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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Nov 15:


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Sunday Nov 15 #

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If you're into running, and especially if you're into XC, well, today Wyoming really, really shined!

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Another big wind day--60+ mph according to the highway signs--so another day where I ducked into the woods for a long run, about 2 1/2 hrs. There was about 2" of fresh snow that fell overnight, and very early in the run I cut across a set of even fresher lion tracks. Glad not to cut across the lion itself!

A funny coincidence: while I was running near the Yellow Pine Campground entrance, I briefly thought about an acquaintance who ran for, and very narrowly won (56 vote margin out of 5000-6000 votes or whatever it was cast), a county position, and all the work that went into it, and all the greater amount of work winning the position will entail. Then it was on to the next thought. But not even 300 meters later, there Sue was, coming down the trail--ha! I stopped and we said hello and I congratulated her, and we chatted briefly about how close it had been and her rather ideological opponent, and a couple of issues that Sue had run on. Much better Sue than a mountain lion, I thought. ; )

Saturday Nov 14 #

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Given the forecast (high winds, below freezing temps and dropping during the day), and especially given the road conditions after I woke up and checked (westbound lanes between Cheyenne and Laramie already closed due to rollovers), the proper course of action was to set off for some running as rapidly possible to avoid having eastbound lanes closed before I could get up top. So after some proper strong coffee and a quick look at the news, off I went.

No problems getting up to the Summit, even if blowing snow was melting and refreezing in places in the canyon. I kept my eyes on the opposite lanes and there were no wrecks or stoppages, so obviously the problem(s) were somewhere further to the east.

Plan A had been to run down the Crow Creek trail behind Vedauwoo and do a wrap-around Vedauwoo, but the prospect of running back head into the wind out in the open was not inviting. So on to Plan B instead, which involved running in the Crow Creek drainage trail system closer to the Summit and taking in some stretches of HQs and Summit. Which worked out fine.

In the trees, the wind wasn't bad, and sun was out more than 90% of the time and it was actually quite pleasant. Running up the exposed slope to the HQs east overlook, the winds were able to get at me good, and that was the one place where my face suffered a bit. That particular slope is the place to head to get a really good gauge of what the winds are capable of. But they didn't blow me down and they didn't cast me over the edge up top of the slope and after that it was back in the relative comfort of the woods again for the rest of the run. Was out a while--2 1/2+ hrs--and saw exactly one other person (snow biking Curt.)

Friday Nov 13 #

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The wind was blowing right fair (the highway signs warned of 70+ mph gusts), the sun was out, and the temps were well into the 40s, and accordingly with such perfect conditions I ventured out on my bike. And a good thing: over by the river I chanced to spot a bird, and quickly ruled out the following: hummingbird, ivory billed woodpecker, swan, robin, variegated crow, and ordinary chicken. It wasn't enough, so I concentrated on remembering the details as best as I could in hopes of consulting a bird book and making a positive identification once back home. And I did! It turned out to be a Bald Eagle, verified by the white tail and prominent white head. It's the only eagle I've seen this year, so it was extra neat to see.

Then out to Granite Planite for some late afternoon training, where now "late afternoon" includes anything beginning from around 2 pm. The days are too damn short--ha. No eagles out there, but ample wind. I did two 3 km pieces of orienteering, which plus some warming up and down was about all I had time for before it was dark. Good effort and good work done.

Thursday Nov 12 #

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Wind was back in force today, and temps were back down below freezing, so the orders for the day were to have on a medium weight jacket, and run as much as possible with the wind at my back--which worked well, for a while.

Bumped into Danno on the trails, who was out there with his dog, collecting firewood for his winter beer/song campfire circle.

Next two days are forecast to have some extra vigorous winds as the continuation, so much to look forward to!

Wednesday Nov 11 #

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With the remonstrations by the ever vigilant Mr. Goop freshly in mind, I will attempt to reign in my more grandiose claims and attempt to adopt a more humble character for these musings. And yet note still, that it seems highly probable that I was the only one orienteering this afternoon within a circumference of not less than 500 miles of my partially revealed location in the Laramie Range.

It was a more pleasant outing than yesterday's, the wind having slackened off somewhat and the temperature rising to at least several degrees above freezing, and the sun making a welcome, if occasional, appearance. For more than 10.5 kms I was disengaged from all other worldly concerns other than the task set before me at Pelican Bay. Each control location presented itself as neatly as if I had been borne there unerringly by delicate moth wings--perhaps Luna, perhaps some other. My running was at all times in balance, and each step sure no matter whether confronted by fallen beetle tree or clumps of sage and bitterbrush. As I was nearly about to finish, the sun vanished entirely, and for good, replaced with driving snow and swiftly gathering darkness.

The entire effort was so sublime that, once concluded, I celebrated with a perfectly composed '20 Peaks de Dew. Ahhh! So fine.

Tuesday Nov 10 #

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Lucky me--Tisdags Träning featured some god a mighty 60+ mph steady wind and it was below freezing as well, which meant that the adjusted wind chill was something like -473F, which in turn meant darned if I was going to run anywhere out in the open (never mind hop on a bike) and so that meant heading for some trees. It was still chilly, especially since even with the wind I was of a mind to run some intervals, and dressed lightly for that. The trail I chose was snow covered, but mostly just a thin skin of snow with only a few deeper, uneven spots that required some degree of sniggling. But so what--I showed up, I did it, and got it done. And for anyone who might be out there reading this, I therefore claim the trophy for being hardcore today, unless you can fairly top this.

Monday Nov 9 #

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My plan was to head out for some O' at Pelican Bay, but when I was rolling up the interstate and the warning sign read "fog ahead" and then I could see the fog ahead, I made a command decision (or called an audible, if you prefer football lingo.) I would leave Pelican Bay to the elk hunters, and I would run at Happy Jack instead. Saved some driving as well, so there was that, too.

It ended up being a run very much like yesterday's, as far as what I did, with some different trails run but still something over 2 hours out. But the other part--seeing lots of other people--was completely different: I didn't see another soul the whole time I was out.

It was snowing lightly most of the time I was out, with maybe a quarter thimble of new snow already on the ground.

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