We decided to eat in for breakfast this morning. I fueled up with a large bowl of Flax Plus Oatmeal and some blended berries from the Magic Bullet. I was not able to make my usual breakfast smoothie since I forgot to get some bananas the day before. Regardless it was a good replacement. I caught up on the previous days blog post and enjoyed a few cups of fresh ground coffee.
As the caffeine began coursing through my veins, I was getting primed to get outside and get movin’. Denise was deeply involved in reading so I decided to try out my YakTrax with my minimalist New Balance running shoes. I feared that the YakTrax would dig into the bottom of my foot with the thin sole on my running shoes.
I donned my running garb and headed out the door and up River Road. I could instantly feel the 9 degree(F) air instantly constrict the blood vessels in my lungs as I struggled to extract the oxygen from the freezing cold air. I come from a long line of asthmatics, so any activity in cooler temperatures on my bronchial tubes. Usually resulting in a wheezy couch post-activity that my wife refers to as “The Hockey Cough” from the result of me coming into bed after a late night hockey game.
The YakTrax worked pretty well and I could not feel them through my shoes. I think the coating of snow and ice on the road helped absorb some of the thickness. I noticed if I hit a patch of macadam I could feel them a bit more. I think I actually prefer running on this type of surface. It has some give to it.
After a mile or so, my lungs eventually adjusted to the cold air and I settled into a steady zone 2 pace. I hadn’t really considered how far I was going to run, but since we were planning on skate-skiing later should probably keep it short. When I reached the large meadow by the red barn I realized my toes were really cold. Minimal shoes are basically mesh and don’t provide much protection from the elements. I thought this was a good sign I should probably turn around.
I turned around and headed back towards home. My lungs began a nice steady wheezing sound with each exhale. The cars that passed me gazed at me like I was some kind of freak. What…you never saw someone running on a snowy road in single-digit temperatures before? I ended up going past the house and finished up with a 4 mile run. It felt good to get the blood pumping again after 2 days of eating and doing nothing.
We stopped at the Cascade Cross-Country Ski Centers’ lodge for lunch since my Father-in-law had mentioned they had some vegan options on their menu. It was on the way to Mt. Van Hoevenberg so it made a convenient stop. I had a bowl of their Vegan Chili and the “Keene” wrap, which was a hummus & veg wrap. It was a decent lunch although I didn’t realize how much food it was until I was later browsing their ski shop and my stomach like it was going to burst. Ugghhh! Hope that doesn’t dislodge on the trails!
We finally got to Mt. Van Hoevenberg and were out on the trails by around 2PM. We did the East Mt. Loop first, then headed over towards the Perimeter Loop afterwards. I was surprised how great I felt on the long, steep hills of the East Mt. Loop. I remember not long ago stopping every 50 yards or so just trying to catch my breath. Now I just went up them like they were no big deal. I think all the walking lunges I had been doing at the gym were paying off finally. The uphills were also very welcome as they were a great source of warmth. The downhills, not so welcome…brrrr!
We finished the Perimeter loop and found our way back to the lodge which ended up being around 6 miles. I did a face plant on the East Mt. Loop when a misplant of my new pole sent me flying face first into the snow. Denise seemed to take a large amount of enjoyment in this as she yelled out to the skiier that passed us about a “man down.” I must have hit the stop button on my Garmin when I hit the ground cause I noticed nothing had changed when we went pass the lodge to the Perimeter trail. I don’t think it is was too much I missed though.
I headed out for another 2.5 miles after regaining consciousness to my frozen piggies. Now my sweat-soaked gloves caused my finger tips to freeze ever so quickly. I could not wait to get back to the lodge and thaw them out. The quick 25 minute excursion was a good blast of fast skiing. I had some tunes in and my lungs were screaming at this point. I ended up doing 8.5 miles which is plenty for my first day out this season. Don’t want to be hurting tomorrow. Time to head home, shower and off to dinner.
We decided to go to Milano North for dinner since my wife wanted some meat and they also had a Fusilli-Veggie entrée for me. My meal was pretty good, but it needed a little more flavor so I poured some of the olive oil dip from the bread over it. It did the trick. Made me wonder if they forgot the olive oil sauce it mentioned on the menu. Why is it so hard to add some herbs and garlic to the sauce for some flavor?? My wife had the veal picatta which she was ooohing and aaaahhing over. I have to admit it looked really good. That was one of my favorite dishes back in my carnivore days.
Despite the cold temperatures, it was a great active day outside. Fortunately there was not much wind, so that helps a bit. It snowed very lightly all afternoon and gave it a nice little dusting of snow. It continued through the night too and will hopefully add a new covering on the trails for tomorrow. Until tomorrow.