Here it is . . . the first day of winter! We already have a decent 3-4" base of snow and the flakes of fluff are falling right now! Woo-hoo! It's looking promising that Joe and I will be able to get the xc skis out soon, which I have been dying to do since I got a new pair of boots that fit properly and appear that they will give me some excellent support for skate-skiing (any bit of support I can get for this is definitely useful!). We do have what appears to be a decent xc skiing surface on the seasonal roads, but if you look closely you can see that the ice ridges and some stones are kicking up through the snow. So if you have good eyes and even better control of your skis, you could probably get away with skiing right now. However, my snow-vision is limited to the few feet in front of me and by the time I see any obstacles that might chew the skis it is likely too late to avoid them. And then there is my lack of control . . . another story.
So until the ice and rocks get totally covered by snow I am sticking to running. And running in the snow is just totally freakin' awesome. I have found that it is really good for your form; you can't stride out too big or you will likely slip and fall right on your fanny (I do that enough when I ski; no need to practice it during the runs). So I feel very efficient when snow-running, the scenery is beyond belief, and the cold weather completely agrees with my breathing.
As I read some other blogs, I am discovering that some other ultra runners are investigating the return to their minimalist running roots. I have really been enjoying Jeff Browning's accounts of becoming a more minimalist runner. I, too, am working on this. I have always thought that because I am a runner of larger stature that I needed more support and cushioning in my running shoes. After reading "Born To Run" I have found that this is not so and have been working on minimalizing my running shoes. On Saturday Lorrie and I went for a 14 mile run (ugh! on the roads!) and I ran in my Asics Gel DS Trainers, which for a smaller person would probably be considered a training shoe, but for my size it is quite minimal. And flat (forefoot and heel at the same level). And I felt pretty darn good when I finished the run. I really want to try the Vibram Five Fingers but I think that will have to wait a few months, since I don't have a treadmill to run indoors on and the 20-degree-and-below temps along with the snow don't appear to agree with running barefoot.
So December is a month of relaxation and d0-what-I-want with my running and the serious training for MMT 100 will begin in January. Heineken Cup Rugby continues and my Munster men seem to be doing well. I have also been pulled toward the other Irish team, Leinster, and Jonathan Sexton and Brian O'Driscoll have been playing really excellent. Sexton is a young fly-half with an accurate kicking boot. O'Driscoll is just plain amazing. I would love to see the finals come down to Munster and Leinster; that would be awesome.
And for those of you already thinking about July . . . registration is open and the forms are online for The 22nd Annual Finger Lakes Fifties.
That's all the news for now, so cowgirl up and get out and enjoy the snow and cold!