Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Skiing for New Years!

Well Christmas is over, huge sigh of relief so it's time to get ready to bring in the new year.   All in all I would say 2009 was a year full of changes, looking back it was a pretty good year even though there were some rough patches.  I'm interested to see what 2010 holds for me but so far it's looking like it should be a great year, I'll be starting it off right by hitting the slopes of Crested Butte in Colorado.

I head out tomorrow for a long weekend where I'll get in a couple days of skiing, some hot tubbing, and hopefully some running.  I'm very excited because it looks like my new skis will be mounted up by tomorrow morning (just dropped them off during lunch) and I have some telemark boots so I can start learning how to do that as well.  It's been awhile since I last went telemarking, ~ 2 years and I only went twice but I really enjoyed it so I'm excited to go again even though it means I'll spend a lot of time falling.

Also the stress of Christmas and being home with my family has given me the motivation I needed to start running again.  Since JFK I haven't been doing much and definetly have avoided running but since last Thursday I've actually wanted to run and have managed to get in a decent amount of miles which excites me because now I feel I can start to think about training for some early season races.

Well that's about it for now.  It's a bit early but since I'll be gone, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Puffy Coats and Skiing

Thanksgiving to Christmas usually serves as a nice running break as the big fall races are done and the spring races still seem a ways off.  After running JFK this year I needed a break from running more than ever.  Luckily I think I have found some good winter substitutes to running that should challenge me and keep me in shape.  To go with all these winter sports I finally got a down coat, it makes the cold much more bareable and it's fun to press on it and watch it puff back up.

First is downhill skiing which while not always a great workout does cause the legs to burn when you get into the steep and bumpy.  I have some great skiing weekends planned for the near future which I'm really looking forward to.  The more I think about skiing the more I realize how much I missed it while living in Baltimore.  This weekend I'll be headed to Silverton ( ), I've wanted to ski here ever since I heard about it in the winter of '03-04.  Hopefully it will live up to the hype.

Second I've started skate skiing.  I've been three times now my fourth will probably be after work today.  My initial thoughts were that it's fun and will be a great running alternative.  My third time I spent a lot of time being frustrated as I couldn't get into a rythym and felt like I was just flailing.  Hopefully with more practice and pointers I'll be able to go for 5 mintes without wanting to chuck my skis into the woods.

I've also started swimming and once I get my car back I hope to start doing some spinning as well which I'm hoping will help me out a lot with my tri's next year.  I was surprised to find that swimming up at elevation isn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Lastly the nordic center also has snowshoeing which I think I'll get into a bit more in the next bit as running on snowshoes really makes your legs burn.  And hopefully at some point I'll be able to hike up and ski down snow bowl before work but that will probably require another storm to motivate me to get up at 5:30 when it's only single digits out.  With all these alternative I'm hoping that I can push back getting burnt out on running from some time in mid march to hopefully late april.  That's about it for now, hopefully I'll remember to take some pictures at Silverton this weekend.

On another note I'll be going to my rents house (DC/Baltimore area) the 24-27, if you are in the area let me know so I can make plans to see you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Arches for Thanksgiving ... Moab not McDonalds

I had a great Thanksgiving minus the stomach bug Sunday night.  We headed to Moab after work Wednesday and stayed there till Friday.  Thursday we went into Arches National Park to see the largest collection of arches in the world.  It was a good time and we even went on some"primitive" and "rugged" trails ... The brochure emphasized bringing liters of water and allowing 10-15 mintues to walk 200m a good read but times were geared for the morbidly obese.  Below are some pictures from the park.  If you are ever in that area you should check it out.  Friday morning I did a short hike with Dee where I was amazed and how awesome the traction on those rocks really were.  After that we packed up and headed to Durango for the night.

Sat was my first ski day this year at wolfcreek.  The trails were all open but the tree skiing was a bit rough. Sat night we hot tubbed with snow falling on us which was great.  Sunday there were a couple inches of new snow making it another great day on the slopes at Wolfcreek.  It was great to be on skis again and those two days have me really excited for all the skiing I have ahead of me this winter.

How is that staying up there

 A hole in a rock...pretty cool.

 North and South Windows

  The primitive trail was to much so I decided to take a nap.


Delicate Arch ... the one on the UT license plate

A view of the "rugged" trail


Breakfast after a very cold night of camping, I was very glad I had my toasty 0° down bag as it was prob around 20°.  No pictures of dinner from the night before but we roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, & veggies in the fire along with steak for meat eaters and veggie burgers for me.  Followed with an amazing chocolate cupcake with melted peanut butter cup for dessert, yummy.  Prob my favorite turkey day meals to date.
Well that's it for now.  Maybe in a bit I'll have some more snow pictures to post as there is a chance of more snow this weekend.  If not soon I should be able to post about my first attempt at learning how to skate ski.