Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dilemma, and the perfect running weather

Yesterday I had a great day. I got off work and on my drive home over Donner Summit I stopped off at Sugarbowl Ski Resort to get in some turns. Last Thursday was my first time skiing in 5 years. Yesterday was my second. 5 years ago I had a pass to Sugarbowl but found out I was pregnant so didn't get to use it. My family threatened me with death if I dared ski while pregnant. So, 2 kids later, I finally decided to get another pass (my, how time flies).

So last Thursday, with great trepidation (and fear of falling off the lift) I strapped on my skis, boarded the lift and managed to not fall down as I disembarked at the top. The first couple turns were stiff and ugly. Once I loosened up I started feeling more comfortable. After 4-5 runs I was back in a groove, just like riding a bike.

Yesterday was extremely windy, to the point that a couple lifts had to be put on wind hold. It was sunny and clear, actually warm when you were able to get out of the wind. I like to change my blog header picture along with the seasons so it was with great effort (and almost getting blown off the mountain) that I got my new picture up top. It's looking south along the Pacific Crest Trail from Mt. Lincoln. It was so windy I had to keep my pole straps around my wrists because if I laid them down I was afraid they'd end up at the bottom of the mountain at the lodge. My body was pressed forward against the powerful force and as I struggled to get my camera out of my jacket pocket I would stand up too straight and I'd find myself getting pushed backward on my skis. But I like the picture so I guess it was worth it. If you look in the lower left hand corner you can see a thin line of white and that is the trail as it heads south towards Tinkers Knob and Squaw Valley.

So, about my dilemma. As I rode the lift up the mountain I started to think about how to record this time skiing in my training log. I skied for 2 hours so do I put 2 hours down? Even though for every 10 minutes I spend getting carried to the top of the mountain I only spend about 2 minutes skiing back down (even though I do get a pretty good quad burn). So for the 2 hours I spent up there, I only "exercised" about 25 minutes. It's not like nordic skiing where you have to ski UP the hills too. (I raced nordic skiing in high school and there was always a big rivalry amongst us and the alpine skiers as to who was better. Of course we were because we didn't wimp out and get a ride to the top of hills). This morning I was reading Darrell's blog and he has a similar dilemma. If you walk during a run do you count the distance covered walking as part of your miles run? I think in general, runners are type A personalities and really care about numbers. We like to record things (just to prove it actually happened) but we want to do it right. So do I record my time on the slopes as total time or just my actual runs down the mountain?

I got home and my hubby was out on a walk with the dog. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, one that rarely happens in mid-January: bright blue skies, about 65 degrees and no wind. I just had to get out and run. So I quick changed into my running clothes and set off up the trail. I ran 2 miles out (even through the occasional snow patch) and then turned back home. About a half mile from home I saw my dog running toward me and closely behind him was Pat. They had gotten my note about going running and headed up the trail to find me. I finished up my last 1/2 mile with the dog then enjoyed a nice walk with my husband. To top off the perfect day, we enjoyed a late lunch in town before picking up the girls from daycare. A nice way to spend the day.


Vic said...

Don't you wish every day in the winter could be that nice? Even though alpine skiing isn't a constant physical workout, I think activities like that are 'good for the soul', so to speak. It gives you time to mentally unwind and enjoy the outdoors.

Frankie said...

Hi there,
We volunteered together at 2008 Rucky. I will also be at WS February training run and I am registered for the TRT 50 miler. Email me if you want to get some runs in together. I am training for a 100 in the Spring and would love the company.
Glad you are running again!

Darrell said...

Beautiful picture in the header. Makes me wonder about trying skiing again. I haven't done it for 20 years.

I finally decided to only record training "runs" regardless of the run:walk ratio. If I only walk I write it down but don't add it to my weekly/monthly/yearly/lifetime running mileage totals.

Enjoy the ski pass!

Catherine said...

Frankie, great to hear from you. However, your link doesn't take me anywhere to email you. Would love to do some runs together. Give me an email at sierratrailrunner@yahoo.com

Vic, yes, getting some alone time in the mountains is always good for the soul. I highly recommend it.

Darrell, glad you came up with a tracking system that works for you. Personally, I add my walk miles as long as they fit within a run.

I've come to a decision about my super-duper huge goal this year and will spill the beans soon.