Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Monday, February 7, 2011


The weekend didn't go according to plan. 

It got off to a great start Saturday morning when I awoke to yet more pristine snow and bright sunshine. 

I ran around and gathered my gear.  The overnight low was around 5, but the high temp was supposed to be around freezing, so I loaded a lot of gear into my bag before I left.  This is just for the ski.

Then I had to choose which glasses to wear.  Decisions decisions.  I went with the new Zyons, which are on the bottom of the picture. 
Then I got all of my bike clothes ready.  I had planned to make this ski and outdoor bike ride happen, so I wanted to put myself in the best spot possible to actually do it. 

Then I got my drinks ready.  Again, this is just for the ski. 

I met up with Spinney, friend/coach/ironman triathlete/nutritionist/semi-pro motivational speaker.  The first half of my ski with Spinney was great.  

I got to Trapp's an hour early because I wanted to get warmed up and ski for 3 hours.  The idea of doing the 30k Gatineau Loppet was still rattling around in my head, so I decided I needed to test my legs a bit. 
After 60 solo minutes I met up with Spinney and we headed out.  We decided to ski the Trapp's- Mansfield Touring Ctr connector and hit some of the trails at Mansfield before coming back. 

The last couple of years there has been some discord between Trapp Family Lodge and the Stowe Mountain Resort operated Mansfield Touring Center that has kept the connecting trail from being maintained.  An agreement has been reached and the trail is now open again.

Our plan was to ski together for two hours, yet somehow my preparation meant that I only had 1 small 100 calorie energy bar and about 1.5 hours worth of water, both of which were quickly consumed within the first 20 minutes of skiing with Spinney.  Dammit.

The connector trail has a set of fairly long and steep rollers that make the 5k journey take much longer than you'd expect.  As we got to the top of the last one I could feel that I was running out of steam and that I was about to drop anchor.


This was right before we started back to Trapp's.  

We made a quick pitstop at the lodge, then started to head back to Trapp's.  I was smoked, and even small-ish hills were giving me a lot of trouble.  I ate the last bite of the small granola bar that Spinney had given me and readied myself for the vertical onslaught ahead. 

It wasn't pretty, it definitely wasn't smooth, and I made every effort to block out the little voice of ski coach Jim Fredericks as I bumbled my way up the hills.  "Push your skis out!  Get your weight forward!  Bend at the ankles- don't sit down!"  My goal while climbing became simply to keep snot off my relatively new jacket.  Anything actually related to the act of skiing was too embarrassing to consider.

In spite of myself and my poor planning I made it back to the car and promptly inhaled all of the food I'd brought with me.  My plan was to ski again on Sunday and I had to refuel if I was going to be able to even get out of bed. 

On Sunday morning I met up with fellow Grass Moots racer Jason and we made our way up to Trapp's.  The races that had started on Saturday were still rolling, so we had to take a more interpretive route than normal.  We hit the usual Sugar Road/Telemark/Russell Knoll warmup, but the race course blocked us from being able to head down to Skater's Waltz and across to Ayers.  After crossing the road and taking off our skis almost half a dozen times we finally decided to ski up Parizo to County Road.  

My normal route heads down Skater's Waltz past the pasture where the Highland Cattle chillax.  

After about 90 minutes of mostly skiing we started up Parizo.  Fortunately my revised breakfast and thoughtful fueling plan made the climbing much more tolerable, so much so that I could actually pay some attention to Coach Jim's instruction within my internal monolog.  Thanks, Jim.  

After we crested Parizo we bombed down County Road, then zipped down the steep descent to Russell Knoll.  The steepest section was mostly free of chuckleheads, but I managed to find a couple camped out right in the apex of the turn at the bottom.  We made one more run up Telemark, then headed back to the car after 2.5 hours of solid, endurance pace skiing.

This hillside is where the tourists decided to setup camp.   

The real fun didn't start until I got home.  I'll spare you the details, but basically Carrie and needed to clear some snow off the roof and it took almost 4 hours.  That's 4 hours after skiing when I really just wanted to go inside and take a nap. 

All of this has set the stage for today.  I can summarize my feelings in two words.  Fuck.  Everyone.  Not necessarily everyone, but everyone who's been pissing me off today.  Like my neighbor who clears the snow off of his driveway by blowing it into the road.  Like the guy at the Rental Center who couldn't have been less helpful when I was there to return the shitty overpriced roof rake with the short handle that we picked up yesterday.  Like coworkers who still don't understand a pretty straightforward process right before implementation even after months of discussions.  Like the guy who's been maintaining the salad bar at the local grocery store for 6 months and still hasn't realized the appropriate sizes to cut lettuce, ham and onions respectively. 

But I digress.

I shouldn't be in a bad mood at all.  Overall things went well this weekend.  The only negative is that I didn't get to ride outside in the mild temperatures.  Stupid Hampsten.  Maybe next weekend. 

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