Sunday, December 15, 2013

Running out of the cold...

Week Summary 12/15/2013

Ruhenstroth Loop: 9.1 mi (+651 ft); 10:09 pace
Carson River Flats: 7.3 mi (+48 ft); 10:09 pace
Ash Canyon Loop: 7.3 mi (+1,023 ft); 12:08 pace
Run with Rudolph 7M: 7.3 mi (+1,044 ft); 9:40 pace
East Valley Ramble: 22.3 mi (+1,121 ft); 11:05 pace

Weekly Totals: 52.9 mi (+3,887 ft); 9:28:06 on trail

I managed a good steady week of Base training in generally bone-crushing low temperatures. I think we are stuck in this for a while, but the mid-day sun is making things doable. Surprising, for no reason, that there is so little snowcover here at Solsticeshire and on the Ruhenstroth trails, but so much more in Eagle Valley around Carson City.

The difference in snowcover became very clear on Thursday afternoon as I previewed the Rudolph 7M course. Right from the car I was crunching through a trail of snow at that aggravating depth that just fills the tops of your shoes. It only increased as I entered Ash Canyon. I figured Saturday's race wouldn't use the creekside single-track, but because it's more interesting than the canyon's fireroad I chose it, only to find one other set of tracks and was soon post-holing calf-deep. Even the switchbacks of the upper Evidence trail required some shallow post-holing. I knew Saturday's race might be interesting.

Desna and I bundled up for the Ascent Winter Trail Series' Run with Rudolph 7M trail (er, snow) run early Saturday morning. A good group of brave runners huddled in the parking lot of Western Nevada College to hear Kevin's startline instructions. "The trail markings are painted in white."  Funny guy. It's a casual affair with a bit of competition, but mostly a challenge to navigate the Ash Canyon trails in conditions rather unsuitable for "racing". But it was a blast. I felt pretty comfortable with a good pace on the 1,000-foot climb and pretty fast on the squirrely downhill. Guided by an icy cross-country ski track (I remembered it from Thursday), the descent simply begged you to turn an ankle or trip into a fall as your feet struggled between the ice of the track and the powder of the snow. The track felt fast until you broke through or stumbled where someone upfront had done the same. I was surprised I pulled away from a couple followers, probably only because I had "practiced" the descent a couple days previously and knew it would end soon enough. I great winter tune-up and motivator. 7th place in 1:10:02.

I warned Desna away from the 7M because navigating the snow seemed a bit cruel for her first event in her forward-looking trail training. She ran and power-hiked the 3M in good form and it was fun to compare our snow-day afterwards.

Out for a Long Base day on Sunday. Toured a series of excellent two-track dirt roads through the foothills of the Pine Nuts, working my way to our friend Marta's house at the Carson River. Almost perfect day, upper 40s (finally!) and excellent sunshine. Basically no snow on that side of the valley except in a few drifts and steep northern slopes. The run allowed me to break a 50-mile week again. I hadn't done that since Leadville. Feels really good, if the weather cooperates there's more ahead.

Seven miles in, looking back toward Ruhenstroth

Foothills below Sunrise Pass

Route potential!

Dropping into Carson River at 15 miles


No comments:

Post a Comment