31 January 2011

Warm Snow

The temperature has reached at least 40 F during 15 of the last 18 days, and five of those days it reached 50 F.  

This is warm for a January on the Palouse.  But, more importantly, this means melting snow....which is bad for skiers/snowboarders, but great for trail runners.  And what about someone who is a snowboarding trail-runner, like me?  Eh, skiing/snowboarding has become so dang expensive that it's been two winters since I've longed for a powder day.  (Then maybe I should stop calling myself a snowboarder...)

Sadie and I took advantage of some unusually snowless January trails.

Wet and muddy at lower elevations
(this section is usually snow-covered all winter)

Sadie waiting for me at the top of a climb

On the climb

Snowing 1,500 ft above trailhead

There is still quite a bit of snow at higher elevations

Sadie was light enough to run across these sections of packed
snow, but I would sink through nearly every step.
Not much running (for me) this high on the trails.

Gotta love training for a scorching hot, bone dry, mile(+)-high desert race in wet snow.  :)

Keep running!


27 January 2011

Special Thanks to Palouse Falls Brewing Co.

Besides making the best beers in town, Linda and Jeff of Palouse Falls Brewing Co. have been ridiculously supportive of me and my upcoming attempt to race across the Atacama Desert in Chile.

Many of you have probably noticed their logo on my shirts for the last few months. Since the end of the summer they've been putting aside their Wednesday night tips to go toward helping me get to Chile (that's the night our running club - The Beer Chasers - meets for post-run drinks at their brewpub). Last night we had a big chili feed, and they presented me with a check for $1,000 to help cover costs of participating in the event.  

Thank you, Linda and Jeff.  And thanks to the other Beer Chasers - without your Wednesday night drinking habit there would be no tips. :)

Linda and Jeff presenting their sponsorship donation
And many thanks to everyone else who have helped me raise $1,970 so far.  I've been truly amazed by all the support.  It's no wonder I run with a smile on my face.  I hope everyone else does too.  :)

Keep running!


18 January 2011

Pullman Winter 50k #3

Last month's Pullman Winter 50k was in blizzard-like conditions.  Saturday's didn't feel like winter at all.  Temperatures were hovering around 50F, there was no rain, winds were light if even noticeable, the route was clear of any memory of ice or snow, and an overcast early morning turned into a partly sunny late morning.  It was a good day to run.

The event is a self-supported run on a 7.75 mile paved loop around Pullman.  Last month, I ran without a water bottle or fuel and just stopped at my car for water and a Gu Gel after each loop.  This worked okay (I generally don't drink or eat much on my runs), but on the last lap I was wishing I had a bit more water.  So this time I carried my hydration pack, which not only let me sip on water a little more often, but it also cut down on the couple of minutes it took stopping at my car each lap.

I kept a relatively even pace throughout and finished in 4:17:08, whacking 28 minutes off the 50k PR I set last month in the blizzard.  This was Sadie's 50k PR too. :)

We have one more Pullman Winter 50k scheduled for Feb. 19.  I'll bet we don't get spring-like conditions again.
My pre-race warm-up ritual

A month and a half until Chile.  My legs are feeling a little tired, but strong.  They're getting used to running while tired.  The only thing I haven't finalized for my trip is my lodging while in Santiago.  I have all my gear ready except for a few small items.  I'm getting nervous.  :)

Keep running!


04 January 2011

Winter Miles Part 2

Ran 20 miles around this 1/2-mile city park path.
Those are all my footsteps, minus a few from a lady that walked by.
Not many others were out that morning when it was 5 F (-15 C).

Another view of the path. All the tracks in the snow
off the path are Sadie's after dozens of laps.
A squirrel taunted her for at least 15 laps.

These blue skies made the previous
day's blizzard easier to forget.

The beautiful side of a bitter cold.

Happy New Year!

Keep running!