Not big mountains, but they are still mountains.

Now that some of the snow is finally starting to melt, the past two weeks I was able to get up into the lower elevations of the Wind River Mountains (affectionately known as “The Winds”).  This of course brought lot’s of mud and snow, but also good climbing and descending, big views, and no rattle snakes.  Jenny and I even took a day off of work so we could run together with our good friend, the legendary Emily Tilden.

Lenticular cloud above the Lander Front and melting snow

Bad Ass Chicks
Jenny and Emily working their way up Fairfield Hill

The big mountains are still buried in snow, which really is a good thing, but for someone such as myself, views like this are a tease.  I can hardly wait to go and visit these old friends that I have not spent time with since September.

Wind River Peak is still nicely blanketed in snow, and will be for awhile. 

I was pleasantly surprised last week to be able to get in 75 miles of running with a little over 9,000 feet of vertical.  Not bad at all for the end of April in Wyoming.  I did a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday, with Friday being 25 miles up and around Fairfield with Jenny and Emily, and then I ran the Lander Half Marathon course on Saturday in 1:37.  The temps were in the lower 80’s Saturday, so I tried to get some speed on my tired legs while suffering a little bit in the heat to get ready for the Zion Traverse.  Sunday was a much needed day of rest.

A couple of weeks ago my feet felt pretty beat up after running in the Moab area, I had one of those “never say never” moments and bought a pair of these:

Hoka One One Rapa Nui 2

That’s right, I finally jumped on the Hoka One One bandwagon with the Rapa Nui 2.  In the last couple of years I have loved wearing low to the ground shoes, with a low drop, and firm cushioning.  As it turns out, my joints and feet are tolerating that less well than they used too.  Enter the maximum cushioning and low drop of Hokas. They aren’t perfect; some of the stitching inside rubbed parts of my feet totally raw.  But to be fair, the cushioning and protection were marvelous with the 10,000 feet of descent this week.  I do feel like my legs and feet felt less beat up (besides the blistery stuff) after a heavy week of training. They are the least cushioned of all the Hoka shoes (which kind of blows my mind), but they still have more than is really necessary, in my opinion.  I am sure that I will keep using them throughout the season, especially for some long days.

Finally, the friendly folks at First Endurance were kind enough to give me some products to sample before I really get into the 2014 racing season.  I used their EFS drink much last summer and I really liked it, especially on really hot days.  I’m looking forward to trying out the EFS Liquid Shot (their version of gel) and Ultragen recovery drink.  Cheers!