Saturday, March 22, 2008

Switching Seasons

'Tis the season for both summer and winter sports. Yesterday I was able to ride my mountain bike in 70 degree warmth while the day before I was making tele turns at Sugar Bowl. My first weekend off in three weeks. 
The first weekend in March I was competing in the Great Ski Race, a 30-k cross country ski race from Tahoe City to Truckee with a killer climb and then 20-k of downhill, and an even better post race party at the finish.
I week later I was off to Snowbasin, Utah for the inaugural XTERRA Winter World Championships consisting of mountain biking on snow, snoeshoeing on singletrack, running on groomed trails and randonee skiing up the resort.  I entered as a pro and ended up with some prize money placing 5th despite a bad start due to difficulties biking in the fresh and soft snow. 
I also learned there is a lot of technique involved with putting skins on and off in the randonee ski leg. This was a new event for everyone and one of the hardest aspects was picking out equipment. Ogden, Utah is always warm and welcoming to endurance athletes. Check out Bingham's Cyclery if you need a tune up or post-ride smoothie.
The following week I was in San Francisco doing a the Emerald Nuts 12-k across the bay, pavement and sea level was a huge contrast to elevation and snow. I entered in wave 3 with a group of friends running in memory of Paul Sloan, a victim of 9/11. We do this race every year which starts in Sausalito and goes over the Golden Gate Bridge finishing in the Marina.
Being two waves back and trying to run somewhat fast means running into a lot of congestion throughout the race. I was literally tapping walker's shoulders on the bridge to get by as they were wearing headphones. Managed to pull off 6:44 miles which wasn't bad considering I had been running slow and on snow all winter but I paid for it the next few days when I woke incredibly sore! guess I need to pick up the pace a little.
Next week I will be heading down to Granite Bay for my XTERRA Real, my first triathlon of the season and will switch into summer mode. Well-almost I will be getting my skis out one more time for the Auburn Ski Club Biathlon race, can't wait!

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