After 11 years of living in the Roaring Fork Valley and being in awe of Mt. Sopris daily, I finally got Ian to the summit yesterday. He’s never been motivated to hike or ski the mountain as he prefers to mountain bike the amazing trails at the base, but I mentioned it late Saturday evening and he jumped on the opportunity. The weather wasn’t pleasant with high winds and not much in the way of sun, but once we determined the snow was stable we went anyway. We don’t have many early mornings without the kids so when my parents took them overnight, we had to take advantage. It wasn’t my fastest trip up and down Sopris but it was my favorite (despite a little whining on my part with my crappy skiing).
Getting back in the game. So much fun shredding laps at Snowmass with Juniper, Axel and Ian.
Starting a race at 6:30 a.m. in the dead of winter is never easy, but this one was totally worth it. Wednesday morning marked the first citizen’s race of the 2013-14 season at Sunlight above Glenwood Springs. Randy Young and Doug Stenclik of Cripple Creek Backcountry organized the race with the help of Brian Edmiston. Approximately twenty of us were greeted with warm temps and a beautiful, nearly full moon for the crack of dawn start.
It took me the entire first climb to get my legs going, but then I felt pretty good for the second ascent. Other than a hard crash in some heavy snow on the final descent, the race was a great way to start the day. I recently came across this quote, “The best way to get in race shape, is to race.” So far, this is definitely working for me.
The next Citizen’s Race is January 22. Come check it out!
Results from memory:
Unfortunately I missed the remaining finishers in order to get to work.
To say I was anxious for my first race back would definitely be an understatement. I was concerned about my ankle being ready to race, if I remembered how to transition quickly, if I had any fitness and if I would just completely implode. Thankfully, catching up with so many of my SkiMo friends before the race helped calm my nerves and get me into the right head space at the start line.
Despite a very short warm-up, I worked hard from the gun to get on the skin track as far up as possible and as close to Stevie Kremer as I could. Stevie quickly started to open a gap (as I fully expected) so I pushed myself to keep the separation small while still trying to race my own race. There were a few moments in the first ascent when I thought I might hurl, but I managed to push past it without leaving any surprises for the racers behind me.
Keeping Stevie in my sights, I completed the the first two ascents and descents. By the third and final climb, I started to feel better and closed the gap slightly (of course, this may have been because Stevie slowed since she knew I couldn’t catch her, but I’ll just pretend it was all from my effort). The final descent reinforced how much I need to get out and train on the downhills but I was really happy to be finishing in second place, just three minutes behind.
In the end, it was a great day of racing at Irwin Lodge. Bryan Wickenhauser, Dave Ochs and the rest of the crew at Elk Mountain Events put on a spectacular race along with La Sportiva and Irwin Lodge. A special thanks go out to JD and Everett of Sportiva for their support!
Full results can be found here. Congrats to John Gaston who won the men’s race, and then sprinted back to Aspen where he won the Aspen Uphill that night–impressive! Next race is January 4-5 in Jackson!
As I’ve added strength training in with my aerobic training, I’ve become very interested in maximizing the potential gains strength training can provide. A week after surgery last December, I started lifting and doing whatever I could in the gym about five days a week. There was not much else I could do to keep sane, so strength training became my outlet. Once I was able to get back on the bike in the spring, I was pleasantly surprised with my fitness level from just gym sessions. I came back as strong as I had been each spring after a winter of skimo racing.
Too bad Salt Lake City is close but not quite close enough to train there on a regular basis. At some point, I hope to make it to SLC for a Gym Jones session. In the meantime, I hope my current strength sessions will help me to get back in race shape for skimo this winter.