Tuesday, January 29, 2008

No Man's Land

Today was week 4 of Nordic Meisters, and I'm filled with nothing but positive things to report. Scary, isn't it?

First of all, the new wax pocket on my skis definitely made a difference. Probably more psychologically than physically, but I'll take what I can get. Additionally, I figured out a problem with my technique yesterday at Pineland and tested it out today. Basically, I was too far forward on my skis, thus not allowing for full compression of the wax pocket. Without full contact with the snow, the wax was slipping. I'm not really surprised I had this flaw, but I'm glad I was able to diagnose it. When you're running up a hill, you will lean into the hill to drive up it. The same isn't exactly true for skiing. Too far forward and the you're not compressing the ski. In other words, skiing is really technical and complicated.

Overall, though, I basically just tried to ski smooth. And think this worked out pretty well. Yes, I skied hard, but not ballistic. By staying relaxed, it helps me ski better and actually go faster. It's somewhat counterintuitive. But, it worked, as I skied better as compared to all the old guys. I was please was my finish. The real problem, though, is that everyone ahead of me is waaaaayyyy ahead of me. I need to make up some serious ground to catch them, and most of that ground is in ski technique. Unfortunately, my technique probably isn't going to improve 2 minutes over the next four weeks. So there I am stuck in the middle. I'm OK with that because it's only 14 weeks until our Spring Trail Running Series starts. That's when I can turn the tables. Except for the fact that none of the fast old guys show up. They're out rollerskiing or some other such nonsense.

Monday, January 28, 2008

To Ski or Not to Ski

I woke up feeling like boo boo. So, I was more than my usual grouchy self. D was psyched. I don't feel like I have her cold, but I'm definitely not 100%. If it keeps going in this direction, I'm confident I'll be 100% by Thursday. But, again, it's nothing to really be worried about.

I had to run an errand for work, which took us to Scarborough this morning. I was about 50/50 whether we should ski or not. But I felt much better after I'd been awake for a couple hours. So after picking up buckets of oil, we headed up to Pineland for a ski. It was really windy. Crazy windy. In any event, we headed out for an easy ski, and that's exactly what we did. I felt pretty good. Nothing to rave about, nothing to complain about. But I'm definitely glad we got out. Nordic Meisters tomorrow, and then another easy ski or two, and one more short run this week.

Right now, I'm hungry.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

An Easy Five

With a week to go before the 10 Miles of Potential Doom, I'd say that all systems are go. D and I ran an easy 5 today on the Brunswick/Topsham bike path. Everything felt great. I was a bit creeky at the start, which seems to be the norm after taking a day off, but once we got moving I felt great. In fact, the last three entries in my training log include that phrase: "Felt Great." Hopefully, that's a good sign. Plan for the week is to take it easy, with the exception of Nordic Meisters on Tuesday. I'll also be sure to get in plenty of stretching. I figure all this effort over the last few weeks will make me a whole 4 or 5 minutes faster over the 10 miles, and place me solidly in the middle of the pack (based on last year's results). So, yah, totally worth it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Vitamin C and Zicam

D brought a cold back from her trip to Seattle. I think she's trying to give it to me. Not good times. I had planned to take the day off today, and that's definitely what I'm going to do. I'm not feeling sick, but I think there might be something insidious lurking just below the surface. I'm going to OD on vitamin C today, and take as many Zicam as possible. Now, it's on to more OJ.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I've determined that my easy pace is 8:30 per mile. That's just walk out the door, start running, and take it easy. It's the pace that just feels comfortable. Not effortless, but easy.

With that in mind, I ran an easy 4 miles today. It felt easy, and I felt great. Hopefully, this means I'm ready for the 10-miler. And by ready, I mean not going to die. Hopefully.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Good News

Flex tested my skis this morning. The good news is that the wax pocket on both pairs can definitely be longer. In other words, I can add more kick wax without sacrificing glide, and, therefore, kick up the hills better. (It also means that I'm definitely less fat.)

