Sunday, July 14, 2013


Clearly my ability to train is inversely correlated with the temperature.  A roller ski workout that felt impossibly hard last week with temps in the mid 80s was far more productive this week, in the low 70s.  So I might think that this weekend, with more 70s expected, would be the perfect time to spend some quality hours at Tiger or Cougar Mountain.  Alas, this was Bad Traffic weekend; the 520 bridge was closed all weekend, as was part of I-405, which meant that the only way to get to the east side and the mountains was on I-90, and that would only be an exercise in frustration and gridlock.

KOMO4 photo

This was definitely a weekend to go north or stay close to home, so on Saturday I pointed my car north, to Snohomish and the Centennial Trail, for my first long double pole of the summer.  It was plenty warm enough, and by the end of my two hours, my feet were hot and sore in my boots and my hands were blistered -- typical for the first long roll.  Didn't matter; I was so pleased to be back on the Centennial, putting in the miles, making an investment in the coming winter.  It's a long drive (fortunately, traffic-free today in this direction!), but I love the little airport, the snoozing farm country with the summery smells of grass and hay and cows and horses, and the long smooth trail, and with trail-side views like this, the effort to get there is totally worth it.

Plus there is a great farmers' market on the way out of Snohomish, so I stocked up on super-fresh greens and eggs from happy, free-range chickens.

Today I stayed close to home, off the freeways, and went to Discovery Park.  I jogged the shady pieces, hiked the sunny pieces, and ended up on the grass, shoes off, stretching in the shade of a gorgeous tall tree and sharing my space with the clovers and daisies.  This, I am convinced, is one of the five best ways in the world to spend a summery morning.

I also did some easy jumpies.  On my ship canal roller ski earlier in the week, as I rolled down the trail, I saw a very tall, very lithe Seattle Pacific student doing some kind of jumping workout in the grass ahead of me.  She finished up as I passed, so I looped back and rolled up on the grass to ask her about her workout.  I have believed I need power and explosiveness, but that might not be genetically possible for me.  Watching her jump made me think I rather need lightness and quickness, which she and my young dancer friend Hanne have in spades.  Her workout made me think of Hanne's dancing, in fact: agile and graceful and light-footed and happy.  She showed me her jump squats, jump lunges, side-to-side jumps, and, of course, burpees.  Proficiency in these moves could only help my heavy stodgy skiing, so I must try to find the time to squeeze in some of these jumpies.  But I must start very very slowly and gently; just watching her made my knee tendons feel like they were exploding!  This morning's attempt at some jumpies-lite seems not to have caused any explosions, so, so far, so good.

The forecast for this coming week is HOT HOT HOT.  That could be a little challenging! And UW atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass has enough data now to make a first call on next winter.  He says the signs are pointing toward neither an El Nino (warm and rainy) nor a La Nina (cold and snowy), but another La Nada, something in between.  Not my favorite prediction, perhaps, but there is plenty of time still for the jet stream to move and the ocean temperature to cool and the forecast to morph into La Nina.  Until then, soldier on, my friends, be careful of the heat, and keep training!

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