Monday, February 27, 2006

Badger Pass 2006

After a few days in Miami, fresh air and exercise are the only paths to a cleansed body and mind. With this thought, we scrambled into the car and made our way to Yosemite this weekend.

Once there, we were greeted by plenty of fresh air, so we moved on in search of some real exercise. As it turns out, it was the Annual Nordic Holidays Race weekend. We were sure this would get our hearts pumping. So, I signed up for the 16 km classic race on Saturday, and Mike put his name in for the 36 km skating race on Sunday.

On Saturday morning, Mike swung into action as the best crew person you could ever hope for. He got breakfast going, packed my gear, and even waxed my skis. This meant that I had no excuse for not racing like a champ - which was too bad. I could have really used an excuse.

I don't know if you got to watch any of the Olympic Nordic races, but generally, those racers whiz past the finish line and collapse in the snow into frothing, exhausted, quivering lumps. Well, I looked just like that - frothing, exhausted, quivering. But, I didn't take on this form just at the finish line. No. I looked like I was in need of a poison dart to the forehead throughout the entire race (Note: Race officials don't carry poison darts out on the course to take you out of your misery. I asked.) Yeah, it wasn't pretty, but I accomplished my goal of not finishing last. Unfortunately, I fell far short of my goal of beating all of the 60+ year old females.

While I was out remembering how painful cross-country skiing can be and how little oxygen there is at high altitude, Mike and Sarah were having a great time.

To warm up for his race, Mike pulled Sarah along in the Chariot the entire race course and only stopped to let her have a snack and play in the snow.

That was all on Saturday. It sure felt like a long day. That night, we relaxed at our condo by making some Sarah soup. (Simple Recipe: Take one wiggly kid; Add warm water; Stir until soaked)

On Sunday, I crewed for Mike - which meant that I made him some instant oatmeal and asked if he had packed all of his stuff. Not really a whole lot of help. He could have used the lack of support as an excuse for a poor race performance, but he didn't. He didn't have to. He had a great race!

I'm not sure how to convey just how difficult it is to skate. It feels like every muscle in your body is used. When done correctly, it is beautiful to watch, and the speeds attained are amazing. When done incorrectly, climbing minor hills is nearly impossible and your body will hurt in ways you never imagined possible. Mike was definitely in the groove on Sunday. He came in 45 minutes faster than the last time he did this race two years ago.

While he zoomed along the race course, I took Sarah snowshoeing and took blurry photos of him racing.

I'd say we successfully got our bodies and souls reconditioned this weekend. A large part of that was due to the time we got to spend with our friend Chris. (He's originally from Minnesota and can ski like a pro. He even beat the 60+ year olds - in both races.)

If Sarah hadn't gotten carsick on the way home and soaked the entire back seat in vomit, I'd say our minds and bodies would be all set for a while. But, the memory of picking undigested chunks of Jello out of her hair and from between her toes, plus a two hour drive in a car filled with the scent of vomit are going to have to be erased. Such a horrific experience must be removed from our psyches as soon as possible to limit further damage. So, I'm afraid that another ski trip is in order.


At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just reading your blog is exerting.
You sure know how to pack the fun
in. Thanks for sharing the
great pictures and experiences.
Just one day of downhill with the kids has me recovering for 2 good days. REJ

At 12:23 PM, Blogger J Fife said...

REJ - We've been living a bit out of reality lately. It's been fun, but now, I'm in recovery mode. Too bad siestas are frowned upon in the US. I could use one right about now.


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