January 2018 Training Update
Dirt trails are one of my favorite things. The right trail is like a good friend, it is there if you need a good start to your day, and is there at the end of a long day when you just need to refocus. I am extremely fortunate to have a fabulous trail system just a short jaunt from my apartment in Gunnison, cutting contour lines through the sage-covered hills behind campus.
This proximity to amazing dirt can also make winter training especially challenging, as the trails become unrunnable and close due to snow cover, restricting our training runs to the roads. So, as my roommate and I cruise along the packed snow trail at the end of January, we had to ask ourselves…which wrathful god took winter away?
True, the ability to run trails through the winter will be an invaluable asset to my preparation for a 100k trail race in April and break some dreaded monotony of winter training. However, the intense cold and frequent snows are a part of living in Gunnison, and despite my complaints about both, their absence is both obvious and uncomfortable. Efforts to find actual snow for backcountry ski cross-training become frustrating and difficult, while in previous years actual snow was all but unavoidable.
So I will continue to run the trails, but with hope that soon I will soon be forced to ski them. In Colorado, winter snowpack is crucial to providing moisture to the land through dry summers, with the slow release of stored precipitation from the high country. As we roll into February, we can still see dirt in the mountains, and that is cause for great concern. Appease the snow gods; let it snow!