March 23, 2014

Ski Week (aka SLO half marathon week -5)

E and I traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to spend half the week skiing with his family (who went for the full week).

His family tries to go on a full-fledged proper ski-week vacation every year.  I understand this.  I was raised in a family that sent kids up the hill in ski-bus-clubs every weekend during ski season.  There was a time when I was quite a good downhill skier.  Unfortunately, that time has passed.

My gymnastics coach insisted that I couldn't do ski club after age 15 if I wanted to continue with being on the competitive gymnastics team.  My soccer coach took the same position.  Given that this was essentially the *only* point they ever agreed on (that's not fair, they both also agreed that I should do agressive physical therapy and strengthen my medial quads after my first patellar subluxation), I listened to them.  When I quit ski-club, I was a hot-dogging jumping, mogul-racing animal.

And now?  Now, I am an intermediate skier of middle age.  In fact, it's worse than that.  Because I know I'm heavier than I've been in almost a decade, so I'm *extra* concerned about laterally loading my knees.  I don't exactly have an active lateral knee-loading lifestyle... not a ton of soccer, basketball, side-to-side sprints in my day-to-day existence, but boy do I have a history of blowing out my knees when laterally loaded.  Essentially, I'm slow, cautious, only willing to do jumps on terrain parks at minimal speed, avoiding moguls, and very concerned about doing serious harm. 

So, c'est la vie...  Given that background, you'd think I'd be the most hesitant person on the family ski trip, but alas, sadly, no... E's dad, before we even arrived (note to those of you thinking of joining older parents on ski trips.... GO FOR THE FIRST HALF!), took a nasty fall and managed to royally crack his clavicle into two parts that are very far apart from one another at this point (aka... surgery town...).  So, by the time we arrived, he wasn't even skiing at all, and both E and I felt horrid that we'd been too busy with work to even join him for skiing for 3 years.  VACATION WITH YOUR FAMILY WHEN THEY INVITE YOU!

On the running front, holy crap... downhill skiing when there are no lines and heavy snow at altitude is like track intervals.  I'm looking forward to reaping the benefits of this.

This week was chill:

Monday Core at the hotel in SF.

Tuesday 4ish easy around AT&T park.

Wed HIIT 3ish 4X1 min w/4 min jogging plus w/u cooldown.

Th-Sa skiing/elevation.

Sunday -- 25 minutes running at 6,000 feet -- roughly 13:00/mile, but nice and easy.

Overall, it was nice step-back week.  According to various calculations, it is roughly 21.78 miles running equivalent.  It felt like more than that in terms of time on my feet, but I like the timing and the strength/effort will pay off.  Overall, in addition to an awesome work and family/social week, I feel good about the progress I'm making towards SLO.  Also, I'm super excited for all of my friends who had such a great day at the Oakland Running Festival today.


L.A. Runner said...

Neat to read about your skiing background. Being a deep south girl, I've had very little experience with snow skiing. However, the last of the 3 times I've been in my life, I became "good" for a beginner. I appeared to be doing so well that a friend (much better skier than me) insisted I was ready for one of those big slopes (black diamond it might be called?). Anyway, the ski lift dropped us off, and I got so scared that I refused to ski down! Haha, I was in my mid 20s crying up there and ended up going down half way on my butt. Oh man, fun times. I stuck to the baby hills after that.

I've heard Jackson Hole is beautiful. And very much agreed about vacationing with family when you can. :)

Biting Tongue said...

@L.A. Runner -- discretion is the better part of valor! I didn't even attempt any black diamonds this trip...

Angela Knotts said...

No idea you were a skiier! I never skiied until ~4 years ago and am just now getting good enough to enjoy it & not be terrified every time. Don's parents are also big skiiers, but the two of us have never been with them. No idea what that would be like....Hopefully no broken bones....

bt said...

@Angela -- I love skiing, but when you haven't done it for 3 years, it gets a bit difficult to call yourself a "skier".

If my life were to calm down, I think I'd really like to take a week or two during ski season and take several lessons to try to regain some of the lost ground... one day.

Arvay said...

That is a GREAT photo!

bt said...

@arvay -- awww... thanks. It's amazing how good the quality is from camera phones these days, isn't it?