Forgetting How To Run + Learning to Love Snowy Trails
A whole eight weeks ago I waxed poetically about running, just because. I talked about getting back into the running bit on my own terms. Running when I wanted to, hiking when I could + using Max as my excuse to get outside. Ha. Yea…no. That is not what happened. Instead, Iâ€™ve completely forgotten how to run.
And just like that, itâ€™s December. We still grossly low on snow up here in the Rocky Mountains but the weather has taken a turn for the colder [much colder] so I guess we can officially say winter has arrived. Finally. The resorts opened 3+ weeks behind schedule which meant those of us lucky enough to snag mountain jobs were stuck with an extra 3 weeks of free time, sans paycheck.
Buffaloâ€™s Boulders; Finally Finding the Summit of Buffalo Mountain
Oh me, oh my. It has been far too long since Iâ€™ve had an opportunity to wander off into the wilderness simply because it was out there + waiting for me. Winter is finally here + the time suck that is a job is finally in full swing. Iâ€™m back to working 50-70 hours a week between both jobs. Itâ€™s really not that bad, but it is time consuming. Once I add in the time I spend commuting on the bus 4-5 days a week + the long hours of wintery darkness my window of opportunity to get outside has narrowed. A lot. Of course, this is all my own doing + it was fully expected, yet the reality check of how little time I have to roam after a summer dedicated to roaming itâ€™s not an easy pill to swallow.
The last time I headed out on a non-injury-tester, non-race related run was…early September? Yea, that long ago. Since then Iâ€™ve run two time-based races with rather respectable finishesÂ + wandered out onto mountain trails just for funsies, but nothing with any goal beyond “find happy” + survive. It feels a bit like my legs have forgotten how to run; they have definitely forgotten how to yearn for a sweaty, gasping run.
It all started this past January at the Winter OR Show. As usual a conversation with Landon made its way from gear talk to trail talk + it become obvious this needed to be the year he ran his first 100 mile race. Obvious, I tell you…because I will always encourage people to do the things that seem just stupid enough to be fun. By the time February rolled around we had both grabbed our spot on the list of Bear 100 registrants, hours before the race sold out. We were doing this! Or, that was the plan.
I was digging through my “laundry bag” on the floor of a tiny hostel room trying to decide if I had enough dirty clothes to warrant the $5 wash/dry downstairs. My mind was telling me no…then I got to the bottom + discovered the running clothes I wore for nearly 3 days in the Washington wilderness near Mount St Helens while volunteering at the Bigfoot 200 Endurance Race. Um, yea. Laundry day it was!
Iâ€™m back in the van! After two weeks of hot showers, a full kitchen + easy access internet I have returned to my nomadic life in the TETON Sports #yourlead van. And…I was really excited to get back into the van. I was ready to move again. The van must have felt the urge to tone down my giddiness because it has been throwing things at me since the moment I pointed it east for the second leg of my trip.
Whoa. I almost forgot all about this post! Iâ€™ve been writing a “currently” post every two months for nearly two years. This is the first one I didnâ€™t have planned out in my heads weeks in advance. Not kidding. Usually Iâ€™ll be dealing with some random part of my life and think “oh, thatâ€™s definitely a ‘currentlyâ€™ thing”. This time? None of that. None. Maybe itâ€™s because Iâ€™ve been busy but really, I think itâ€™s because Iâ€™ve been so focused on whatâ€™s happening in the exact moment Iâ€™m floating in that I literally have not taken the time to reflect. Maybe thatâ€™s a good thing, but I kind of miss looking back on the recent crazy of my life…so here goes!
Okay. Weâ€™re about to let the #realtalk roll. Phew. Tomorrow afternoon Iâ€™m head to Pittsburgh for a few days of harassing Lynne…and partaking in the Pittsburgh Marathon races. Initially I had high hopes for a crazy successful marathon. When I signed up I imagined a strong training cycle with speed work, confident miles, a PR + possibly a BQ. I was optimistic, and a little delusional. And then…reality happened.
More than once [all the times?] I opted for rocky trail runs over speedy road runs every. single. time. This lead to a fair bit of “oh crap” moments as the marathon date approached. Today I officially took a step back. My bib has officially been moved from the Pittsburgh Marathon to the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
When my count down to the “Last Day At Vail Resorts!” stumbled to an end I jumped right into my two weeks of…freedom. I was finally down to just one job! I had a sliver of free time and I could spend it however I wanted; not just sleeping! And thatâ€™s exactly what I did. It wasnâ€™t until late last night that I realized this — on Monday Iâ€™m essentially saying “good-bye” to Colorado for…I have no idea how long. Oh, Iâ€™m excited, Iâ€™m ready for another bout of change and I have an incredible summer ahead of me.
However, I am going to miss Colorado! From the mountain views to the adventurous people to the winding trails to the local cafes….Iâ€™m going to miss Colorado and I am going to miss Summit County! Thankfully Iâ€™ve been a lucky duck and Iâ€™ve taken some serious advantage of my free time… (more…)