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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Oct 18:

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Sunday Oct 18 #


Day 8 and the wind continues. Ignored it and went biking to enjoy it (ignoring and enjoying all at the same time?) and then hit the trails for a long run at an easy pace, and corked it off after about 2 1/4 hours.

It looks like Days 9 and 10 are all but guaranteed by the current forecast, so the streak is likely to lengthen!

Saturday Oct 17 #


Day 7 of howling winds. It's like gravy in the train. Much less sun than called for by the forecast, which put a real damper on sunscreen sales today. As they like to say, you-know-what is coming (ie--The Day if Doom).

Ran cruise intervals: 1 x 5 min and 4 x 10 min.

As far as I can tell, our local fire is all but vanquished; it's been 3+ days since I've seen any significant smoke. The Cameron Peak Fire, on the other hand...

Friday Oct 16 #


Winds up from yesterday with some nice gusts out in the open providing appropriate challenges; excellent timing for a (regional?) high school XC race on the golf course!

Ran trails at Happy Jack, taking refuge in the trees. Some of the wind felled trees from earlier in the week have already been removed but many remain. I suppose it's good fun for the mountain bikers who dabble in trialing.

Thursday Oct 15 #


For some reason, I had it in mind that there wasn't supposed to be any wind today. But i was wrong. It just wasn't as much as yesterday's 70 mph efforts. Temps were sharply cooler, so even with today's somewhat suppressed wind speeds, there was an edge to it. It felt like day in late Autumn with winter fast approaching.

I ran the Day 1 training course at Twin Boulders, using the last extra copy of the map I had printed up. It seemed appropriate to have everything reversed for the outing, since the warmer temps back in early September had been replaced by temps much closer to freezing today. And I don't remember that we had any wind to speak of back then, so today's gusts reversed that. Therefore to close things out properly, I ran the course in reverse order, and it seemed so backwardly familiar, even the sage! Even though I got an "early start", sunset arrived at the Finish before I did. No worries--there was still plenty of lingering light cast off from some conveniently located clouds.

Even though it was chilly running, I reminded myself that I better enjoy it while it lasts--the Day of Doom (November 1) and my least favorite day of the year will be here soon.

I didn't see a single animal the whole time I was running, though I did see a bull moose out in the open while driving out.

Wednesday Oct 14 #


After three fairly windy days, it developed that was only a warmup for today, when the wind setting was "full blast." I had something to drop off at the Post Office, and naturally I thought I would just bike down there. Which I did, but I wasn't even halfway there and already I was thinking that maybe that hadn't been the smartest choice--it was really windy, and very gusty on top of that, and it made bike handling quite difficult.

I ran trails in the late afternoon at Happy Jack, and by then it had been blowing hard for maybe 18 hours or so. Not surprisingly, lots of dead trees were down across the trails. At least on the trails I was on, none of them didn't have at least one tree down on them. My guess is that in the overall Happy Jack area, trees in at least the high hundreds must have blown down today and last night. To top it off, after it was already dark and I was headed back to parking, I heard a sizeable tree crash to one side about 100' away.

Still, for all that, it hardly makes a dent in the standing dead beetle kill pine trees up there.

Also, while running back in the dark, when I got a big view out over the south near the end, it was easy to see a distinct, big red glow from the Cameron Peak Fire off in the distance. The big wind revved up both that fire and the nearby Mullen Creek Fire today--though no updates this evening about either fire's activity today.

Tuesday Oct 13 #


Brilliant day outside, and I knew what to expect. After some decent wind on Sunday, and an even better effort yesterday, today's forecast called for some real Wyoming wind--proper wind. And it was. Tree felling wind (trees were indeed down across trails at Happy Jack.)

My plan was to revisit Sunday's Plan A--a brisk O' run at Granite Planite. I did a thorough warmup of about a half hour, and then changed into O' shoes and a light O' top. Despite the wind, it was seasonally warm. It felt great for mid-October, and at the Start, I was ready and psyched! I knew I would need to take advantage of all the legs when the wind was at my back, and be resolute and push hard when the wind was in my face, and take it as a worthy challenge. I set off with that in mind, carried out my plan as well as I could, and crossed the center of the double circle with a new best time. It felt very satisfying.

I warmed down by running back to a shooting area nearby, where I had spotted lots of empty brass cartridges while I was warming up. I collected all the brass for recycling, probably about enough to equal one pizza.

I was back home with enough time for a quick ride out to the high school and back. By then, the wind was even higher. Good stuff.

In the evening, I checked and verified that there was indeed a replay available of the Swedish Sprint Relay, so once again I sacrificed and watched it while having dinner.

When I was about to start the video, I wondered if I would still be able to understand the Finnish. Or would it even be in Finnish? Or had it all been some strange dream? No need to worry: it was Finnish again, and just like yesterday I understood every word. Or at least I did right up to the point where Alexandersson was about to overtake Hagström. Then something weird happened. I started to hear a rushing noise filling my ears, and my vision started to narrow and grow dim, and then, for a brief moment, there was nothing at all.

I don't know exactly what happened, but there was a gap where I have no memory, and then my vision started to come back, and there was Alexandersson running up the final meters to take the win for Stora Tuna. And I could recognize the announcing was still in Finnish, but now it was utter gibberish to me, and I didn't understand any of the words except for the occasional "Sara" and "Tove". Gone, just like that--for two days I could understand it all, and then nothing.

Oh, well. It's just like they say sometimes: "Better to have Finnished and lost than to never have Finnished at all."

All that said, I think Sprint Relay is about as good as orienteering on TV can be. It's really, really fun to watch. Even if you can't understand Finnish.

Monday Oct 12 #


Winds were up big today so me and the road bike hit the big city highways to fully savor what was blowin' by. Then did some running, and if anything, the winds were even bigger up top. Good times, as they say.

About 99.95% of yesterday's snow had disappeared by the end of the day. It's even odds at this point that the next snow will stick, if it's over 2".

I saw that Spike had gotten up early to watch the Swedish Sprint Champs, and it sounded like so much fun that I made a big sacrifice as well, and forced myself to watch the girls run while I had dinner.

I was really looking forward to hearing some Swedish for the first time since traveling over there last summer. It was therefore both shocking and dismaying when I realized the announcing was in Finnish. Finnish at the Swedish Championships? What is this world coming to??!?!

Well, you go with the flow, and even though I don't understand a word of Finnish, since it was being spoken with a Swedish accent, I understood everything almost perfectly. Or maybe my flu shot wasn't really a flu shot at all, but a universal language translation shot? Just one more marker of how strange this year has been, and it's not even October 13 yet, which is when all the forecasters are expecting the truly weird stuff to start happening.

Watching made me also realize how long it's been since I've raced--Possum Trot. It feels more like a decade ago at this point.

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