Last week we were fortunate enough to go skiing out west in Park City, Utah (Deer Valley Resort). Being the runner that I am, caution is my top priority. My wife and kids on the other hand (think Bode, Lindsay and Ted) have no problem speeding down the Wasatch Mountains. I was more than content to bring up the rear with my turns every 20 feet! The cool thing about Deer Valley (and there are a lot) is that there are no snow boarders (sorry Shawn) so you're pretty much free to cruise on down with minimal traffic. It was an awesome trip!
On the flight out to Utah, I was able to read the latest edition of Running Times (I love that magazine) from cover to cover. There are always well researched articles with minimal advertisements. They had a special section on minimalist running (wearing either a very light weight trainer/flat or no shoe at all (barefoot)). This was especially interesting to me because for Christmas I got a pair of Vibram (pronounced Vee brum) FiveFingers. I was intrigued by these "toe cut out slippers" after reading Christopher McDougall's Born to Run and the subsequent New York Times article on the benefits of running barefoot or with sandles as the Taraumara Indians in the Copper Canyons of Northern Mexico do. I fell in love with them right away and would were them 4 days a week out of 7 days running (I think I over did it). The idea/theory behind minimalist running is to engage your feet/legs (bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments) and arch which acts as a natural spring with each stride. With the Vibram's on, each run is an adventure because I am always seeking out grass to run on because it feels so good!
My runs in Utah (at an altitude of 8,000 ft.) consisted of 10 mile runs every morning on the treadmill at 9 mph. Obviously with the rarified/thin air, it is just tough trying to get that oxygen so I was just not able to do any kind of specific workouts. I could have run outside and since I wasn't familiar with the area, there was a lot of snow on the ground and there were no trail close by, I thought it was more efficient to just jump on the treadmill while the family was still sleeping.
On another running related topic, I had mentioned that Scott Foy was heading up to Boston to run the national HS indoor mile. Well I did get the e-mail from Scott...he ran a 4:26 which was good for the 5th fastest time in North Carolina this year! He said that he went out way to hard and paid the price...I call that being gutsy!