Been getting up to Mt Bachelor or the nearby snow park twice a week so I can get this damned sport down.
As a runner, I always knew that running was the hardest sport there was.
Until I decided on triathlons. Swimming is just nasty.
I would never drown, but also would never get anywhere quickly or in a hurry. Triathlons force you to become efficient in the water. But, it's sooo hard. Must be the hardest sport out there, even harder than running.
Until I found cross country skiing. Specifically, skate skiing.
For the Pole Pedal Paddle, my third time on Nordic skis, many who know better suggested I stick to classic style, staying in the tracks. It's slower, but easier. And I have less chance of blowing up.
Slower is right. I could have gone faster backwards.
So this year's goal was to really learn skate skiing so I can get fast. And it's coming along, especially after taking a lesson.
Last weekend, I hit the Nordic trails at Bachelor for a workout. Since the Par for the Course race trail wasn't marked, I did a couple of 4k repeats over the bulk of the trail. The goal was to stay a half-step below red-lining and see if I had improved at all.
Concentrate on the glide, glide, glide. Stay in low gear and keep going.
Lap 1: 18:03. Not bad, but really hard. Next rep, go a little easier and keep it together.
Lap 2: 18:20. I thought it was going to be a few minutes slower.
I took 4-5 minutes between reps to recover. On the second day of racing a month from now, if I can maintain this pace, I'll finish in about 45 minutes. Over the 10k course, that would be a cool 29 minute improvement!
And since the most improved skier takes home the bacon, I might have a shot.
More to come.