Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ski, run, hike, celebrate...

Nordic ski nights, treadmill runs, a big anniversary, and a mock-Spring are the latest highlights.

I may still have a semi-busted chest, but there’s nothing wrong with my legs, and they’ve continued to carry me further toward getting back in shape. Since posting last, I got into a habit of skiing two or three nights a week, mostly down at Ft. Snelling State Park, near where I live and work in the city. Even though the peace of those particular woods is often interrupted by a 747 thundering only 400 feet above you, it’s great to have the place nearby so life’s not all pavement. It lets me get in some exercise in a day packed with so much office. I’ve been joined quite a few times lately by Alison, my coworker Jonathan, and our friends, the Goltz’s. Sometimes it’s a solo venture where I need to make sure I don’t whack the sternum with no help to get back to the truck. Always careful, but gotta live. Doctor pointed me toward some chest armor designed for motocross, but works great for guys with healing ribs/sternums.

Winter in Ft. Snelling

Alison getting ready to glide Snelling:

In addition to the skiing, I’ve been trying to get up to my in-laws on the weekends for more treadmill running. Can’t wait to switch to outside. My longest run so far was last Saturday, where I managed 6 miles. I actually felt a strong desire to go further, but I’m still finding it hard to predict how my chest will feel after the run. It usually feels somewhat uncomfortable, yet manageable during the run, and then aches pretty fierce afterward. But again, it’s manageable. My idea of pain is decidedly different after living through last July. I think I have a very good chance of meeting the half marathon goal I made in my last post. After all, it’s only February.

And speaking of February, the 4th is our wedding anniversary, and this year it was the big 0-5. J Five years went by pretty fast. A reminder to live well, and appreciate every bit of it. I have an incredible wife and it was great to celebrate and reflect on our years together. Love you babe!

A great night out with a great wife:

On another note, we had our annual spring fake-out that affects the moods of every Northerner this past week. Temps above freezing all week, and we saw the sun! Yeah, that’s a big deal in an area that’s used to only seeing the sun when it’s bitter cold. It was actually too warm to do any worthwhile Nordic skiing, so I chose hiking Interstate State Park last weekend. Warmth and color felt great. There were even people climbing bare rock at the MN strip. It’s back to winter for while, but it’s a sign that it won’t last a whole lot longer.

Near Sentinel Crack in Interstate State Park, looking across from MN:

I can feel Spring coming; the world is emerging from the snowpack:

I’ve been thinking about the other goal I set of getting back to century riding, and I may have a solution, but it’s admittedly early and might not work. Every year I say I’m going to take part in MN’s first widely advertised century event of the mainstream cycling season, the MN Ironman in Lakeville. It’s the end of April, and sometimes the weather is less than what people hope for. Every year, I say “this is the year I’ll finally get around to seeing this event”, and then I decide when it comes around that paying to ride in Lakeville sounds rather stupid, and I don’t do the event. But perhaps it’s the right way to go this year. It’s a rather flat course, with lots of support, and might be a perfect century for a post surgery comeback. I’m thinking of putting this on my calendar if my chest will take it. Plus, if it doesn’t, it’s a very non-committal route, and someone can pick me up at any point if I fail. Whatever century I attempt, I’m nicknaming it the “Shrapnel Benjamin”. Do you like the play on words? J

As you were…