Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Powder day!

Why buy fat wide boards with metal edges when you can have powder daze on skinny skis? Today was a get-out-and-enjoy-it 20K at Twin Brook, and the first time I've skied the dog side this winter. I timed it pretty well - 2 to 3 inches of fresh powder didn't really slow the skating much but allowed me to try alpine turns for the first time in my life (yes - I was on alpine skis once when I was a 10 year old at some place in NC but I just pointed the tips down the fall line and Franz Klammered it). Wicked good fun (the ski today not the experience in NC).

Why I live in Maine

'nuff said

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Great day to end a big week. Cacky made a heaping pile of blueberry pancakes, applewood smoked bacon, and maple sausage. Ummmm. Then we went to Riverside; she for a skate skiing lesson and I to do some striding. Then I ate a quick lunch, which did not include my leftover bacon because Rodney pinched what was left off the counter. Then I went to pineland, waxed my skate skis, and did all 23.5K. This was followed by a delicious tortellini and cream sauce dinner and yummy birthday cake, which Cacky makes every year. Then a glass of scotch with my bro-in-law and an Old Thumper with Cacky and neighbors Sarah and John. Then some fun reading. I did 86.5 miles of skiing this week. Seems like a lot and certainly my biggest week ever. Did all of Pineland on 4 different days. But then most of the trail monsters have done more miles than this in one day of running! Ouch!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Sweet. I needed to go to Pineland Farms this morning to tack my flyer for the Valentine's Day Race & Relay on the wall of the waxing room. What's a guy to do when at a world-class ski touring center and 3 hours to spare before a department meeting? Ski all the trails! This was by far my longest classic ski to date. I skipped the field trails, was around 21.5K with only the last half of the access trail to go, and feeling great. But then I had dropped my water bottle earlier and asked a pair of skiers about it, since they were coming from the direction I had dropped it. Yes it was by the yurt they said. So I added another 3K skiing down to the yurt and back. More significantly, I added all that climb and the combination of loss of kick wax and/or loss of muscle strength killed me. I'm beat...but really psyched about my 25K classic ski.
Distance: 24.6K
Total Time: 2:14:37
Food: oatmeal, 2 bananas, high pulp OJ, ham & cheese sandwich, bbq potato chips, 2 debbies chocolate chip cookies, 1 naval orange, Eli's strawberry soda.

Total ski days this winter: 27

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


'twas a great day. Taught a class. Watched a great speech. Practiced driving with my oldest son. And then did all 25K at Pineland with James. First time that I got it all in this year, but hopefully there will be many more to come! I skated while James classicked. James also gave me some personal coaching, something I could use more of. It was beautiful. I did the last few K by myself and added the little loop on the way to River valley (turning back at the road) at the end to ensure the full 25K. The sun was setting and the sky was gorgeous. Sorry I missed sparkplug. Finished the day with a fun private party at Bubba's ... I didn't know you could do that!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Does the Back Yard count as Back Country Skiing?

I wanted to get in 30K today at Pineland and was not expecting much snow until after 1PM. By 10AM, we had 6" in the driveway so I had already resigned to doing 1 lap of the River Valley loop while Cacky was getting a lesson from Tim Corcoran. It took us 45 minutes to get there on really, really bad roads. Tim and Cacky abandoned the skating lesson after about 2 minutes and I abandoned my ski of the river trail before even getting there. The drive back took closer to 1 hour. The roads were worse and our windshield kept icing up. We had a good foot in the drive by the time we got back and were plowed out, so we had to call the kids to come out and shovel just so we could pull into the drive (It's good having 3 boys). I thought about taking the dogs on a snowshoe on Blackstrap Ridge, but I was still de-stressing from my drive and wasn't excited about getting back in the car - even for a 1/2 mile drive. So I popped into my toy BC skis and did 5K in the back yard, I think it was about 15 laps. The dogs quit after 3 laps. Sasha wanted to jump the fence and go long. Rodney just wanted me to throw the rubber stick toy that he had uncovered. 30K would have been around 90 laps, so I was 75 laps short. Darn. It would have been a great morning to snowshoe Bradbury. I hope everyone had a safe trip there.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Sweet picture, huh? 20K at Pineland, 1/2 of it classical the other half skate. Oak Hill is still very good but some thin spots elsewhere and not deep enough for new classic tracks nearly everywhere so the above picture looks good. Great to see Jamie and Stephen out there.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Should have worn 2 pair of wind briefs...

I skied Riverside again today - didn't feel like driving to Pineland, wasn't confident of the conditions at Twin Brook, and I thought the sun would feel better than shade. Got in 20K, which is a pretty good start on my goal of a big weekend (maybe 70K over 3 days). I waited until it warmed up to double digits, which it did, barely. Up top I had my Craft Pro wind top, a smartwool zip-T, and my trusty (buy one of these) SportHill Explorer II top. Down below I had my Craft wind briefs, Sugoi mid-zero tights, and Craft zip pants. By my third lap, I knew I should have doubled up on the wind briefs : (.


