Thursday, January 13, 2011

Getting Ready For Sisu Ski Fest 21k

Every year, almost as long as I have lived in the US, we have gone Up North on Martin Luther King weekend to enjoy cross country skiing and the company of good friends. The early years we went to Cable, WI, dividing our time pretty much equally between Lakewoods Resort and Valhalla Townhouses at  Telemark Resort. Snow permitting, there were great opportunities for cross country skiing. Telelmark, tying into the ... trails and having its own network of superb trails was a special treat, as was Rock Island SP, literally across the street from Lakewoods. Unfortunately, snow was a rare commodity from the mid-90s into the latter part of the first decade of the new millennium. The tots, who had been always happy to participate in any activity grew into moody teens who had only downhill skiing on their mind. So we moved operations to Big Powderhorn, near Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Here, we had it all, downhill for the kids, gorgeous trails at Wolverine and ABR for the adults and no worries about snow for all of us.

On a whim I decided to sign up for the Heikki Lunta Ski Half-Marathon. Last year I missed the activities of the Sisu Ski Fest by a week. This year it happened to fall on MLK weekend. This year I skied significantly more than previous years and had done a couple of longer runs (for me), a couple of 15ks and the 25k on the north shore. After the decision to do the race was made, I added another couple of long workouts, four laps at Highland 9-hole with Mellie and four laps at Come by myself. I also worked on technique and by the week before the race I felt in reasonably good shape.

My concern when planning my last long workout, the four Como laps, I was a little worried about a sore thumb that I had contracted during a fall, but the brace I had bought to protect it worked well.  My last two runs in that week were outings with Mellie and both times I skied in 2-3 inches of fresh snow. Little did I know that these would be close to the conditions I'd encounter.

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