Thursday, February 12, 2009

Training on the High Ground

Post CX-depression season can affect us all. On top of that, I have been dealing with a nasty bit of clinically diagnosed overtraining/under beer consuming (I'm going to talk about my recovery from overtraining and hopefully my road to racing this spring in later posts). So, in an effort to move forward, I went on a hut trip with several new friends to Margy's hut (10th Mountain Division hut outside of Aspen) this last week. While I wasn't sporting the new BSV winter ski parka (my order just didn't come in time for this), I felt it was my duty to represent the team on this endevor.

As it turns out, strapping 45lbs onto your back (including a guitar) and heading up to 11,300 feet on skis is just about nothing like a CX race. Oh wait, there is that feeling of wanting to die or barf or die whilst barfing part - that's the same. That feeling just lasted about 3 hours longer on the trip up than it does during a 45 min CX race. Somewhere between hour 2 (the "Oh this is hard, but I'm going to get in the swing of things" hour) and hour 4 (the "I wish the blisters on my feet would rise up with small arms and shoot me now" hour) I got into a bit of zen though and realized that this was great exercise for about 15 minutes or so!

The point, of the uphill, I guess, was really learning that while I might be a decent cyclist this may not really play out on Alpine Touring skis. Humility is a great thing I s'pose. Luckily, I left my BSV wool beanie cap at home so the photos of me looking like Death on skis don't give props to the team. It's a funny thing about overtraining and the shape I'm in. When I was CX racing, I thought that I really hit a wall after about five minutes of racing. When I was going uphill on the skis, I felt like I hit a wall after 45 minutes. Sad thing is that in a CX race, if I hit a wall after 45 minutes, I'd have already finished and grabbed a beer.

After the uphill day, I had a great few days of skinning up hills and skiing down them. Backcountry skiing was a blast! Okay, there was the one point where the guy who knew most told me not to fall down because the snow might not be stable and then I promptly fell, but the rest was a hell of a good time. There was something great about being totally out in the middle of nowhere and getting in some wonderful powder turns without worrying about a five year old running you down on the slope. We also had a great time playing guitar and singing bad 70's music at night.

Well, next race I might just have to smuggle in a guitar for post-race bliss. I'll definitely leave the 45lb backpack at home though :)

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