Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Back to life in the slow lane

48 hours in Vegas felt like 4 days. We packed about as much fun as you could into 2 days, and somehow I managed to walk away with a little extra cash. Despite getting about 5 hours of sleep in two days, I wasn't as thoroughly destroyed as expected, but it sure was nice to get my normal 45 minute nap on the bus ride this morning.

Things are starting to return to normalcy.

8 of us hit Vegas in full stride, with the party really ramping up when the European contingency of Weber & Scharf hit the scene. It seemed everyone had a good time, and I think everyone miraculously made their flights out early Sunday morning. The rumblings of the last pack of us to leave was "this should be an annual thing", to which everyone agreed.

Davis booked his return through Denver to get a day in the "pow pow" (a term the locals use to refer to powder that intrigued Davis), so we headed up Monday morning to Winter Park to make some turns. I quickly fell in love with weekday skiing, no lines, no traffic and untracked runs everywhere.

It was about 3 runs into the day when Davis skied up to me in an somewhat exacerbated manner and raised the proverbial white flag. Requesting something "less tight" and more open than the gladed run off the 12,000 foot peak I had taken him down. Fair request I suppose. After that, we found some more Davis-able runs to let him get into his comfort zone a bit.

About 12:30 he posed the seemingly simple question of "Don't you ever eat or drink?"

My response was simply, "No."

He shook his head and said "I knew you were going to say that."

But I made an exception and we took a break to grab some food on the slopes. After Davis got a break he deemed long enough, we headed back out to shred some gnar on the back of Vasquez Ridge. I was shocked (and pleased) to find untracked powder at 3 p.m.

Seriously, an untracked run at 3 p.m. This working stuff is for the birds.

After that we made our way back to the car and headed home. A quick shower, some Pasta Jay's for dinner with Jill and Davis was on his way back to the Razorback country.

I wonder if he'll ever come back and ski with me again....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A good weekend

Winter is finally letting up a bit around here, and I can sense Spring just wanting to assert itself. These are the days where I find out if the hours and hours of time spent spinning on the trainer pay off or not. Discussions were had, plans were made and it was determined Sunday would be the day to ski. Very well, that means Saturday is the day to bike.

Sunday was supposed to be the nice day. Saturday would be warm, but the forecast called for ferocious winds. Unfortunately for once, the weather people got this one right. After waiting as long as I could, I finally rolled out of the house around 3pm and headed due west into the teeth. Outfitted with my incredible new gadget, a PowerTap, I could see it was going to be slow going into the wind. I was making good power, but I was going nowhere fast. I was struggling to hold 14-15 mph, but I kept my head down and powered through. I did a 32 mile loop out to Rabbit, up the climb and then back to the house with a bit of added mileage for good measure.

The way back was FAST. Even with watts under 200, I was powering out 25mph big ring turns pretty effortlessly. Arriving back at the house after about 2 hours in the saddle, I was chilled from the 40 degree temps but very satisfied to have gotten in a good ride.

And just because I can't help myself, here are some of the fascinating graphs that my new gadget produces for me.

This is a power distribution chart, basically showing what % of my time I output a certain wattage amount.

The next is what they call Quadrant Analysis. I won't go into detail about it, but I'll say that I evidently spend a lot of time pedaling with with low force & high velocity.

Today would be a stellar day on the slopes, one that we've been waiting for all season. We were up at the resort at 8:30, and the crowds were big already. Warm temps, blue skies, no wind and 2 feet of new snow in the last week. Oh yeah.

Sarah & I pounded out run after run from just before 9am till right at 1pm before we had to bail so Sarah could get back. We rarely stopped, and didn't wait in lift lines very much either. In the 4 hours of mountain time, we tracked a bit over 40 miles and knocked out 20,000 vertical feet. I'm confident we could have done 60 miles today had we not had to get back early today, but it was nice as we avoided the masses and gridlock on I-70.

Just a quick Google Earth rendition of our travels on the hill today.

I thought about putting in some miles on the bike when I got home today, but instead I decided to just be lazy and hang out with Jill, who is sorely missing her outdoor freedom. So back to the bike tomorrow probably with Big Monday Kansas vs Texas as my entertainment. Active weekends are good for the soul.