RUNNING under the sun and then through the snow.

“March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb…”

You may have heard the above quote time and time again. “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb…” and in most places this is quite true – but not here in DC.

Last night my morning meeting was canceled do to the possibility of a wintery mix. You may be thinking, why… it is the end of March? But here in the DC area, having a disgusting mix of wet rain and snow in early spring is not shocking.

For some of you snow bunnies from up North, you may find my rant about 1 inch of snow annoying. But let me tell ya, I love snow, and would rather have a beautiful light dusting, or actually, bring it on I’ll take a blizzard, over this wet, dirty, already melting wintery mix.

Ever since I became a runner, 5 years ago, I have become very weather sensitive/picky. And every year, I take note, and remember quite vividly what the weather is like in late March through April. Why so obsessed? Because that is when my running season begins. That is when I start running my races, starting with the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, scheduled for the first weekend of April.

I love this race, however out of the five times I have run it, I have only run under the promised¬†canopy of Cherry Blossoms once. Most of the time, we will have a hot week, and the Cherry Blossom will bloom, and then we will have a cold week, where the wind will blow the blossoms away. ¬†So as you can see it is a roller coaster ride… when it comes to the weather around here.

So this is what I am talking about…

Is it spring?

Is it winter?

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Cherry Blossoms covered with wet snow…

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Ok… enough of that… Lets talk about Running…

This last week, I continued with my Livefit trainer, but I have also taken my half marathon training up a notch. Or in other words, I have been doing some serious runs. What do I mean by serious runs? Well, because this spring I am only doing races between 10 and 13.1 miles, my long runs are really not that long. Because I am a marathon runner, I don’t really consider anything below 10 miles a long run. ¬†With that being said, because I am training for the 10 – 13.1 mile races, so far my weekend long runs have been 6, 7, 8 (if that makes since.)

I also want to make a point, that no matter which distance you are running from 5k to 21 miler to ultra marathon, it is important to practice proper form. Even on the shortest runs, you can still have a serious, high quality workout.

Friday, 3/22

L and I went out on our 8 mile run. We ran south side of the MVT. It was a really great run, averaging a 9 min mile. It was cold but sunny. Good weather, happy runner!

221767_10101047893554966_1477093678_nSaturday, 3/23

I ran a 4-5 mile loop, and did 5x hill repeats. I was averaging an 8:30 min mile. It was 55-60 degrees. I ran in shorts and a tshirt. It felt amazing. I thought spring was here… what a tease.

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Sunday, 3/24

L and I met up at 7:30 am to get a 4-5 mile run in before work. It felt really nice to wake up early and hit the trail. We ran the north side of MVT. I ran faster than ever, definitely averaged 8:30 min mile, sometimes running faster. Focused on short fast strides. ¬†Stopped to take this quick photo…

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Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Questions for You…

  1. What types of runs did you do this weekend? Fast? Slow? Long? Short? Hills? Flat? Training? Races?
  2. Is it snowing where you are? Is it spring or winter?

© 2013 sweatdaily

To Snowboard or To Ski?!

HOW IT ALL BEGAN…

As long as I can remember I was a skier. I was that little girl in a puffy pink onesie, snowplowing (aka the pizza), fearlessly and poleless down the mountain. My parents got me on skis at a very young age, even my girl scout troop went on annual ski trips.

When I was 16, I went with my high school, to Seven Springs, a ski resort in Pennsylvania. It was there that on my second day of skiing I decided to trade my skis in for a snowboard. I have been on a board ever since.

I am definitely a better skier, than snowboarder. However, I enjoy snowboarding because it is a challenge for me, and I always love a good challenge. When I first got on a board I realized how truly different it is compared to skiing.

THE DIFFERENCE 

In skiing, each leg is attached to it’s own individual ski. While in snowboarding both legs are attached to one board. In skiing, it is a lot of hip action. While in snowboarding it is distributing weight on to your toes and then on to your heels. This creates an S shape in the snow, called carving. ¬†In skiing, you have poles to push you along on flatter services, or to help create speed. On a snowboard, you have to unbuckle your back foot. This freed foot can go in front of your board or behind your board, in order to comfortably shuffle your way along on flatter services. Most snowboarders choose their stance, goofy or regular.

