Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Skiing is not running, but...

My mileage was a bit down last week, just over 27.25 miles. I know that's a decent number, but it's certainly below my 32 mile weekly target and I lost several miles thanks to needing to go to work instead of running long. My Sunday long run (that was just two days ago) was exactly ten miles and I felt every step. My ankle and achilles tendon have been giving me a bit of trouble since then.

This week my mileage is going to be down again, I expect, because I didn't run on Monday as I usually do, but went downhill skiing instead. And I don't regret it a bit! I don't usually get the opportunity to go day skiing (we've been going night skiing as it is cheaper, and fun), and yesterday was beautifully sunny with insanely blue skies. Plus, skiing gives me the opportunity to take advantage of the running and core muscles I've worked so hard on.

And since it was a holiday that not everyone gets, Steven's Pass was not even very crowded at all. Plus we spent most of the day skiing the backside and avoided the more popular lower lifts. We arrived at 8:30 a.m., hit the slopes when they opened at 9, and headed for home at 2:00. We spent the last hour on Big Chief, a moderately steep face slope that is great for skill building. (It also made me feel better about my skiing, after a couple of hard falls on the other side. My shoulder is feeling it today.)

A lot of the runs we skiied were really long, so it wasn't a case of spending most of the time standing in line and sitting on lift chairs, and only a few minutes at a time actually skiing. We spent a lot of time actually skiing.

I don't like to go too fast, which is good really, because it forces me to do a lot of turns instead of just shooting down straight. Certainly that makes the skiing more of a cardio exercise and better exercise. There were a few runs where my legs actually felt tired at the bottom. That's probably because I wasn't skiing very well, but at least bad skiing is good exercise. When I ski well it hardly feels like work at all!

Here are some pictures from the day.

Me on the chair lift. No, I'm not nervous about heights at all!

Rod at the top of the Southern Cross chair, Glacier Peak behind him.

View across the mountains in the opposite direction.

The view from Big Chief.

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