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Monday, March 03, 2008

Tour of Anchorage Ski Race Weekend!

Woo-hoo! The Tour of Anchorage ski race was a success by all measures. My brother in-law, Todd, Patrick and myself all skiied the 25 K (16 miles) classic cross country ski race and we ALL met our individual goals. SO FUN!!
Todd's goal was to ski the 25 K 1/2 hour faster than he did last year. And he did it! His time was 1:52! He has only been cross country skiing for a couple of years, as he is new to Alaska.
Patrick's goal was to place in the top 10 overall for the 25 K race and he placed 6th over and 1st for his age group! 1 hour 27 minutes. He was thrilled!
My goal was to finish, to have fun and not have knee pain (my knee was hurting a bit the week before the race) and I did it!

This was my second year skiing this race and I had a fun time. I skiied most of it with our friend Ira and his wife. Ira helps coach the junior olympic ski team and was taking it easy this year for the race, as he is recovering from shoulder surgery. So he skiied with his wife, Kara and myself. I got lots of wonderful ski tips from Ira-he'd say, "which muscles are hurting right now?", I'd tell him and he'd give me tips on how to correct my form. I felt fabulous even 3/4 of the way through the race! Amazing how working on your form just the tiniest bit can help prevent overuse of certain muscle groups (for me, it was the triceps which were getting overused....)

There were many favorite aspects of the race this year including the food breaks, spectators, weather and jets flying over head. The rest areas were full of wonderful oreos, chips ahoy cookies, peanut m&ms and warm gatorade style drinks. There were 4 rest areas and we took our time at each one---I had my fair share of M&Ms-boy did those hit the spot! The people helping at the rest areas were so efficient and positive. There were many random spectators on the trail ringing cow bells, cheering, yelling "good job!", clapping-it all gives a nice boost right when you need it! I was very appreciative and found myself responding, "thank you!!! Thank you for being here!!!"
The weather was in the high 20's with bright sun. Just GORGEOUS. Towards the end of the race, the trail goes right along the end of the runway in Anchorage. There were huge jets taking off and landing which was somehow empowering. Just thinking about my little body scurrying along on skis with the roar of big jets flying overhead got me moving faster. I have always loved watching planes landing and taking off, so it made the last few brutal hills more do-able.

After the race we went to Mooses Tooth Pub with our friends Julie and Ray and their son Lars. Ray also did the Tour of Anchorage race. And Julie is due with her second baby in 1 month! (see photo).

We stayed with Patrick's cousin (and therefore my cousin!) Will and Beth in their home looking over Potters Marsh and Turnagain Arm. Stuart kept making a beeline for the stairs-a novelty-as we don't have stairs at our house here in Kodiak! Stuart had several good hours of climbing up and down the stairs.... We sure enjoyed getting time in with our extended Alaska family.

The flight back was, uh, brutal. Patrick joked that the plane almost had to land in the Barren islands (islands to the North of Kodiak) to drop Nora off midway. Nora was a MESS this evening. She was very tired and ready for bed. The last 1/2 hour of the flight she cried, kicked, screamed. Patrick was a saint. He just restrained her, tried to keep her somewhat safe with the turbulence. She was quite a mess. After the plane landed a guy in front of us jokingly said, "Yeah, if adults acted like she did on a flight, they'd be taken off the plane in handcuffs!" then he continued to say how as long as the parents keep it together, kids breaking down on planes is fine. He thought Patrick did a fantastic job keeping it together even with Nora's full blown "explosive decompression".

Upon arriving home, we had two cars out at the airport. I took off towards home with the kids and Patrick went to get into his car. He proceeded to slip underneath his car as he was putting the key in the door. He landed in a puddle under his car. To make matters worse, his truck wouldn't start. So when I got home I saw a cab pull into the driveway with a less-than-pleased-about-his-chevy-Patrick.

What a fun weekend it was and now the kids sleep VERY soundly in their beds!



Myself and Patrick after the Tour of Anchorage ski race.
Group lunch photo at Mooses Tooth: Julie, Lars, Ray, Zoya, Stuey, Nora and Patrick
Group photo from dinner at Will and Beth's house: Bonnie, Mike, Cathy, Will, Beth, Nora, Patrick, Todd and Kellen.


My LIttle Family: said...

congratulations to you both!

Roxann said...

Patrick, you need to embrace change; you know, like buying a foreign auto and voting Democrat. Just think, if you purchased a Nissan or something, rather than pumping money into the domestic auto repair market, you could just send a direct check to North Korea. Just a little food for thought.