Sometimes when the workouts are piling up and the intervals feel longer than the clock says it feels like I'm running into a stacked stone wall somewhere in the countryside. Not a blip on any radar, not much more than a grease stain laced with lactic acid. I'm getting work done, not for any other reason besides it feels good to stop. If it hurts then when it doesn't hurt anymore I can do the math to know I did it right. Addition and subtraction.


Most of my skiing is done by 8 am. One of the best parts about Breck is its access to high peaks and ski area tours that offer solid vertical, good training and a relatively sympathetic ski area administration. Training for the few SkiMo races I get to do is much more about the process. The 4:30 am wake up is easy anymore, knowing I'm headed up high to see the sun peak out and enjoy the purple light. 

Slowly Clearing

Battling to beat a cold that haunts a clear head, I took out 5 Peaks not at 100%, what's next? I hope a better last half of March leading into good bike legs. Amazing what a tempo pace can produce, clearing out the chest and building the desire to pedal. At least new snow is keeping the winter motivation alive. Pretty colors and fresh snow, better to be tired and a little sick than feeling great and  not have any work on the ledger.



The 5 Peaks SkiMo race was Saturday, a week before the race I scored a partner in Dirk Friel, a friend of a friend and well known bad ass athlete. Knowing what little I did about Dirk I automatically assumed he'd be faster than me, and then after getting sick a week ago I knew he has going to be faster. My head space changed a bit early in the week when I realized I might rally, I kept thinking 'oh, ok, the race is 4 days out and I feel pretty good' looking back I knew that I was getting better and was telling myself I was rallying really well. Thursday morning I did a quick little ski and that dug a deep coughing hole for me to climb out of all day. Friday night was spent mostly lying to myself that I had these great aspirations, that my fitness and good amount of skiing all season were going to pay off and result in a star effort. I reglued my skins Friday night, got the avy gear together and made my nutrition plan (Fig Newmans and Skratch Labs Apple & Cinnamon drink mix) pretty elaborate plan. Saturday morning I woke feeling better-or just more lying to myself. Made delicious oatmeal with a friend egg on top and tried to choke down calories to fuel what I was about to do. Dirk arrived we chatted a bit then headed to town for the start. Walking across town was plenty of a warm up, we checked in, did the gear check then after the pre race meeting I managed to pee, put my skins on and get to the start. We started modestly, nothing that would blow us up, good pacing to get thru the race and leave enough in the tank to finish strong. The first 2 peaks ticked by they were manageable but we saw a lot more teams ahead of us Peak 9 that ended up being catchable with a little stronger pacing, that hurt. When we got to Imperial Ridge on Peak 8 the steepness slowed us down but the drive was still plenty strong to keep the pace steady. We had some company here, 2 other teams that were also having good days, we pushed a steady effort up the climb and then by the time we hit Peak 7 it was just 2 teams then the skiing down to the final real climb separated us a bit more, we started Peak 6 with a good attitude, steep kick turns on rotten snow ended in a nice booter to the ridge, the best part of the course was this booted, snow and dirt and snow and steep climbing, super cool stuff especially in ski boots!
Finally gaining the ridge we ski across to the top of Peak 6 to a nice descent we were chasing one other team here and a boot issue and subsequent crash gave us a gap on them to get us to a short climb to the finish. Great effort, fun course and another nice little accomplishment in my pocket. 7th place amid the fast kids felt pretty respectable.