Maybe it is because I have been skiing longer, and learned to ski before I learned to snowboard. But because of the obvious, having both legs attached to one board, compared to having legs individually attached to their own skis – skiing is more freeing and I feel much more in control.

As a child, I grew up going skiing a couple times a year during the winter season. But as an adult, I begin to get to the resort less and less. So last year, I decided I was going to make more of an effort to get to the mountain. Because of this, my bf and I both bought each other snowboards, and we have made it a tradition to always go snowboarding on my birthday.

THR GEAR

This Christmas, I was one lucky girl. My bf ended up getting me the rest of my snowboarding equipment.  This included: boots, gloves, pants, socks (made from merino wool, my favorite), and a helmet.

Growing up we never wore helmets, just a goofy hat. But honestly, a helmet keeps you so much warmer, and safer. Plus all the expert skiers and snowboarders are wearing helmets, so you just look like an ammature if you aren’t wearing one. WEAR YOUR HELMET!!

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** I love my new helmet, and it is my favorite color. Thanks baby, for an awesome Christmas present!!**

RESORTS

I am an east coast girl, so unfortunately I have only had the opportunity to ski of the east coast – maybe my dream will come true and I will find time to go out West to Vail or Jackson Hole.

In the past, I have gone up to Vermont a couple times, to a resort called Mount Snow. However, most of the time when I go skiing or snowboarding I am either in Pennsylvania or Maryland. The good resorts in Pennsylvania that I have been to are Seven Springs or Blue Knob.

There are some resorts down in Southern Virginia. Winter Green is the better out of the resorts down there. Massanutten aka Massanothing, has been taken over by college kids that attend JMU, and parents love to bring their kids because of the indoor water park.  There are some resorts in West Virginia. The most popular one is Snow Shoe.

Anyhow, over the last three years, my bf and I have gone skiing at White Tale, a resort right passed Hagerstown, MD. We have chosen this resort simply because it is the closest to get too. However, the resort itself is pretty simple, and small. The only food option is their cafeteria, and the county is a dry county – so no bar here. They do have an awesome fire pit, which warms you up after hours on the slope. The last couple times we have gone, though, it has been really over crowded. The chairlift lines were super long, and the slopes were over packed with kids.

So this year, my bf and I decided to try a different resort. Although, up north got dumped on with snow, we haven’t gotten any in the DC area. So our main concern was finding a place that had some snow. My mom suggested Blue Knob. She had told me that I had been as a kid, but honestly I had no memories of the place.

BLUE KNOB

Blue Knob is the resort located in Pennsylvania, on the highest mountain top. It is about a 3 hour drive from the DC area. When we looked at their website, they claimed they had snow, and all trails were open. So it was go time… we aren’t picky at all when it comes to snowboarding.

We headed up Friday night, spent the night in a hotel 30 minutes from the resort. Woke up early, and we were on our way. The ride up the mountain was beautiful. See for yourself…snowtrees

Driving to the resort was all up hill, or rather up mountain. The reason why is because unlike other resorts where the lodge is on the bottom of the mountain, at Blue Knob, the lodge is located on the very top of the the mountain. Instead of first having to wait in line and ride the chairlift, automatically you get to ski or snowboard right from the lodge Рwhich I loved.

21687_10151437679639660_613762191_nAnother awesome thing about Blue Knob is that the trails all intertwine with each other. You’ll see black diamonds in between green slopes. There are lots of trees, so you feel like you are skiing of snowboarding through the woods – very nature like.¬†76058_10151437679914660_1887698425_nAnother thing about Blue Knob, was that it was not overly crowded. It was a Saturday, but I rarely had to wait in lift lines. I pretty much had the slopes to myself. This could be because the resort is very secluded compared to the other resorts. It also could be because they have a lot more trails, and all of them were open with really great snow.¬†285689_10101001271495946_517169163_n** His and Her Burton Boards.**

When I had decided I was going to buy my bf a board. I started to research Nitro Snowboards.  The company seemed really good, and the board designs were visually pleasing. However, they were really expensive and hard to find. I ended up buying a Burton Board for him, and he bought one for me. I love my Burton Board. 

