Thursday, January 31, 2008

WNS Report

It was really fu**ing cold yesterday. 5 degrees and 45 mph winds out of the west. I don't know what that adds up to for a wind chill, but I didn't think anyone would be interested in driving up to MVSC for skiing. That wasn't going to stop me for trying out my new boards though. I just got a new pair of backcountry skis (the Karhu Guide), and Marcus was kind enough to mount up a pair of bindings on them for me, thanks again. I finished blowing the driveway and shoveling a little after four. With plenty of daylight left to burn, I changed into my ski boots and strapped on my new skis to set out up the hill behind the house. I didn't stay out for too long due to the inclement weather, but I was able to get a good feel for the new skis. So far, sooooo good. They seem to climb a little better, and the few turns I was able to make felt really nice. I can't wait to get them out on big hills this weekend. I did two hours on the bike tuesday just so I'd be able to ski for the rest of the week. So far it's looking like skate skiing this afternoon, a long classic tomorrow afternoon, and another skate session saturday morning. I'm hoping to round out the weekend with a good long backcountry excursion on sunday afternoon. If anyone's interested in hooking up for one of the above mentioned workouts, give me a call for exact times and places. Below is the drawing I just got from Scott for my new 29er. I'm sure it'll look a lot cooler when it's all built and painted, but it's nice to know the ball is rolling in the right direction at any rate. Have a good weekend, and be safe out there.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Powder Day


The weather is supposed to warm up for the next day or two, but then it's back down in the teens with more snow forecast through the week. Conditions should remain ideal. John, Marcus, and Tim met Sarah and I yesterday morning for two hours of great powder skiing at the Tower. I'd been out for a long (though not quite as long as planned) classic ski the day before; so by the time we hit the two hour mark yesterday, my legs were pretty toasted. Well, that's nothing a little 170 degree sauna won't cure. It sure did the trick because we were able to summon the motivation to soldier on with the big purge. We're in the process of systematically removing items from the home that are deemed to be either unused and/or redundant. This t.v. below is a prime example. Booger One brought it into the house about ten years ago, and it's been putting down roots and serving no real purpose ever since. I've always been intimidated by the thought of lugging that heavy ass thing down the spiral staircase. But all that changed yesterday when Sarah got out her toolbox and set about dismantling the sucker. I pitched in; and before too long, we had it in two somewhat manageable pieces. It's in the back of my car right now awaiting transfer to the dumpster. Yeah. I also managed to purge my clothes closet as well. I've got about 30 extra hangers now, and The Challenge Mountain Resale Shop should be pretty happy with some new stylish (albeit a little used) duds. Anyway, WNS at Middle Village this week @ 6:30. Hope to see you out there.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Slick Willy

I don't normally include any political stuff on the blog, but this is just too fu**ing funny.

Winter Wonderland

We've finally got snow, and I mean a lot of snow. Conditions for all forms of skiing are exceptional. If you don't get out there and enjoy it, SHAME ON YOU. I've been getting a little nervous about the big race coming up here in a little over two weeks. Sometimes when I think about it, 50 kilometers seems like an awful long way to ski. So after snowblowing the driveway yesterday morning, I headed out to Nub's for a long classic ski. I did all 28 km in 2 hours and 3 minutes. It was a hard effort for sure (avg. hr 157 max 177), but definitely not one I couldn't have kept up for a bit longer. That went a long way to putting my mind at ease, and I'm going to shoot for a full 50 on saturday afternoon. Once I've got that in the bag, I'll rest a little easier for the two weeks leading up to the race. In non race-related news: The backcountry conditions at The Tower are excellent. I'll be out there sunday again for sure, and I may try and sneak in a few turns before yoga tomorrow. WNS @ Headquarters tonight. It's supposed to be pretty darn cold so I figured relaxing in front of the fire after sure beat the heck out of standing by the cars on Middle Village Road. Come on out for a 6:30 start, and bring something to throw on the grill if you want to stay for dinner afterwards.

Bike-related news: Still managing my two 1.5-2 hour rides a week inside, but this snow outside is making it really, really hard. I'm thinking about seeing if I can maybe just do one longer ride a week next month. The snow's just too good. Also, I've been in contact with Scott Quiring, and a geared 29er is officially in the works. I should have it in plenty of time for the Cohutta 100. The Scalpel is going to be parted out. It'll be sad to see her go, but I just can't ride those little wheels any longer. Take care, be good, and ski well.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday: With arctic conditions predicted for saturday and sunday, I decided to get my long ski in friday morning before work instead of saturday. I went out to Good Hart Farms for a two hour classic ski, and I felt pretty good the whole time. I feel even better about my classic technique now that I've floundered around the new skate skis a couple of times.

Saturday: After work I did an hour and a half on the bike before I fired up the sauna. The sauna feels even better when the temps. are in the single digits.

Sunday: I was supposed to do an easy paced recovery ski for forty-five minutes to an hour. But some nice backcountry skiing seemed like way more fun. It was cold out there (10 degrees + wind), but that didn't stop John, Marcus, Tim and I from getting in a solid two and a half hours of climbing and turning up at The Tower. I got a couple of quick video clips, but it was just too cold for any longer filming. This one of Marcus is a great example of how easy he makes it look.

