so today was the first time I've seriously run since competing in the Crow Pass Crossing in July. I use the term 'competing' loosely as I am typically a back of the packer; a 5:10.44 finish for 68th out of 91 men this year. anyway, I've run that 26 mile trail race twice in 3 years without any serious training other than weekly coed soccer games, mountain biking, and the occasional mountain run. other than Crow Pass, I've run the Lost Lake Run twice also, the first time in 2004 in 2:33.11, and the second time in 2007 coming off of my second ACL surgery the previous summer in 3:01.22. to say the least, I'm not fit just a glutton for punishment.
in establishing a baseline today I realized that I'm pretty soft. let me set up the run for you: 10°F, running from my house with Jackson my dog down to the BLM which is typically at least 5° colder than at my house. it ended up being a 4 mile run, about 2.5 of which was on snow packed and frozen sidewalk and the rest on slightly groomed powder and walked-on powder (12" from the weekend snows). I usually run hot so I wore socks and liners with my goretex montrails, windproof front tights, a wicking tshirt and montbell light shell jacket. a flourescent carhartt cap and glittens rounded out the ensemble. I was plenty warm. my shoes also had studs installed this afternoon for the occasion. (that's Jackson, who's also soft, in the background of the picture.) about 3/4 of a mile in I was wishing I had brought my neck gaiter as that was the only thing that was cold but by the end of the first mile, nothing was cold anymore. in fact, as I hit the groomed trail at the BLM I removed my glittens as I was heatin' up good.
my goals in this next summer in regards to running is to run Crow Pass again (in 4:30 or better), Lost Lake (I haven't ever done both in the same summer), and I'd like to run the Hope 50 miler if I feel ready for it. I plan to run the above 4 mile loop a month from now and I'll see if I'm still as soft.
as for other baselines in my life, running causes me to think after I get in the groove. my thoughts often turn to the grace of God and how little I understand such a simple concept...more on that later as my little guy (14 months old) is waking up from his afternoon nap. he's a bit sick today, sounds like Vader my wife says.