I think for next week I'm going to use the softer pair. (Unless it's a klister day.) They're a slightly higher end ski, but they aren't in quite as good shape. I willing to sacrifice the better glide for the better kick. I think the softer ski will be a boost to the confidence level, which is really what my skiing needs right now.

In other news, the skiing right now is phenomenal. Went for a ski yesterday...actually, I skated...with a couple co-workers. And since it's my job, I made a video of it for our website. It's not a very good video, but the goal was to show the conditions and have a little fun. The result is a fairly shaky experience, but it's tough to ski with no poles and keep up with two fast skiers. Well, it is for me anyway.

If you're interested and bored, you can check out some of the other stuff I've shot this season here. Pretty much everything gets posted on the blog and the Great Glen Trails website, or better yet, you could come on up and ski. And, no, I won't get you passes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ad Time

I found both of these while working. No, really.

Well, this one is older, but I just refound it the other day.

I Don't Know

Another Tuesday. Another mediocre Nordic Meister result. Actually, it felt like a less mediocre result than last week, and it may have helped me solve a mystery.

My "race" was fine. I fell. About 2 minutes in. On a flat section. That was humorous. Not really sure what happened, but I think it only cost me 10 seconds or so. Overall, I skied relaxed. Didn't really try to kill myself. And as a result I skied technically better than last week. (My fall excluded.) It felt better anyway. Less flailing.

However, there is still a great mystery about my ability to make my skis kick. I waxed really warm. Goopy, should stick to anything warm. But still, my kick was not that great. This had lead me to 2 possible conclusions:
1. My technique has completely deteriorated.
2. I'm too light for my skis.

Needless to say, I'm really hoping it's #2. I'm going to flex test my skis today or tomorrow to find out for certain. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure I was fat when I bought this pair a couple years ago. Plus, the warm wax wasn't dragging on the flats and hills yesterday as it would if skis were the right flex. And, the first week of Meisters, I had great kick. It was a klister day, and a stiff ski will work with klister. So, hopefully it's #2. If it's #1...well, I don't really want to think about it.

The additional good news if it is #2, I have another softer ski that I can race on. Or maybe D will let me buy a whole new set up! (My boots are trash anyway.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's not the heat. It's the humidity.

I hate that saying. If it's hot, it doesn't matter that it's humid. It still sucks. And today, it wasn't the cold, it was the wind. But actually, it was both. It wasn't exactly balmy today. Maybe I'm just searching for blog fodder, because it was 17 degrees with light winds when I went for a run this afternoon. Really nothing to complain about. Sure, it wasn't 60 and calm, but it wasn't catastrophic.

I think it was an important run. I was tired and tight going into it, but I feel a lot better now that's it done. I revisited an old route from college, Middle Bay. I added a piece on at the end to make it 6 miles. The goal was to stay relaxed and just let it flow. It went well. I felt great. Very relaxed, and my body felt really good. It took me 51:07, which I thought was solid in the cold and the wind, especially for how easy it felt. I stretched a good amount afterwards and ate a box of mac n cheese. What? Eating is an important part of training.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Therapy Ski

WARNING: There's a 99.9% chance this post will contain profanity.

Fuck you, Northwest Airlines.

My day started some time in the 3's. D and I left our house at 4:15AM to get her to the airport. She had a 6:00AM flight from Portland to Detroit, then to Seattle to visit her sister. Her original flight was at 8:00 or s0, but Northworst Airlines moved her to the 6:00AM. Why? Because they suck. According to both their website and phone service, the flight was on-time and good to go in the morning, so I dropped her at the jetport (not airport) at 5:05AM and went on my way to work. Ten minutes later, my phone rang: "They canceled the flight." "OK, I'm coming back." Have I mentioned that the weather is complete ass: snow/sleet/frozen puss And here I thought I'd be in NH in a couple hours.

