Winter Running

Winter morning run

Hard to believe it’s the middle of January already! Winter is here and the trails are great even after a few thaws.

The Blister Sister

The Blister Sister

We ventured on to the trails at Ravenshoe this morning and had a great time. The fat bikes have been out so the trails were smooth and it was cold enough that the snow was set and we didn’t do any damage running on them . It was a little icy in patches but our screw shoes kept us upright! We always have a laugh at Ravenshoe, you never know what your going to find in that little wood lot!

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Categories: #happydays, Weekly Smile!, Winter Running | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Iditarod record earned

Awesome blog post about Tim Hewitt’s record breaking 1000 mile trek in the Iditarod Trail Invitational by Craig Medred! Worth the read.

Craig Medred

10570347_10153392429056611_2091238505391719584_n Tim Hewitt on the Iditarod Trail at White Mountain/Joanna Wassillie photo

You can’t begin to do what Tim Hewitt just did in walking 1,000 miles across the godforsaken, frozen wilderness of Alaska in less than 20 days to set a record in the Iditarod Trail Invitational, and he doubts you’d want to.

Who’d choose to beat themselves up this way?

View original post 4,518 more words

Categories: #happydays, Trail Event, Ultras, Winter Running | Leave a comment

Iditarod Trail Invitational

Right now the Iditarod Trail Invitational is going on in Alaska. No I don’t mean the famous dog sled race (although that is going on now too). I’m talking about the Trail invitational that involves people on foot, skis and bike, running, skiing or biking 130, 350 or 1000 mile across the Alaskan wildness.

The 1000 mile race runs from Knik Lake outside of Anchorage to Nome Alaska. For the most part this race follows the Iditarod Trail, the same one that dogs will use but these people head out before the dogs start (in some cases the dogs will pass them by). Fully self-supported; these cyclists and walkers can expect to spend up to a month riding or walking in the wilderness. I can’t imagine sleeping outside in the Alaskan wilderness by myself in a bevy sack on the side on a trail at 40 below but that is what these participants will do if they have to. Tough people these racers.

Iditerod map with Spot tracking of particilants

Iditarod map with Spot tracking of participants.

I’m following Jill Homer, a young endurance athlete/writer who is riding a fat bike in the 1000 mile race. She is the only women in the 1000 mile bike race. I’m so excited because she is almost done! She has made it down the Yukon River and across the sea ice, and now is only about 100 miles from Nome!

Jill Homer Facebook image by JJ Weizel. Check out that bike!

Jill Homer Facebook image by JJ Weizel. Check out that bike!

I’ve followed Jill for a few years in all her exploits ever since I read her first book Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide, an inspiring story of her race in The Tour Divide – 2745 miles from Banff Alberta to Antelope Wells New Mexico (where she broke the women’s time record). I didn’t even know these types of ultra-endurance races existed. It isn’t a bad thing for me to find out about these event now because if I was younger I would probably want to do one dragging Glenis with me – Go Blister Sisters!

I’ve thought of Jill and her stories a few time when I find the going tough in a run. Her strength through adversity reminds me that nothing I do is that hard. I can’t wait for her next book.

 

Just a quick update. Jill finished 937 miles in just over 17 days, a women’s course record! We are so impressed! Yeah Jill!

 

Check out Jill Homer’s blog Jill Outside!

Categories: #happydays, Cycling, Other stuff, Run, Ultras, Winter Running | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

January Robins

A frosty morning run in January and what did we see? A tree full of robins! It’s been an easy winter, but we still can’t wait for spring!

Categories: #happydays, Winter Running | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

#Happydays – Frostbite!

It’s been crazy cold lately, almost too cold to run. Almost but not quite. Running in -22C (-7F) requires some precautions before you set out. Even though you think you are prepared things can happen. Just look at my sister’s Frost Nipped ear! Those dangly earrings will conduct cold quiet easily when it’s -22C. When we ran the next day she took the precaution of slipping on a pair of ear bags to protect her damaged ear lobe.

Frostbit is something that can happen to anyone out in the extreme cold, not just arctic explorers. People in more temperate climates can get it too when the temperature plunges and the wind whips up.

If you skin pales or turns red, gets is very cold, hard or waxy looking you just might have frostbite. You don’t have to have all these symptoms to succumb to frost nip, a milder form of frostbite.

There are three degrees of frostbite. Frostnip is a mild form and usually affects your face, ears or finger tips and toes. Superficial frostbite is more serious and affects the outer layer of your skin. Deep frostbite is when the underlying tissues freeze and can cause permanent damage.

You want to be careful when you warm skin that you suspect has been frostbitten. Warm water is the safest way. There is a lot of information on the web on how to treat frostbite. Although if I thought it was serious I would just head to medical clinic. I do know there are things you shouldn’t do like rub or massage frostbitten skin or break any blisters that form.

We had a little chuck about the close call we had with frostbite and took extra precautions running the next day. Our run in the forest was in beautiful bright sunshine and we were out of the wind. Hopefully now that March had arrived we will be putting that nasty frigid cold behind us and we can get on with our training in some more traditional March weather, LOL

Categories: #happydays, Other stuff, Winter Running | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Days it’s only minus 12C out!

Happy day! It’s warm out!

It was only minus 12C (10F)this morning, which was much warmer the the minus 29C (-20F) on the weekend. The wind chill on the weekend was brutal – minus 40C or 40F what ever what you looked at it. Cold!
We were just happy to get in a great run on our screw shoes as the sun came up!

Morning run Feb 18

Foggy glasses, blurry eyes and frozen camera but always with a smile when we are running!

Categories: #happydays, Run, Winter Running | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Screw Shoes

Screw Shoes

We’ve run for the last time with crampons that fly off when we least expect it. You know how it is out there, the roads and trails are slick, icy, and slushy and you still “need” to run. So you dig out your crampons, those little rubbers with the picks, chains or coils that are supposed to give you a little extra grip. But sure enough either you can’t find one or both of them or within the first kilometer of running in them, they twist or fly off.

We decided, enough is enough, we decided to screw our shoes.

We dug out a pair of worn but not worn out shoes and then stopped at the hardware store for a package of sheet metal screws. We picked up a package of self-starting, ½ inch sheet metal screws. The shoes we picked were old trail shoes but apparently any shoe will do with the exception of shoes with very thin soles like racing flats. Total cost was about $8.00 for 100 screws, enough for a few years.

cheap fix

1/2 inch sheet metal screws and a screwdriver.

It was really easy to put them in the shoes. All we needed was a flat end screwdriver and a little elbow grease. We put the screws in the raised tread of the shoe. We had no worries about the tip of the screw going right through the sole. We would have to use a longer screw than a ½ inch for that to happen.

We did a little investigation on how many to put in (http://www.skyrunner.com/screwshoe.htm, http://www.competitiverunner.com/screwshoes.html) and decided on 11. We didn’t put any in the middle of the shoe; we thought we would give it a go with the screws lining the outer edge of the sole. In total our screws only added ½  ounce to the weight of our shoe, not that we care but that seems to be an issue with some runners.

According to Competitive Runner: You can use Screw Shoes on almost any surface. You won’t notice them on pavement, except for the clicking noise. They work pretty well on ice, as long as you are using new screws and the ice isn’t too hard or thin. They are best on hard-packed snow, but only moderately helpful in deep, slushy snow. We figure any traction is welcome.

Finished product, Screw Shoes

Finished product, Screw Shoes

Here’s to winter running and screw shoes.

 

Here is a little update: We ran on snowy, slushy roads and fresh trails this morning and they worked great!

Screws  in action!

Screws in action!

Categories: #happydays, Gear Review, Run, Winter Running | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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