Thursday, January 5, 2017

Glide Pole, Glide Pole

If the number of skiing selfies serves as any indication of our dedicated efforts to traverse Mt. Spokane multiple times each week, then I can assure you that yes, we have successfully embraced the challenges of the sport of skate skiing and continue to enjoy the benefits so far. Barring a swollen ankle and a sore knee, we have driven down the mountain each outing with fewer complaints to tell about than successes. Actually, it seems our efforts to keep track of the temperatures and grooming conditions has proven more of a challenge than anything we've yet encountered. Last week, the snow that never seemed to stop falling out of the sky made the groomer's attempts to provide fresh corduroy for skiers difficult. On at least two occasions, Bryan and I found ourselves on what the website described as "freshly groomed trails" to actually look (and more importantly feel) like 4 to 5 brand new inches of snow. Even our skate skies would not glide very far through that much snow. So, while our skating technique continues to improve, our duck waddle has a few more embellishments, also.

Bryan has not quite experienced the same improvement in his fitness as I have in mine, at least by the numbers Training Peaks uses to quantify overall fitness (TSS). In our efforts to more accurately reflect our efforts in a different sport other than swim, bike, and run, we have both found and benefited from wearing our heart rate monitors again. I have also remembered how wonderful it feels to return to Selkirk Lodge, completely beat, and ravage my reward: a peanut butter chocolate chip Bonk Breaker. On just a few occasions, Bryan and I have had to dive into my Bonk Breaker Chews I carry with me on our longer days just so we can make it back to home base. Whatever the occasion, my bonk is broken.

Finally, we have both attempted to embrace the strength training we so badly neglected last season. I am not warming up to this endeavor quite as quickly as I did to skiing, unfortunately. Standing, naked, in front of the mirror, though, does wonders for lackadaisical motivation. If that doesn't kick me into action soon enough, the continued frustration I have with pain in my hamstring and knee sure does. Fury envelops me more than the pain. Until I feel stronger, I'll continue to embrace squats, single leg deadlifts and core exercises. More than anything, I hope to make 2017 a year of strength instead of injury.

Our view on a good day from one of the lookout spots on the perimeter trail called Tamarama.