After arriving back at the Jetport and meeting D in the line of 25 or so disgruntled Northworst passengers:
ME: So, the worst fucking airline on earth canceled the flight, eh?
D: Yup, fuckers.
ME (observing that all the other airlines are on time and running flights): Why?
D: They don't have a crew.

You read that correctly. No crew. Now, we've had a run in with Northworst before. About 3 years ago, we were headed to Montana when an afternoon flight was delayed for 5 hours, then eventually canceled. We were able to book ourselves on the same slight the following day. But, the next day, we checked the flight status for the same afternoon flight, and it was already "delayed" at 7:00 in the morning. That flight doesn't exist. Once again, fuck you Northwest. We were able to change from the flight, originally from Boston, to a flight from Portland at great inconvenience to us and, more importantly, to my parents.

Back to this morning: no crew. How do you schedule the flight but not have a crew?!?!?! It's like having a PhD in incompetence. There are no words that can state how angry this made me.

After being on hold for 20+ minutes, D finally got through to a person at Northworst.

D: Hi, I'm in Portland on Flight #12345, but it's been canceled.
Northworst slave: I'm reading that flight as on-time.
D: Um yeah, it's canceled. The lady said there's no crew. I want another flight.

And, yes, this is 8,000-times nicer than I would have been.

At 5:50AM, D is booked on a new flight. Hooray!
Not hooray, this flight is out of Boston...at 9:04AM. In theory that gives us 3 hours. Did I mention the absolute shit weather? Freezing rain pouring down and 85mph on 95South is not good times. Perhaps that's why D watched the whole drive hiding in her hands.

Anyway, I dropped her off in Boston just after 8:00AM, and she made her flight. Meanwhile, I still had to drive to NH for work. I arrived at 11:15AM. Yup, 7 hours of driving for me. Fuck you, Northwest. Fuck. You.

Anywho, I skied this afternoon. Easy. It was nice. I feel better. Now, I'm exhausted, and going to bed.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Better Fartlek

I decided that I needed to do some speed work. Not that I really think that it will make me speedy. And not that I think Nordic Meisters isn't giving me a good enough workout. (Especially when it takes me so long.) But I just wanted to see where I was in terms of running fitness.

DISCLAIMER: This is going to be a "here's my workout" post, complete with splits. I don't plan on doing many or any more of these posts. The workout posts seem completely unproductive. In other words, someone fast would read this and think I'm a chump; someone slow would think I'm bragging. As with everything in this blog, I have no goal with this post. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

After some trepidation, I made my way to the bike path for an attempt at a fartlek. (I'm not going to explain the fartlek because I assume you've been glued to every word in previous posts.) I just wasn't feeling frisky today, so I wasn't sure a hard workout was the best idea. But I really wanted to get one in. Um, yeah, perhaps I'm schizophrenic. I figured the bike path would be the best place for this type of workout since it would be free of cars and snow, and the 1/4 mile points are marked. The plan was one-mile warm, three-mile fartlek (1/2 mile intervals), one-mile warm down. What you can see missing from the plan is pace. I really had no idea. I was thinking I'd try 7:30 for the steady halves and 6:30 for the hard halves. Well, it didn't quite work out that way:

Half mile splits:
1 - 3:37
2 - 3:21
3 - 3:39
4 - 3:14
5 - 3:29
6 - 3:12

3 miles: 20:31

Here's what I learned: I've completely lost my sense of pace. I couldn't bring myself to slow to the 7:30 pace. I thought I was, but I guess not. Also, there's no way I could have run any of those halves at 6:00 pace. I think my legs would have exploded. I am completely devoid of any fast twitch muscles. Overall, though, I think it was a decent workout.

Ah, but did I answer the real question: What kind of shape am I in for the 10-miler? Honestly, I have no idea. I can't decided if I should be discouraged or encouraged by this workout. I mean, it was hard, but it didn't kill me. What was really interesting was how much harder, say the 3:14 felt as compared to the 3:29. I felt like a huge difference. So again, I have no idea. I guess all this workout did was make me tired.

