Low-Snow Rant

FasterSkierJanuary 20, 2005

“Nordicly” speaking it has been a less than stellar winter to the mid-point
of January trying to contest and train for the Michigan Cup. Chapter One; we
had a fantastic start with a foot of great snow on Thanksgiving. It was gone
in about 36 hours for most of the area. Chapter Two was the forecasted but
missed snow storms. There were five of them ! Other areas (with skiers in
those areas !) were getting the snow but not where I live. Chapter Three was
an inch of snowfall per day, or a half inch of snow, just a bit too much to
take rollerskiing out, but not quite enough for skiing. Another day, another
half inch. Extremely tempting. I would keep heading out “for a mellow three
hour ski” only to return in frustration after 45 minutes of each ski
scraping the snow off on every single stride. And the ski bases ! Oh my.
While the golf courses do have excellent low-snow conditions in the
fairways, they also have cart paths as the price to pay. Is nothing free ?
Turns out it doesn't take much snow to hide a cart path. It would seem
Chapter Four of my sob story would have to be a replay of the previous
chapters because we'd get a meltdown just as a real snow base would develop.
I'd get maybe one day of truly adequate coverage and then it would go away
overnight and we'd start all over again a half inch at a time. Chapter Five
would be one race weekend over New Years. The Saturday skate race was on
extremely good snow. We jumped in the car as people were running in shorts &
t-shirts, the rain had burned off with the bright sun, and it was 55 degrees
out ! I had to call ahead to see if they really had snow. They'd gotten the
rain too, but they had so much snow up north (3 hours) that the rain
actually improved it by creating a hard fast snowpack. I imagined it might
have been a little like SoHo snow on a great day. True to form, a rainy ice
storm overnight places the Sunday classic race in serious jeopardy. We got
the race off as the ice chunks were falling off the trees and it was about
34 degrees. Bit of a wax challenge there. Next two race weekends would be

In the present setting of winter, we are awaiting another forecasted snow
storm. This one has an official winter storm warning. See Chapter Two. I
will believe it when I see it. Making this present weather almost impossible
to bear is the fact that it is bitter cold out and just a few inches of snow
would do really well in this climate ! Consequently I have ordered Nordic
skate ice blades this week. What a washed car does for rain, these things
will surely do for snow. I would be so pleased to not even take these things
out of the box if I could ski on snow as God intended it.
Meanwhile, I have just compiled some training data for the period beginning
with Chapter One on Thanksgiving, the official kick off of the snow season.
My on-snow hours ? Looks like a good week of training for an elite skier.
Very sad. This is not what I had planned ! My actual on-snow training volume
compiled over the last 7 weeks:

6 hr 30 min Classic (10k in set track)
15 hrs Skate

In exactly ten days time I am registered to stride the 55k Noquemanon race
(yes classic). As you can see that will increase my on-snow classic volume
by 50%. Yikes. They have snow for sure.

To fill in the hours, since Thanksgiving I have:
Run 18 hrs
Spent a mind numbing 14:45 in the home gym getting a 6-pack etc
Rollerskied 2:40 classic
Rollerskied 40 mins skate

Total is 57 hours of “hoge poge” training since first snow on Thanksgiving
or just over 8 hours per week average. I'm hoping for some hoge poge magic
for this all to come together starting with the winter storm abrewing right
now. The thing that gets me is that we should have had a number of race
weekends under our belt right, and looking at the start of the marathon
portion of our season without the shorter races to get tuned up, it's not
the “Ready To Go” feeling I would prefer.

Those ice skate things should be here tomorrow. When I awake in the morning,
and cry as I see that the driveway is still black because there is no new
fallen snow, the only thing I will look forward to is seeing the UPS man
when he drops off my new skates so that I can at least train again. Please
let it snow this time !


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