Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nordic Ski + Run

Thanks to my buddy Ryan, I have a complete arsenal of cross country skate ski gear. Well, expect for the poles, but Ryan has custom fitted a pair for me and I'll be getting those soon. I'm new to the sport though, and my friend Jeff recommended that I actually ski without poles to get the technique down, so I set out this morning to do just that.

I headed to Twin Brooks, happy to see the trails were indeed groomed. I clicked into the skis, and was off... straight to the ground to kiss the snow. For the first half hour, it felt just like the only other time I had tried to skate ski. I floundered, flailed, flopped and fell repeatedly.

I was getting a bit frustrated and then something magical happened. On a small decline, I went off the trail and fell. I discovered that the snow off the trail was actually very packed and firm, and I kicked to the side and glided. Holy crap, I was moving forward and with ease! Everything just clicked. I was so pumped. The icy trails were screwing me up, and this was much more manageable.

So I stayed on the soccer fields, practicing my stride, enjoying moving along and being in control (at times). I had actually watched this video over and over again, and remembered the lessons on centering and using the arms. It really did help. I tackled a very minor hill several times, successfull staying in control on the downhill, turning while kicking with the extra speed and also moving on the uphill (just barely). I still fell several times, but a lot of the time I was in legit control and my motion felt smooth and efficient.

I then went back on the groomed trails. Even though they were really icy, I'd bet a skilled skier could still move on them. I could not, even after practicing on the fields. So, I still have a lot of work to do. But I'm really stoked with the progress I made today.

And man, what a great workout. It wore me out pretty good. But on the way home, I decided to stop at the Back Cove and run a lap, but during the last mile especially, I could tell my muscles were worked out pretty good from the skiing.

Skate skied ~4km @ unknown pace (fell and forgot to restart watch several times, so no real idea of pace).
Icy trails, soccer fields coated with firm, packed snow.
Slightly hilly.
Lower-mid 20s, sunny, windy.
Long pants, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Back Cove run:
Ran 3.6 miles @ 7:41/mile pace.
Trails, well packed dirt.
Slightly hilly.
Mid to upper 20s, sunny, very windy.
Long pants, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.


sn0m8n said...

Is this a good time to tell you I totally spaced grabbing the poles for you today? Crazy day, and I just flat forgot. I'll be back up there on Wednesday, and I'll make certain I grab them then. Sorry.


Sounds like 'CRAZY' fun, but I hope we don't get any snow, sorry kids!