Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Wheels

I have a problem: I want to do too many things. I consider myself primarily a runner. It took me many years of running to consider myself a "runner" and not just someone who runs. Now that I am a runner, I make sure that I run at least three days a week. Somehow I feel that if I don't hit three days a week, my runner status will be taken away. That leaves me four days to fit in a little rest, other activities that I know that I like, and activities that I want to try.

With the last race on my schedule, the TC 10 Mile, approaching on Sunday, I've been sneaking in a couple new activities, one that I think I will grow to love. Last Christmas, my husband gave me these:


I had tried cross country skate skiing the winter before and just couldn't do it very well. I thought that roller skiing would be good cross training for running and would help me learn to ski. I asked Chad, a fantastic runner who recently had a blog post about roller skiing, for some advice. His advice was to learn to ski on snow first since snow is a lot softer than pavement. This is very sensible advice from someone who knows what they are talking about.

Did I listen? No. I've been waiting for the tri season to end to give roller skiing a try and I just couldn't resist. It took me a while to gather everything that I needed: skate ski boots, poles, helmet, and knee pads. I had to stop by Gear West for some help putting the right tips on the poles. It's no fun to start a new activity unless you can do a little shopping, so I got a pair of XC ski gloves so I wouldn't get blisters. I also asked the experts for some advice on getting started. The advice was: Go to a very flat, newly paved parking lot for a very, very long time.

Luckily, the schools right by my house just had all of their parking lots repaved and, with today being Sunday, were empty. As I parked in the biggest of the lots, I noticed a young couple getting out of their car with a little girl and a bike. Apparently this was also a good place to learn to ride a bike. The little girl and I are in similar situations: learning to stay upright on a new set of wheels. I moved to a smaller lot across the street to give us both some space and privacy.

The good news is that I didn't fall down. I took my time and am sure that I looked ridiculous wobbling around on the skis. Right away I noticed the my shins were getting tired. I guess I am flexing up my toes so that I don't catch the tip of the ski. After about 20 minutes, I was getting around the parking lot pretty well. I decided to quit for the day while I was still upright and before my shins started to really hurt. Shin splints is something I don't need right now. Hopefully some short sessions on the skis will help with my form and get the right muscles in shape so that I don't get hurt.

Starting skiing today reminded me so much of when I started to run. I only made it 20 minutes today and I'm sure I didn't make it even 20 minutes the first time that I ran. I don't know how long it will take me to be able to negotiate an uphill or make it down a hill safely, but I think what I've learned from running will help me along. I know Chad is right and that I will fall down many times, but maybe by the time the snow flies I will be ready for some real skiing.

15 comments:

Mark said...

I so respect you for being willing to learn something new. That sounds like a blast!!!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

never seen or heard of those yet! Sounds like fun, but an accident waiting to happen for me! LOL Even if I wrapped myself up completely in bubble wrap haha. Enjoy!

Porkchopwi said...

Gonna do he Birkie this year?

Funny, we're lookg either XC skiing orsnowshoing for this winter as well...though we haven't puchased anything yet.

Go have fun!

Chad said...

Beth, I wrote that advice assuming you'd never skied before. I'm glad you've at least had some time on snow before hitting the pavement. Still, you have a ton of courage to introduce a new sport the week before TC-10.

It sounds like things went extremely well. The learning curve is very steep and you will be zipping around before you know it. Note: I still do loops in a parking lot to help work on technique.

I Run for Fun said...

I have never heard of roller skiing. As someone who took ages to learn to ski, I am in awe...sounds like you did great. Kudos to you on learning something new. Happy roller skiing!

Londell said...

Cool... and I read you are smart enough to wear a helmet... I still cringe when I see people without one... I only wish there was a video post of this? Next time...

Jean said...

I've seen a few folks in my neighborhood on roller skis lately. This must be a sign of fall, correct? :) I hope you enjoy, Beth. It might not be long before you need the real skis...you just never know in Minnesota! ;-)

Sunshine said...

What incredibly good timing .. to fall in love with skiing just before the beginning of the season!
May you fly.

AZ said...

The problem with starting something new (roller skis) when you are already good at another thing (running) is that you have to start way at the beginning. The good thing is that you improve so quickly.

I hope you have fun.

Dori said...

Roller skiing? Can't picture it.

Good luck with your race on Sunday!

tri_al said...

purge yourself of guilt! it was my own silly optimism that got me into trouble with the no wetsuit decision but i've learnt my lesson ;) and it could have been worse! i could have actually had those feet lopped off, but, hang on, let me check... up still there! :)

SteveQ said...

I'm not sure I'll be getting up early enough for the 10 mile Sunday, but if I am, I'll be looking for you on the hill leading to St. Thomas. Best of luck!

Velma said...

Wow - I have never heard of that. It does look like fun. GOOD LUCK this weekend!!!

amybee said...

Nice Job! You'll be ready for skiing for sure.

Have fun at the 10 Miler. I'll look for you some where out there on Sunday.

Nat said...

Oh man, I'd never be brave enough to use these! It looks fun though! Good luck on Sunday. I will be watching and will be at mile 5 around St. Thomas so I'll look for you!