Wednesday, January 03, 2007

And Then, The Cold Sets In

The good news is than in just 13 days since the solstice we've gained 25 minutes of daylight. However, it's not quite noticeable yet because 4:06 of daylight is still very short plus it's been pretty gray and almost foggy most of the time. Things will turn around quickly, however, beause by MLK holiday we'll be at about 5 hours and the sun will be getting higher. Bring it on!

Now, the challenge is the frigid temperature. Highs in town have been in the teens and twenties below zero, and it looks like it won't get warmer for several days.

On New Years Day I went out for a ski, thinking that our thermometer was accurate at -1 or so. But I got to Birch Hill, just 6 miles away, where it was -11. With fresh snow, that made for some very slow skating. My plan was for long intervals, but I wasn't even out of the stadium area before deciding to scrap that idea. So plan B was to ski the 10k White Bear Loop, and then finish off with some shorter loops to complete about 1:20 or so. Within a kilometer or two I bagged that too, and headed in for another layer of warmup pants. The initial 3.2 km circuit took about 20 minutes, on a course which would normally take 12 - 15. The rest of the workout was just a slug fest., with a fair amount of walking up the steeper sections.

Blew off Tuesday's ski workout and and went for a 1:05 snowshoe run instead.

January in Fairbanks is a good month for classic skiing, because you don't need to fight the abrasive and extremely slow snow. If I get more than 4-5 skate days, you know we'll be basking in balmy 0 degree temperatures.

Postscript, January 4--Here I was complaining about the cold and feeling blah yesterday afternoon, just before heading out. The plan was for 1:30 easy effort, with some specific strength and technique work (double poling uphill and skiing a few k's without poles), but after the rather arduous task of getting dressed (4 layers of pants and 6 layers on top) and on the trail, I realized that things were clicking. Skis were moving well, despite the -10 temps, I felt no pain from the cold (invigorating!), and best of all I felt in good balance with both kick and glide. So after a 30-35 minute warmup, I did some long intervals (9:00, 8:00, 6:00) at 10k effort, with about a 3 min rest. Felt pretty good throughout, besides some abject cardiovascular distress at the end of each repetition because all three finished on the top of a rather long climb (1 to 1.5 min). Anyway, the workout ended up by far the best classic training session I've had this season.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Six layers?! Hate to say it, but I "think" I'm jealous.
Weather forecast for Saturday here in N.H. calls for highs near 60, and rain! I'm guessing this will melt the whopping 1/4-inch of snow already on our ski trails.
Nice running weather, anyway.
Good to see your workout, though, Wilson -- congrats!
-- Grambo

3:14 PM  

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