I don't want to make this the gross bodily function blog, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention this. Since high school, I've known that mixing tunafish for lunch and a hard workout is a bad idea. Vurp-tastic! (Sorry.) But really only in my warm down. Strange.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Header

Perhaps you noticed the new header. Perhaps you didn't.

I'd had complaints about the other one. "Your blog is OK, but the header creeps me out."

So, apparently, I'm now taking requests.

The Vurp

Today for lunch I had Annie's Beef Stroganoff. In lieu of ground beef, I used Morningstar Farms Soy Crumbles. It's all quite tasty.

A little while after lunch, I went for an easy 4-mile run.

My lunch was less tasty the second time. About 1.5 miles into the run I had a nasty vurp. Not good times. These are the things I thought you'd like to know.

On a surreal note, D ran earlier in the day on a different route. She also ran 4 miles. We had the same exact time: 34:10. Creepy.

The Terrible Fartlek

I hate ski racing. Yesterday was the second week of Nordic Meisters, and I got absolutely slaughtered.

Ski racing is the most painful fartlek ever. Fartlek is a running term. It's Swedish meaning "speed play." It's fun to say and a great workout. Essentially, you incorporate a series of pick ups of varying lengths into your run mixing hard effort with rest. This is ski racing. Go down a hill-rest. Climb a hill-hard effort. Except when ski racing it's closer to hammer until your heart explodes then try to find oxygen on a downhill. At one point in the race yesterday I thought: "It's a good thing you're no wearing a heart rate monitor right now because the 'You're About To Die Alarm' would be going off." That's what I thought. Apparently, I'm still funny when there's no oxygen in my brain.

To make matters worse, I'm not a good skier. Sure, on a nice quiet day, I glide along looking like I know what I'm doing. But, when you need to motor, I flat out suck. Maneuvering around the corners at speed was not pleasant. There was a great deal of flailing. And, I couldn't make the wax work. %!$@^#!!!!. I couldn't get grip on any of the hills. All this added up to me getting thrashed by fat, old men. OK, OK they're not fat, but they are significantly older than me. This is why the age adjustment in the series is a crock. The longer you've skied, the better you are at it. Simple as that. Better balance, better technique, more efficient, smoother and all around faster. Sure, fitness is important, but the greatest motor in the world can't make up for skiing ability.

Yes, I'm whining. But that's ski racing. It's the terrible fartlek. You hammer but you're not putting the energy in the right place. Instead of using all that energy and 312bpms to move forward, you spend that time pushing to get wax to work, when that fails herring-boning like a maniac, or you struggle to stay upright. It ain't easy. Running makes so much more sense.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snow Day

It's dumping. Really. It's back to winter. Our original plan was to drive to Great Glen today, ski, stay overnight, then I would work tomorrow and we would ski Nordic Meisters. Due to the snow, we decided to stay home to stay off the roads. This was Plan B. Included in Plan B was a ski somewhere locally. Well, that didn't happen either. Just a day of wallowing on the couch.

The good part of that was that we finished watching Long Way Round. It's not new, but it was new to us. It's a documentary of Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Charley Boorman (I have no idea) riding motorcycles around the world. It's very, very good. They do an excellent job of capturing the experience, and it reminded us a lot of long distance hiking. There were so many similarities. I highly recommend it. Plus, Ewan McGregor is really funny. Actually, they both are. It's good stuff.

Here's a nugget:

OK, so maybe it was a big fat ad. Anyway, you should check it out. Apparently, they did a trip from Scotland to Cape Horn, Long Way Down. I'm hoping to check this out, too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Course Inspection

D and I started off Sunday with an 8-mile run. This is going to be the longest run that I'm going to do before the 10-miler. Overall, I felt pretty good. On longer runs, the fatigue definitely gets to my right knee. I can feel it tightening around the knee. Nothing bad, but not 100%. Hopefully, it will get stronger as I keep running that's been the case thus far. Anyway, it was a good run. We went a little faster than we planned. D blames me.

