Sunday, January 26, 2014

A New Year ~

Franklin & Artemis
waiting to open presents~
We are well into the New Year and I haven't posted since Christmas time.  I must admit, I didn't want Christmas to end.  I left the tree up well into the second week in January.  The Christmas season did get a bit extended for me, since I was up in Portland with a friend and her two daughters for a few days and wasn't around to celebrate with family.  So, for New Year's, my brother and sister-in-law came down to Salt Lake from Pocatello for a couple of days and we opened presents together.  We skied at Alta on New Year's Day, and despite the low snow conditions (we are currently at 70% of our normal snowpack) we had a really great time.

I've been out backcountry skiing some, although not as much as last year because of the conditions (I'm really getting tired of the term "monsters in the basement") but really have been skate skiing as much if not more than I have been out touring.  The Mirror Lake Highway is groomed and although a little bumpy from the snowmobile traffic, absolutely delightfully soft.  The skate tracks in Park City are getting a little firm and icy with all of this high pressure, but are hanging in there.

My brother, Stefan, and Mimi-kitty ~
I skied in area a couple of other times too:  Deer Valley hosted the World Freestyle Competition which was an Olympic qualifier for the Americans, and I got in on a friend's event pass for free (it pays to know people!).  My friend's boss, who gave us the event and day passes to Deer Valley, was set up right by the Audi cars on display in the finish area, and we were just a few feet away from Jonny Moseley and the NBC crew when they were filming the intro commentary for the event.  I  also skied at Brighton one day last week and was pleasantly surprised by the laid-back atmosphere of that hill.

This week's adventures featured the Outdoor Retailers' Show in downtown Salt Lake City, and the national outdoor crowd got to see how bad the inversion [smog] has been with all of this high pressure.  It was great to catch up with folks at the show and see a lot of really great outdoor gear.  I worked with the Trail and Ultra Running website and looked for gear at the show that we could potentially product test and review on the website.

Deer Valley Moguls Competition
The Altra booth at the show is always a good time, with Seth Wold, Brian Beckstead, and Golden Harper's great enthusiasm and positive energy.  I was pleasantly surprised that the women's promo product line samples are all in my size, so I was able to try on every shoe in the line. Super fun stuff!  I have some Olympus trail shoes ordered and on their way, and am looking forward to running in the super-cushiony comfort of this fabulous looking show.  The Lone Peak 2.0s got a little bit of an upgrade with 3mm more of stack height, so they will ride a little more cushioned as well, but are still a nice low-profile shoe.  The Superior 1.5 is a classy looking shoe with a new upper and color scheme.

I feel like for the last month I have had less time for adventuring, since I've been working 10-12 hours one day a week at an urgent care up in Ogden.  It takes about 45 minutes drive time each way as well.  A little tough to motivate for, because I get slammed all day seeing patients, and the intensity never really lets up, but the staff is really supportive and great, and the extra cash will be nice for buying gear (I already have another Patagonia puffy coat on order).  I'll be working there for three or four months, filling in for one of the other providers who is on leave right now.
2014 Altra Women's trail shoe lineup~
So when I finish up my stint up in Ogden, it will be just about time to run the Zion 50k down south in Hurricane, Utah on April 5th.  I'm still getting out running here and there, despite the skiing and skate skiing, and was pleasantly surprised recently when I ran 10 miles on the streets here in town and it still felt really easy, despite "only" running 20-30 miles per week.

Perhaps the most exciting news of the New Year is that I was asked to be a member of the HUMRs (Happy Utah Mountain Runners) group.  This is a group of totally-fabulous trail runners here in Northern Utah.  Everyone in the group absolutely lives and breathes trail running and having met many of them over the last year, I've learned that they are such a fun group to be around.  I'm looking forward to running, laughing, and socializing with them.  I'm apprehensively looking forward to my "initiation" rites, which will perhaps take place at Rooster's Brew Pub in Ogden.

Gotta hike up to ski down ~

The ski down was fine ~

Me and my brother skiing at Alta

The dogs and I skate skiing the Rail Trail
in Park City ~

Mirror Lake Highway, High Uintas, Utah ~