leash (mostly...).