A Weekend of Crosscountry Skiing

IMG_04082016 is still very young, but it already went in other directions as I wanted it to. After slowly increasing the length of my runs for the last 6 months of 2015 I felt that I could move on without the pain in my knee that kept me from running for so long. Enthused I signed up for a trail run in Switzerland and even booked a hotel. Once I got out of the train in Chur it was back – my knee was hurting the same way it did before. I have to say I did some longer runs in the mountains during the first week of 2016 and I felt just fine so I was confident for this snow run. Well, even if I had taken it easier, eventually the pain would have come back. I guess at one point I have to see another doctor and maybe there are more option besides surgery…

Just like last year I was down and really upset – this time I knew it for sure, I won’t be able to do any long-distance running (I’m fine with 2-3 times/week a 5 mile run), but endurance sports are the biggest thing for me! Last year I started biking a bit more and I enjoy it – maybe not as much as running at this point, but I might get there. The fact that I can cover long distances and change from on- to off-road make it similar to running and I have some ideas how I can make biking a bigger part of my life (a trans-Alp tour this summer sounds great, but not straight north-south, rather starting in the east and going south-west over a week or two).2016.1.17.3But now that winter arrived even in central Germany (or at least temporarily), I wanted to enjoy the little time we’re given with snow. There’s a fairly “large” ski resort one hour from here, but the overcrowded lifts, loud folks and the expensive tickets all don’t sound too appealing to me. So I went to my local ski/snowboard store, asked the owner about crosscountry skiing in the region and left soon after with the “mountain” Hoher Meissner as my destination. With only 800m it’s more a gentle hill than a mountain, but they get more snow than where I live at 300m above sea level. And it’s only half an hour from me – perfect!2016.1.17.1On Saturday I arrived around 10am and only a few other cars were in the parking lot. The tracks start right in front of the cars, all you have to do is put 1€ in a cash box and you’re good to go.
Good to go…. Well, I’ve been on cross country skis before, but it’s been a while and compared to my big mountain powder skis (>100mm under the bindings) these sticks are narrow as f***. I chose a 6miles round trip for the beginning and only “fell” three times or so when it was going down hill. I’d say that my skiing skills help, but the soft boots and loose bindings are just a whole other world. Once I got back to the car I had a snack and something to drink before going back for another 2x 5km round. 2016.1.17.2It felt great, but I knew I was going to be sore the next day. Anyhow, I was so hooked that once I got back home I packed my bag for the next day so I wouldn’t have an excuse not to go. The next morning I left at 9am and half an hour later the parking lot was way more crowded already. I decided to do the 6mile tour twice and by the time I was done people desperately were searching for parking spots. Today, I only fell once and that didn’t even count; I was standing and my legs started cramping. I even managed the downhill section just fine – thanks to the 5in of fresh snow on the tracks.2016.1.17.4Now I’m more than sore (however my knee ain’t hurting at all!), but I’m already thinking about which day this week I should go after work…. It is too addicting and I wanna take advantage of the snow while it’s still here. Nonetheless, I think tomorrow will be a day off… maybe just a short visit to the gym…IMG_0412

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