24 December, 2010

Skiing With My Girls!

Wow. Spent the entire day skiing with my girls at Winter Park. First time the young 'uns didn't do lessons; instead we skied the whole day with them. Awesome. It was slow going at first but once they got used to the speed underneath their skis (and their snowplows) it was time to venture onto some new terrain.

The Mountain was absolutely righteous. We got there at nine and left around 3:30. Skied the entire day with nary a break for lunch. The girls were troopers. They never complained about being cold; only brought it to our attention when they were hungry. The weather was forecasted to be snowy and cold, rather it was a smidge overcast with blue skies always just beyond the horizon. The lines at the lifts were non-existent and it seemed like whatever run we chose it was just the four of us and our random fall lines. Amazing. Nothing more satisfying than skiing right next to your honey/children.

Melissa's new skis are treating her right. Her turns are looking even more fluid and connected. Only one fixable problem with her boots: we have to slightly elevate her heels.

While they ate at the top of the mountain restaurant for lunch, I fired off two runs down to the bottom. Fast and no lines. Perfect. Met 'em back at the top and away we go again to finish the rest of the day skiing.

At the end of the day, we carted all our stuff in a wagon (no poles yet for the kids) and made our way back to the parking lot via the Village for hot chocolates.
They did their first blue runs today too. Albeit snowplow action, they did do turns. Keeping my mouth shut for now about their technique but next time I'm going to have to show them form (that's how I started too).

Melissa made a quick dinner and we (Melissa and I) celebrated our Team M skiing event by rinsing down our dinner with some celebratory, silky smoof Gulden Draak (Golden Dragon) Ale (Trippel).
Back at home, there're just more boot liners to dry out next to the fire. Team skiing. Ah yeauh kids.
Next time: moguls!

Cycling can take a back seat if I'm skiing y'all...

22 December, 2010

Fitt'na Bust a ski-move

This is from Team M visiting Hudson Garden's Xmas Tree Lights Event.
One of the geographical advantages of living in the boonies (aka the Front Range Foothills) is being close to the I-70 corridor ski areas (as well as super awesome terrain for cycling once the snow goes away). Tomorrow we're taking the two oldest kiddoes for a day up at WinterPark. It'll be our inaugural outing and it's going to be a cloudy, snowy day. Gotsta ensure I find all the kiddoes's gloves, helmets, base layers...etc. so's their first, non-lessoned day hanging with Mom and Dad will be pleasurable and remotely warm. My goal is to get them hooked and their skills up to a proficient level where we can eventually get passes and Team M can tear stuff up at any given mountain (and to not get them to the dork-side which is boarding-yes, I'm biased!). Skiing with novice kids means the selfish part of me won't be able to do ungroomed bowls and moguls going with my hair on fire-same with Melissa. Melissa has new twin tip skis too, and I'm sure she's ready to tear up the mountain but not tomorrow. Tomorrow is hanging with the kids on groomers and facilitating a better technique for them. Tomorrow is making sure out of control mountain riders don't hit my precious's and for them to take occasional warming hut stops. Maura is less reserved skiing whereas Maricel's very cautionary.

I've been daydreaming alot about skiing. I'm dating myself here but remember going roller skating and afterwards your feet still have a pair of phantom roller skates on? My feet have phantom Technica Alu Comp's on and they're paralleling and floating over three-dimensional bumps my brain has projected to the motor neurons attached to my doggies. It's that vivid. Maybe I should cut down on my caffeine (NOT!).

Haven't been able to ride during my break (I'm watching the kids silly!) but I have been doing an inordinate amount of running on our treadmill. Three miles a pop; running less than or equal to a 10-minute pace. Doing this almost daily. There is some translation into cycling. When I fired off a 39 miler (yeah, it was close to 40, but I can't lie) last weekend my legs felt reasonably fresh. It was freezing that day (Winter at 5000 feet). I rode solo with me breaking my own wind (I said breaking wind). Nonetheless my legs felt great! I did the Kenny L. technique of keeping it in the big ring to knock out simulated weight training and fat-burning miles. My take is: running is so abusive to the legs that when you do a non-weight bearing activity like cycling the body's perception is that 'hey, this isn't so bad' therefore keeping the legs fresh longer. Not very scientific but there's your anecdotal evidence with an n of 1 (me!).

Have not done rollers! Okay I did it once and had a slow speed biff. Eventually I'll have to do some interval training on that contraption of consternation. In the meantime, I'ma go skiing, running (hopefully I can get a couple days of cycling in), and luxuriating (reading, napping, listening to music) during my Winter Break.