**My next post will be about tips for purchasing your first snow board, so stay tuned.**

THE LODGE

The food at Blue Knob was not bad, of corse it wasn’t the healthiest. They had a basic grill, where they could make you anything you wanted, from breakfast sandwiches to burgers. They also had soups in bread bowls, and other snacks. They do have a bar, and there was a band playing live music when we were there.

A GREAT WORKOUT

Of corse we went to hang in the lodge for lunch, and to warm up and grab a coffee. But for the most part, we were on the slopes, 9 am-4 pm. Seven hours of snowboarding is an amazing work out. But where I felt the most sore was my inner thighs, and my arms. I think this is because the shuffling movement on flat services works the inner thighs, and the constant being on the ground and then pushing yourself up works the arms.

IN THE END…

I highly recommend trying snowboarding or skiing if you haven’t already. It is tons of fun, and a great work out. If you are on the East Coast, I highly recommend Blue Knob resort. ¬†Although, it is March, the season isn’t over yet. The Mid Atlantic has just been issued a ¬†Snow Alert. So get out there and enjoy the snow, the winter, while you can.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding?
  2. Where is your favorite ski lodge located?
  3. What kind of board do you have?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

 

Winter Wonderland

This will be my last post about Yellowstone, I promise. I know it seems like I am obsessed, but maybe I am a little. Anyway, my boyfriend and I were browsing around one of the gift shops in the Old Faithful Inn, and we came across a series of photography books, one done on each of the seasons. While looking through them, I came to the conclusion that my favorite images were taken during the winter months.

My boyfriend and I later talked about possibly planning another trip out to the west. We are thinking of going to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, one of these winter seasons, to snowboard, and then take a day trip to Yellowstone, so we can experience the park in the winter.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the books or the name of the photographer from the books that I saw in the gift shop. However, I did search online to show some examples of what the park looks like during the winter.

*none of the photos are mine. I found these at Nature Photography Adventures.

Bison covered in Snow

Wolf eating Ribs

Snow

Lonely Bison

Water

Old Faithful Geyser

 

 

©2012

Hot or Cold in Yellowstone

PERFECT TIMING

Early June was the perfect time to go to Yellowstone. The park was not crowded at all because we went during the middle of the week. Most kids were still in school and adults at work. The few tourist that were there were international, from Japan and France.

WEATHER

We got to experience it all. The first day started out cool and crisp, but ended up reaching to 80.  I changed from pants to shorts. The second day we woke up to snow. The temperatures dropped to the 40s, while we headed further up into the mountains.

SNOW in June

The light dusting of snow that we woke up to was beautiful and peaceful. Snow covered the mountains’ tops making them even more stunning. It is interesting how the human eye can tell the temperature of water by just simply looking at it. The water falls and rivers flowing through out the park yesterday appeared refreshing but now they seemed painfully cold. However, the steam from the geysers gave off heat that warmed us up like a hot tub at a ski resort.


Ice cold…

that is some fast moving water…

cold water… on a cold day.

rushing water…

Do you think this is hot or cold?

looks like snow…

winter wonderland?

wet and cold?

Nope it is scalding hot!

My Boyfriend the photographer…

snow top mountains.

more snow. 

SHOPPING

Another good way to warm up was to stop into a gift shop. At Yellowstone there are plenty of them. Now for those that know me, you will know that I have very expensive taste. I am also very particular in what I buy. Normally, I find gift shops very tacky, but in Yellowstone it was the exact opposite. The shops had some very unique finds.

I also found some really cool jewelry.

more turquoise.

earrings made from Elk antlers…

© 2012