Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snowy Hill Action

Couldn't find any takers to join me at Waterville Valley today. Just as well. I needed to ski at my own pace.  I've managed to bury myself deeply in an overloaded state this week. Trying to maintain some time on the bike while ramping up ski training will do this. I call it double dipping. It seems this happens to me this time of year for the last few years now. About the only thing I give up are the recovery days on the bicycle. Keep the tempo rides, then add liberal dose of tempo and harder ski workouts. I'm feeling pretty good about my base fitness right now. Just need to back down a little this week to capture gains made and not get sick. This type of training pays big dividends come spring, when I tend to score most of my bicycle podium finishes.

Osceola, Tripoli, Livermore 2x

Conditions were surprisingly sweet at Waterville. About 30km were groomed. I picked up season pass and drove to north end parking lot. Warmed up on Moose Run/Wicked Easy. A few ankle biters were poking through in the usual early season spots. Next up was the Osceola climb. It was perfect. I was not perfect. Nothing like a good climb to perk up the legs, though. What, climbs don't motivate you when you are firing on about 3 of 8 cylinders? I felt much better after coming down Osceola. The crown jewel of Waterville climbs was next, Tripoli Rd. It gains 800ft and was flawlessly groomed. Looked like only two skaters had been up so far. No benchmark time-trail today. It took me about 20 minutes to climb it. I hope to break 17 minutes on a good day this season. Came close last season.

Now my legs didn't feel very perked up. I've done five repeats up Tripoli before, and I think just one was going to be it today. I crossed back over to the parking lot, picked up my Camelbak, then headed up Livermore Rd for some technique work. The first time up I focused on good V2 form, trying to maximize glide on each leg on the flatter parts. The second time up I left the poles at the bottom. Livermore Rd is a perfect no-poles climb, very similar to Oak Hill on the Littleton rollerski loop in fact. My glutes went into rebellion. I knew if I took my poles with me, I'd cave in and start using them. I recall the first time I skied up Livermore Rd. I could not V1 on the steep parts without stopping to catch my breath. At that time, I was a podium finisher in the Mt Washington bicycle hillclimb. I had the engine, but utterly lacked the technique. It was humbling to see little girls out-climb me on skis. Now I can smoothly skate all the way up without poles on an "off" day. I should try no-poles on much steeper Tripoli sometime.

With that, I called it a day - 34.4km, 2290ft vert, 2.3hrs.  The skies had grown very dark, and snow seemed eminent. Snow it did, on the drive home, which sucked. Clueless SUV drivers in a hurry to get back to Jersey. Lost count of mishaps, including roll-overs. By the time I got home over two hours later, it was raining.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good day, too bad I missed it. I got in a 40 minute skate ski.

BTW, unless it is very important snow, it was likely imminent.

Luke S said...

From everything I've heard, the conditions at Waterville are great. With less snow here and less well manicured trails its getting a little sketchy. Hopefully the rain stops soon so we can keep the 3-4 in of snow we got before. Got in 1.5 hours of skiing coming from a less than perfect level of fitness

Hill Junkie said...

"BTW, unless it is very important snow, it was likely imminent."

Ha! I always get that one mixed up. In this case, either word is ok. Any snow this time of year is very important.