Snow has finally come to the Andes as we enter into the nastiest part of the winter here in the valley. 100% humidity, 30-40F and no central heating makes for one the most unpleasant living situations I've yet to experience. Literally, everything you touch is moist or slightly covered in condensation. All the time. Always. It's enough to drive a sober-er man out of his mind. Fortunately, I have been afforded a solution as the local grocery chain has started to stock Evan Williams. It has been helping to keep my blood moving and my mind sharp.
I went to Altos de Lircay yesterday for a 6.5 hour slog/run/whatever. It was perfect weather up there: sunny, cloudless, warm and about 1-2 ft of fresh snow. The other cool thing is that there was literally zero people in the whole park. Imagine having a giant national park to yourself. No one. Not even a ranger in the ranger station. It felt cool. Making fresh tracks along all of my favorite trails there with the knowledge that I'm very likely the only person who will set foot there for the next 2 months or so.
Running has been really good lately. I still have this pain in my hamstring/glute that has been there since February, but...I don't care about it anymore. It isn't getting worse or better, so...fuck it. Running uphill has been especially awesome. For whatever reason when I run a climb, I now feel like an invisible rope is pulling me up the hill and all I have to do is let it bring me to the top. That could be my improving fitness or it could be the special mushrooms I've been collecting from the trees...
It has been really fun to follow the racing going on in other parts of the world. It's been good to see some people I know running well, in addition to the bigger names at the bigger events. I'm headed back to the Michigan soon for two weeks to see my family. It's funny to think of the trip like I'm "vacationing" in the U.S., but that's exactly what I'm doing. I can't wait to head North for some hot weather and beaches! Woo! Winter break 2012, here I come!