Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013: Keep calm, carry on, and play in the snow!

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to 2013!

Sometimes I do resolutions.. I can't remember if I did last year or not (I'd have to look back and check) but I don't think I'm going to do them this year. Other than simply: keep calm and carry on. More of a state of mind.

We got a bunch of snow right after Christmas. Almost 2 feet, which is a lot if you look at the last few winters in Rochester. I am not much for snow. I like not having to shovel my car out. I like having dry feet. I like being able to drive at normal speeds (especially when I time my arrival for everything at 1 minute before I have to be there). I like being reasonably warm when I'm outside. But considering where I live, I have decided to deal with it and embrace the suck snow this year.

Further examples of new "snow-loving Alexa" to follow.

I have Dion running snowshoes from a few years ago when my ex-boyfriend got me more involved in trail running, including snowshoe running. (I actually met him at a night-time winter trail series.. if only I still did crazy stuff like that!). I got them for Christmas from my parents. They tend to oblige even my crazier Christmas present requests (I also have an acoustic guitar which I soooo don't know how to play still). I hadn't used them since 2010 due to a hamstring issue in 2011 and a knee issue (and no snow) in 2012. I took them out for a run on Friday (the day after our snowstorm) for about 90 minutes in Mendon Ponds Park, got lost (typical) and had a blast! I also did some snowshoeing on New Year's Eve at the party I went to, at my friends' Ken and Emily's place!

Dions - made in Vermont!

 Saturday, I had my first foray into XC skiing at Bristol Mountain Nordic Center. I carpooled up there with Solveig and we met our friend Jill so that we could all take a lesson - Solveig owns skate skis and Jill and I rented them. Let me tell you, skate skiing is HARD! Solveig took to it really naturally (due to her Scandinavian background - or her super strong core - which is what I think), but it was definitely harder for Jill and I think hardest for me (as a total XC ski virgin). The lesson was great though, and despite getting Solveig's Prius stuck in the snow on the access road on our way home (the nordic center is at the TOP of stupid Bristol Mt.) and having to be towed by Jill's boyfriend and his truck, we had a blast!

terrible weather for driving

but BEAUTIFUL weather for skiing!

trying to look legit on my skis (probably barely staying upright)

Jill, me, and Solveig!

Sunday I rode Cherry on a trail ride through the snow, which was awesome, despite my toes freezing.

Monday, I bought XC skis. Yup! Totally spur of the moment because I also planned an XC ski birthday party for myself (because everyone I know XC skis AND my birthday is on a Saturday this year, what better way to celebrate!) and I totally wanted to have my own skis for the party! I decided to buy classic skis instead of skate-skis for a few reasons. 1) It was tricky when I tried it on Saturday, and I know myself well enough that if I get frustrated with something, I am more likely to quit, thus not helping my "embrace the snow" personal challenge. 2) They are cheaper. 3) They can go a lot more places: groomed trails, non-groomed trails, and basically anyplace that is not *too* much bush-whacking (I got regular length skis and not compact ones because I want to be able to go relatively fast, but they are wider than regular classic skis so they can also do some trail blazing). 4) I don't have to deal with waxing them.

I bought them from Park Ave Bike Shop here in Rochester, which is a shop that I frequent often with my bikes, and they did a great job hooking me up with skis! They know their shit, AND they do rentals, so if you want to come play with me in the snow, you can! :)

here they are!! so pretty!
Also, my parents (who are super awesome by the way) are going to pay for them as my birthday present! Seriously, I have the best parents ever.. they totally do not question my need for crazy outdoor gear and I know they just want me to do things that make me happy (even if that happiness comes from peeing on myself during 112 miles of an Ironman cycling leg or face-planting in a snow bank because I haven't yet figured out how to stop while skiing).

I actually skied on my new skis yesterday with Ari, Sam, Amy, and Ari's friend Seann (who is an actual ski instructor - HUGE HELP) for like 2 hours in Mendon Ponds Park and it was spectacular! I loved the whole thing and I love my skis! I also need a LOT of practice, especially going downhill. And turning. And stopping. You know, basically everything. Who knew it was possible to fall over while cross country skiing on a flat section!

Did I mention.. I am going to Lake Placid to SKI this weekend?? Lake Placid AKA the happiest place on Earth? Can't wait!! 

If I didn't live and breathe endurance sports, I honestly don't know what I would do with myself. And now I have another one to add to the mix! Hooray!

So no resolutions this year.. just continue searching for methods to deal with my sleep problems/anxiety as best as I can, stay with the exercising even though I don't feel like racing, and play with my friends (remain social!)! And maybe make some more new friends! I also wouldn't mind it if I rolled down a hill on my skis and accidentally plowed over a cute, single, outdoorsy boy with a beard and great sense of humor (or any of these guys) who I could apologize to over coffee and then go play outside with.. a girl can dream. :)


  1. Wow! You totally know how to embrace the snow and use it to its potential. Those snowshoes look super rad and like they are a bunch of fun. Way to get out and enjoy it!

  2. You have a major snow booger.

    1. should I be flattered that you read my blog and actually commented? hah!

  3. so cool! i did the same thing. tried the skate skis - epic fail. but the classic skis are so much fun!
    happy new year.

  4. YAY for xc skiing!!! It is so so so fun and will probably change your perspective on winter/snow :)

    I've been wanting to try skate skiing and I think tomorrow is the big day. I took a day off work because the conditions are amazing and I can't get enough skiing. I'm going to take my classic skis as a back-up though!!

    I've also wanted to try snow-shoeing too, but, since I am obsessed with skiing, I don't want to give up a day of skiing to snow-shoe instead.


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