Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sun, Trails, Flowers and More

After planning our wedding last year and fretting about the weather (for good reason...we had two separate but lovely down-pours), I decided to refrain from analyzing forecasts, especially for events. So far it has served me well, as we had perfect weather for The Rattler in April (with snow the following day) and uber-perfect weather for the Women's Trail Running and Yoga Retreat last weekend. The mossy folk from the other side of the mountains may have been a little parched with the dry, hot air, but everyone seemed pleased, and some got a head start on acclimating for Rainshadow Running's race at Sun Mountain next week.

This retreat is my little baby; I love bringing women together to share a weekend of running, yoga, and good food. It has become one of my favorite weekends of the year and I'm already looking forward to the next one. I'm continually amazed at how a group of strangers becomes a cohesive, supportive group of friends.

The first evening we went on a little shake out run north of Winthrop, prepping our legs for the coming days. Dinner consisted of roasted veggies and lentil salad, a salmon dip with veggies and crackers, as well as a mixed green salad, followed by yummy chocolate cake. We chatted and got to know each other a bit, then dispersed for a full night's sleep. Friday morning brought a bright, sunny day, and we headed to Riser Lake for our first "real" run. We all did the four-mile loop, then most of the group continued up Lewis Butte for some amazing flowers and views. From there the group split, with one going back down the trail to the cars, another going over the west side of the mountain and back, and another doing a longer loop consisting of aspen groves and sage. We got back to River Run Inn just in time for lunch: perfect nutrient timing for quick recovery.

The day was hot by now, and the River Run Inn was perfect. They  have a huge lawn out back, next to the river, with several hammocks that are oh so comfy. Between lunch and yoga I gave some technique pointers for newer trail runners, then got ready for yoga. Becky led a wonderful practice out on the lawn, with the sound of the river as our soundtrack. Yoga loosened us up for our recovery run (or nap, depending on what people wanted), and off we went, getting back just in time for dinner. Perfect meal timing again! After our meal, one of the participants and nurse practitioner, Angel, gave a fascinating presentation on the endurance athlete's heart and the dangers of NSAIDs. It gave us a lot to think about and I'm so glad to be more informed on the topic.

Saturday was was more of the same, though we ran at Pipestone canyon. Again, we had perfectly clear, warm (borderline hot) weather, with lots of wild flowers. We all ran a nine mile loop, then some added more. Next came lunch and yoga, then Rita, the owner of Winthrop Mountain Sports, came to talk about all the different kinds of running shoes, and the importance of shoe fit. Dinner was on our own, so a big group of us went to Kelly's, while others stayed in Winthrop.

For our final run, we went to Patterson mountain, adjacent to Sun Mountain Lodge. It was again a perfect day, and the loop provided more mountain views and flowers. Thanks to everyone who made this a great weekend. I hope to see you next year! If you can't wait for next year, or want to have an adventure weekend with your husband, check out our Fall Endurance Getaway, in October!

Looking up-valley. Photo courtesy Kristen Smith, Methow Valley Photography.

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