I ended up with 11.5 hours on the week, and I'm feeling good. WNS location this week to be determined wednesday morning. I'll post it here, or give me a call at the store in the morning and I'll let you know. Stay warm.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

WNS/R Report

I was able to get in an hour and a half on the bike yesterday afternoon before heading out to ski at 6:15. James and I were the only skiers last night, but we had a good time all the same. We skied for almost an hour. The snow out at MVSC has held up pretty well; and if we get this snow they're talking about over the next few days, things should once again become ideal. Get ready for the cold temps. this weekend, but don't let them keep you inside. Just bundle up and get out there. Have a good weekend everybody.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WNS @ MVSC

Sorry for the late notice, but I didn't get to town yesterday so I didn't have a chance to get online. At any rate, WNS at MVSC tonight. I'm planning on starting at 6:30. I'll try and give a call to a few possible skiers today, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be a solo mission. I'm also planning a long classic ski for Saturday afternoon (probably Good Hart). Give me a call if you want exact time and location. Other than that there's not too much to report except for the growing bruises on my left elbow and right knee. I had a couple of spectacular crashes yesterday trying out my new skate stuff. I know soft snow doesn't generally leave a mark, so I'm figuring I managed to smack myself with my skis somehow??? I'm not quite sure what to make of that, but on the bright side I'm definitely getting the hang of it. Over and out.

p.s. My race schedule for this year is up on the right.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Doper's Suck

I found this picture while wandering around on the interweb this morning and thought I'd pass it along.

I Skate Now

I had the day off saturday, and so I drove down to Roscommon and The Cross Country Ski Headquarters for a skate skiing lesson. This is something that I've been thinking about doing for a long time now, and the lack a consistent classic conditions so far this winter finally pushed me over the edge. I worked with a dude named Hap for an hour on really nice rental stuff. He taught me three different skating techniques, and a few twists and turns later I almost had the hang of it. It makes such a big difference trying to learn something when you work one on one with a trained professional. I kept the gear for another hour and went out to explore their trails (which are really nice) by myself. By the end of those two hours I knew I was hooked. I picked out some really nice equipment and went to sit by the fire with my book and cup of Cliff's new Hot Chocolate Recovery Drink while they mounted the bindings and cut the poles down a tad. Less than 45 minutes later, I was on my way home with some exciting new gear and really, really sore arms and legs. Sarah and i went out to Good Hart Farms yesterday morning for a relaxing little ski, and I am to undertake no training today (well, I may go downhill skiing tonight with Sarah). I had a really good week training despite the uncooperative weather. I ended up with ten hours for the week, and the next few should be much the same while I continue to build towards the big 50k race coming in February. It's looking like it's going to cool off today and remain cold through the week, so the snow may be here for a while. Get out there and get it while the getting's good. Take care.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

WAR (Wednesday Afternoon Ride)


This first picture was taken exactly one week before yesterday. It was without a doubt one of the best days of backcountry skiing I've ever had. Less than a week later, we had virtually no snow in the woods. It happened so fast I'm still trying to process it. Yesterday on the drive home from work I took note of the fact that the roads were really dry and devoid of debris. I had planned on an hour and a half indoors on the trainer, but the sun was shining so I decided to brave the wind and cold.


I gathered up all the gear necessary to ride in 32 degree weather (which is a lot actually), fired up the Ipod, filled my new insulated water bottle (I'd planned on using it for xc skiing..boo) and set off on the cross bike. I didn't really start to get cold for about forty-five minutes or so, and even then it was mostly just my feet. All in all, it was a great first ride (outdoors) of 2008. I got in 18 miles and just under 1.5 hours. They're calling for more snow now through the weekend, so hopefully I'll be back on the skinny skis before too long. Take care everyone, and have a good weekend.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Boyne Highlands 10k

The first race of 2008 is done and in the books. The conditions weren't ideal, but sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches. I waxed the best I could, and I skied the best I could. At the end of the day, that really is all you can do. I finished the 10 km course in 49 minutes with and average h.r. of 183 and a max of 194. I was 6th in my age group and 42nd overall. It was good to feel the pain again after two months of no racing. There is just no way to duplicate it on your own. You have to give somebody money, sign a waiver, and strap on a number to feel what true pain really is. It's raining now so I may be able to get out on the road over the next couple of days. Other than that, there's not too much to report. My schedule for 2008 is almost finalized, and I should have it up by next week. WNS is up in the air due to weather, but if anyone wants to get together and pursue some athletic endeavor on wednesday night give me a shout. In the meantime, THINK SNOW. Over and out.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Skiing

Had a good turn out for the WNS. Seven of us met up at 6:30 and headed out for just shy of an hour. Considering I'd already been out with JT for an hour and a half in the afternoon, that was plenty for me. Then yesterday morning I did a hard workout with some double poling intervals at Birchwood for another hour and a half. Today my legs are trashed and my arms feel like they're going to fall off (but in a good way if you know what I mean). The weather is supposed get real warm/crappy this weekend, but I'm planning on doing the race at Boyne Highlands on Sunday anyway. I went down to The Outfitter this morning and stocked up on Klister in preparation for the warm weather. We'll just have to see how it goes. Have a good weekend everybody.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

MVSC

Got out to the MVSC for the first time in a while yesterday, and conditions are the best I've ever seen. We've all been skiing at the tower or Fisher Rd. so there were no other tracks anywhere out there. While that does provide a certain visual appeal, it's tough breaking trail through a foot of snow by yourself. That brings me to another issue with downhill skiing in the woods by yourself: you're by yourself. If you happen to run into a tree or hurt yourself through some other calamity there's nobody to go for help. That's one of the reasons I wear a helmet and let someone know where I'm going to be skiing. At least if I don't show up at home, Sarah will know where to start looking. Better safe than sorry. Anyway, the skiing was awesome and I got in a real good workout to boot: close to 1500 ft. of climbing/descending and an average heart rate of 152. WNS tonight at Good Hart Farm. 6:30 and bring a headlamp. Over and out.