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Archive for March, 2009

What I did over Break

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

So somehow, I have been on break and not teaching for two weeks and have not posted the whole time! I got to spend lots of time with my wife and daughters, I skied a little, I got some of the work done around the house that I wanted to, but somehow part of being a parent seems to be having a long list of things you would like to accomplish but never will.


Spring Skiing (and J2s)

Monday, March 16th, 2009

I have had a few beautiful days of spring skiing.

You know the kind. Bright, sunny, corn snow that can be slow in the bright sun but super fast on shady downhills, still lots of snow in the woods and plenty of light to ski late into the day…the best skiing all year, in many ways, especially when I am also the fittest I have been all year.
Anyway, Friday was the J2 festival at Holderness, and I was recruited as a forerunner. I actually haven’t been to a J2 festival since the first and second ones ever (in 1991 and 1992) where I races, achieving a best result of maybe 50th place. It was great to see so many young skiers giving 100%, and interesting to see that what I remember as a huge deal is really a fairly low-key event (and as it should be). It is wonderful for several reasons, not least that it keeps at least 200 kids skiing from mid-February – when high school seasons end – till now. And having skied these beautiful spring conditions I hope they can’t give it up!
Got out once by myself up at Waterville and then with the family today. We are getting better at skiing as a family but it is still an all day affair for me to get 1:45 on snow and Heidi to get about half that. And spring skiing isn’t for Iris: her favorite part is skiing through the tunnels under the road and they are icy and have water dripping down them. Can’t wait to see what she can do next year!


Sunday, March 8th, 2009

So I haven’t written much lately. I have been crazy busy with tests, comments, and grades, as we just finished our third quarter.
But it is always nice to brag about going fast, so I will do that. I successfully defended by title at Ski to the Clouds. Last year was an easy victory; I skied away from the field as soon as the climb started and had zero challenges. Today was different.
It didn’t start well. I am teetering on the edge of getting sick due to lack of sleep, and I spent several hours of yesterday in the ER with my daughter – who is fine now, even if her parents are still quite on edge. Then my parents lost power, so my father, who rode with me to the race, was 25 minutes late.
Still, we got to the venue in plenty of time, and I felt good about my skis and wax. (BD8, FC10, big rills). The cannon went off, and I got out in fourth place.
For four kilometers, nothing really happened. Somebody I don’t know and who was never a factor led this twisty turny, gently rolling section. The the climb started. I was worried about Duncan Douglas, but it was Jesse Downs (I only figured this out later, I hadn’t noticed him on the start list) who attacked the hill. I took a pull after he did, and then Duncan caught us and attacked. He had us both worried for a while, then he pulled over and I threw in a surge. When I glanced back, Duncan was broken. I spent a lot of time worrying about him catching back up, but he never did.
So it was Jesse and I for a long time. He led more than I did, and even opened up a few seconds of a gap on me for a while. But I knew that if I opened a gap like that I would give it 100% to try to demoralize the guy behind me, so that fact that he couldn’t add to his lead made me confident.
About a kilometer from the finish the snow went from slush, which I am horrible at skiing through, to fast, icy corduroy. I was feeling good, and took more pulls (though Jesse still did more work).
Then we came around a turn and saw people. Having done the race before, I knew this meant the finish was at hand. I threw in a solid sprint, moved to the inside to get the better line while leaving space in principle for Jesse to pass, and hoped I could hold me. The picture shows a two or three second victory, but the results say one second and I am not going to argue. It wasn’t the prettiest way to win, but you don’t get points for pretty.