Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Making Tracks with Timothy and the Moose

Now that January has arrived, it’s time to get into a routine and settle in to the fun of winter. Bridget is back to preschool in the mornings and it’s a great time for Timothy and me to explore the outdoors together. I have found that I’m much better at making time for the things I love (rather than just getting sucked into the vortex of laundry and grocery shopping) when I set a goal for myself. So here’s my short-term goal for this ski season: I plan on competing in the Mount Washington Cup Nordic race at Bretton Woods this March. It’s “only” a 10-kilometer race – a short distance in the world of Nordic racing, but as a beginner racer I think finishing is an attainable goal for me.

Yesterday was the first day of what I hope will become routine for me: after dropping Bridget off at school, Timothy and I headed to Bretton Woods for some cross-country skiing. I was hoping that Timothy would be able to get his morning nap while I cruised around, but I wasn’t sure how it would go if he fell asleep in the car and I then had to transfer him to the Chariot. The lull of the skiing pod did its magic, though – he had been asleep in the car for 30 minutes by the time I had everything set up, and he fell back asleep by the time I was over the Ammonoosuc River bridge.

In my previous post I talked about what a great tool our Chariot has been for getting into the great outdoors, even with little ones. We have two Chariots that we purchased from Littleton Bike and Fitness – we bought the Cougar 1 when Bridget was born. She was such a handful that we had no intention of needing a Chariot that seats two. But, the maternal instinct kicked in and now we have the Cougar 2 as well. If you’re in the market, the two-seater can easily be adjusted so that one child can sit in the middle.

After lugging two children around this past weekend, going back to towing just one kid yesterday seemed like a breeze. Matt usually does the honors when it comes to skiing with both of them, and this year I’m looking at towing Timothy as a great training tool. I’m more comfortable freestyle, or skate, cross-country skiing, and because I’m smoother, I think the ride for him is smoother as well when I skate.

To ease into the workout, I headed across the golf course to B&M and up to the yurt. B&M is a long, gradual uphill, and I soon found my breathing and skiing rhythm. Even after the warm spell at the end of last week, the snow is still abundant and Pete the groomer has done an amazing job at keeping the trails in shape. At the intersection of B&M and Tim Nash, I noticed recent moose tracks in the snow – a nice reminder that even with all the amenities at our fingertips at the Nordic Center, we really are right in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest.

Coming back down Sebosis, I found myself snowplowing a bit more than usual to slow my pace around the corners with the weight of the Chariot behind me. I’ve found that being a downhill skier is a great advantage when it comes to negotiating tight turns on the downhill cross-country trails. And then more moose tracks, all the way down the lower half of Sebosis and onto Perimeter along the golf course. I wonder if he was headed towards the outdoor pool at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel.l?

The snow along the golf course was heavenly, and I considered taking another loop, but I had also decided that it was better not to overdo it. Exhausting myself would not make for very easy parenting for the rest of the day.

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