A Balancing Act

Today I returned from my first skiing trip this winter. My husband and I went to Heavenly with two friends and stayed slopeside for a few nights. Before leaving on the trip, I didn't feel like it was 'winter' and wasn't as ski-crazy as I usually get this time of year. I'm blaming these feelings on living in California now, instead of in Michigan where it gets cold and snowy. Anyway, the trip was great and I remembered how addicted I am to skiing - I want to go all the time!

This weekend at Heavenly was a little sad due to the lack of snowfall this season. Where is winter!? The snow at Heavenly is manmade now and only about 25 runs are open, but we made the best of it. The trails to ski from California to Nevada are not open yet, so we had to take the ski bus to the gondola in Nevada and then ski back to California at the end of the day. Our lodging would have been much more convenient if we could have skied the reverse, but what can you do. We still had a fantastic time with friends and skied a ton. I'll be doing my snow dance in the coming weeks because I want to go back - with snow and the whole resort open.

Now to figure out how to balance my hobbies. Running takes a ton of time when training for a long race, and we are working toward the Big Sur 21-miler in April. This essentially means running a marathon training schedule from now until then. I've been toying with the idea of using the 21-miler as a supported long run and running a full marathon a few weeks after. But how do I manage to train for these long distance races AND get in all of the skiing I want? I'm still figuring that out.

My current plan is to do long runs in Tahoe. This past Saturday, we skied in the morning and turned in an hour or so before lift close to run a 9-miler. That distance isn't so time consuming, but when we get to the high teens it will be. Not to mention it'll get harder to ski+run in the same day!

I'd been unsure of running at a higher altitude, but it didn't seem to phase me at all. I loved how quiet and peaceful it was, and after a cold start I warmed up really well. But we made sure to take the neck gaiters just in case.

Ok, this was overkill for the weather but a fun photo nonetheless. The full coverage didn't actually stay on into the run. I like to call these our Ninja runner outfits.

We ran along Lake Tahoe Blvd for a while, starting in California and running through Heavenly Village in Nevada. A little past there we found a nice park and dirt trail leading to the lake with huge pine cones along the way. I'm not sure why, but the pine cones were a source of distraction for me. I kept looking for bigger, better ones. Call me easily amused.

Except for an encounter with two large dogs, the run was perfect. I felt good, it was cold (I prefer colder temperatures for running), and my tendonitis/bursitis wasn't hurting. I didn't feel out of breath as expected in the higher altitude. As for the dog situation, two big dogs started running toward us fast when we were heading up the trial by the beach. They looked big and black and scary - maybe all big dogs look scary to me - and I stopped and stood very still waiting to be attacked. Thank goodness they just sniffed us, but it's so hard to tell what they'll do in that situation. I really wish owners would keep dogs on leashes in public parks, but for now I'll just hope at least the biting ones stay on leashes.

I'll keep posting about training and fitting in skiing too. We'll see how well-balanced I manage to be. If anything, it'll likely be giving up skiing for running because I'm not going into a marathon unprepared. Until next time, happy running!

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