Saturday, November 16, 2013

Trail Running in a Winter Wonderland

Since signing up for my first 100 mile race coming up in February 2014, I have been researching online different training schedules and trying to find one that will work for me and my life and my brain.  I've narrowed it down to 2 different ones.   They are both recommended for newbie and first timers of the 100 mile distance. The problem is they require 24 weeks of training and I basically have only about 13 weeks. Yeah, slight problem.  Can I be ready for a 100 mile race in such a short amount of time?  Ready or not I'm going to have to be.  One of the ways I can get some good solid, intense runs in are by running in the mountains so close to home here.  Last Saturday I posted on FB and invited anyone to join me.  We got a good turn out of 10 people and meandered all around the hills for a few hours.  We had a good time and my heart is just really happy when I get to run up here.  I feel so incredibly lucky to live so close to some beautiful trails.

Photo taken November 9th, 2013

So now here it is a week later and I'm itching to run the trails again and shooting for some bigger mileage than last week.  Once again I posted in FB and was super surprised to get some response from some of the big guns that run with the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers FB group.   I'm not a fast runner at all and so I was a bit nervous about running with fast people.   6 men and 2 women is what our group was comprised of.  I was so grateful another woman showed up! My friend Jen Richardson.  We met at 6:45 am at the trailhead, introduced ourselves and off up the hill we went.  About 10 minutes into the run it started to snow ever so softly.  A half hour into the run it was coming down in bigger flakes and an hour later we were getting plastered.  Every so often I would hum to myself "Sleigh bells ring, are ya listening? In the lane, snow is glistening, a beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, running in a winter wonderland."  Notice I changed it from walking to running.  I had to, since that's what we were actually doing.  Yeah, there's nothing quite like running in the snow in the mountains to make your heart happy and chipper.  I think I am still smiling from the exhilaration of being out there.
The only thing I regret was not wearing a hat to keep the snow out of my face.  Other than that I was warm and enjoying every minute of this.  One of the guys brought a camera and kept pulling it out of his pack to snap pictures of everyone as we ran by.  That was pretty awesome of him since my family probably wouldn't have had any idea of what I was experiencing out here.

Runners:  Matt Clark, Carl Grimaud, Jenn Richardson, Me, Bill Hiatt, Sam Jewkes, Jeff Davis and not pictured Nathan Younger

We spent a little over 2 hours out here in the weather and 8.25 miles later I got back to my car.  I was ready to get my wet jacket, gloves and headband off and get into a warm car.  It was definitely a fun experience and I'm hoping to do it again soon.  


Becka said...

WOWZA!! That looks intense!!

I can tell you that the one time I trained for 4+ months for a 100 I DNF'd. This second time around, I didn't really train for 100. I didn't even "sort of" plan on upgrading until about a month before hand. With a decent base and strong mental fortitude, I think you will be fine.

My longest run was 22 (or maybe 24?) and I sort of did back to back long runs, but day 2 was never over 10... I didn't run any marathons as prep, but I did run a few ultras in the months before hand. Feel free to message me, I'm no expert but happy to give out kinda-sorta advice :D

Renee said...

Looks like fun! Sometimes I love those crazy snow day runs!

Josher said...

That's too much snow (says the man with the middle name of Snow).

Anyone who runs in snow gets bonus points towards heaven. Good job! Good luck on your 100 MILER!!!

Becca Jane said...

I LOVE your blog! Did you wear Yak Trax or something here? I can't tell. I want to join! I like running on snowpack.