In the afternoon, we drove down to Cape Elizabeth to drive the 10-miler course. Um, yeah, that was a good idea. Apparently, Elizabeth was a curvy woman. There didn't seem to be a flat spot on the entire course. And most of it was uphill. How can a loop course be mostly uphill? I've scaled back my goals for the race. My new goal is to survive. It's going to be a boatload of fun.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Good Week

That's right! Double posts today. Look out blogosphere here I come!

I had a good week of "training" this week. I wrapped it up with an easy 4-mile run this afternoon. A run that started with redneck, inbred assholes purposely swerving their giant, jacked-up pick up at me. I'm sure they'll pass their ignorance along to their 6 children. As I was finishing my run, I nearly got clipped by another guy with a bumper sticker that read "My Other Ride is My Girlfriend." Ah, Maine.

Of course, I caused a little ruckus on this run, too. As I was turning the corner into our street I passed a mother here approximately 6 year old daughter. Mom was on the cell phone and turned one way to see me. Her daughter turned the other and turned directly into her mother's bent elbow. Sorry.

Even with all that, it was a good week. Another short mileage week, only 10. But with the skiing, I ended up with 8.5 hours of training. Pretty solid for an old man. I'm definitely feeling tired, but really good overall. I'm hoping to put in another good week next week, and then a quasi-taper heading into the race on Feb. 3.

It's official

Yesterday, D signed us up the for Maine Track Club Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic.

I guess when I phrase it like that it makes it sound as if I had no idea that it was happening. Well, I did. In fact, D claims it was my idea. I've even been kind of training for it. I say kind of because it's tough to train for a 10-mile race when your weekly mileage for the last four weeks has been 11, 9.5, 9.5 and 15. Hopefully, hours matter because I have been skiing a fair amount. It's not a question of being able to run 10 miles. It's the fact that I don't want to get beat by any old women pushing strollers. Actually, the fact that I'm not injured and can actually run 10 miles is pretty sweet and sadly unusual.

You also may be wondering how I know my mileages for the last couple weeks. Well, I'll tell you. I now have an actual training log. I write in it and everything. It's very high tech.

In other news, I'm currently listening to this song:

And the other day, my sister told me my blog was boring. Pish-posh! I dare you to find a better combination of running nerdery and Def Leppard anywhere on the Interweb.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Nordic Meisters - Week 1

At my place of employment, we run a weekly cross country race series in the winter called Nordic Meisters. D and I have being skiing in the series for the last few years, and it's good way to keep the fitness up in the winter.

This year I'm hoping to do a little better as I usually finish...well, depending how you look at it, way behind the fast people or just ahead of all the middle people. In other words, I'm not very good. But, like I said, this year I've been running more and I'm in generally much better shape, so I'm hoping to move up a notch or two.

The races are held every Tuesday, so after our Acadia excursion, we headed up on Tuesday morning. At this point, we were in the full grip of the ridiculous thaw that crushed the snowpack throughout New England. It was in the mid 50's in Pinkham Notch. In other words, completely ridiculous. Of course, that meant klister. Klister is the opposite of hard wax in the sense that hard wax is painless and easy to apply. Klister is the stickiest, gunkiest, nastiest, most wonderful stuff on earth. I love skiing on it. I'm good at. I can make it work. Applying it to the ski, however, involves a great deal of care and swearing. Otherwise you end up like this...

"I superglued myself...um...to myself..."

So let's be careful out there.

Anywho, klister applied, I went to ski. It was really, really frickin' hot. Africa hot.

I skied slow. That's the end of the story. Here are the results.