In this cold, the snow goes squeak-squeak under the skis. Skiing has been relatively easy this week:
Monday: 15K of easy v2 skating (followed by watching the middle school race)
Tuesday: 15K of easy striding at Riverside, 7.5K of easy skating at the FHS
Wednesday: 6K of very discontinuous skating at the High School race at Stark's Hill (Fryeburg)
Thursday: 10K of very discontinous striding at Riverside.
I'm hoping to do some heavy volume this weekend, starting today (brrr).
Stark's Hill was extremely cold but the trail system was a lot of fun, at least what I saw of it. The hill has a long and distinguished place in New England (and even North American) skiing. This was a skate race, so I skied to the top of the big climb so I could watch all the skiers and their climbing technique and who was fit and who wasn't. I did short, steep hill repeats until the first racer arrived, which gave me a chance to warm up my own body. Falmouth boys and girls both came in 2nd. The real test though is Monday, which is a classic race at Twin Brook against all of the western maine conference.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Riverside 15

I skated an easy 15K at Riverside with Hugh Coxe today before the middle school meet. Most, but not all of the trail was groomed, but it was lots of snow, which is always good. The MS race was lots of fun to stand by and cheer. James Demer's daughter Ava was smokin' fast, and one of the few kids (out of hundreds) who had a nice v2 alternate going (most of the kids, even many of the fast kids were using the v1 on the flat where I stood, which is typically used for steep hills only). Her dad must be a coach somewhere.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Full Moon Ski

Cacky and I drove to the Bethel Inn xc ski center in the morning to meet the Falmouth HS and MS nordic teams at the Bethel Inn. Great sun, great snow. Conditions were beautiful. Corkscrew is a windy technical trail. The Pine Hill competition trails behind Gould even moreso. Cacky took a skating lesson in the morning while I skied with some of the HS kids. This was supposed to be another of James Demer's long-and-don't-stop-till-lunch-days. I skied Pine Hill with the faster boys who stopped at the stadium (where the races start and end) to talk about their MS nightmares on this course and who stopped every other intersection to hold a committee meeting about taking this trail, or that trail, or going back to the Bethel Inn side. James has the reputation of keeping these guys on the move; no stopping. I didn't do such a good job of that.

In the afternoon, Cacky took off with another mom and I went out with my son Will, who is a new skier, and skied on my classic skis, with my new classic boots, so this was my first official classic ski! Woohoo. Good stuff. I certainly felt like I was doing what the guy in the video was doing but I was moving awfully slowly! I'm going to work on that at Pineland today.

In the evening, Cacky and I joined our friends and the Coastal Nordic Ski Club at a Potluck dinner and full moon ski on the Oak Hill loop at Pineland. The moonlight skiing was awesome! It was a thin cloud cover but more than enough moonlight to ski without a headlamp.

Total distance - 20 miles
Total moving time - 2 hrs. 46 min.
Food - oatmeal, turkey sandwich, 5 chocolate chip cookies, 1 pb&j, 1 sampler plate (including about 4 types of mac & cheese, meatloaf, and quiche), and 1 apple crumb thing.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Close to the Coast Valentines Day 10K and Couples Relay

I'm directing my first ski race on 14 February, the Close to the Coast Valentines Day 10K and Couples Relay! It's a fundraiser for the Coastal Nordic Ski Club, the club that developed, in partnership with the Town of Cumberland, the xc trails at Twin Brook. I hope we can get some trail monsters and, especially, trail monster couples, racing on skis that day!

Pineland is Gorgeous

I was doubtful that Pineland got enough snow from this last storm to open back up but I got the lucky news tip from Erik O. that Pineland had opened all 25K. James Demer, Jesse Bastide and I took our rock skis expecting thin spots. Too Bad. Oak Hill was shockingly deep (4-5" of new snow) and while the Campus and River loops were a little thinner, all of it was in excellent shape. The drop into the Campus loop from that field where the Pineland Farm Trail Challenge finishes was wicked fast and fun. The wind was up and in my face on a few of the steep downhills on the Campus loop. Since these have sharpish turns at the bottom, I'm usually at full parachute. Yesterday was the first time ever I tucked low on these hills to try to keep all the speed I could get. 10/10 on the fun-o-meter. Props to Abby (Weissman) for putting our CNSC race on the NENSA site soon and to Heather (Jim's roommate) for giving me a lift from the visitor's center back to the Oak Hill parking lot.

After Pineland, we had a 5K time trial for the FHS nordic kids. The squall that nailed snowman nailed us, probably 30s earlier as it was moving fast. And it was just like he said. One minute it was cloudy. Then 5 minutes of white-out blizzard. Then five minutes later it was gloriously sunny and drop-dead calm, which unfortunately lasted less than 5 minutes as it the clouds and wind picked back up (and even another, smaller squall).
Distance: 11.81 mi
Time: 1:25:41
Food: 1 Debbie's (??) chocolate chip cookie (from the market) and some kind of black cherry drink. Umm.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Golf courses are good for easy workouts and learning technique (and golf!). Riverside GC is only about 1 mile from my house, so it has that advantage too. I practiced my striding today using my waxless, toy BC skis. I had to use these because my classic boots, which fit my race skis, have not arrived in the mail yet. 8 miles in 91 minutes. I don't think I'm ready to enter the American Birkebeiner yet, but that is as many miles as all my previous classic skis combined.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Boston marathon...

