Friday, February 25, 2011

Skiing in Crested Butte

I have been on a vacation ski trip at Crested Butte this week.  I've been very happy with the way my knee has reacted to the trip.  I've now skied 4 of the last 5 days, and the knee feels fine - no swelling at all.   I have pretty much been doing whatever I want - a fair bit of bumps & steeps, so I haven't gone easy on it.

I had been a little concerned, as my knee had not felt good during a much more modest ski trip last winter.  My guess is that my generally improved leg strength is a factor, and maybe one more year of healing, although I am now at 3 years and 10 months post-op, so not sure if there's really more healing going on at this point.  Whatever the reason, I'm happy about it.

I haven't done any running while I've been here in Colorado, but I figure the break is OK.  The base of the resort is at 9400 feet, so I think I would have found it challenging.  Next week, it will be back to some running; maybe the week at altitude will give me a boost.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011 Weston Winter Triathlon - race report

I competed in the Weston Winter triathlon this am.  I felt it went better than my winter triathlon debut a few weeks ago at Gunstock, but it was a much easier course.

The weather was quite nice for the event - overcast, mid 20s at the start, with no wind.

The Weston ski track is less than a mile from my house, so no difficulties getting to the start.

I'm not sure how big the field was, but I would guess 70 or so.  We lined up just after the planned start time and were off at 8:05.  The run was 2 laps around the perimeter of the golf course on a groomed ski trial.  I wore my Icebug shoes, which are lightly studded, and those were fine.  There was a short section of the course on a snowshoe trail which was a bit narrower and had some areas of softer snow.  The hills were very mild (especially compared to those at the Gunstock event).  I was mindful of the fact that I was going to be going for an hour and a half or so, so tried to start conservatively.  The run course was supposed to be 5K, but was a bit shorter than that (2.7 on my Garmin).

I made a not-so-speedy transition to the bike.  Since the bike course was the same as the run course (but 3 laps instead of 2), I knew what to expect.  The snow was pretty firm, so traction was good.  The only tricky part was the segment on the snowshoe trail.  On the first lap, there was some congestion there, and I had to clip out a few times, and had trouble getting going again.,  On the second lap, in the same spot, I slid a bit & clipped out, and felt a sharp pain/pull in my right calf, which worried me a bit, but seemed OK when I got pedaling again.  The bike was supposed to be 7.5K, but it was also a bit shorter at 6.5K by my Garmin.

After another slow transition, my skis were on.  This was the part of the race I was most concerned about, as I am not a good skate skier.  The course was 2 laps on a zigzagy course.  The course was well marked, although I almost went the wrong way out of the transition area (helpful volunteers got my attention with shouts).  The ski course was challenging to me, as there were a good number of hills (small ones, but I don't skate well uphill).  Toward the end of the 1st lap, there was a hairpin turn I did not quite negotiate, and I fell.  The fall caused my right calf to cramp/spasm big time.  I lay on my face in the snow for a minute in pretty serious pain, not sure if I'd actually really hurt myself and would have to quit.  I took off my skis and stretched for a moment, and it felt better, so I decided I could continue.  I think I actually skied the 2nd lap a bit better than the 1st.  Ski was supposed to by 6K, and it came in at just over that (6.3K).

Right now, the calf feels OK; hopefully it will fell OK in the am...

Overall, I had fun and will look forward to trying it again next year.

Here's a link to my race data:

weston winter triathlon by djs60 at Garmin Connect - Details