Monday, January 12, 2009

Today's long run turned into a long ski instead. You'll notice that I do count nordic ski miles as running miles in my training. I don't do that for cycling or any of the other cross training I do, but skiing is very similar to running as far as training goes. I actually work harder on skis, getting and keeping my heart rate at a higher level through the workout. I'm no slacker on the skis!

I normally have a yearly membership at Jackson Ski Touring, but times are tight and I opted for the low budget, low frills, Five Fields in Bridgton today. There are some differences between the two places, other than the price. In Jackson you have a modern lodge with locker rooms, deluxe bathrooms, rental room, waxing room, and pro shop. The trails are impecably groomed to professional racing standards. There is a warming hut and an outhouse along the trail. The trail map is high quality and color coded. The trails are full of fast skiers in fancy outfits. I love it there!

At Five Fields there is a barn that is kept slightly warmer than the outdoors. There are some old skis leaning against the wall and I assume they are for renting if one needs skis. You put your 10 bucks in the cigar box and hit the trails. There are no tickets and no trail maps (today anyway, he might have some maps next week). There is a port-a-potty outside. The trails are well groomed in places, not so well groomed in places, and not groomed at all in places. There is no warming hut. The skiers on the trails are of all abilities. I was the only one in fancy skiing clothes. You must allow plenty of time to talk with the owner before and after your ski because he is a nice and friendly man. I love it there!

I skied for 3 hours and worked hard the whole time. I hit all the trails a few times and then finished by doing figure eights around the apple orchard for the last hour. Each figure eight was 2 or 3 KM and had two good climbs and two descents. I tried to do each one faster than the one before. Then I staggered back to the car, talked with the owner for about an hour, and headed home. Now, if I could only get my aching body out of this chair so I can make some dinner.

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