Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gusty West Winds

Part 1: written last night.
I haven't had much to say for the last week or so because most of my runs have been pretty standard.  Run, pick up the Bean, run on the Creek Path, run with the dog.  Repeat.  Not much in terms of mileage or trail-age...

Today though, today was pretty notable because of the wind.
From the NCAR Foothills Lab website:  I ran between 12:30 and 13:30 today...
I had a full change of clothes in my bag, but we're talking tech shorts and short sleeved tech shirt.  I actually debated going out in my cotton button down too, just to break the wind, but decided that I just needed to run hard enough to warm myself up (temp at runtime: 45F).  Turned out (as always) that wasn't a problem, but I'd've liked gloves and tights.  My rule of thumb for when to keep the knees warm when running is below 50 degrees running and below 60 on the bike...

Whatever.  I got out and experienced (on average) a block headwind blowing 20+, gusting to 40+ for my first 3.5 miles.  Those first 3.5 were also slightly uphill as I was running West on the Boulder Creek Path.  It took me 30 minutes 3 seconds to run those first miles.  It took 4 minutes 20 seconds less to make the return jaunt at the same perceived effort.  Usually that's a negative split, but only by 1:30.  Tailwinds are nice.

Along the way, I was actually snowed on with a clear sky.  That's not a totally uncommon occurrence in Boulder, but only happens once or twice in a 365 day period.

It's been dumping snow in the mountains for the last couple of days - a pretty cool system (responsible for today's winds) moved through this past weekend.  It's now positioned approximately over the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It's making weather for folks up there and wind for us here and in WY.

and Part 2: Written today.
Anyway, the wind and snow up high were enough to blow some flakes into Boulder.  Pretty cool.

The same process is what keep what glaciers Colorado has left alive.  Prevailing winds are West to East with a wind shadow on the East side of the Continental divide.  Because of the shadow, more snow accumulates in the steep glacial valleys East of the divide during a storm which is then supplemented even after the snow is done falling by additional drifting of snow thanks to the heavy winds.

Anyway, I was also informed that I wouldn't have my new running shoes until late November at the earliest (those MT101's are hard to find in stores).  I am loathe to purchase a shoe without trying it on first.  Sure you can send it back, but that's almost as big a pain in the butt as going into the store to try on new shoes in the first place.

Whatever.  It's almost time to lace on the screw shoes anyway...
Thanks for reading.

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