Thursday, January 31, 2013

Great Ski Workout

I sat in the Ski Cooper parking lot for a few minutes trying to decide whether to downhill or cross country ski. It was still snowing but it looked like it was starting to clear. Even though it looked like it might be a perfect day for downhill, I kept thinking about the real reason I came here. I am here to train for Kilimanjaro. The more I considered that, the more I realized that I would get a much better workout if I decided to cross country ski instead of downhill. So I decided to get one last really good high altitude workout.

It was wonderful! Just the right temperature too. They had just groomed the trails so it was much easier to find my way. I did the whole long loop called Fish Flats and took the steepest route on the Griz Trail to the highest point so I could enjoy the long gentle downhill back to the lodge for a cookie! Then I went back out for 3 more mikes. 11.6 miles total. I ski a lot slower than I run, but after 5 hours of continuous exercise, it wasn't much different from running a marathon. I feel about the same level of exhaustion. I am so glad I decided to go for the cross country choice. Climbing all of those hills on skis was an awesome workout. And what a view!

The Trail

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cross Country Skiing

What a beautiful snowy day to cross country ski. I did about 7 miles up and down the hills here at the Tennessee Pass cross country ski trails by Ski Cooper. It was snowing so hard that I figured downhill skiing would be pretty frustrating, in a total whiteout. But it was perfect weather for cross country. I think it is a better endurance workout too. Even though it was only 5 degrees out, I was pretty warm even without my heavy coat. Lots of hills to climb. I do believe I am still noticing the altitude. It is about 10,400 feet here. A perfect place to work out for high altitude climbing. I hope it does prepare me for Kilimanjaro.

Along the ski trail

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Downhill Skiing

What a beautiful day to check out the Ski Cooper ski area here near Leadville, Colorado. The snow was perfect and it was sunny and beautiful. But boy was it bone-chilling cold! I ended up buying another layer at the ski shop just to keep from freezing. I think that fleece vest I bought might come in really handy on summit day on Mt Kilimanjaro. It was just a couple of degrees above zero with a steady wind right into my face. That was the first time I have ever been warmer while riding the chairlift than while skiing. I got a good workout but I think I will give the cross country trails some more practice tomorrow. Nothing like an uphill workout on skis to build up the endurance.

Monday, January 28, 2013

10,000 Feet

Here I am in Leadville, Colorado. I'm spending about a week here to acclimatize at 10,000 feet before heading to Africa to tackle 19,000 foot Mt Kilimanjaro. I'm not noticing the altitude very much, although I did wake up this morning with a headache. It quickly passed after breakfast.

I explored the town for a while first, picking up a few things I need for Africa. Then I drove up to check out the local ski area. They have a great cross country ski area right next to Ski Cooper, the downhill resort. I decided to give it a try. I rented skis and skied their trails for 6.56 miles. It was a fabulous workout, especially the many hills. At times I would suddenly feel a little light headed but it would quickly pass. I plan to downhill ski tomorrow then do one or the other for the next two days.

Tennessee Pass

Saturday, January 19, 2013

5 Miles in Frederick

I'm visiting my cousin in Frederick, Maryland and finally am off the road long enough to get in a good run. I have driven well over 1000 miles since the Disney Marathon so had no time to squeeze in any runs. It poured rain from Atlanta, Georgia to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was almost like driving in a submarine, it was raining so hard. When it turned to snow I stopped for the night. The next day was gorgeous and I enjoyed a 400 mile drive along the Blue Ridge Mountains on dry roads but with snow-covered landscape most of the way.

Today I ran 5 miles along the road in 34 degrees and sunshine. It felt wonderful and I even found a fabulous hill to train on.

Along the road in Virginia

Monday, January 14, 2013

Walt Disney World Marathon

Another marathon completed. Wow that was a hot one in the Florida sunshine. So many people too. Even in the last mile I was still fighting for running space. I was very slow and annoyed with myself because of it. Between the heat, the crowds, and my lack of sufficient training because of all the stress from my water damage to my house, I am really happy that I crossed the finish line still standing. But in spite of that frustration it was a fabulous race. I loved that there was music through the entire race. It was really fun seeing the Disney characters and running through all the parks. I really enjoyed it

Best of all, the 1080 Team In Training participants raised $3.4 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. That's what it was really all about for me.

Now to pick up the pace for the Paris Marathon, and get ready for the Kilimanjaro climb next month.

The Disney Medal

Friday, January 11, 2013

Our Team

Some of our Washington/Alaska Team In Training team enjoying a day in the Magic Kingdom

Disney World

We went on a short warmup run around the pond at our hotel a couple of times this morning. 1.6 miles. After that I spent the whole day wandering around the Magic Kingdom Park. Such a fun place and even more fun with my teammates. I even braved the Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain roller coaster rides. But my favorite is still Small World.
It is so cute and uplifting.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beautiful Flight

I am in Orlando now for the Walt Disney World Marathon. I found my way to the expo and picked up my race bib. It was a rather disorganized expo but I finally found my way to the right places. It is beautiful and warm here. Quite a change from 10 degrees when I left Anchorage.

I have severe jet lag so am glad I have a day to adjust. I plan to check out Disney World tomorrow though.

View leaving Anchorage

Monday, January 7, 2013

This Week's Photo

I am still offering an 8x10 print of my photo of the week for any donation to my Team In Training fundraising page. This week I am offering my favorite photo of Twin Peaks near Palmer, Alaska,

Make any donation and I will send you a print of this photo. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Alaska Dome

I ran 6 miles today with the Alaska Team In Training team at the Alaska Dome. That was my first time at the dome and what a nice place it is!  It is an interesting structure, kind of like running inside of a giant balloon. I have been so busy this week taking care of repairing ny damaged bathroom floor that I have been much too exhausted to run. So today felt wonderful even though I was still dragging a bit. I fly out to Florida for the Disney World Marathon on Wednesday. I am really looking forward to the trip.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Home now from a month in Deadhorse.  So much warmer here!  It's never restful to get home though and this time was probably the worst.  Leaky hot water heater, had to fix my door knob, had to put my log stairs back together after having my new floor installed, and had to move all of my furniture back into the main room.  That was a workout even if I didn't have a chance to run before my flight home. Now to try to remember how to sleep at night after a month of night shift.
I found a cute little award in the mail.  2nd in my age division in the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon.

It's always fun to do well in my age division even though there are usually a pitifully small number of us in my age division.  At least there were more than 2 as I recall!