Caren Ware's Blog

January 29, 2013

Gearing up.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:13 pm

IMAG0158Sunday, I ran those 21 miles in a storm.  Monday, I did abs and nordic skied on the most perfectly groomed tracks,  The tracks went through a sun spattered woods overlooking Pinedale, Wyoming and overlooked a very, very frozen Fremont Lake.  The color of the leafless aspens against newly fallen snow was magical.  I was so into the moment of whisking through a quiet setting, I forgot to take a picture for you. backcountry



This is a new world to me…nordic skiing with its classic ski, skate, and tour skis.  Downhill resort skis being big and wide for powder.  And than there is BACKCOUNTRY skiing.  Today, I got to use my back country gear and skis for the first time.  A Teton Mountaineering employee was willing to take me out on a day off.  I appreciated the guided expertise.  There is a humbling amount to know.  Just two days ago, two young lives were claimed in two separate avalanches in this area. It is news no one wants to have to hear.  It is what makes these BACKCOUNTRY people advocate avalanche training and the call to carry specific gear.

On tame slopes on a tame day of no wind or falling snow, we inaugurated through my first day of how all the gear functions and how to be prepared out here. Even at that, the new inches of snow atop an ice layer was easily punched through to softer snow.  It was conditions to be respected, conditions that lead to avalanches and arduous travel. IMAG0156IMAG0152

Here’s how backcountry works.  Special bindings have evolved that allow you to clip in only the toes of the alpine boots for crossing fields or climbing up.  You keep the buckles loose and these specific boots at a flex and nordic ski on them.  There is a heel plate that can be pulled over using a ski pole so you do not have to flex as much going up hills.  ‘Skins” are adhered to the bottom of the skis with a special glue that allows you to peel them off and put them in your pack when you downhill.  The bindings than can become clamped down so you can downhill ski.  The poles are adjustable so you can use for both set ups.  With backcountry skis, you are an all in one ski package.  I had the opportunity to learn about DYNAFIT and BLACK DIAMOND from the reps that came to Skinny Skis.  DYNAFIT is pronounced DEAN-A-FIT and makes these fine tuned mechanical bindings that clamp and rotate.  They also make light weight skis specific for taking into the mountains.  So does Black Diamond. I have Dynafit boots and bindings and Black Diamond Starlet skis. And I acquired a Black Diamond Ava lung backpack.  This pack is made to hold a light weight shovel, avalanche probe ( A pole that uncoils and can be stuck in the snow to find a submerged body), and extra food and clothing.  It also has a liner in the  shoulder strap that the camel back tube feeds  through so your water does not freeze.  It is specifically called the Ava lung because the other shoulder strap has a breathing tube and mouth piece that allows the pack to be an airbag in the event of being pulled under in an avalanche. Added to the ensemble has to be a transmitter beacon.  This is turned on and worn close to the chest when in the ‘backcountry”.  My device came from  Ortovox.  It can find and it can send to be found. We all watch documentaries where people are ‘skinning’ along in their skis in vast territories of snow.  I am thankful to learn the proper safety protocol.  Thank you, Teton Mountaineering and Skinny Skis for your teaching and training.  EXUM Mountain guides and other agencies offer great courses in how to manage safety in avalanche country.  I am going to humbly take one of those courses.  IMAG0170IMAG0168IMAG0167IMAG0165

January 27, 2013

Ran 21 miles today.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 9:10 pm

All I can say is ‘ugh’.

I have committed to run long on designated ‘long run’ days regardless of the weather.  Who knows what kind of weather will befall the one day we embark upon the 26.2 miles in Antarctica.  No chilling here. As suggested by experience, Tim from Grand Dynamics suggested that I put my wool socked feet in shopping bags and run. I like my inov8 trail shoes as the best fit and shoe for these trail, terrain distances.  I have no problems in these and feel I will get to keep my toe nails this time. But, they are not gortex, nor water proof.  It worked.  My feet wanted to get cold, but they didn’t dare.  I ran into long stretches of hard packed ice on the Elk’s refuge, and a near white out blizzard during the first 11 miles, and hit progressive hills and four inches of newly fallen snow on top of pack on my preceding next 10 miles.  The soft snow felt much like trudging through the soft red earth of the Australian OUTBACK, but with a temperature bite!

I carried Gatorade, fig newtons, and a gel. It was a wet snow.  The inner hood to my wool shirt against my skin soaked it up and drew it down my back and arms, sneaking past the Gortex shell.  But the body steam of motion kept me warm in spite of.  My OR mittens were soaked, but CHECK…warm too.  Somehow, in my cocoon of clothes, I felt strong and steady.  Save, I didn’t drink nor eat enough.  I finished dizzy and shaking, having to eat protein right away and have been drinking water all evening.  Got to keep that in mind.  Weather like that doesn’t feel thirsty, but it dehydratesIMAG0137IMAG0139.