You'll find me in the Men's Classic. I'm the guy getting crushed by all the old guys. That's what I hate about skiing. So much of it is based on technique. With running it's more about who's good a suffering. I'm great at that.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Acadia in Winter

Way back when, when we were just two crazy kids with a dream, D and I went to Acadia one winter. Specifically, it was March of 1997, our senior year of college. We have no idea how we ended up there, who recommended it, how we found out about it, or what the heck we were doing. We skied and snowshoed, and pretty much had no clue what we were doing. We had a blast.
Our trip 11 years later really wasn't any different. We may know a little more now, but really we're just goofing around playing in the snow.
Actually, it's the snow that's the key. We've been waiting those 11 years for the stars to align and give us the right combination of days off and snow cover to make a trip to Acadia worthwhile. Last Sunday and Monday, it all worked out.
We left Sunday morning for the 3-hour drive. Usually when I say a drive is 3 hours, you can count on at least 3.5, but it's really only 3 to Bar Harbor from Topsham. In July, it's probably 3 months, but in January it's 3 hours. We arrived, we checked in to the perfectly cromulent Aurora Inn, changed up and headed to the Carriage Roads for some cross country skiing. Thanks to your tax dollars, the Carriage Roads are groomed for cross country skiing. It's well worth it.

The roads are perfect for skiing. We skied for about 2.5 hours. I thought we could do at least 3 hours, but D's feet were a little sore, so we called it a day. That being said, it was an awesome ski. Certainly rivaled some of the great tours we've done at Mont Saint Anne. Really, really good stuff. Just a perfect ski.
A perfect ski can lead to only one thing: food and beer. Very few restaurants were still open in the winter ghost town of Bar Harbor, but we managed to sutff ourselves with nachos, pizza and beer at Geddy's on Main St. It's a fairly cheesy tourist trap, but on a Sunday in January, it was quiet and the food was tasty.
Against rational thought, we started off the next day with a greasy breakfast at a gas station. It was exactly what you would expect, and the perfect start to the day.
The plan for Monday was to skin up Cadillac Mountain and ski back down. Via the Park Loop Road and the Cadillac Summit Road, the trip was probably 8 miles round trip. We had our beefy telemark gear with skins, and shuffle along on a really warm—41 degree—morning. Skinning is a fairly slow means of travel, and that's exactly what it was on this day. The gear is too heavy to really move quickly, but the kick is guaranteed. So we trudged along, and really D was just indulging me. She would have been much happier on her snowshoes or back on the Carriage Roads, but she knew that I'd wanted to ski the Road since I first knew it was there. She didn't mind when the sun was out, but as we traveled up the road, the clouds rolled in and the wind picked up. About 10 minutes from the summit, she told me "I'm not having fun anymore." This is never a good sign. We made it to the summit with further incident and took a break for lunch. We didn't see a sole on the way up, and only a lone snowshoer at the summit who had followed us up the road.
After a Clif bar and some cheese & crackers, we began the thrilling descent down the road. And by thrilling, I mean not thrilling at all. I was so disappointed. First off, the road isn't as steep as I had remembered from driving it. It's downright flat. Secondly, the warm temperatures had softened the snow and made it miserably slow. We would have needed some high-end pure flouronated wax to get nay speed at all. Bummer. I had built it up so much, and it flat out sucked. I pouted most of the way down. Well, I pouted when I wasn't double poling. We did cut one corner, one of the switchbacks, and I was able to make a couple turns. That was really it, though. Down low, where the trees had kept the morning sun off the snow, it was a bit firmer, but not steep enough to get any speed. So instead of a day of extreme action adventure shredding the gnar, it was a slog to the top and a really slow ride to the bottom. All in all, though it was a good excursion. I'd definitely do it again, but most likely on skinny skis. Our trip ended with tasty falafels in Bar Harbor and then the 3 hours home.
Overall, it was an amazing trip. These trips never go exactly as you plan them, which is all part of the adventure. Hopefully, we be able to get back there soon...in any season.
Here are the rest of our photos.

