Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hang up the phone and ski

I just finished perhaps one of my best ski weeks ever - 121km in about 7.3 hours. This is surprising, given the dearth of snow locally. Bretton Woods is the only place with natural snow that I'm willing to drive to right now. Machine made snow at Weston helps fill the void with everybody else being close. I will never break even on my season pass at Waterville Valley. The season is nearly half over and I've yet to ski there.

I had Monday off from work and went up to BW solo. Conditions were lightning fast, although challenging. They groomed throughout the day, churning up saturated snow that would immediately crust over. It afforded great speed, wax optional, and just enough control to keep things from becoming too sketchy. I skied 51km in less than three hours and felt like I hardly got a workout.

Friday I went back to BW with DaveP. I commented to Dave I'd like to focus a little more on intensity this time. I'll have to be more careful what I ask for in the future. Conditions were as good as they get. For the first hour, we laid first skate tracks on freshly minted, crisp corduroy. Not quite as fast as Monday, but close. I could easily hold 25kph coming back on B&M just free skating. We did a full 16km perimeter loop first, heading up to Crawford Notch, then across on Clinton. Next time over we took Sebosis. I had to stay out of Dave's way. He was ripping up the climbs.  I turned my self inside out staying with him. We saved the best for last, Coronary Hill. I thought I was going to have one half way up. This was over two hours into the ski. I threw in the towel and let Dave ski away. I certainly got the intensity I was looking for. It used to be when Dave, Brett and I skied together, Brett led, then me and Dave followed. I think this pecking order is reversed now, with me still stuck in the middle. Dave and I skied 42km in 2.5hrs. I skied fewer klicks at less speed than Monday, but was trashed afterwards. Wonder what was different??

Friday's ski with Dave. Nearly everything was open.

Saturday's ride. Never knew when tires would crash through ice
or hoar frost. Nearly endo'd three times.

Sunday I was feeling quite trashed from skiing and a 2.2hr hilly trail ride/4.5k run I did on Saturday. It wasn't worth going all the way up to Bretton Woods again, so I met Brett at Weston. Again, conditions were absolutely marvelous. We started late morning, just after the duathlon wrapped up. I wasn't looking for intensity this time, but still managed to get suckered into some hot laps. We skied with Sakalowsky, Feist, McNatt and others. After a while, the pace ratcheted up to near my Tuesday Night Sprints pace, and I got dispatched off the back. Brett and I also worked on drills up "Mt Weston."  This blip rises >30ft at a very steep pitch. It was deep sugar granular. Brett gets bogged down in this stuff so we did repeats, including without poles. Very hard. My glutes got worked over. I skied about 28km in 1.8hrs. Interestingly, I accumulated 1800ft of climbing on a golf course. If you do a 30ft mound enough times, it adds up.

While skiing at BW on Friday, I couldn't help but notice how many young skiers had earbuds jammed into thier skulls. How can you taint skiing in such a beautiful place by bringing the outside world with you? It seems every year cases of attention deficit increase. Our society has become addicted to continuous stimulus. Facebook and Twitter seem to capitalize on this, where most users don't bother putting more than one coherent thought together. Readers can scan the feed, and if a status takes more than 30 seconds to read, they can just skip down to the next one.  No need to strain your brain and follow a train of thought for a few minutes.  Facebook is killing Blogger. That is too bad, as I enjoy reading stories.

I almost had to yell at a young girl at Weston today. Many people get annoyed by shoppers yakking on the phone oblivious to those that have better things to do with their lives and want to be done quickly. Most of us will publicly chastise drivers that fiddle with mobile devices while driving too, although who's not guilty these days? Well, how about yakking on a cell phone while skiing on an extremely crowded track? Yep, I've seen that now too.

Biking has taken a back seat to skiing lately. I got in only 3.3hrs of non-recovery pace riding this week.  My ankle is holding up so far. I should be able to get through this ski season without having the titanium hardware removed, but inevitably it will have to come out.  Riding does not cause any discomfort.  I hope to make it back to Weston Tuesday night for the hurl fest called Tuesday Night Sprints if work doesn't get in the way. This is how I feed my intensity addiction this time of year.


Luke S said...

Bretton Woods was fantastic this weekend. I was up with the high school team I'm coaching this winter, and we skied 3.5 hours on Saturday and a couple inches of fresh powder left us with great conditions for a 2+ hour classic ski this morning. I'm thinking about hitting up the Tuesday night race this week, hope to see you there.

CB2 said...

I'd like to tweet you my comment

Brian said...

season 1/2 way over?...come on. it's only just begun!