These pics were taken around the 17th mile.

A soft pedal. Hush ride. You can hear the woods.

Filed under: fitness,hiking,Marathon Running,mountain biking,road biking — Caren Ware @ 8:52 pm

fattirepicScott and Jay’s FAT BIKE SNOW SUMMIT was a huge success.  It was classic outdoorsmen and women bonding.  A lodge, good food, fun company, and a smart chance for the national forest service, land commissioners, and such to come see the bikes in action and go for some demo rides.  A snow storm made the ride softly challenging, but nothing when compared to the slide show that Jay and his wife presented on their RIDE to Nome on FAT BIKES.  They, and a handful of hearty others rode the challenge to make the Iditarod Route with the  Sled dogs…but human propelled.   Can I clamor about my -28 when they biked for days upon days in -40 to -50? IMAG0001IMAG0097IMAG0089

Island Park has a BIG SPRING.  It is big.  An entire river comes right out of the ground at a temperature of 52 degrees as the water filters from Yellowstone.  The trout love it and so do the fisherman in this area…and the muskrats.  Got to watch them forage in crystal clear waters, using their tails as rudders.  Cute critters.IMAG0097IMAG0107IMAG0110IMAG0112IMAG0117IMAG0128IMAG0121IMAG0132

Snowmobilers were very curious. They kept asking us where our motors were as we rode!

The summit hosted a 25k race/ride.  Itz ABOUT TIME brought out a self contained timing unit and timed away.  If they were willing to pedal in these conditions, we were willing to TIME THEM!

January 21, 2013

Caren Ware will attempt to run 26.2 miles in Antartica. March 7, 2013

IMAG2476Living a year in Jackson definitely is adding a  winter experience.  I am getting ready to run my THIRD REMOTE CONTINENT marathon… in Antarctica. Not hard to simualte  when this winter has dipped as low as -28. Negative temperatures can turn into negative situations real fast.  They warrant caution and  preparation.  They are teaching me to include an avalanche shovel,  emergency sleeping bag,  and extra gloves, wool, and down jackets stashed in the truck and put into emergency packs whenever going ‘backcountry’.  And they are showing me that freeze framed beauty is so contrast to the summer beauty of wild flowers, meadow grasses, and waterfalls. Up here, in winter the animals are furry.  Thousands of elk have made their winter migration.  They know digging through the snow will lead to grass .   The big horn sheep are herded up on their winter bluffs. And moose and buffalo are instantly spotted, dark on a white scape , unable to hide from their hoof printed trails left in the soft snow.  The lakes are frozen and steam rises from the few rivers still flowing. The Teton Range stands like a stunning bride dressed in its white gown.  I wanted to see what a winter looked like.  More than that, I needed to FEEL what a winter was like.

My quest to run a remote marathon with remote people on every continent would have to pardon the remote people for one continent….Antarctica.  There are only two marathon opportunities on the most remote of remote places.  There are only 100 slots for each of these two.  Due to the popularity to do all 7 continents as a bucket list of life to dos, making the waiting list now takes three to four years.  Buzz back to the origin of my blog and see that I put that permit in 4 years ago.  It has just come up as ‘my turn’ to be running in Antarctica on March 7, 2013.  I will share with you the training I have found here amoung a region of mountain athletes.

Going to Antartica to run is a commitment.  It takes almost a month to travel to and from and involves a lot of days out at sea in seas known only as the roaring forties.  Waves.  Wind. Cold. Anything can happen on that one day we get to disembark and RUN 26.2 miles on a huge slab of ice.  And it takes some hefty coins.  Luckily, I started paying for it four years ago.  But in those four years, an additonal 2,800 to go was tacked on.

So I am training in Jackson, Wyoming. Try running in this!!! I have been experimenting with what I would need in Antarctica.  Good thing.  Though I had a Patagonia down hoodie sweater, a Northface Windstopper zip up, and an Arcteryx shell jacket as outer layers, I ran in -2 with a cotton jog bra and cotton panties.  About 6 miles into a twelve mile run I started to crunch.  My sweat was freezing the under garments to my body! Wow. Really. These were not the idea places to invite potential frost bite.  I now own Icebreaker wool briefs and bras.  This is a New Zealand wool from high mountain sheep that does not itch…kinda.   I also added Smartwood socks to my collection. Another respectable wool product company that  doesn’t itch.  Kinda.

