Tuesday, November 22, 2011

what i'm thankful for...

I think today was the earliest I've ever been skiing in a season ~ and I didn't even hit opening day, as it was last week.  I headed up to Solitude for a few runs today, to get some fresh air and sunshine and see what all the hype was about.  It felt good to do something other than run:  the skiing movement felt really good on my legs.

I felt just a little bit somber the entire time I was up there, and several times thought about skiing with folks that I knew whom I saw up on the slopes today kickin' around.  But instead, I chose to just cruise around by myself.  I realized that my depressed mood had nothing to do with the beautiful day and the skiing, but everything to do with the fact that it's been just over a year since my dad died.  He's the one who gave me the gift of skiing so many years ago when I was just a little squirt out on the hill behind our house.  He used to tell me and my brother that it would make us stronger skiers if we would side-step up the entire hill to earn our turns, and I think he was very right in that respect.

the view up-canyon from Eagle chair at Solitude
Today, I found myself trying to do his patented turn (4 large swings followed by 4 short swings followed by 4 large swings... ) and at times holding my trailing pole the way he used to.  He taught me well, and I am so thankful for that.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I think of this word, Zwischensaison, every year about this time.  It is the "between seasons"-time.  A time when there is not really enough snow to go skiing, but enough snow to make the trail running a bit more challenging.  It is a time when the dogs come home from a run covered in mud.  When I have to shower them off in the bathtub, because the spigot outside has been turned off for the winter.  It is a time when I hope that I will get the leaves raked and the bushes trimmed before the next snow squall comes through.  It's a time when one day it could be raining, overnight it could have snowed, and then two days later the brilliant sunshine is lighting up the world, turning the trails decked with new-fallen snow to greasy mud.

But the Zwischensaison is also a time that I like to reflect on what the summer held and at the same time look forward to what the winter will hold.  The summer was good to me, and it seemed quite short for all of the places that I went and people that I got to see.  The fall seemed almost nonexistent and was over almost as fast as it started.  Just when the leaves turned to orange and gold it seemed that the next day those same leaves were on the ground and covered with snow.

I also think of all of the places that I wanted to go in the mountains, but never got a chance to.  I will have to dream of those places, sleeping under feet and feet of white snow, their downy blanket keeping them tucked-in for the winter so that I can dream about them, all cozy and protected, until I visit them next year after their snow-blanket melts.

During this season between seasons, I look forward to what adventures and surprises the winter will hold.  I think of waking up cozy under thick, warm blankets and peeking out the window to a fairy-land covered in white sparkles:  how I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning, each time I wake up to feet and feet of beautiful snow.  I get my ski gear out and sort through, looking at my toys from last year that had to be stowed away all summer, just waiting for the season to change.  I lay out all of my wool hats and wonder how on earth I have accumulated so many.  Some of them I will give away to new homes, and hope that other people will have great adventures with them just as I have.

The Zwischensaison is a time of dreams and a time of excited anticipation.  Jeden Tag ein neues Abenteuer.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

miles and miles before winter sets in

i just haven't really felt like writing lately, but that doesn't mean i haven't been running!  i've been working three to four days a week at the student clinic, and what with the time change and the days getting shorter, it's been really hard for me to run on the days that i work.  pretty much haven't done it.  it's too dark and cold in the mornings, and by the time i get home in the evenings, i just want to sit on the couch and eat bread and cheese.  it's that time of year!  i have hit the treadmill in the basement for a couple of evening interval workouts, though.  ugh.

but i have motivated to keep moving on the weekends.  and i'm doing at least 8-10 miles one day and a handful of miles the next.  that makes me feel good.  have kept my weekly totals around 20 miles, which is less than half of what i did over the summer, but i'm still feeling strong and i think it's giving me a chance to regenerate.

soon we will be skiing, and i'm really looking forward to ski touring some long days, with a couple days a week at the resort thrown in as well.  in fact, Solitude is opening on Thursday which i think is the earliest they have ever opened.  it's been cold enough to make snow, and they will probably just have a couple of runs open.  but it will feel good to slide down the hill again and get me legs moving in a different way.

Frank, Artie, and i have been joined by my friend's dog, Vernon, who makes a great addition to our pack.  he is a German Shorthair Pointer, and is full of spunk and energy.  this dog could run all day, and when he is not running, his little tail wags so fast you almost can't even see it.

the following photos are a smattering from recent adventures ~ even one day in the snow in the foothills.  we've been running in a high, open space up in Park City as well, and although it is a chilly 35 degrees up there during the day, it feels good to run around in the sunshine.
Red Butte ~ Vernon, Artemis, Franklin
happy in Red Butte ~ still a few fall colors
happy dogs!
another good day in Red Butte with snow at the higher elevations
Artie in Neff's
Aww ~ Franklin enjoying the snow in Neff's
Sue leads the dogs up Rambler in Park City
resorts are dusted with snow
heavenly view from the high, open spaces near Park City
Artie asks Sue, "what's next?" ~ she's up for it
Franklin retrieves some delicious ice from the horse pond
queen of the mountain