Changing of the season

Where does the time go? Clearly, it has escaped me. I have not written in my blog since Aug. 19.

Here it is, Nov. 21, and winter has fully arrived. It is a whole new season, full of new challenges and a whole new outlook. And hopefully, a new chance for me to redeem myself. If it means anything, I have certainly been writing, and writing a lot. Only, it’s for the newspaper, it’s about business, and it’s far from my own athletic passions and pursuits. I hope I can redirect some of that energy into my personal efforts in this new season, despite the business of every-day life.

Since my last updates, much has been accomplished, and much has changed. I completed my triathlon season on Sept. 12 with the Big Kahuna Half Iron distance. The race was decent, but not quite the going-out-with-a-bang season culmination I had hoped for. But, with my second triathlon season behind me, I can certainly say I have grown tremendously as an athlete, but have a ways to go and a lot to learn in order to really accomplish my goals. I am pleased with the season, but have my sights set much higher for next year, and I know it will take a lot of work ahead to get there. Nonetheless, I am excited!

The fall was my time for running. This was long-anticipated, and delivered on that. I enjoyed many cool and beautiful long autumn-day runs — perhaps my favorite type of training. I was able to do a couple of half marathons and one full, as well as a 7-mile race just this past weekend. So far, “running season,” if you can call it that, has fallen short of delivering performance-wise, despite fulfilling my growing urge to just run. But, there have been some highlights and I still have one more race coming up, the California International Marathon (CIM) on December 5th, and I am REALLY, REALLY pumped up for it. This is one of the few races this year that I have really tried to prepare for, rather than train through, and I really do feel ready. Only problem… we are getting dumped on with snow, and it is tough not to totally switch into ski mode as the new season beckons! But, while I have enjoyed a couple of skis already, I am focused on the race and really anxious to accomplish my goals. Less than two weeks now…!!

On the note of skiing, this was a great weekend of welcoming in the snow. Here is an excerpt from a post I wrote today on the Far West Farm Team blog — my team for the winter! — along with some photos:

Several feet of the fluffy white stuff has graced the ground outside my house in Glenshire, and I have to say, it is absolutely beautiful. Each year with the first snow comes a change of pace, a fresh perspective and all the promise of the season ahead. I couldn’t be happier.

The trails around Tahoe aren’t quite open yet, but I just couldn’t wait to get out and celebrate the snow. This weekend, I rung in the season with a couple backcountry adventure skis in the meadow behind my house. While they weren’t quite the pristine skis on freshly-groomed trails that I have been anticipating and longing for, the skiing was a whole other form of awesome in itself. In its own right, nothing beats breaking trail through more than a foot of light, fluffy powder on some beat-up metal-edged crowns with dogs in tow.

And while it wasn’t quite conducive to great classic technique, it still felt like skiing, and that felt amazing. And after a couple two-hour sessions of powder trekking up steep climbs and over logs, and navigating down hills through trees and bushes with less than adequate control, I have to say I am feeling more than sufficiently exhausted, and even more excited about skiing.

This afternoon my good friend Shannon came along, and with the four dogs between the two of us, there was no shortage of good company. Our ski was pleasure in its purest form. I wasn’t thinking about my technique, my heartrate, how to ski the transition, or preparing for an upcoming race. I was just enjoying my sport, my company, the beauty around us and the day. And sometimes, that is the perfect ski. And this year, it was the perfect beginning to what I already know is going to be an incredible ski season.

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