Road Mist, Headwinds and Dead Legs

Just finished a run, and it was not easy.
With the crazy temperatures lately, the snow is melting and the roads are wet. Wet roads mean that each car creates a trail of mist behind it. You know the gritty, black mist that makes you run out of windshield washer fluid in about 5 miles? Well, I got sprayed with that mist constantly on this run. Ah, Route 201.
On the way back the headwinds were unnecessary. On one short downhill, I could actually feel them holding me back. They also helped ensure that the road mist stuck to my face. Headwinds on the return of an out and back are so unfair because they were friendly tailwinds that you didn't even notice on the way out. Needless to say, I was a little slower on the way back.
Finally, my legs were pretty tired. Overall, I felt good, but there wasn't any spring there. I knew this would be the case going in, since this was my sixth day in a row of working out. But I won't have a chance to run for the rest of the week, and I wanted to make sure I got 5 or 6 in today. So it was worth it.
I think it ended up being a 6-miler, but I need to clock the mileage to be certain.
And, yes, this is sort of a filler post while I plan my MEGA UPDATE with reports on our Acadia trip and the first week of Nordic Meisters. I know you're on the edge of your seats.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I'm regressing

As I hope you are aware, we're in the middle of an awesome winter here in the Northeast. The ski conditions are fantastic. When the conditions are this good cross country skiers throw on some hard wax and go.

OK, what the hell am I talking about? For the traditional stride of cross country skiing you need something to grip the snow to propel you forward. The kick zone, as it is called, is in the approximate center of the ski. It is either made up of a fish-scale-type pattern carved into the base of the ski or hard wax. Hard wax is a cross between candle wax and honey. The result is a color coded system of waxes. Each color works at a different range of temperatures. When the snow is powdery and cold, it's all about hard wax. (Yes, I've really oversimplified this, as waxing can be very complicated and is best performed by a cross of Einstein and Jackson Pollack.)

This afternoon, I looked at the thermometer, applied a hard wax and went for a ski. This is only the second time this season that I've used hard wax. The rest of the time, I've been on my waxless skis, i.e. the pair with the fish-scales. Waxless skis are easier to kick and don't require you to have good technique. This was evident today as I could barely get the wax to work. I'm 90% sure that I had the correct wax, but I just couldn't make it stick. It was really frustrating. I had to give every hill everything I had to make the wax work. Often, it did not and my ski would slip out from under me causing great pain and suffering to my groin, quads and subsequently, my knees. What a downer. My easy ski turned into a painful fartlek-esque experience that left me pining for my waxless skis. Of course, the downhills are much faster on my waxable skis, and they handle really nicely. When you nail the wax, it's the only way to go. Or if you actually know how to ski and can make wax work. I've regressed into a lazy, techniqueless skier. grumble

To remedy this, I waxed my skate skis tonight. I'm not a very good skate skier, so if I'm equally frustrated tomorrow, I may not ski again this winter.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mom, can I have "Weight Gain 4000"?!?!?

I did sit-ups today. And I did push-ups.
Damn, I'm gonna be so buff.

Happy New Year

Gee, that's an original post title. This blog is destined for greatness.

D sent a email to various friends and family and the like "formally announcing" that we do indeed have jumped on the blogging bandwagon. It will be great in 2012 to crack a joke that "blogging was so 2007." OK, maybe not great, but almost kinda funny. Or not. Anyway, welcome aboard everyone. I'll try to at least post something every couple days because I know you're all dying to read about the enthralling details of my life.

Apparently, it now snows just about every day here on the coast of Maine. Who knew? It's pretty awesome, and the skiing has been great. Let's hope it keeps up. Of course, it's probably just another sign of climate change. "But, global warming means it's supposed to be more hotter and stuff. It's all snowy, man." Um, yeah, you're an idiot.

And, yes, that's my big political statement for the year. Here's a little ditty about climate change that is downright horrifying.

I think I need to go recycle something.