Wednesday, April 06, 2011

April, Love Me or Love Me Not?

April is the best and worst of times for aerobically induced athletes around here. It actually offers some of the best track skiing of the year, and usually the best back country opportunities. Conditions can be variable, but the snow is fast and temps are moderate not unlike New England in February or the Mid-Atlantic in January.

I kind of wish we had a few more fun-type ski events in during April. A winter quad, tri, or duathlon mixing some combination of skiing, snowshoeing, running, or cycling. I saw a Facebook posting the other day that a group of locals actually went out and did a quadrathlon last weekend at UAF, within an hour or two of when I was out there on my own wishing for the same thing. Apparently I didn't get the memo. Or simply disregarded it, like I do with at least half of the ski or running club listserve postings.

Meanwhile, ski club president Mike O'Brien just dropped a note on last week's blog post, about an unofficial contest to see who can ski the latest in the year. That's a great idea. Maybe we should have a local ski trail category and one for the state/interior. Then again, if you're APU Nordic, you can get helicoptered onto a glacier in June, July, August.

Meanwhile, runners here go bat sh*t crazy this time of year. The roads and sidewalks are a mess and you risk a fall with accompanying chipped tooth or broken wrist with practically every step, the skiers still rule over the UAF and Birch Hill trails (although I've seen RCN-types sneaking on for the Sunday runs a week or so ahead of the April 15 NO RUNNING cutoff). Tsk tsk. Makes me want to use my ski poles to poke some leaks in some folks' Nike Air shoes.

Moreover, the high school running are still snow covered, although I haven't seen Lathrop's this week.

And when you get the inevitable weather relapse, like today when it's in the teens, windy, with some flurries, the runners tend to whine and get all morose. But it's AAAAAppriiiiilllll! Can't winter eennnnnnnnd alreaddddyyyyyy?????

Now, we all know that I'm kind of lame and half baked, over the hill as a skier and runner but, after taking some downtime from the ski marathons, I kind of like this transitory period. So as long as we have snow, I'll tread lightly about every other day and do an easy ski on the opposite days. While my knee held up remarkably well through March, the two skate marathons, 100,000 ft of vertical at Alyeska, and a little running took a cumulative toll and it's been acting inflamed this week. So classic skiing, klister and all, has been a great rehab this week.

A glacier ski would be fun too, but that takes forethought and hours of driving. Maybe/maybe not. But, to tie this up neatly, break up or not April is alright!


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