Days 90-92 – 9,712 feet

2 04 2010

I traded my running shoes for skis this Spring Break week and counting a few hours of snowy runs as daily exercise. When the kids are skiing with us, it’s stop-and-go fun, so I treasure my one-hour-at-a-time turns when I sneak out for speedier solo runs.

We’ve been coming to Copper Mountain (elevation 9,212 feet) for nearly a decade, so I could ski this mountain with my eyes closed. I can strategically get to the very top — 12,000+ feet — just as the lifts close at 4 p.m. Then — me and the few die-hard snowboarders who were probably out there since 8 a.m. have the slope nearly to ourselves.

Nonstop from top to bottom has my quads feeling the burn by the end and looking forward to the hot tub and cocktails waiting at the condo. It’s not quite the same mental escape as running. I am very conscious of my form and the changing terrain under my skis the whole time — not to mention dodging the flailing skiers who threaten to take me out near the crowded bottom of the slope. I don’t like to fall, so I’m totally cautious even when I’m flying at top speed.

Like Chi Running — I try to let gravity do the work with muscles just keeping balance and rhythm. It’s a constant learning curve to ski with the most efficiency possible to conserve your legs for more runs — ski runs that is.

Anna — who has skied for four years now — is rocking the blue slopes. I told her she was skiing like Lindsey Vonn and she said, “No Mom. Lindsey broke her finger at the Olympics. I’m skiing like Julia Mancuso!” Either way, she’s got Scott’s ski-all-day-long spirit.

Zach, on the other hand, is happy to ski with us for about an hour and then is all about hot cocoa, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and the fireplace. I’m good for that too — along with the games of Crazy Eights and Go Fish we have logged together. All too soon, he will be one of those snowboarders who blows right past me and takes off to find his own trail. So for now, bring on more marshmallows…

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