Try this for a combination training goal…to run this remotest of remote Antarctica marathon and than return and hit the track and be trained for the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Track & Field to be held in Brazil, October of 2013.  Follow the blog to see how I will possibly make that happen.  But for now, blog along as I get ready for Antarctica.  Im testing out clothing in these pictures. It is -15 degrees. My fingers and face are questioning my choice to do this.  Watch the video below and get an idea of the terrain I will be running on.IMAG2481

Barren can be beautiful. Eric attempts to ride to the South Pole.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:03 pm

It’z about the bike

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:24 pm

Itz ABOUT TIME will be providing the timing for the FAT TIRE SNOW BIKE race at the FAT TIRE SNOW SUMMIT this coming weekend. http://www.fatbikesummit.comIMAG0041

There is more than mountain bikes in this vision inspired bicycle shop called Fitzgerald’s, in Victor, Idaho.  There is Jay Petervary.  He is constantly smirking.  He is constantly innovating determined play.  And he is constantly on a bike.  Scott, the owner, and Jay, not only have made Teton Valley the mountain bike mecca, they are zealous about their newly designed FAT BIKES.  Bikes made for sand and SNOW, SNOW, SNOW.   Bikes that are a hoot to ride and just make you smile to ride.  Fall down on a mountain bike and come up bloody.  Skid out on a FAT BIKE and you are laughing at the comical body plant mark you left on the snow.

iTz About Time will be timing FAT BIKE races hosted by Snow  King and Targhee Ski resorts.  And I will be attending Scott and Jay’s Fat BIKE Winter Summit.  Check it out at  Their orchestration of bringing together interest in these bikes is creating a new way to keep riding in an area that is dominated by winter.  They are tickled with themselves and their new found fun.

By the way the athleticism of the Teton area astounds me.   Jay Petervary has set the record for riding the Continental Divide Race on a Mountain bike.   Check out his endurance level on  .  More than two weeks on a bike.  More than 2,000 miles covered riding over 20 hours per day!!  And now, with FAT BIKEs there is the IDITABIKE on the IDITAROD sled dog race route.

Jay is married to a gal that is equally an endurance athlete.  She hammers too.

Meet Jay Petervary,an amazing endrance athlete

January 20, 2013

You know its cold when…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:58 pm

IMAG0037IMAG0031IMAG0036IMAG0078IMAG0079IMAG0072The community has intricate snow sculpture contests… and theyIMAG0002_COVER don’t melt.

And active moms, like this gal I met, Emily,  who  do not stop taking their kids out, but innovate with bundling and… snow shoes.

Cold made fun.


Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:44 pm

IMAG0044IMAG0051IMAG0064I think this will make you smile like it does me.  These same guys, who used to have to wait all winter to bring out their mountain bikes, are now creating a new sport.  Not only are they designing bikes that ride on the snow, but also mit covers, foot booties, equipment bags, and even Jack Daniels whiskey holders.  Clip in or have a boot catch on the studded pedals and off and spinning you go. They work best on the same groomed tracks for  Nordic skiing or the soft pack of a snowy road. Races are popping up.  And racers and recreation seekers are too.  Most events up here are centered on a bar-b-que, raffles, casual awards ceremony, and a good ole day of hanging out.  IMAG0045IMAG0046IMAG0047

January 4, 2013

A Quiver full

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:47 pm

It doesn’t take just two kinds of resort skis.  It takes a quiver full.  Thankfully, I got to work at Skinny Skis, a nordic ski specialty shop that taught me the ins and outs of all kinds of skis and the boots and pole lengths for each.  I just had to get….skate skis.  Those are the skinniest of the nordic skis that has everyone sprinting in skate fashion.  It is a fairly new form of skiing and requires great cardio and upper body.  I was told that this will be the best way to get in running race shape.  Skate skiing requires a very sturdy, very light boot and very long, light, carbon fiber poles with attached grips. Skate skiing is far different from classic skiing. These are the narrow nordic skis that everyone IMAG2417tourkisstrategically waxes and shuffles in long swiping strides down two lanes tracks.  Whoosh.  Whoosh.  Had to buy those too.  But wait.  Skate and classic skis aren’t the best for trying to take out in the woods on long tours, especially if you encounter a hill.  I was told I needed a little heavier, metal edged ski with a more insulated boot.  And the poles were shorter.  But all these nordic skis were not made for the backcountry alpine skiing.  To do this, I would have to use Dynafit or Black Diamond backcountry skis with special boots and bindings that allowed clipping in and out of nordic form to latch down and go down hill. And if I was to do this type of skiing I  would have to have an avalanche beacon transmitter,  a shovel, a special pack, and I would need to  go to avalanche training school. I now own 6 sets of skis to embrace a Jackson winter.

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