Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas on skis

This was my first Christmas separated from my family...I was very sad...I am already looking forward to 2014 when I get to spend Christmas in Germany. But with school and moving there was no way we could have made it to the motherland.

Lucky for me, I have the best friend anyone could wish for. Pam.

She took me to cool places and did a ton of fun stuff with me to distract me. 

One of the things she said would be fun would be competing in a ski race. And right she was. I was so nervous the day when I registered. I don't ski!!! Oh well. I logged onto to check my emails and saw this:

Was it a sign?
Oh well, here goes nothing:

 The race consisted of running up a hill, skiing down, running higher and skiing down. 

 Before the race I knew I could make it up but  wasn't sure how to make it back down. All I remembered was "French Fries" but apparently I was supposed to remember "pizza".

Up up up...
I made friends with a lot of interesting people. Dynafit gave me a race set of skis to demo and they were light. The boots were as light as my running shoes!!!

I made it to the top and Pam and I decided to ski down together. We had a ton of fun, but unfortunately her binding decided to poop out on us on the second time up so we just went half way and back down. It didn't matter, we were hooked for the next race!!!

I needed to renew my BLS license and Pam needed a CPR card. So she sat in a 3 hr class with me, a class for health care providers, just so we could do this together. What a great friend!!! I think she should get a raise for knowing much more then she really needed to know.

Next shenanigans: Skate skiing.
And that can only lead to a 20 k day on skis in our crazy endurance world. Eldora turns out to have great skate skiing, but we are excited to try out all the ones around Estes Park as well.

could we possibly...
even though Eldora spelled Biathlon wrong - it is NOT biathAlon, it is also not triAthalon...I forgive them...but they should really change it...
JR and I decided during our day at Eldora to go give shooting a try and see if we should do a biathlon...crazy, I know...

Ft Collins got more snow that night, but Ft Collians still ride their bike.

 JR and I took the day to test out the Biathlon rifle. Seated and standing, the first time of real shooting. It was a lot of fun despite my no-no-attitude to guns. I have to admit there were some strange characters shooting a gun next to us and it wasn't a hunting rifle or a biathlon gun...
Also disturbing was that I anwered NO for have you ever shot a gun  and I didn't get a tutorial, instead they just handed us a gun of our choice...mhhh

 Biathlon target practice was a success and JR and I are attending our Biathlon Safety class in January, followed by a race. Super excited to try this out.

Christmas came fast and we spend a nice day at Pam's house with Macaroons, a yummy christmas dinner and lots of presents, including a package from Germany!!!

Even JR helped in the kitchen and made a German dipping sauce!!!

 Jack was very excited about his new toy from Germany. He grabs it and shows it off whenever he can :-) Happy puppy!!!

JR and I started track practice again today, dusting off the rusty joints with 10X400 m. We had nice weather and having time off from school is perfect for training. I get to run 2 times a day OR ski once, run once. Tomorrow I get to try out my new race snowshoes as well as go backcountry skiing in the Ft Collins area. Ahhhh, this place is awesome.

As far as running goes:
New years eve 5 k - CHECK
Resolution run on the 1st - CHECK
PF Changs is still in the air, but IMS half is a GO.

In 2014 I will be part of BROOKS. RUN HAPPY.
I had a really great time with ZOOT and they are great. I am very thankful for their guidance and support in triathlon over the past 2 years, but since 2014 and the future will be a run focus, BROOKS is THE way to go. My feet love BROOKS shoes (the pure series especially). I ran my marathon in Brooks shoes and had 0 blisters or hot spots. To be part of their team is an honor and I cannot wait to race and even return to the track in 2014 :-) Steeplechase round 2? Maybe so :-)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Grand Canyon - South Bass Trail

Thanksgiving in the Grand Canyon. With Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and adventure. We went Thursday - Sunday and tried out SOuth Bass Trail. JR thinks that I might now be in the top 50 for German's with the most trails hiked in the Grand Canyon ;-)

Here is the picture story for our trip:

 Cold morning start with 9 degrees Fahrenheit!!!
 One last time without our heavy backpacks (this was my heaviest backpack yet!!!)
 Let's go!!!

 The trail from the rim to river was about 8 miles, but the first 4 miles were as steep as it can get for a big backpack hiking trip. My quads were on FIRE.

 Scrambling down the trail :-)

 The first layer is done.
 Stashing water for the way out. It felt good to drop those extra 3 Liters.
 STAIRS. I stopped counting after 152...there were too many.

 Right along the edge of a biiiig drop off.

 The trail was slightly less marked then we thought, so we build trail markers for future hikers.

 Coffee break - JR and I are very German :-)

 The "fireplace" at the bottom of the looking at it and with an unmarked turnoff we missed our trail and as it was getting dark we started wondering if we have to sleep on the Tonto Trail.
 We finally made it to South Bass Rapids and the famous boat.
 Tent vs bivi. Tent won!!!
 Thanksgiving dinner. Mhhhhhhhhh.
 Peter the mouse wanted some too. Thanks to Pam we learned to bring Critter bags at all times!!!

 The colorado was very chocolate like!!! 
 River trip stopping at our beach. Let the trading of food begin!!!
 You have to look closely but the tarantula was walking along the tondo and clearly got mad at us for taking pics of it - it was standing on 2 legs only trying to scare us with the other ones. Worked for me!!!
 Shinumu rapids.

 The fireplace!!!
 This is were the trail goes but the fireplace distraction is a trap. The tonto trail just disappears after a few more km. We decided to build big trail markers, because missing this turn off can end bad!!! There is no access to water anywhere else...unless you crawl down a cliff.
 This heart shaped cactus plant was full of love. Every ear was a heart!!!

 Our sandy beach.

 Getting water!!!

 Trading beer with river trips.

 The last night's view. Much much colder. We all managed to go to bed at 7 and slept until 7!!!
That's how cold it was :-)
It was awesome. 
I am still sore.
I can't wait to take my family down to the chocolate river!!!