The days are getting longer, only another 5 weeks to daylight savings time, the sun is higher in the sky, the squirrels and birds are getting more active, and the frozen tundra of dog poop in the back yard is slowly melting, but not enough yet for the big spring cleanup.
This winter has been consistently colder and we are not seeing 50 degrees temperatures like we normally would. Everything is still icy and frozen, and the sidewalks are still treacherous in shady areas under trees. Today I noticed in the paper that last year on this day the high temperature was 62 degrees, today's expected high was 42.
I started getting grumpy a few weeks ago with the frozen ice shelf in the front yard, down the street in front of my house. It looks like Antarctica out there.
Last Friday, the 29th, Cat and I did a 50 mile training run. It was a gorgeous day, we started out in fog and ice, our hair and faces looked like frosted little old ladies with our ice beards and frozen spaghetti hair. I felt like a grumpy old lady at first because the sidewalks in Fort Collins and bike path in Loveland were so icy.
We broke the run up into 3 legs of 25, 15 and 10 miles. In between each we stopped at my house for a quick change of clothes and some food and drinks.
We started at my house 7 am in the fog and ran down to Loveland. We forgot our cameras! First we ran to Loveland, to Eisenhower & Denver, stopping into a coffee shop where we entertained all the patrons with our ice princess look. We tried to take a picture with Cat's cell phone but it wouldn't work. We froze our butts off on the way down. The low points of the hills along Lemay and then the bike path along Boyd Lake were several degrees colder than the tops of the hills, and the sun wouldn't break through the fog. We kept begging it to come out but it wouldn't.
We both felt good on the first 25 mile stretch and we made great time.
We got back to my house in the cold sunshine. It was a bit warmer on the way back from Loveland, but we still wished we had brought more clothes. Cat had a sandwich at my house and I had some soup. We packed extra warm clothes on the way out for the next leg, west along the Spring Creek Trail to Hughes Stadium, because we anticipated wind.
Slowly we started to warm up on the way out. As we approached the west end of the Spring Creek Trail, we both started having a bad patch. I felt like I should have eaten more before I left the house. We kept telling each other it's downhill all the way home. We both suffered a bit on this stretch. We got back to my house with 40 miles behind us, knowing we had only 10 to go. We both ate again and packed more warm clothes and lights for when it got dark.
The last 10 mile out and back we decided to repeat the Spring Creek Trail because it was close to rush hour and we wanted to avoid traffic. This time we didn't have to go as far. The sun set around the time we hit our far point at about 45 miles on the Spring Creek Trail. The sunset was a spectacular clear pink-peach-purple and when we turned around to run the last 5 miles back to my house we were both surprised by the big full moon.
I didn't realize it but it was a full moon again for my long run this month. We both felt recharged by this point and picked up the pace on the way back. We got back to my house by 6:30 pm, giving Cat a PR for the 50 mile distance! Not bad to do that in a laid back training run, with plenty of stops and breaks.
I was tired over the weekend but I maanaged to get out and run with The Buffaloes. Only 2 weeks to the Pemberton Trail 50K in Arizona. I hope I'll feel decent. It's hard coming back after a year of doing no ultras. I did feel better today.
This morning we woke up to TGIF day, February 1st, and we're celebrating. The Buffaloes did a longer run, then I sat in the hot tub while Isabelle sunbathed in the yard. She's waiting for the big thaw too.