Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cougar in the snow...

I got to join Chris and Tracy this morning for a short 7 mile run at Cougar. I've been rehabbing a sore posterior tibialis (result of protecting the opposite hip) and got the full go ahead from PT to start running - 3 min on 2 min off. I had already gotten in a couple of trail runs before that 'go ahead' while we figured this thing out and I've been working hard on my core strength and balance issues. So, with Tracy being slightly injured (knee) and in taper for next weekend, and Chris recovering from a longer run last weekend, I figured I could keep up. Or at least they wouldn't have to wait for me too long at the junctions.

Snow was predicted and we drove through some decent rain to get to Sky Country, but when we got up higher near the trailhead, all was dry, but cold. We set out towards the north side and soon the precipitation started, in the form of ice. I was having a blast running through it and really enjoying the moment! As we looped around and started heading south, the snow was really coming down. The plan was to head to Shy Bear Pass and decide whether to turn back or continue with a loop along Deceiver and then back up to Shy Bear, and home via Fred's Railroad and Old Man Trail. We were all feeling good and I was focusing on good form - landing under my center of gravity, listening to my glute to tell me if I was overstriding (great post by Rooster on this), and eating when I needed to. The climb back up to Shy Bear was a little challenging on my tight gastrocnemius and soleus, but I managed to grind it out. I walked when I needed to and overall I stayed ahead of or with the gang. It was fun to "break trail" on freshly fallen snow! Plus I could check my footprints to see what I needed to shore up, as in the Sandpit Exercise.

We got back to the car and a winter wonderland in about 2 hours. I love that Sky Country isn't a popular destination and there were only three or four cars there, including Tracy's. I took some photos with my cell phone to record the snow and then we were off to Starbuck's where I "discovered" they don't have short drinks. I ordered a double split shot dry cappuccino, and they wanted to know what size. How do you make a "grande" cappuccino without turning it into a latte??? As you can tell, I don't frequent Charbucks much but after a run like today, it really hit the spot. It's a good day - I hear the snow is headed our way. Bring it on!

Sky Country - this all happened while we were out running!

Tracy lovin' the snow!

Chris is done running and wants a hot drink!