Work has really been interfering with quality workouts lately. Each day, I don't know when or if I'll get out. Hill Junkie gets ornary going a couple days without an endorphin fix.
I've been trying to hit the rollerskis twice per week. Election day, I went over to a culdesac near work. It is a 0.77 mile loop with a small hill in it. Schools were closed. The streets were packed with kids of all ages. Kids are mesmerized by rollerskis, especially when you go flying by in a fast V2. There must have been a dozen kids around the loop that talked to me or commented most times I went by during my 15 laps. I found it to be as good of a motivator as hecklers around a CX course. Two young kids, probably around kindergarten age, wanted to know my name, what those things were, why I was doing it, why I kept doing it. It was a conversation where they screamed out a question and I answered it each lap. Pretty funny. A couple older kids thought I was on scooter bases.
Closer to home, I have another 0.95 mile loop I do with a more serious hill in it. This climb has a peak grade of 7% and gains nearly 100ft. It too is at the end of a culdesac, so traffic is light. The descent is spread out so speed reducers are not required. I do go over 20 mph though, and there are four driveways and one side street on this section. For those not familiar with rollerskis, they have no brakes. I can control my speed somewhat by snow-plowing, but this would never work in time if a car suddenly pulls out in front of you.
This is the first season I've been able to V2 on rollerskis. I'm actually comfortable V2'ing now. V2 is the skate technique where you double pole with each leg push, like pole right-push, pole left-push, pole right-push, etc. It requires very good balance and timing. My core and upper body have never felt stronger on skis. I think I retained more from last winter's skiing than in winters past. Core work is not part of my routine during any part of the season. Most of my workouts this fall have exclusively been V2 technique training. That is twice as much poling than the V1 or V2a techniques I've used in the past. It will be very interesting to see how this translates to snow this winter. I do plan to dabble in more races, perhaps even trying the Lake Placid Loppet again. Those scars (my first ski race was there) have finally healed.
It is time to transition to interval workouts on rollerskis. Most of my work has been focused on technique improvement without a lot of climbing, averaging around 10-12mph (easy to moderate). I'd like to get out to Wachusett for some sustained climbing drills. They don't allow rollerskis on the summit road when the park is open, but it is gated now. Mile Hill Rd to the entrance can be trafficy though. 1000ft climbs makes for nice threshold intervals. Hiking back down kind of sucks though. I would not trust the speed reducers on my Jenex rollerskis. The 5" diameter pneumatic tires would burst into flames before I reached the bottom.
Hoping for a repeat of last winter - copious snow in the mountains, bare singletrack on the Cape. Life doesn't get any better than that.