We finally have some worthwhile snow up here in the Great (White) North, after I've been watching all of you in NC and PA steal it all. While Philly and nearby areas got huge amounts of snow causing week-long shut downs, water damage to houses, and power outages, we got just the right amount! Enough to ski, enough to pretty it up around here, and enough for Kona to frolic through the drifts much to my amusement.
In honor of our snow, I've virtually ignored running this week in favor of skiing. It's been (mostly) great fun! The snow fell all of Tuesday and into Wednesday and of course by the time I got off campus on Wednesday, I couldn't wait to get out there. I got home from my meeting, quickly changed clothes, threw my skis on the car (after cleaning off 8" of snow), grabbed Kona, and headed off to the Groesbeck golf course to ski until dusk. That was by far one of the most difficult, physically taxing hours of my life. The wide-open golf course was at the mercy of some pretty strong winds during the storm and the snow had drifted like crazy. Not yet very familiar with the course, it was hard for me to tell where the rolling hills were and which areas had been smoothed out by drifts. Sometimes the skiing was great and others I would sink into drifts up over my knees. Kona was hillarious, she sunk past her shoulders more than a couple times and it took a big leap to get back out again. At the end of that hour, I felt like I had run 10 miles, maybe more. Hard, hard work.
Thursday I didn't have to be on campus, so I worked from home in the morning and Doug and I headed out to Brighton to ski at Huron Meadows in the afternoon. It. Was. Marvelous. Just perfect. Huron Meadows is groomed - combed for skate skiing (which we did not do) and set tracks for classic. This is a rarity for us - some of the local trails are combed, but the track-setting is really nice to have. It was a cold day, but we dealt with it by continuing to move and got in a good 10k of skiing.
Friday, I was getting sick. I seriously considered not going to school but heard my mom's voice in my head saying that if I was too sick to go to school, I was too sick for any fun in the afternoon. I wanted to go to moonlight skiing at Birchfield, thus I went to school. Going to school was fine, but going skiing was not one of my more intelligent decisions. We had a great time and I highly recommend night skiing if you ever get a chance - the trails were lit with lanterns along the way, but they were spaced pretty far apart so it was moonlight most of the time. We did wear head lamps but left them turned off 90% of the time. The lamps did come in handy on two hills, though. There weren't lanterns at the bottom of those hills, I can only speculate that they weren't there to avoid having people fall on them, but the lack of light would have made navigating the hills really tricky without the head lamps. We skied about 4 miles that night but unfortunately, by the time we finished my lungs were absolutely on fire. I can't remember the last time they hurt so badly. When we got home, I went straight to the shower and sat on the shower floor with super hot water running for a good 30 minutes, just breathing in that steam. It helped a lot, but that cold has definitely settled firmly in my chest.
As a result, this morning's long run was a bust. Good thing my goal race is in July, not May, and I have plenty of room for adjustment in my schedule. I went, mostly because I'm going to miss next week's group run, but only did 5 miles with a good mile or two of walking right in the middle. Since then (and after another very hot shower), I've been chilling on the couch watching the Olympics and reading biochem. Exciting life, I know...