Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Transition to the Loipe

This section of trail is only snowmobile-packed.
The rest of it is in much better shape, but likely
will not hold up long without a bit more snow and
warmer temps on the horizon.  Like my new
"Buff headwear"?  It was awesome!  I'm a fan.
I got about a half-dozen nice mountain bike rides in this Fall before the snow started flying!  In the last month, I have transitioned from running to biking to skate skiing.  It feels so good to be back out gliding along on the loipe up at Round Valley!

Indeed, a lot of people thought similarly today~ it was the most "crowded" I've seen my favorite trails in a long time.  The last few weeks I saw just a handful of people in the period of a couple of hours.  Now, today, I saw nearly two dozen people (and their dogs!) enjoying the groomed track.

Due to the thin snow conditions, the track is a bit narrow and a bit rutted in places.  But that didn't stop a couple of guys from feeling like it was their own personal race track.  Kind of funny~ as I was easily moseying up the big long hill I could hear a guy grunting and working behind me to catch up and attempt to pass.  The dogs stayed well out of his way and I wasn't worried about them tripping, when suddenly he struck my pole with his pole which threw his balance off just enough that he did a half-spin and landed, spread-eagle on his face in the snow.

It's true ~ three out of three dogs agree,
Round Valley rocks.  Any time, any season.
It was all I could do to contain my laughter.  "Yeah, nice form show-off," is what I was thinking to myself.  In reality, I said, "Oh, I'm sorry.  I think you hit my pole with yours," and then half-heartedly I added, "Are you ok?" And he replied that he was.  I knew he was alright and that only his pride was injured.

I kept skating up the hill and when I heard him coming the second time, I slowed down and rounded up the dogs so that he would have plenty of room to grunt his way past us without falling.

It was a gorgeous day up on the trails today, and I am so grateful for a change in activities!  It was a long summer of running.  I've logged nearly 1500 miles this year so far (just running miles) and my muscles are happy to do something just a little bit different.  I chose the correct wax today too, which made gliding that much easier and more enjoyable.  I can't wait to hit the loipe again!  But I think I will skip it this weekend.  With nice weather on the way (40s in Park City) there's bound to be even more people out taking advantage.  The dogs and I will have to hit one of our secret places this weekend to avoid the crowds!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Energy ~

Sometimes I have to look at my recent photos for a bit of inspiration to write ~ I remind myself that yes, I have gotten out of the house to experience some awesome trails and be in the company of some pretty great people and dogs.

I've hit my seasonal low-point in the past couple of weeks.  Indeed, I looked back on a blogpost from last year at this time and it looks as though I was feeling exactly the same way.   It's hard, after a successful summer of very rewarding running adventures, to hit this in-between season without any specific goals other than to rest up and try to conserve some energy to be ready to go again a few months from now.  I almost don't even want to think about what my next event will be, because I don't feel all that awesome right now.  I canceled my plans to attend a race in the Las Vegas area next week and am really disappointed with my decision, but realize that although I have the physical strength to go do the event, my mind just isn't in it at this point.

Getting out with the dogs always makes me laugh and smile, and I am so thankful to draw upon their happy, boundless energy.  I'm looking forward to the snow flying and getting some miles in on the skate-skis up in Park City with the dogs.  The trails are still really dry right now, and although the sun is shining, it's perceptibly lower on the horizon, and I don't draw as much energy from it as I did during the summer months.  I've been hitting the trails with my mountain bike once or twice a week which has helped to make my aching back and hips feel a lot better.

I also went down to Moab this past weekend to volunteer for a race, and got out for a trail run while I was down there.  Unfortunately, the condo where I was staying didn't allow dogs, so the pups didn't make the trip with me.  Would have been much more enjoyable if they had.  And although the event was not the most rewarding experience I've had volunteering, I realized that the other events that I have volunteered for and taken part in are truly top-notch.  This recent event reinforced for me how much it takes to not only pull off a successful event, but also how a race director's and committee's attitude can be make-or-break for not only the racers, but also for the volunteers who are donating hours and sometimes days of their personal time and resources.

Sometimes it's all about energy ~ the energy you give off and that which you receive.  I'll continue to try and place myself in rewarding situations, drawing on positive energy and in the process boosting my own.  Sometimes it is a struggle this time of year, but I'm nothing if not persistent.

With that being said, as promised here are some photos, mostly of dogs, that are sure to lift anyone's spirits.
Sugarhouse Park dogwalk ~

Dogwalk above the Avenues with a view of the Wasatch ~

Moab Long Canyon Road ~ near Potash ~

View up the Long Canyon Road ~

Needles District of Canyonlands NP and
the La Sal Mountains in the background ~

Tires pups after a mountain bike ride in Park City ~
Goofball, furballs greet me on my return home from work ~