Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blind Faith

We missed all the excitement today; the 13K race in Houghton, the Ski Tigers in action at Swedetown. We arrived at Swedetown just as the kids were leaving. My goal today was to ski the tougher loops from the Bear Chase, Powderhouse and Birch (Marked Red Jacket on
this map.) These loops are part of the Bear Chase, though not arranged in the same way. Add to that the trip to and from town and the Bears and Greenstone and you have the Bear Chase. My goal is to complete the freestyle 26K on March 13.

Today's loops were about the toughest thing in the Bear Chase; downhills with turns, uphill climbing, some steep. Positives:
1. I handled downhills much better today, taking much more speed up the next uphill.
2. My climbing was better than it's ever been; technique is improving and so is stamina.
3. When presented with some easier terrain(Cedar,) I was able to recover and ski some more.

On the downside:
1. I have to stop after every big hill. They were exhausting!
2. There is still lots of room for technique improvement.

So, Goals to work on:

1. Long, flat workouts. Do the Bears and see if I can skate over the longer, easier terrain.
2. Work on stamina with weight bearing met-con workouts and skiing, medium length.
3. Lessons. The Michigan Tech Nordic Ski Club is offering lessons for the community at large. Kirsten and I took the Intermediate skate lessons last year. It would be great to get some knowledgeable eyes on our technique and show us where we can improve.
4. More consistent workouts. This may be hard.

At the last hill, I couldn't manage a V1; I herringboned most of it, with a little of that alternate poling thing (can't recall the name.) Later, I looked at my average pace. Over the 26k course, that would work out to almost 4 hours! Last year the slowest time for men was 2h, 18m, 26s; for women it was 2h, 25m, 7s. I realize that I should have a faster pace on the easier sections, but at the time, I felt like I wouldn't have any steam for the flatter parts of the course. It seems an impossible goal sometimes.

I'll keep working at it, even though I can't see the end or if I can even get there. I've got two reasons to give you:
1. Like the guy in "It's A Wonderful Life" said,
Faith is believing in something even when common sense tells you not to.
2. Even if I don't reach my goal, I'll be a lot further on than if I didn't try.

Here's the data. I forgot to turn the timer on until we'd done the first two hills of Powderhouse:
Name:Powderhouse & Birch
Date:Jan 16, 2010 3:24 pm
Distance:7.89 kilometers
Elapsed Time:1:09:42
Avg Speed:6.8 km/h
Max Speed:23.4 km/h
Avg Pace:08' 50" per km
Min Altitude:280 m
Max Altitude:342 m
Start Time:2010-01-16T20:24:33Z
Start Location:
Latitude:47.237540º N
Longitude:88.470112º W
End Time:2010-01-16T21:34:16Z
End Location:
Latitude:47.238598º N
Longitude:88.465393º W

Click on this link to display the track in Google Maps. This link will be valid until Feb 15, 2010 6:07 PM PST.



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