Monday, December 17, 2007

Big Ski Weekend

I felt much better by the end of the week, and so I put in an hour on the bike before work Friday morning. It was nice to get the legs moving after my three days of inactivity and self pity. Just spinning the pedals around for a little while has a very calming effect on me which is just what I needed. As nice as it was to get on the bike again, the weekend was all about skiing.

Saturday was a little chilly, but I headed out to Nub's in the afternoon anyway to get some turns in. The snow was pretty good for the most part. It was just cold and windy. Sarah was out at the same time getting a telemark lesson with Josh. I kept my eyes peeled, but I didn't catch a glimpse of them until the very end of their hour and a half. They were coming down Smooth Sailing, and I'm pretty sure I saw Sarah make a few good turns. Her legs were toasted, and I was cold so we headed home to fire up the sauna....and fired up it got. 170 degrees to be precise. That'll take the chill off. It also makes any sore muscles feel so much better.

Sunday morning I headed into town for a classic workout on the Birchwood Trails. Conditions are the best I've seen them in a while, and I skied the whole system of loops for a total of 7.8 miles in 1hr.31min. I was trying to concentrate on my technique and breathing, and for the most part I did a good job. It's really hard to keep your heart rate out of the red zone when you pull on some tights and click into those skinny little skis, but it's an important skill to learn if you want to be able to complete marathon length events (more on that later). I was able to keep my avg. h.r. just below 150, and that's right on the edge for me. Ideally it would be in the mid to low 140's. But hey, it's only the middle of December. There's plenty of winter left to practice. I left the parking area at Ridge Rd. and headed into the store for a sandwich. It was 12:30, and we weren't supposed to meet JT and the crew at MVSC until 2:00. Back in the car my phone started beeping with a missed call. JT left me a voicemail that we were going to meet at Fisher Rd. instead of Middle Village Rd. We would also be meeting at 1:00 instead of 2:00. Okay. I hurried home and exchanged my sweaty ass clothes for fresh clothes and backcountry gear. Sarah drove while I ate, and we rolled in behind JT, Mage, Tim, and Wiley at just after 1:00. We started out by climbing all the way up to the tower on top of Stuts. From there we worked our way up and down a great series of valleys and ridges for close to two hours. We got some great turns in for this early in the season, and I'm thinking it's probably time to start wearing the helmet on these Sunday afternoon excursions. I'm currently unable to upload data from my GPS due to some serious software glitch in MotionBased that has something to do with the new Mac operating system. I'm going to try out some new software that is Mac specific and supposed to be even better. I'd really like to get a look at our elevation numbers from yesterday. So I ended up with 3.5 hours of good quality ski time yesterday without lift assistance. The turns feel so much better when you earn them.

I've decided I need to up my motivation level over the winter in order to build a better base for the bike season. The ski races I've done over the past couple of years are great, but they're no longer a mystery. I know how it feels to do a 30 km classic race. It really, really hurts. I'm now very familiar with that level of pain, and I know that my mind and body can handle it. Now I'm wondering what it feels like to do a 50 km classic race. How much does it hurt? I don't know, but it can't be that bad can it? I'll let you know. I'm doing the VASA 50 km classic race this year in Traverse City on Feb. 9th. Anybody want to join me? Come on, it'll be fun.

WNS: On for sure this week. JT, Scott, James, Sarah, and I are confirmed. Bring something to throw on the grill, and I'll do something for a side and a salad. We'll plan on skiing out around 6:30. Don't forget your headlamp.

Sorry for the rambling, but I think it's directly proportional to how much fun I had this weekend (a whole ton). Thanks for reading.

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