17 December, 2010

"Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

My apologies to Dr. Martin Luther King but I am done entering grades electronically for my students thereby finishing my accountability piece for my lovely district and going on holidaze for two weeks! His statement (R.I.P) is what I cathartically felt once my boy Billy and I went to lunch. What to do, what to do? I'll tell you what I did: Firstly, I bought the new Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. I purchased this fine piece of music from a generous gift card one of my students gave me as a present. How grateful and cool is that? There are 2010 top whatever (pick an integer) lists from reputable journalistic organizations that I take with more than just a grain of salt (I have no time to listen to all this good stuff) and by looking at different lists I try to choose the ones that have overlap. The aforementioned CD was just that. It made the top 10 in different lists. Not quite the wall of sound of Neon Bible packed with their orchestral instrumentation nor as sparse as Funeral (I like this better than Neon Bible actually), but still sonically righteous with some well crafted songs. That's how I'm going to start my celebratory two weeks work-free (committing some luxuriating, mental time to absorb some music audiovisually)! I'm also committed to finish reading The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. Usually don't read fiction but sweet Melissa loved this book so much I gave it a try and was hooked as well. Seems if I don't finish reading a book/novel on a long-ish break, I feel as if I didn't accomplish it properly and without quality.

Started Friday morning witnessing our stove piping, coming undone, and laying against our living room wall. I only noticed it after I started a fire (we have a very long stove pipe that goes into the ceiling, that's why I thought everything was normal visually) and the smoke started diffusing slowly into the room. Stopped everything put it in arrested development and went down the hill to finish entering grades. Melissa researched where I could purchase some 6" diameter, 24 gauge steel, black stove pipe and told me where to purchase it on our way home. The representative at Ace Hardware was helpful and said I probably saved three to four hundred dollars by getting it done by myself as opposed to the shysters (fireplace repair businesses, meant that in a non-denominational sort-of-way) that work locally here. It was fairly easy just some drilling, screwing, malleting, cutting of metal and eye-balling a straight line (well, four out five ain't bad).

Now, I'm figuring out how to get some riding in in weather above freezing temps. In the meantime, I'm putting in quality treadmill time preparing for a half-marathon that I'm tentatively going to attempt come June in Steamboat Springs; and, trying to figure when the first ski-action of the season's going down. Not bad options actually for the holiday minded. Oh yeauh!!!!

I'm tapping this out listening to Noah And The Whale's The First Days Of Spring-another excellent CD (a burned CD from a colleague-thanks James!). Contemplative stuff, kinda spatially-dark sounding too. The guy's baritoney, amateur-sounding voice adds to the darky aura of the music.

Give these two a listening to. I wouldn't steer y'all wrong.

Ite den y'all I'm off to:
-hangout with familia.
-fight the battle of the bulge (am I missing anything? probably).

12 December, 2010

"There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmas time...

...Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them".
-PJ O'Rourke

Christmas is fast approaching and what that means is my Winter Break's around the corner, the commencing of the smackdown of FINALS are looming for my students, our bank account's mettle's about to be tested, and my bah humbug tolerance is slowly making an appearance (but lo and behold I will hold steadfast and keep it in check).

I have nothing to complain about though. All things considered:
-sweet Melissa and I saw Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds play at the Broomfield Event(s) Center which was fairly (and sonically) remarkable and tonight we're about to see (and listen to) Handel's Messiah.
-La Nina's weather pattern's revealing little to no precipitation in the form of snow, where nowadays we'd kinda be socked in, but it is ski time in the mountains where it has been snowing.
-our Christmas tree looks real purty-like.
-my oldest daughter's enrolled in the Colorado Gems programs which means she can ski for free at certain areas.
-speaking of skiing, sweet Melissa's back into skiing again!
-got my Völkl Karma's de-burred, edged, and waxed.
-got in a mellow 25 miler in the cold with some teammates today...so yeah, my 2010's nicely winding down.

As for cycling and planning for the 2011 season I cannot even muster up the synaptic fortitude to set anything in motion other than keeping my weight at bay (which so far so good--knock on wood--I'm doing ite). Running's kinda messing up my left knee but on the bike it's fine. I'm planning on running a half-marathon with no kind of formal training come June in Steamboat with sweet Melissa who's apparently running like a person possessed. I ran an 8-miler in Dallas with very little training (my training regimen was if I can run three, I can run eight).

Riding with some new teammates today was nice. Haven't ridden the road for a while and it was nice feeling the ground underneath my under-inflated tires. But jeez it was a cold one today. The thermometer belied the fact that the wind chill was about a beeyatch today. In fact, it was warmer where I live (see my blog header) than it was down the hill (Denver, that is; it's what us hill folk call "D"). Skootched my saddle forward just a bit and what a major comfort booster that was. Should try and work on dialing in my stance a bit more I suppose. I only change it when I feel some type of discomfort.

This is one of those apathetic season beginnings where I'm thinking more about skiing than I am about competitive road cycling. Definitely thinking about competitive mountain biking. The quicker I can get on a Cannondale Flash 29er with a Lefty, the more I can feel how my "training's" going to be decided and an injection of enthusiasm can ensue for 2011. Have only done one cross race, that's how unmotivated I am currently but sweet Melissa and I are chomping at the bit to use up our WinterPark 4pass with our kids.