getting outside, getting moving

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.

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