Thursday, January 27, 2011

When I ski through one lap, but it's double
I'm in powder to my knee
This snow storm is fearsome
But I ski
Like something out of Loch Ness
I cannot see right in front of me
This snow storm is fearsome
But I ski
But I ski, but I ski, but I ski, but I ski
Skiing through the windstorm, but I ski

Sorry for the complete lack of blogging as of late.  Between illness in the family and all of the other things that I've gotten busy with lately, such as trying to write a book for some reason, blogging just slipped my mind.  Not to worry, everybody is going to be okay, and I should pick up the blogging again.  I apologize for my absence.

So, since my last post, what have I done.  I did indeed race the classic race that MSU put on.  It was raining and just tough conditions out there, but that race is not what this title was about.  All my races lately have been in tough conditions.

Anyways, I probably went with the wrong kick in that race, and while I had great skis up the hills, I didn't have the best skis going down.  A couple guys put in very strong races, and in the end, dropped me going up the last lap.  Congratulations to Miles Havlick on a great finish for the win.

Shortly after I came back to Colorado.  As I said, there is an illness in the family.  I've been getting in good training and continued my streak of races in conditions not fit for man nor beast at the Governor's Cup.  A storm blew in the morning of the race, and while the roads weren't that bad, apparently some people didn't get that memo so the traffic was.  I eventually got to the race just in time to grab my bib and start warming up.  The wind was howling and the snow was falling, and the groomers were having a really tough time keeping up with it, so the start was delayed.

I went out pretty hard because they had a premium at the halfway point, and while the course started out really good, the wind soon had done it's work.  There were points when I could barely see where the trail went.  At another time, while passing a few skiers from the 15km, I skied off the groomed trail because I couldn't tell which side of the course we were on.

In the end, I won the race, in part due to skis that didn't act like it was tough conditions.  They were really fast.  I love Madshus skis on days like that.  Also, I was very happy I brought some PowerBar out with me, because in the end, it felt like quite a bit longer than a 30km race so the extra feeds were very welcome.

Well, I'll try to get back into the habit of posting daily.  That was just bad.

Oh, and the last title was based on Babe I'm Gonna Leave You by Led Zeppelin.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Maybe, maybe, ain't gonna feel blue
I said maybe, you hope that this cold is through
Ah, this cold's been a bummer time
For my looks this cold ain't been cajolin'
You must be quite old to get this song

I've been taking it fairly easy the last few days after my failed attempt to jump back into training.  Oh well.  At least I'm getting healthy.  I think.

Yesterday was some light running.  It actually went really well.

Today I tested skis.  Not necessarily for the race tomorrow, but because the only time I've really skied on snow this wet was in Rumford, and there was barely enough snow to ski on the course, not to mention get really comfortable with testing.  That said, the snow here is wetter than it was in Rumford.  Somehow the temperature changed about 40 degrees in about 20 hours, so the trails appear to be melting.

The ski testing went well.  I got some good skiing in, and avoided most of the dirt that was coming through at Lindley.  It turned into a pretty busy day, but one of those busy days when you don't really accomplish anything.  But I think I'm getting healthy.

I'm not racing tomorrow.  I decided since I'm still feeling a little under the weather it was best to play it safe.  Hopefully on Sunday.

The last title was based on Hard by Rihanna.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I thought I'd be clever
Go on an endeavor
Now cold goes forever
No, this ain't bliss

White blood cell defyin'
There ain't no denyin'
Training don't help defence
No, this ain't bliss

Now I'm cryin', lie teller
Hackin', I'm gon' caugh a clar'net up
Hack it gone for decades
Won't see a doc

Gonna cough this grit with passion, ashen
Coughin' up this gray slop
And my airway well it isn't clear
But I'm gonna be just fine for air

No tears, cause while I feel like I'm diein'
I know I am tryin'
This year I feel like I am caught within death's throws
Exaggerate, ya know

But I, I, I pushed too hard
So yeah, yeah, yeah, I cough lard
'Cause I, I, I pushed too hard
Now yeah, yeah, yeah, I cough lard
'Cause I, I, I pushed too hard
Now yeah, yeah, yeah, I cough lard
Too hard, cough lard, too hard, cough lard

Well, yesterday I woke up feeling better.  Not all better, but better.  I ran to the gym, did strength, ran back, ate, rested, waxed skis, and went out skiing.  It was actually a really good time.  I got in good strength, I felt good, I skied well, had good stretching.  It was great.

