I've been sleeping on the blog for the past few weeks. I just haven't had much to write about training-wise as it's been taking a back seat to life lately. In fact, I taken the last couple weeks off from running completely as work started to pick up at the shop (couple of engine installations, clutches and transmissions), I tried to stay caught up in my Wilderness First Responder class and Katy and I got engaged! The last, of course, being the most life changing of all. We've just begun the planning so it's going to be a pretty busy year. As result, I've got alot of travelling planned and I think I'll be dropping out of some of the races I was going to do this year and just focus on non-competitive running, possibly guiding a couple running tours and staying healthy. Besides, with all the snow we've gotten here in Steamboat this year (390+" total, base: 85" @ mid-mountain, 117" @ the summit!), the trails (especially above 9000') won't be open until May/June. Furthermore, Katy has been dealing with leg issues that have kept her from running long since the Steamboat 50 last September and I want to help her get back into running far so we can do some more trails together this summer. All that said, after a 10-day layoff, I started making time this past week to get back out and log a few runs after work and get in a couple days of snowboarding.
It's still been snowy here, which is typical for March. Fortunately, the storms have been leaving good snow on the ski area and melting quickly in town. This makes running on the bike path a no-brainer, although I still don't enjoy pounding the pavement all that much. I've done a few trail runs in Whistler Park this week which have been a challenge. At this time of year, the warmer temperatures make it really easy to punch through the snow if you get off the beat-in track. It can be very difficult to locate the track if there's any new snow or if the lighting is really flat. You'll be cruising along and WHOOF! punch a leg straight through the snow to your mid-quadracep. It's like running on an invisible balance beam about 1 foot wide. It's still really fun to run but can also be a bit demoralizing trying to pull your whole leg out of the ground. I don't bother with pacing or mileage under these conditions and just wear a timer and run for an hour or so or whatever feels good. Terrain is rolling with a couple of 1/4 - 1/2 mile stretches of flat and a steep climb of 200+ vertical feet when I really want to breathe hard.
The snow-surfing continues to be epic this season. I only have 31 days at the ski area this year (my lowest number by almost half since moving here) and a couple of days in the backcountry but they've all been top shelf. Two weeks back, JD and I rode a couple hours on Sunday, in fresh powder and I managed to lose my third cell phone in three years while snowboarding. However, I told him that if that was the price I had to pay for an incredible afternoon of tree cruising than so-be-it. Yesterday, another 8 inches had fallen on the mountain and I went up with BA and JD for some fun in the sun. I was a little tired from a one hour mountain run earlier in morning but still had fun ripping it with the homies for a couple hours. Free cake, beer and sandwiches at the Paramount (Lee's son Giovanni turned 7!) concluded the day nicely. As I sit here typing, I see that it is starting to flurry again. Looks like I might have to go do it all over again (sans birthday cake)!
While life is treating me so well right now, my thoughts the past couple of weeks have often turned to the people of Japan (and other parts of the world) who are dealing with issues much larger than running, snowboarding or even getting married. My heart and hopes for better days go out to those in world who are suffering and just trying to survive. One Love.