I commuted to a conference in Boston each of the last three days. Each day I snuck out at 3PM to get a run in in between talks and posters. My Garmin 205 behaved badly in Boston. The watch was OK during Sunday's "Boston Wandering" run but the signal while running through the tall buildings was less than poor. During Monday's "Boston Common" run, my watch powered off near the start and I didn't notice and turn it back on until after nearly a mile. It stayed on after that but had really poor satellite signal. This was the 4th time it has mysteriously powered off since Jan 1. It never did this before. A couple of people have said that I should try a hard reset, which I'll do. During today's "Boston - Charles R.", the watch twice placed me on earth about 1/3 mile from where I really was! So it added something like 1 - 1.5 miles to my distance. Indeed I ran my 2nd "mile" in 1:40! For some reason the map above drops these two anomolous points but my distance computed in motionbased did not, even though I had the autocorrect feature on. My running distance over the three runs was about 22.5 miles. Add the 6X.75 mi walk back and forth between South Station and the conference hotel and that's about 27 miles. But the only hill I did was the small one in Boston Common. It looks like it would be a fun sledding hill, but it was certainly no heartbreak.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I could be pool running...

I live vicariously through action films: Dogtown and Z boys, Steep, Step into Liquid, Touching the Void, etc. I was re-watching Riding Giants this morning with friends (or, it was playing while we were all getting ready to go do the Portland tourist thing). At one point, the various big wave surfers are all whining about how existentially depressing it is when the surf is flat. Cacky thought it was maudlin bordering on pathetic. I was absolutely empathetic. Because that's how I felt on December 31. But I beat the blues with my quadruple play new year's day. I needed that. I love running and when the ski trails were brown the last two winters, I was forced to pool run. At the Riverton pool. In the lane with the old ladies. Doing water aerobics. To bad 70s music. Tonight, after Sam's basketball game, I did a nice, brisk (7:37 pace) 9.5 mile run around Woodville rd. then to home. It's a great course. Good hills, nice pastoral viewshed (not that I could see anything at 6PM). Sure I'd rather be skiing, but I'd rather not be pool running, riding the stationary bike, elipticalling, or anything else in a 70 degree room with mirrors on the wall.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Year in Numbers

Total moving hours: 352 hours, 45 minutes
Total Distance: 2783.5 miles

Skiing: 673 miles
__Skating - 645 miles
__Classic - 8 miles
__Backcountry - 19
Running: 1008 miles
__Trail - 745 miles
__Road - 263 miles
Cycling: 856 miles
__Road - 839 miles
__Mountain - 16
Walking/hiking: 171 miles (mostly local)
Snowshoe: 1.7 miles
Rowing: 74.4 miles
__Indoor - 72.9 miles
__Outdoor - 1.5 miles
Swimming: 0.33 miles
__Lake - 0.33 miles
__Pool - 0.0 miles

Goals for 2009. I'm pretty happy with the above except it would be nice to average 1 hour/day. Since I won't be recovering from injury late spring/early summer, I should have fewer walking/cycling and more running miles in 2009. But I'd like to keep the road biking going for cross training/injury prevention.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Day Quadruple Play!

Happy new year everyone! A long ski at Pineland was not in the cards so I instead did a half marathon spread across four events. I started the morning off with 2.5 miles of striding on my toy BC skis at Riverside golf course. Very skiable down by the river. I then did the Maine Running Co. Resolution Run. I was still standing in line for the bathroom when the 100 or so runners started so I took off like a bandit to catch up (after using the BR). I didn't know where to go so took about a 100 yard short cut to back cove but I was still a good 1/2 mile behind the lead pack. I was running at about a 6:45/mi pace, aided by a gorgeous tail wind, and finally caught up to the lead pack of Tom Ryan, Charlie Humphries, Carry Buterbaugh, and Danny Paul at about the 2.5 mile mark. A couple of hills on the eastern prom and then we had to run against a fierce side wind up Congress st. and then a stunning headwind for the last 2 miles back to the store. About a 7:01 pace for the 10K. At the Great Lost Bear following the run I had a couple of smuttynose winter ales, a delicious bowl of chilli, and a nice chat with Dave Diffenbach. I then got the snowshoes and did a 3.5 mile snowshoe run with the dogs on Blackstrap Hill. About 1/2 way, one of the rivets in one snowshoe came out and the shoe turned sideways so I ran the 2nd half in my inov8 315s. Finally, I ended the day with about 1.5 miles of skate skiing at Twin Brook. The field in the back near the "A loop" had some nice snow for about 100 yards and I just went back-and-forth. Good enough! I'm tired and need a warm bath and a cold beer.