I wasn't planning morning training this morning so I just slept in.  I woke up after 11 hours of sleeping and felt much worse than I did yesterday.  I pushed it too hard, and now I'm paying the price.

I guess I don't have much more to say.  Not much happens when you're trying to take it easy to recover from illness.  Although I will say it is amazing how many parts of my body an upper respiratory infection affects.  It's crazy, and I was expecting nothing of this sort.  Next time you're lucky enough to get a cold, thing through all the parts of your body that are feeling or acting strangely.  You'll be amazed if you pay attention and are in tuned with your body!

The last title was based on Someday Never Comes by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Monday, January 10, 2011

To get back from Rumford, we had to drive then fly
For we had to get back to all the snow
And that plane ride was wild, we were 'bout to land
Refresher in case we crash land
Well we hit turbulence now and we all thought "we're done"
Well we done didn't crash but our ski bags didn't come
To badness, trip succumbs

There are a few things to know about our trip.  We fit 10 people, 9 completely full ski bags, and everybody's duffles in a 12 passenger van for a our hour drive.  Fun.  We left early because it was supposed to snow.  At the time I was thinking "perfect timing," but it turns out I forgot that it never snows in Maine.  Well, I guess it snows sometimes, but to have the luck to be there when that happens...

I sort of stole this picture from @lzfast on Twitter, but it is of the side door to our van before we left.  My bag is the middle one that says Madshus.  We had an especially good time getting in and out of the van.

Anyways, on the flight to Denver, I had the luxury of sitting right next to the toilet, which was a double win.  Not only was I well within smelling distance of the toilet, but I also had people standing over me for the entire flight as they waited in line for the bathroom.  When we were about to land the pilot came on and informed us that if we had to use the emergency exits we should leave our personal belongings on the plane.  I turned to the lady sitting next to me and said, "That's what you like to hear."  The we both tightened our seatbelts, because we all know that that will help you if you fall from 20,000ft in a glorified tube of sardines.

We landed safely and the high point of the day was watching Tony Hawk walk by as I ate a delicious burrito.  The trip into Bozeman was fairly inconsequential until we got to Bozeman.  Almost an hour after we landed, the bags finally came out on the baggage carousel.  Then, we discovered that our ski bags had remained in Boston and were just now arriving in Denver.

The bags did come in today (yeah, sorry about the lack of blogging lately), and my cold is getting better.  Also, I caught up with some old friends from college via a conference call today, which was great.  It had been way too long since I had last spoken to Jenny and Wendell, who are a couple of my best friends.

In other news, the last title was based on Mary Jane's Last Dance by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I grew up in a Colorado town
Had all kinds of snow for when I would ski around
But I been out East, I lived through that rite
I done skied through lots of slop and I'm told I got frostbite

Well I came down here and the snow wasn't clean
My skis have done been flayed, I see less white than green
There wasn't no snow so the course wasn't provin'
I was sick for the races but my health is improvin'
So I run on

Last night in Rumford, Maine
Drive to Boston on the lane
Feels like winter's creepin' in
And I'm tired of this town again

Leaving for Bozeman tomorrow morning.  It's finally snowing here.  Perfect timing to mess up our travel plans.  It's like somebody's laughing at us.

I didn't head out for the races today.  I'm trying to get over this cold, and hopefully I'm starting to.  Hopefully I don't get everybody on my plane sick.  But I really think it's getting better.  It's getting better all the time.

Well, the bags are packed and I'm ready to go
Heading off to somewhere where there is snow
(that little rhyme isn't based on a song, though)

By the way, yesterday's title was based on Love Shack, by the B52s.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I woke up late this morning, nose feeling like Exxon Valdez
New group in the room of snacks, of snacks yeah, yeah
A bunch of our group travelled away
Leave for the land of snowy days
Headin' for the land of snowy days
Nose is filled with nar
Head feels big as a whale
Everybody moved in the room of snacks
They moved into the room where food is quite plenty
I hardly care because my nose is runny

Room of snacks, if I close my mouth, no air
I'm under the weather
I hack maybe, I hack maybe
I hack, I leave the snacks
I hack, I leave the snacks

Some of the juniors left for Bozeman this morning with Dragan.  I'm not leaving until Sunday, because I'd been planning on racing tomorrow.  That's not happening.  My plan of racing hard enough that whatever is living in me decided to move somewhere less miserable than me didn't work.  Now I'm miserable and it doesn't want to leave.  I hate sadistic bacteria.

No training today.  I'm trying to get this to leave me, so hopefully not putting undue stresses on my body works.  Great time to get sick, eh?

Yesterday's title was based on Ten Years Gone, by Led Zeppelin.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Felt bonking's jaws
Not a fun way to ski
Still feel too tired for good rhymes
This race brought me to my knees
Won't be going foreign
Finished in a haze
Won't even think maybe
'Cause there is no way
To prevent scurvy eat limes
I'm off topic, though
But I remember I am blessed
To live this dream on snow

Well, maybe not snow, but I still remind myself that I'm living the dream.  That said, that's what I tell myself when I'm really disappointed about the way racing is panning out.

I'll start with yesterday's race.  Basically, I had great skis up until the race.  Then the track turned from a bombproof set of grooves that squirrels could hide from nuclear weapons in into chunks of ice and sugar more fit for baking a cake than skiing on.  And as we know, "If you use a messy recipe, your cake will turn out crazy."  It was messy, and I was on the type of stiff, unforgiving skis that wanted to kick in those conditions roughly as much as it's wanted to snow here.  I made them kick, but as a master interrogator would say, it took sufficient persuasion.

That said, the skis were fast.  And between the lack of kick, the fact that the course had fewer hills than Kansas, and my cold, it was a pretty good race.  After the way my kick felt, and the way that made my technique feel, I was surprised to not get passed.  So a tenth place was a good result all things considered.

About the best way to describe this race is with the Baby Ruth scene from Caddyshack.  I thought the race was a giant piece of fecal matter, but it turned out it was chocolate.  I couldn't find a good video to imbed, so find it on youtube.

We got back really late because of such a long day of racing yesterday.  I was just too tired and sick to write a new post.

On to today.  There wasn't enough snow for a mass start, so we did a 30 km interval start on a 2.7km course.  11 laps.  Always a good time.  And one of the most random numbers of laps I've ever heard of.

I wasn't feeling great this morning, but these races are too important to let a cold get in the way.  So I raced anyways.  The start was decent, but when I needed to start going faster and gaining on people, I blew up.  I don't really have much more to say.  I just didn't have the cards, bluffed hoping I could do something, and lost big.  I almost harringboned up the last uphill.  I was staggering, almost fell down, and could barely see.  It was terrible.  I finished, changed my shirt, and felt cold, so I went to drink my PowerBar Recovery in front of the fire.  I dropped my nalgene about 12 inches, and rather than not breaking like it's supposed to, it broke in half, sending Recovery all over the floor, my legs, and my shoes.  Before I could figure out what to do, a nice lady from Black Mountain had taken the broken bottle away, so I won't even get to send in the broken bottle for a replacement.  That was about on par for today.

So from the looks of it, no sprinting in a few days, and I'll just be trying to recover and get healthy.  Hopefully I'll be back at it later this season.

Yesterdays title was based on And We Danced by Macklemore.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's been a long, tiring day, I'm feeling a little under the weather, and it's bedtime. I'll update the blog tomorrow after racing. Sorry.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ooh, say, hey there
Ooh, say, hey there
Ooh, say, hey there
I wore pants
I had glide
Skis were fast
I had a really, really, really good time
Turn righthand
I skied right past
I just hope it's the same snow when tomorrow arrives
Arrives, arrives, arrives, arrives
Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow
Outright, outright, outright, outright, outright
'Cause skis might take flight
Well, not quite

I love days like today.  Well, I would have preferred a little more snow, but the conditions were awesome.  Hard, fast, maybe a little abrasive.  A little ice in a few places in the trail.

They made lots of snow at Black Mountain yesterday while people were not skiing there.  Not quite enough, but it was nice.  Not completely sure what tomorrow's course is, but it should be fun.  All the rumors I've heard involve the alpine hill.  This could be a sweet nationals anyway.  And we'd thought the lack of snow had broke Black Mountain.

Skis today were amazing.  I don't really want to go into what was on them or what the grind was or which skis they were, but I had great kick and I flew down the hills.  These were some of the best skis I've ever skied on.  The real tragedy is that I didn't get to race on them.  Hopefully I get to race on similar skis tomorrow.  Well, I'll probably be on the same skis, but hopefully they feel similar.

Beyond the ski today, I did some waxing and tried unsuccessfully not to stare at Leif's new trim.  He shaved his beard into a Martin Van Buren.  He looks like he's from UVM.

First distance race tomorrow.  Get stoked.  I know I am.  Well, at least I'm about as stoked as I tend to get for races.  I try to stay cool because I don't like getting all worked up over races.

Yesterday's title was based on Today, by Smashing Pumpkins.  I guess I almost gave that away to some of you.

Monday, January 3, 2011

To run was the safest
Option I bemoan
No racing tomorrow
But it won't be too long
The next day we're out
To end this snow drought

That's right, tomorrow's race is postponed a day so that they have more time to make snow.  But a little bird told me that there will be a 2.5km loop for the distance racing.  Unless a bunch of delinquents smash pumpkins all over the course today, but there are some things you just can't plan for.

The organizers expressed their desire that people find somewhere else to ski tomorrow and declared that they would be concentrating on trying to get us race courses instead of having somewhere open to ski.  There wasn't anywhere too close open for business, so rather than sit in a car for an hour or more for a short ski, I decided to run.

I could definitely feel yesterday's warmup, and I think running was a good idea.  My warmup yesterday basically included a small interval session.  These were the first running intervals I've done in months, so this morning I definitely felt that in my legs, and I think some short, easy running really helped work things out.  I also got a tour of beautiful Wilton.

Beyond that, it's been a pretty relaxing day.  I did my best to get a lot of sleep, but alas, I keep waking up at 6am every morning.  What can I say, I'm a light sleeper.

Yesterday's title was based on Like a G6, by Far East Movement.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ran my warmup, not too nice
I'm not izzard
Old elocution of z, need a blizzard
If I skied I would collide
I predict
Hope tight timing not awry
Oh, no, three ticks
Oh, no, three ticks
Oh, no, three ticks
Just dropped my pole, not spry
Oh, no, three ticks

Made the start alright, though, so no worries.  Won't cut it that close again.

There were some really good parts of today's race, and some not so good parts.  My warmup was good, I feel like my technique was good, and I seemed to really put it out there.  I felt good.  My kick was kind of lacking, though.  If it hadn't been for that, however, I would have been on track for a great distance race I felt like.

I did cut it really close for making my start.  I meant to cut it close to make sure I got a really good warmup, but not that close.  I was putting on my poles with three seconds before my start.

Warmup and cooldown today consisted entirely of running.  My only skiing was during the race.  It went surprisingly well.  I'm pretty excited about that fact.

After the race, we had to wait for people who made the rounds, so it was kind of a long day.  As a team, we'd hoped for a bit better results than we got today, but we've got a few distance races coming up.

As for when, where, and how we will do those distance races, that should be interesting.  I've heard all sorts of crazy rumors about loops we might be skiing, maybe delaying races, and all that stuff.  They'll figure it out by the time we race, so I don't feel like I really have to worry about it.

It was really nice to see a few of my old college friends out there today, both those that were skiing and those who have moved on with their lives and become more or less functional members of society.

Yesterday's title was based on Casey Jones, by The Grateful Dead.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Drivin' through Maine
We bought propane
Wax the skis up ready
Ski through weeds
Credentials read
Stood in a line
It had in slow motion
But I am fine

Continued skiing around at Black Mountain today.  They shortened the men's sprint due to snow conditions, so now everybody is on the women's course.  Not entirely sure how much longer this snow's going to hold up.  Hopefully long enough.

Had to stand in a really long line for credentials today.  The line moved really slow because every time an alpine skier came in, they moved up to the front for lift tickets, and every credential has a picture.  Mine includes three thumbs up.  There were more thumbs, but they cropped them out.  We'll see if they follow through on checking credentials more diligently than other race sites.  If so, I guess I'll have to smile and give thumbs up or they won't recognize me.  Not that I mind at all if they don't.

Cole made it in today.  He only got in a day and a half late.  Gotta love airline delays.  While he bought groceries on the way back from skiing, we dropped by the hardware store and bought propane for the torch.  Hopefully that makes the whole klister thing easier.  We've been trying out some of the pine tar waxes, so at very least there is some chance that tomorrow will smell really, really good.

Beyond that, some ski waxing, and just preparing for what will hopefully be a good race tomorrow.  Should be fun.  I guess I'd better get my running shoes ready for the warmup, since I think they're only going to have 1.4km of skiing.

Here's a picture I took the other day.  I'll see if I can find somewhere else un-scenic to take a picture.  If so, you'll see it when I take it, but this will be hard to beat.

Yesterday's title was based on Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC.  And a housekeeping note (although not related to the juniors' general lack of kitchen cleanliness), the internet gets a little grumpy from time to time.  This was supposed to be posted about five hours ago.  So that's my excuse if posts are late.