Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Slow Starter

Winter here never starts slowly. Since we've lived here by mid-October we are there most years. Those first few weeks are a little frustrating because while it's great to be on snow, usually the first in the nation or very close to that, the snow cover always starts out rather thin and the skiing is best described as sketchy. Rock skis and thick bones needed.

Nevertheless, I always start out slow. While many of my friends and rivals are gung ho, logging lots of Ks and hours it takes me time lots of time to get into the season. This year in particular. With the foot aching since July, and a lot in August and September, I shifted to maintenance mode for training and averaged about 4-6 hours a week. At 54 that's not quite maintenance, you go downhill fitness-wise. For the past month now, however, I've been at 6 to 8 hours a week and I'm starting to feel better. No running, giving that foot the rest it needed.

With the knee thing two and three years ago I found that skating was more irritating to the point that one or two sessions could set me back several days. In fact 2009-10 I hardly skated at all. This time I find that classic causes my foot to hurt a little more. It's less of an impact than running, but I definitely feel it. Until this past week the classic skiing has been marginal, they didn't (couldn't) set decent tracks until this weekend. Even now there are some dirt patches.

Anyway, putting in most or at least half my energy with the coaching. The kids keep me young and on my toes; I can no longer keep up with most of them on interval sessions. And on Sunday we did a 2hr plus ski (2:30 for me) and they had me working real hard on the hills.

Racing for them starts this weekend with Tour de Ski Fairbanks. Me next week, hopefully with the Wednesday night race next week and Turkey Day Relay a couple days later. But to tell the truth, the next three (yes three) months is just background. Racing doesn't really start until mid-Feb with the 30-50Ks.

Think snow, think warmth!


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