Friday, February 26, 2010

Cross Country Skiing

I had Friday off so I took the opportunity to go cross country skiing in the Carleton College Arboretum. There was no one around since it was during a weekday. It was beautiful and quiet. I'm definitely getting better at skiing. Though definitely not where I was many many years ago when I was skiing all the time. What I'm having the most trouble with is skiing downhill within the tracks. As I pick up speed, I start to get scared that I won't be able to stop because I can't snowplow within the tracks. So I step out of the track to snowplow and slow down. But stepping out of the track seems sometimes more dangerous than just going with the speed. When we first started skiing this year, I would stop at the top of every hill, even the small ones, and get my courage up. At least now I don't pause before going. Progress! It's just nice to be out in the fresh air... 10 degree air no less!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

City of Lakes Loppet

We purchased our new cross-country skis from REI and with them got free entry into the City of Lakes Loppet REI Tour. The REI Tour was a 10K recreational ski amidst the much more competitive races through the Minneapolis area. We had to park pretty far away but they had buses organized, very well organized I might say, to get us to the start.

We took our time and enjoyed the scenery. There were a few racing jerks who snapped at us for being in the way. But that's whatcha get when you put first-time tourers with racers. We were just part of their course. Most of the racers did not fit that "jerk" category. One guy even said we were doing great in his speedy fly past us! lol

The volunteers along the route were awesome! There were firepits to keep them, and us if necessary, warm. It was such a nice day out but I still can't imagine standing there for hours handing out drinks to the racers.

So we finished in a couple hours. Because it had taken us so long to finish, there were a ton of spectators there to cheer us on. Well... not us really. But we were finishing not long before the freestyle racers. So we got our medals and were politely escorted to back of the finishers area. lol BUT, because we were in the finishing area, we got to see some awesome finishes up close. That was very cool!

Afterwards, they provided a warm tent with great soup and freshmade bread by Great Harvest along with some vendors. So we stuck around for a little while before getting back on the bus to head home.