Saturday, 10 January 2009

The Ski Lioness...

What a great day to go xcountry skiing! After being in a deep freeze for too long, the chinook finally blew into town. Actually, the winds REALLY blew last night, so driving on the TransCanada was a little dicey in spots because of all the snow that blew onto the roads.

I headed out to Pocaterra ski area in Peter Lougheed Park with my wonderful, amazing friends (and adopted family) Esther and David. David and I are back into training mode so we were substituting a ski for a run today.

After a brief stop at the lodge we put our skis on and headed out. But not before saying hellos and giving hugs to uber triathletes Katie, Shannon, Chris and Jill, who were also out for a ski. There was a pretty good sized group of JackRabbits (young skiers ~6-7 years old) that had just headed out on the trail. I really hoped that I could pass them and they wouldn't out ski me. My fitness ego is rather fragile these days!!

Thankfully, we got past them and made our way to the Pocaterra trail. I've skied part of this trail before but today we were going to go a little bit farther.

Before we really got going with the skiing we had to stop for some photo ops - of course. Here are David and Esther!

Here's yours truly in her new Christmas prezzie from the parental unit. The toque was the HIT of the trails. I had a ton of people ski by saying 'love the toque!'. I knew Mum would be happy with that. The best was this little girl back at the lodge who said 'I like the lion on your head!'. Too cute. I was somewhat surprised to note that I was the only one on the trails with a fun toque - what's up with that?!

The trail itself was in great shape. The first part was mostly flat, but then we started to do more climbing. Every once in a while I'd stop to take a picture or two.

It felt great being out there today. Every once in while we'd be in an area where the wind would rip through the trees and blow all the snow. It was hilarious because there were big soft balls of snow falling off the trees so it felt like the trees were playing with us and throwing snowballs! As all the snow came down I couldn't help but laugh as we tried to ski through it.

I decided that today I would try to work on my ski form. I realized I wasn't extending my arms enough and not going through a full range of motion. I was also working on my weight transfer. I am hoping to see my friend Trudy, who is an amazing skier, in a couple of weeks and will ask her for some hints and tips how to improve things. Sometimes everything feels smooth, and other times it's a bit awkward and choppy.

Part way along our skiing I had felt a 'hot spot' on my heel. I stopped and did my boots up tighter, but by then it was too late. I tried to ignore what felt like skin pulling from my heel for as long as I could. David was in front so I yelled to him asking if he had a bandaid - I figured I'd had a whopper of a blister going.

We pulled over at this one area where the trees broke up. We were met with an unbelievable view - of which I took photos of course!

I took my shoe and sock off to inspect the damage. It was bigger than I thought. A blister the size of half a toonie had ripped open on my heel. Ow. I managed to find some bandaids and put them on. We'd skied about an hour by then and decided to head back. I was bummed about having to turn around, but I was past the 'grin and bear it' stage of the blister. Thankfully, Esther and David said they were ready to go back then anyways. Phew!
Blister or no though we had a great ski back to the lodge. All the uphill we climbed was now downhill and we zipped along. I really worked on extending my arms, digging in and pushing my poles. The bliss of being out there took some of the pain of my foot away.
We all had big smiles on our faces when we got back. The ski may not have been as long as I had hoped it would, but I got to see some new trail and have plans to come back and finish up that ski trail! Not to mention I was out in Mother Nature with two of my closest friends - you can't get much better than that!
Peace out my friends!


  1. What, no pic of the blister???

  2. WOW-all I can say is what a beautiful place to ski! Sorry about your blister..ouch!

  3. That hat is awesome! What beautiful trails! We have wide open prairie...but if you travel a few hours up north, it ain't too bad.

  4. Cute lion toque!! Looks like you had a perfect day of skiing, aside from the blister. :) :) :)

  5. Parental Unit thinka the ski area is great. Next time be sure and carry band-aids.