Tuesday, December 29, 2015

There's Winter.

I don't run with my phone very often, therefore I seldom have pictures. The only time I really do take it is when I'm running with a vest or fastpack.

A few days ago it snowed a little. Today it snowed a lot. Today I ran in said snow, but I have no pictures because I didn't run with a vest for fastpack. That might have been overkill as it was just a bit over five miles around my in-laws neighborhood in Brewer.

You'll have to trust me when I say it was very pretty. That first real snowstorm always is. The ones that follow are just as pretty, but that first one just seems more so.

The long range forecasts say Old Man Winter will be here for a while. If they're right, that means more pretty snow. More pretty snow means more snowshoe running. I like to snowshoe run, so this makes me happy.

I like being happy.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Where's Winter?

Mild weather continues in the northeast, much to the dismay of winter sports enthusiasts. Though the first snowshoe race of the season is still a month away, the what-if-there-is-no-snow grumbles have already reached a loud whisper. Knock on wood, but for Bradbury it's always worked out, even if Old Man Winter has cut it close. Time will tell.

Several Trail Monsters decided to take advantage of the relative warmth by doing repeats on Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton the other day. Just a little bit of thin ice near the top, but not too bad. I shot out an email to our team with the plan and expected maybe three or four people to be in, but it was awesome to see that nearly a dozen showed up. Because it was repeats, everyone could just do their own thing and still see everyone. That was a lot of fun.

Half Bomb and I went up and down to the peak three times for just under 14 miles and were about a thousand feet short of a mile for elevation gain. Great workout. I had hoped for four repeats, but I'm not there yet. Going up for the third time, it was clear that would be it.

I followed that up the next day with a shakedown run in the woods out back. No snow still, so I used this run as a very early scouting trip for turkey hunting season this May. Found a promising area. I feel really fortunate that trail running really helps with hunting as well as fly fishing. Trail running has directly contributed to success in both, not just for scouting but also being in shape to reach those farther out areas that many overlook and do whatever else needs to be done. Conversely, I also see the woods through different lenses when out running and those added dimensions make it all the more enjoyable.

So we'll continue to hope for snow. In the meantime, the fly fishing has been a lot easier for this time of year and running on the dirt isn't entirely bad. Still, I'd rather be hitting the trails on snowshoes or flying down a well groomed trail on skate skis. There is still time. After all, it's still another day before it's officially winter.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Where It's At

Since my last post, a lot has happened. On October 30th, the docs gave me the okay to run, saying there was nothing to worry about. Yeah, my heart has a funky beat to it, but I'm fine. As soon as I got back from the doctor's office that day, I changed and went for a trail run.

Opening day was the next day, so I ran out to a spot I hunted heavily last deer season to check things out. I didn't see any scrapes or rubs, but I decided to hunt it the next day anyway. Upon telling Kate this, she questioned why I'd go there if it appeared actionless, to which I didn't have a really good answer. I said that I at least knew the area and felt comfortable there. Great strategy, huh? It would likely be a nice day out in the woods if nothing else.

Up early the next morning with low expectations, I headed out and sat under the same big oak tree as last year. At 6:42am, opening day officially began. Around 35 minutes later, it ended when I dropped a four point buck.

Field dressed, it weighed 139 pounds. By the time I dragged it the mile to my car... over a stream and over several hills... it felt like it weighed 1390 pounds. Now THAT was a workout. It was exhausting. I loved every minute of it and it also underscored that yes, my heart was fine.

That served as a great springboard to running. Not only did I get in a grueling workout right off the bat from my hiatus, but I've been less distracted because I tagged out. That really helped to put running back to the forefront.

So for the past month, I've been steadily ramping up the mileage and workouts. I've got to say, the fire has definitely been relit. I haven't felt this motivated in years. It's awesome and I hope it lasts. I suspect it will. I think I'll be in pretty darn good shape by the time snowshoe racing comes around, and then I have the TARC Spring Classic 50K in April. Can't wait.