April 30, 2012

Sunday Skiday - Always an Adventure!

Andrea skiing Catherine's Pass

After the Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon on Saturday, we decided to take advantage of the perfect weather and head back up into the mountains for some more spring skiing. The weather has been a little cooler over the past couple days, which actually made for better ski conditions (ie. no bottomless slush). We had a really fun day, as the "ski legs" are coming back for both of us... we actually feel confident in our ability to ski well again.

We started at Brighton, skinned up to Catherine's Pass, then skied a pair of fantastic laps off the ridge between the pass and Sunset Peak. From there it was back up to the pass, a bootpack to the summit of Mt Tuscarora, and then the decision was made to tag Mt Wolverine since we were already to close. We ended end up skiing Wolverine Bowl twice, and in-between attempted to ski Stupid Chute... but it was too icy/sketchy. I entered the chute, then had to climb back out because I didn't think it would be safe for us to ski without whippets. Eventually we meandered our way back to Brighton (which ended up being a comedy of errors), and made it to the car in just enough time to get home, take a shower, and meet some friends for dinner. What a day. Its always an adventure!

Andrea's brief description of the day from her training blog sums it up best...

It was a very typical "Jake and Andrea Adventure Day" with Jake triggering a couple wet avalanches, us both making things way more difficult than they needed to be (the bootpack up steep terrain), me chickening out on a sketchy ice couloir, skiing with our skins on because we were too lazy to take them off, and a crazy trail fiasco back out to the car. Good times :)

Skiing up from Brighton with Tuscarora's Seagull Couloir looking tasty

Springtime is the best time for solitude in the Wasatch
We skied our first couple laps from this ridgeline
Ready to drop in
Andrea off the top

Some wet avalanche activity. I triggered a pair of these :-0


A little bootpacking never hurt anyone
Hiking the ridge to Tuscarora

The sketchy climb out of Stupid Chute
Andrea ripping
Some nice 8s!

April 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon

Four months into 2012, Andrea and I finally lined for the same race this morning. Earlier this week, sort of on a whim, we decided to head down to Utah County for the Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon. Since we've both had big races recently (Boston for me and SLC for Andrea) the plan was to run it at marathon pace. We both did just that - Andrea ran 1:24:15 (winning the race!) and I ran 1:10:58 (for 4th place).

You can read our full race reports on FRB with longer descriptions of the course, how the races played out, etc:  Andrea's Report  -  Jake's Report

I'm really glad we ran this race, because it was a super-fun morning and one of the coolest courses we have ever run on - it was a mix of road racing, cross country, and a very advanced level of Mario Kart! :-) The race took us through the gardens, tunnels, over bridges, all over the golf course, etc. It was a unique event and we would definitely recommend checking this one out next year! The post race festivities are right in the complex and there is a ton of fun stuff to do for families and kids. Despite being a "complex" route, the course was very well marked and the race organization was fantastic. They had a big stage for the awards ceremony, which was especially cool for all the younger guys and gals who ran in the kids race - they all were very excited to get called up to the stage!

Thanksgiving Point is a really neat place in general - check them out on their facebook page.

The course map from my Garmin. It wound all over the place!

Thanksgiving Point from above

Elevation Profile - lots of up and down and up and down and up and down...
Several miles of the course wound through these gardens where the tulips were out in full force

We ran through these areas
The golf course part of the route was all rolling hills and sharp turns. It was like a XC style race!
Andrea and Melody (who won the 5K)
With some friends and the Altra caped crusaders after the race

April 24, 2012

SAUCONY Christmas!

Jake and I got our new Saucony Hurricane team kits for the year! Lots of great new gear - it feels like running Christmas :-)

I was really excited to see the bright pink Saucony racing sports bra. I will definitely have to wear this for summer races! I also noticed that the company made the short sleeve and long sleeve shirts LONGER and with less flare at the hips. I am pretty tall (5'8") and straight so I need a little extra length and not so much flare in the hip area.

I particularly like the capris, short tights, and split shorts. I have multiples of all and pretty much wear one of the three every day. I've said this before, but Saucony makes the best running shorts in the business. They are so lightweight and move freely.

The backpack is a nice addition to the kit this year, and it'll definitely come in handy with all the traveling that Jake and I do. It's very well made with lots of room and pockets.

I decided to get an array of running shoes so that I am able to rotate my shoes from a more minimalist shoe (Mirage and Kinvara) to a more cushioned lightweight trainer (Cortana and Guide 5). I think it's a great idea to train in different types of shoes. I usually wear the more minimalist shoes on workout days and long runs and the trainers on recovery days. I also picked up some BRIGHT PINK Endorphin track spikes and some Peregrine trail running shoes.

Jake got similar gear to me except all of his clothes are the ViZiPRO Orange color instead of pink.

Kinvara 2

For shoes - Jake does most of his training in the Mirage and Kinvara, so he got several pairs of those, along with some racing flats (Fastwitch, which he also uses for tempo run) and track spikes (Endorphin LD3).

Saucony Fastwitch 5 and Endorphin LD3 (which only weight 3.5 ounces in size 11!)

April 22, 2012

Spring Skiing!

Andrea on the summit of Mt Wolverine
We finally got up in the alpine this morning - its been over 3 months since we've been on skis!

It was a beautiful day in the Wasatch - the temperatures were pushing record highs and the sun was out in full force. We started at Alta, skinned up Grizzly Gulch to Twin Lakes Pass, then up to Patsy Marley Peak, traversed around Wolverine Cirque, and found ourselves on top of Mt Wolverine. I love the views from up in that area. After skiing Wolverine Bowl, we skinned back up to the entrance to Stupid Chute and skied that line - one of our favorites. By the time we were back near Twin Lakes, the snow was getting too hot, so it was up and over Twin Lakes Pass one more time, then out via Grizzly to the car... and then a few games of bowling!

Getting up high on some ridgelines this morning was refreshing for the body, mind, and soul.

Hopefully we'll get a few more days on snow before it all melts. We had a lot of fun today.

Skinning up from Alta

The route from Patsy Marley over to Mt Wolverine
Mt Superior - looking a bit thin this year!
We skied it almost exactly a year ago - Trip Report

The route we took above Wolverine Cirque

Summit Dew

Corn cruising in Wolverine Bowl

So hot outside!!!
Entering Stupid Chute
My good camera was dead at this point, so we didn't get any great action shots...
Variable conditions but tons of fun!
Andrea with Stupid Chute in the background
We skied this one in great powder last May - Trip Report
Putting the skins on for climb out of Twin Lakes