Today is December 26th and I’ve already started running again. After not running for 3 months due to a race injury (iliopsoas muscle), I am very happy to be back on my own two feet again! When I got the green light from my“Running Doc”, I did an easy run that night on December 20th. We are only talking 2 easy miles! But those were 2 very happy miles, even at 15F degrees! I did a few more short runs last week which were also successful without any pain. I can now look forward to receiving my new training schedule for the Boston Marathon from coach Jack! I won’t be setting any specific goals for my second marathon just yet. I’ll be taking things one week at a time. I’ve always been able to bounce back quickly and believe I’ll be strong once again! I think the best goal at the moment for running Boston will be to just have fun and stay healthy!
Winter running is great! It might not be for everyone, but for me it can be peaceful, exhilarating, beautiful and sometimes surreal. After skiing on a Saturday or Sunday, I sometimes run during dusk when there is the most beautiful light hitting the mountains and snow along my favorite loop from our house. I love the views when the sun is setting! Or sometimes I run on the weekend mornings when the lighting is also very pretty and the mountains look pinkish purple. During the week days most of my winter runs happen at night when it’s usually the coldest and darkest. I’ll admit it can be hard getting out the door after a long day at work. But once I’m out there with my trusty Black Diamond Headlamp, it’s like running in a different world with no one else around. I absolutely love being out there! It feels so refreshing and empowering! Sometimes when the temperatures are in the single digits, it takes a mile or two to get warmed up, but once that happens, the run is usually very enjoyable and satisfying. Snow and ice won’t stop me either. I have microspikes for my trail shoes if the snow is slippery or it’s too icy on the roads. And if a snowstorm leaves the roads unplowed for a bit, I have my running snowshoes. I’ve gotten pretty creative in avoiding the treadmill, although it can happen if I only have 4 miles to run and the weather is severe.
Bolton Valley 12-24-11
I also love winter because of all the fun outdoor activities Scott and I enjoy together: alpine skiing, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoe hiking and snowshoe running! Scott and I both love the snow. He grew up skiing at Killington as a kid so he’s rather handy on skis and snowboards. It’s great that we both love so many outdoor sports especially since the winters here in Vermont can feel long. The bonus is that it becomes great cross training for my running. Last winter I trained for my first marathon and also did a lot of skiing. It worked like a charm because I got stronger, felt balanced, stayed un-injured and had a successful first marathon.
Snowmaking clouds seen from the Vista Quad on Christmas Eve
So far Mother Nature has not been very generous with snow this early season! Vermont has seen a lot of warm and rainy weather to really make things tough for the snowmakers at our local ski areas. New England weather can be so unpredictable and so dynamic with crazy fluctuations in temperatures. Luckily the ski areas had a chance to make some snow on Friday night before Christmas eve due to very cold temperatures. So skiing at Bolton Valley on Christmas eve was very nice even if there was only one top to bottom run from the Vista Quad. It was fast and well groomed and we enjoyed soaking in the sun on the chairlift, even if it was a bit chilly. We also enjoyed looking at the trees which were covered in snow and ice. They were so gorgeous against the blue sky. The snowmaking guns were producing clouds that also made the views very dramatic at times.
Scott about to take his first run of the day!
We skied Bolton Valley last Christmas eve so it may now become a tradition for us. We love our local mountain and then hanging out at the James Moore Tavern afterward. This is our favorite ski resort pub! Good beers on tap with a couple veggie options on the menu for us. We ask Cindy the bartender to ‘veganize’ the hummus plate and veggie wrap by leaving out the cheese. And both plates are still very yummy! Scott loves that wrap with the roasted veggies. Oh yes, and the sweet potato fries are really good too! Good local skiing, good local draft beer and tasty vegan pub food! What more could we ask for!
View from Stowe on Christmas Morning 2011
Sunday was Christmas day and we decided to do something a little different. Thanks to our friend George, we were motivated skin up Stowe at 6:30am for a sunrise. It was great that George met us that early in the morning and guided us to the top of the Stowe Quad. It was our first time skinning up Stowe. Last year was our first winter using skins on our skis to hike up the mountains. I really enjoy doing this! And skinning up Stowe was so nice and peaceful in the morning. It was also a fantastic workout. George is in great shape and was moving up the hill effortlessly. Scott and I were huffing and puffing going up the mountain ski trails after not running for so long. But it was still fun and we did stop quite a bit to look at the views, snap a few photos and catch our breath! It was cold and a bit windy at the top so we were happy to begin skiing back down. I didn’t get the sunrise photos that I had hoped for, so we’ll be back to do this again soon!
Scott and George
George and Scott were on telemark gear and I had the AT system so I could make regular alpine turns on the way down. Stowe is an awesome ski area and the runs feel so long and generous. It was a treat to ski back down. The conditions were sweet when considering how tough the winter has been so far. Of course I would have loved to continue skiing at Stowe that morning. It definitely has the best snow right now due to its size and snowmaking capabilities. Someday we’ll figure out how to ski at Stowe on a regular basis, preferably the week days when it’s more quiet!
Top of Stowe on Christmas Morning after skinning up the mountain! 2011
So this is our early winter report! Let’s hope for lots of snow this year and another great season outdoors!
Before I say good bye for now, here are a few photos from Christmas 2010 spent skiing at Smugglers Notch, another local mountain for us. Lots of snow last year! Hopefully it will get snowy again soon!! Enjoy: