Although I’m not running, I’ve still been pretty active. I’ve spent a lot of quality time on the other aerobic training machines at the gym, and have learning a bit about cross-country skiing. I don’t care much for working out inside, but the skiing’s been a lot of fun.
I visited the Snoqualmie Pass Nordic Center last Sunday. Didn’t care for it as much as Stevens Pass, but had a great day for it. Lots of sun, and quite a few hills. I went up about 5k, capping it with a steeper climb, which turned into a fast ride back down. The highlight was a hairpin curve with a dropoff on the outside edge … nothing too dangerous, but careening off would have hurt. Of course I handled it like a dork, braking with one ski outside the track on the way down … people looked pretty amused.
My technique on the skis is improving, but I wouldn’t call myself competent. After arriving I donned the skis at the start of the trail, and then clumsily tried to slimb up a short incline without sailing sideways or backwards. Eventually I removed the skis and walked it. Then, when I got ready to start, I realized that the loop on one of the poles was really really short. Naturally they’re adjustable. Naturally I didn’t know how to adjust it, and hadn’t even noticed when I rented the equipment. Bad bad bad. So I struggled along with a loop I couldn’t really use for a kilometer, before asking for help from a nice couple I met along the trail. I felt foolish not knowing how, and more foolish for not having checked my gear when I rented it.
I fell a few times, including once right at the very top of a long hill. Each time I probably looked like a toddler just learning to walk, or like I was panicking about the downhill. I also felt like I had some trouble getting going very fast at first. When I got into a rhythm, it felt like the snow was a bit icy for good skiing.
All of that aside, it was great to be outside in the snow and sun. I’d like to get to the point that I can try some of the more challenging trails higher up, where the better scenery is.
It’d also be fun to take Kayla up with me … always a good idea to groom a kid as my skiing companion. Makes it easier to carve the time out to go.