Sunday, November 11, 2012

First snow runs, and back in the Lottery

First snows at Washoe Lake

Week Summary (11/11/2012)


Goni Trails East: 5.7 mi (+776 ft); 11:52 pace
Ash Tracks - Easy Hills: 6.6 mi (+1,095 ft); 10:18 pace
Whites Canyon OB: 9.5 mi (+1,175 ft); 10:05 pace
Duck Hill at Washoe Lake: 9.3 mi (+1,616 ft); 12:03 pace

Weekly Totals: 31.1 mi (+4,662 ft); 5:45:35 on trail

Goals and focus events can seem very far away as the days grow short and you wake up to snow falling on your favorite trails. Working on the beginning sketches of next year's race schedule can change that, and dropping my name in the Western States lottery can lift the gloom and bring each training day back into focus. Buffalo 100 is the focus now, but I'm hoping to make every snowy stride a big step for the upcoming season, regardless of my chances in any lottery.

Speaking of gloom, I began the week in a funk, feeling over-extended, over-whelmed, and under-fit. I knew killing the latter would help with the former two. "Fun" runs while resting, the goal of October, are good in theory and in practice, I'm sure, but missing the intensity of effort and/or distance grows into a zombie-like existence were everything seems difficult. This lethargy culminated on Tuesday as I could barely make it through a normally easy tour of the Goni Hills, I couldn't get going even though I was simply targeting an 11-minute pace. Turned out it was the last day of warm weather too!

Things changed on Thursday with the arrival of Winter Storm Brutus (the Weather Channel, but not the National Weather Service, has taken to naming these things). As the sleet and wind hit Eagle Valley (i.e., Carson City) I laced up for some easy hill repeats above Ash Canyon. The 50-mph gusts buffeted me until I hit the canyon where I could bump up the effort for some hill-climb strides. In an instant the cobwebs cleared and neither the wind nor sleet could deter me. The effort was therapeutic, invigorating, and just plain fun. Good to blow out the gaskets once in a while. Let's just say, I'm back.

After some core workouts on Friday, I met Darren at Whites Creek Trailhead in south Reno and we moved through spotty snow. Darren's fighting a cold, but it was good to up into the Mt. Rose foothills for a run. Again, I felt great. We went at a slightly higher effort than I had planned but we didn't push hard on the climbs and the downhills were smooth. I think this was our first run together since our jog to the starting line at Pine to Palm.

First snows in Grand Junction, CO; go run you two!
Carson Area Runners -- Making tracks near Duck Hill
Snowy pictures from Mom and Dad's at Grand Junction on Sunday morning were matched by 10-degree temperatures at Washoe Lake where I laced up with the Carson Area Runners. I'm usually not a group runner, but I thought I'd mix it up a little and get to know some of the other local trail runners. Shannon had sent me a link to join the Carson Area Runners group on Facebook and soon I received an invite from Abbey. As a result, eight of us braved the morning chill and were soon tracking up the snow-covered two-tracks on Duck Hill between Eagle and Washoe valleys. Crisp, cold runs in new snow are a pleasure and it was fun to share it with like-minded people. Although I would typically only get in a bit of Base or Recovery on a Sunday, the camaraderie was great and we followed Abbey's wanderings through the hills at an easy pace for almost two hours. Felt great and I look forward to more group runs.

In what is to surely become an annual tradition Darren and I are, as he called it, "in the race to be in the race." We are in the Western States lottery, again. San Diego was my qualifier for this year, as was Darren's finish at Pine to Palm. So here we go again. Let the snows come and the clouds clear... we'll keep going...


1 comment:

  1. Cheers to the snow, clearing cobwebs, and blowing gaskets! Lily and I will be doing my 3 mile driveway of mud and snow mid week... Edie is still recovering (hurt leg and now the pad of the same leg--I may have an accident prone pup)--I am sure she will be jealous!