I do not think that Dec 12 is a day that will live into infamy. But, it is a significant day here at the Vadeboncoeur cabin. I am just a week into unemployment and the 5th day into Birkebeiner training. Today is the first rest day in that plan. I chose this as the first rest day because it is only going to be a high of 12 degrees here (it is currently -1). I will do some core body work today, wax skis for the next 3 days of skiing, prep snow bikes for finally being able to get out and ride etc… (There is the pesky need to work on home budgeting, get to the hardware store, groceries etc…) I am kind of enjoying this “retired” unemployed life.
Here is what my days have been.
The first day was about 1 hour of finding my feet and poles and hands and where my body is supposed to be, and then stepping around debris on the trail. I was pretty bad and really out of shape. My hips and feet where killing me. My heart rate would sky rocket up any incline.
The 2nd day was REALLY tough. In the morning I had gone out on the snow bike with the dogs, our usual loop around the neighborhood, and I had noticed that someone had tried to skate up the Birkie Ridge trail. We had about 2 inches of fresh snow on top of the 8 inches that had been deposited earlier in the week. It was not groomed. I decided to ski up the 3k Birkie Ridge trail to the main Birkie trail and go north from there. About 1k into the climb up to the Birkie trail, whoever had skied before me must have turned around, as their tracks went away. I was breaking trail through more than 8 inches of snow, all the way up to the Birkie trail. I eventually made it, and skied north for about an hour then returned. 15ish k roundtrip. But, the 3k of getting through all that snow killed my hip flexors. Ouch.
Day 3 was a 2hr over distance steady ski. Parked at Boedecker road, skied south to OO, then north to high point and back to Boedecker. I guess that it was about 20k. This day worked much better, but my timing still needs work, and my fitness has a loooong way to go.
Day 4 was an attempt to kill myself. I parked at Boedecker again then skied to the top of the Birkie Ridge trail. I found a roughly 1/2k uphill, and did hill repeats up that hill. At the top of the hill, I felt that my heart was about to explode and my lungs were going to collapse. On the 4-5k back to the car, I skied twice up every hill – just for good measure and a few more nails.
Yowza. Sitting in seat 13A for all that time with my job has taken a toll on my fitness and my overall athleticism. But, I am going to change that between now and the Birkie. I cannot promise that I will be in my best shape ever in just 3 months. Not sure that 3 months can erase 2 years of stress and travel and lack of time to chase any fitness, but it will be a start. It will get me to the point of being able to prep for the cycling season and the moto season. It will get me to the point that I can ride all day and race hard for a GNCC, local HS race, National Enduro, MTB Endure etc…