Where is Winter??

1-29-12 sunbeams on top of madonna

Top of Madonna Peak at Smugglers Notch 1-29-12

The photos I’m posting here will be a bit deceiving as it looks like a normal winter with plenty of snow in the mountains here in Vermont. But this year has been one of the warmest, rainiest and snowless winters I’ve ever seen. We’ve had crazy temperature 1-29-12 me in running rain gearfluctuations going from 42F  to –12F within less than 48 hours. It seems like we’ve had a January thaw at least once a week! And I’ve done several runs in pouring rain this month!Our biggest snowfall a couple weeks ago produced only 8-10 inches in the higher elevations. But then it was almost too cold to ski! Last year we had so much snow and lots of big snowfalls reaching a foot or more. So where is winter this year?? My belief is that climate change is a harsh reality whether it’s man-made or not. I recently read an article in our local paper estimating that skiing will no longer exist here in Vermont by 2080! And we may also loose our sugar maples by the end of the century! Very scary and sad! We all need to tread much lighter on this fragile planet…….

That all being said, we have managed to get out on our skis and make the most out of the snow we have received and the snowmaking capabilities of our local ski areas. We have 1-14-12 x me in woods bvseason passes at our local mountain Bolton Valley but haven’t skied here enough this January! I love this place! When there is snow, the tree skiing is fantastic! With marathon training (more on that later) it’s hard to get out more than once a week since I do my long run one weekend day and ski the other day. Luckily we live in the same town so it’s a short easy drive and we have managed to ski a few times at Bolton Valley so far. We had a good powder day on 1-14-12 and had a blast in the woods, but didn’t ski as much as I would have liked due very frigid temps! Last Sunday we got very lucky and discovered lots of powder in Bolton Valley’s Backcountry ski trails. This is a mecca for backcountry skiers and I should do a separate blog post this winter!

1-9-11BV mtn view from quad1-9-12 view from hard luck BV1-14-12 scott cobrass woods1-22-12 scott birch loop

Good times skiing at Bolton Valley and the Backcountry! January 2012

We also have a Bash Badge at Smugglers Notch Resort which means we pay around $100 for the badge in the fall and then each time we ski it’s only $25! Sweet deal as we love Smuggs! But this January we only skied once at Smuggs which was today! Very unusual for us! We skied here on New Years Eve but today the conditions weren’t a whole lot better due to the rain storm we had earlier in the week! But they do a great job snowmaking and grooming so there was plenty of fun to be had this morning!

1-29-12 grey mtns from madonna chair1-29-12 smuggs closer shot in car1-29-12 view from Sterling with clouds layered1-29-12 view of mansfield from sterling

Smugglers Notch 1-29-12

Another close-by ski area we love is Sugarbush located in Warren, Vermont. We ski here twice a year for the Ski and Ride with the Point half price Fridays. And we were lucky enough to have decent snow conditions for Friday, January 13th. As always we got there for the 9am chair and enjoyed a great morning of skiing and riding. Scott was on his new racing/carving snowboard with hard boots. Later we met up with friends and also my running coach Jack! That was fun! Scott later changed to skis as the crowds increased. The only caveat was that after one storm had finished with snow and mixed precipitation, another one was closing in with high winds. This left only one chairlift not on wind hold after lunch. No problem! We braved the cold and wind and founds some good fast runs! And it turns out my running coach is also very speedy on skis!!

1-13-11 sb scott riding1-13-12 group photo sb1-13-12 scott riding31-13-12 view from sb with scott

Sugarbush 1-13-12

1-6-12 jay tram1-6-12 jay view1-6-12 jay view with trails1-6-12 jay view with tree

Jay Peak 1-6-12


1-6-12 jay both of us


Boston Marathon Training Update: I officially started my marathon training at the beginning of January 2012. Due to a 3 month-long running injury to my iliopsoas muscle, I didn’t start running again until the end of December. And the Boston Marathon is April 16th! This hasn’t left me a lot of time to get back to where I was before the injury but Jack and my Doc feel I can still run Boston safely.

Jack is a great coach and is building the miles back up slowly and easily to make sure I don’t re-injure myself. My long run started out at 8 miles and this weekend I did 12 miles on Saturday. Next weekend my long run will be 14. Jack believes in training the distance so I’m sure I’ll keep increasing the mileage accordingly! Who wants to run with me next weekend!!?? Smile 

1-29-12 me skiing at smuggs

Health report: I have had an off and on mild soreness close to the iliopsoas area but it seems to be fading away slowly which is good news. I’ve also had some minor twinges in my left lower leg in the calf area and sometimes the shin. I had a bad shin splint going into the VT50K but got it better. Hopefully these minor sensations also go away. I’m confident they will as I hardly felt them today on my run after skiing.  I also think my body is still adjusting to a running schedule after not running for 3 long months!!! Of course there will be minor aches and pains. So I am almost out of the woods in regards to worrying about injuries. I do believe in the mind-body connection and  the laws of attraction. So I keep visualizing myself running Boston fast and uninjured! This is going to work!….It has to!!

In addition to running and skiing this January, we have also continued to swim at least once a week at the Swimming Hole in Stowe. I love this pool and I now love swimming! If I had more time, I’d be there more often. We are still planning on doing our first triathlon this summer so we’ll get up there more after the Boston Marathon! I have also been keeping up with my Bikram yoga at the studio in Stowe. I go twice a week for my cross training days. It’s great for the entire body! I’m getting a bit more flexible and feeling stronger in the heat. And ultimately I hope this could be my personal key to running injury-free! It feels so good to stretch out my legs in class! Oh and Scott has decided to join me once a week at yoga class! Yay!

1-29-12 icebugs

Love my new Icebug running shoes with carbide studs! Murphy likes them too! Smile


Vegan Food Report for January 2012:

1-21-11 bobcat

Almond crusted Tofu with wild mushroom pilaf and cranberries. Served at the Bobcat Café and Brewpub in Bristol, VT. Notice we are in the mug club Smile


1-29-12 lovin cup sign


1-29-12 seitan reuben

Seitan Reuben Panini with Annie’s Goddess Dressing! Served at the Lovin Cup in Johnson, Vermont! (a few minutes from Smugglers Notch!)

So that’s my winter report so far this year! We are looking forward to a great February! See you on the trails and roads! I would love to run, ski, swim or do yoga with everyone! Or have a beer! You know how to find us! Smile

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