Monthly archives: January 2006

10 posts

Horrible Technique – 6 Days to Race

Oh humble reader, feast your eyes on the figure to the right. If you have any experience in classic technique of XC skiing, you’ll note that my technique is horrible, perhaps you may even say absent! That didn’t stop me from pushing for 1hr 40mins in the cold yesterday in preparation for the Winterlude Triathlon this weekend. Yup, I had those skis for 2 weeks now, and that was the first time I took them out. The reason why it took a while was that I had to take a ski waxing course, and buy all the supplies to get them tuned up for the snow. To do that, I took a clinic (free) at Fresh Air Experience where they took us through all the steps in waxing the glide and kick zones of skis for classic style. Looks like I’m in over my head again in a new hobby, although I’ll just call it an addition to my existing hobbies. I spent Saturday afternoon hot waxing my skis, and selecting the right grip wax for the skis. It was kind of fun, but also rather time-consuming. Oh well. I’ve also decided that I’ll have to be okay with coming in last place at the triathlon this weekend. If any of you are interested in witnessing this spectacle, drop by Dow’s Lake Pavillion Saturday around 9am. That’s the start time of the race, which will consist of about 5km of skating, then 5km of skiing, and finished off with 5km of running. Not what I’d call an epic course, but it should be fun. Most participants will likely be much faster than me, but I’ve never tried anything like it. Even the skating has got me down a bit. All I’ve got are some pretty old Bauer Charger skates, which are apparently not the right thing to use. As such, I’ve got my eyes on renting a pair of Nordic Skates to try out. These babies use the same boots as my skis (same binding system), and have really long, narrow blades that easily glide over all the imperfections of ice like the canal. They were designed in the Scandinavian countries, where people do lots of skating on frozen rivers and lakes. They look pretty cool, and would solve my dilemma about uncomfortable skates on the canal as well. Here’s hoping!

When is a good deal not a good deal?.

When it’s a friggin incredible deal!! Take this tri-suit pictured to the left here. I got an incredible deal on it. Now, I may seem to go a little overboard sometimes on my gear purchases, but that’s because I look around for bargains. Most of my gear was bought either used or on clearance of some sort. This tri suit is no exception. This one in particular is the Ti3 Elite Tri Suit by Orca, arguably the best tri-suit in the world. Last year, I wanted one of these, but there was no way I could afford it. They run $180+tax new! Enter great local shops and their great service. I bought this baby at one of the best local stores for triathletes, Cyclelogik. I can’t recommend them enough. Guess what I paid for this? Give up? $20!!!!! Yeah, that’s right, less than what I’d have to pay for a pair of shorts or a T-shirt. Heck, 10 minutes later I paid $17 for a pair of underwear!

Oops… I Did it Again!

Britney Spears said it best I think, with that catchy little tune. Why is it that every time I have any money in my pocket, it seems to burn a hole? Case in point: the skis you see in the picture on the right here. Not just any skis. Fischer Superlight Wax Cross-Country skis. Yup. I bought ’em. Mind you, I got them used, but they still put me out over $300 when all was said and done! And that doesn’t include buying waxing and maintenance equipement for them and learning how to do that properly! Why, you ask, did I buy skis? Well, I’ll be participating in the Winterlude Triathlon this year, and also plan on racing in a winter adventure race with Raid Pulse. Both of these events required the use of cross-country skis. I could have just as easily rented skis for those two events, but predictable me, I went the extreme consumerism route and decided I might as well have my own. On the plus side, these are gorgeous skis, and really light (they have an ‘air core’). Also, new, these babies would have been over $350, bindings $80, boots $180, for a combined total of over $600+tax! So, bargain hunter Steve couldn’t turn up the chance to buy these lightly used skis for a third the price. The great part is, now I have skis, and I can go whenever I want. That leaves me with about 1 week to learn how to ski before the race! Ha. That should be worth a chuckle.

Customer Service?

As I alluded to in a previous post, Jody and I ran into a few snags on our way home from Cuba over the Christmas Holidays. Namely, we got stuck in Cuba an extra day due to mechanical problems with our Zoom Airlines plane. The picture you see here is at around midnight, when we were told to go back down through customs. Why is everyone standing there you ask? Well, the authorities had no idea why we were sent there, and we all had to go back up to where I was and around the airport another way to get to the baggage. Just one of the ‘little’ snags in this dismal experience. In any case, we’ve sort of waited for almost a month, hoping to receive some sort of explanation or apology for all the problems. However, there was no word from either Zoom or Go Travel Direct. As a result, we ended up writing a strongly worded letter outlining all the shortcomings, and sent it in to their customer relations departments. Now we just need to wait and see what they have to say. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, read on to see the full text of the letter we sent.

Bring on the Pain…

Well, here we go. Yesterday was officially Day 1 of my 2006 Marathon Training program. Luckily, it was a ‘cross-training’ day, and as such, I decided that by going to vote, and then watching people swim for a bit at the Pinecrest Pool, that counted! Ha ha. Well, not really, but I’m still recovering from a cold, and just decided to rest up. Today however is a new day. No more messing around. Training starts in earnest. Mind you, I’ve been keeping active anyway, but now I’ll start monitoring it. As such, I’m just back from my first official 5k run. Great weather for it. 0-1 degrees. I’m once again choosing to use Hal Higdon’s training guides, and have decided to follow the Intermediate II program, which ups my total mileage again over last year. I’ve been a follower of his programs for several years now, and he’s never steered me wrong. Tonight I’ve also got a spinning class for an hour at Cyclelogik, which is next to MEC. Overall, I’ve decided to train more seriously again this year leading up to the summer season. Read on.