I've been putting in my time on the ski trails. This stuff is hard work. I have to admit that I don't really enjoy skiing the way I enjoy running, biking or swimming.
First off, your hands are all tucked away in your mittens which are velcro'ed into your ski poles. So there's no talking on the phone or txt messaging. Even getting a drink is a major hassle of unclipping and retrieving... it all work.
Above is me with a couple Laura and I met on the trails at Baker Park. They are both 72 years old and have ski'ed the Birkebeiner at least 10 times. They've run more than 50 marathons. Most notably, they weren't whining about having to the unnatural things like skiing up hills. Good sturdy Norwegians.
This is how I spend a lot of time out there. I still fall. A lot. Four times in an hour. I am working my butt off out there. Inside of 15 minutes, I am DRENCHED in sweat, and my heart rate hits 171 (my max) every hill. My coach John doesn't let me rest until I get to the top of each one, and then I get an "active recovery" where I have to continue to V1 while my heart rate drops. All I can think of is I wish I could just stop and rest.
This is me with Laura. She's enjoying it more than I am. On this day our goal was to put in two solid hours. The first hour was so hard and boring that we stopped at her car and got her camera and just made videos of ourselves for the second hour. I will hopefully have it up on youtube for viewing on Tuesday.
Afterward we are still smiling. We skied 10.43 miles and did a time trial for a 5k loop, where our pace was 9:04 minutes per mile. We are estimating that we will take about 5 hours to finish (31.7 miles) on race day.
Today I ran long and slow - my favorite kind of run. We had to run through some snowdrifts on the sidewalks, but it was still beautiful. About 15 degrees and sunny. Not a single whining word was uttered. Ahhhhh... back to my old self... at least until tomorrow's long ski at 2:30 p.m... one more month until race day and I can be done with skiing!