North American Vasa 2018 -395 days

10 Jan

*distance 5.8 km; moving time 43:31

VASA 2018 T-395 days

Day 1 of 395 XC ski training. Target: Traverse City’s 2018 North American VASA 42nd Annual Festival Of Races.
This was my first Nordic ski outing in several years, since my old ELPEX Team 610 skis broke. I spent the early evening transferring my Salomon Active bindings from the old 610’s to my new V2 Aero XL 150S roller skis. Finally clipped in at 23:00 and headed North (of course). It was not pretty. Ankles wobbly, arms weak for double poling, balance WAY off; only two falls, thankfully. My ankle balance muscles were the first to complain and have not let up, since. I will not be able to exert much from the Large Muscle Groups until the lower legs can keep my feet on top without rolling. Dropping some weight will help.
But I made 5k, though; 5 of 50 with 54 weeks of training to go


*Finally found my account from before I changed my email.


North American Vasa 2018 -84 days

18 Nov

25.1 km; 2:07:18 (moving); 074 m elevation; 11.9 km/h avg; 50 k leg 1 out
17.6 km; 1:39:57 (moving); 053 m elevation; 10.6 km/h avg; 50 k leg 2, 10 k tp go
10.1 km; ?:??:??; 50 k last leg

52.8 kilometers, Ski marathon distance, DONE

I split up the “back” recordings because my phone was running low on charge and I wanted to minimize the data loss, in case it died completely.

Dunedin and Tarpon Springs trail markers, and the tunnel under Alt. U.S. 19

I was not ready for 50 km today. 35? Sure, likely even 40, but today’s final 10 k leg was a fine bit of torture.

Body parts in the most pain (in descending order): feet, shoulders, ankles; I also must mention the last 10 k ability to generate energy; dehydration must have been a factor, despite the amount of liquids I was drinkng – I dropped 10 pounds out there; It turned out to be a very warm day; high 70’s felt like mid 80’s, unfortunately. Very surprised by how painful my feet were. Felt like bone/nerve damage.

[Girls at the Dunkin’ Doughnuts drive-through window] Neeeeeeeeeeat! Now, that looks like fun!

I skied through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through window on my way to the Tarpon Springs Kash n’ Karry grocery store to refill my stainless steel water bottles with good spring water. The greeting from the Dunkin’ Donuts girls was greatly appreciated. I Drank as much of the 3 liter bottle on the spot as I could, because I knew I would be consuming the bottles before reaching home. Refilled the empties again at Curlew road from the drinking fountain. Why did I not buy another bottle of spring water at the Publix grocery store right there on Curlew? I did not even think of it, because Curlew marks the 9 km to go stage , and by this point in the workout, I could not easily name the sport I was participating in when asked by a biker. #mental

2018/01/27 -070 days Noquemanon Ski Marathon
2018/02/10 -084 days North American Vasa Festival of Races

North American Vasa 2018 -085 days

17 Nov

-085 days: 18.1 km; 1:37:34; 049 m elevation; 10.6 km/h avg; FriSki Ozona

Longest ski of the week, sandwiched between two ex·cur·sions out into the mangroves to drain the chainsaw battery. The light week of skiing is largely mental. I have the consideration that, because I have added all the yard work, that I don’t have sufficient “energy” to also do long workouts. This is, of course, a lie. I have less motivation, after having done some other mild excursion. I feel more like sitting in front of the TV than clicking into my Salomon nnn bindings and heading up the first hill. It is almost as if there were some self-imposed limit to the number of activities that are “comfortably” accomplished in a single evening, and that number is much greater than one.

So, tonight I took advantage of having the house to myself, Susan having gone out to enjoy the Celtic Thunder concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall. I sau·téd some onions speedy-quick, threw them into a salad with some leftover eggplant and mushrooms, and got busy.

And now I am done, and it is late, but there is still time for some TV. Bonus.

2018/01/27 -071 days Noquemanon Ski Marathon
2018/02/10 -085 days North American Vasa

North American Vasa 2018 -086 days

16 Nov

-086 days: 07.6 km; 0:42:19; 031 m elevation; 10.8 km/h avg; 19.4 km/h max; Stevenson Creek lower 4 bridges

naVasa2018 -086 days.4bridgesMoonless night skiing around the neighborhood.

Finding Balance

“You remember lesson about balance? Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance.”
– Miyagi, Karate Kid, 1984

Balance Lesson not just skiing only. Skiing for whole life.

2018/01/27 -072 days Noquemanon Ski Marathon
2018/02/10 -086 days North American Vasa

North American Vasa 2018 -087 days

15 Nov

-087 days: 13.6 km; 1:14:43; 096 m elevation; 11.0 km/h avg; 41.0 km/h max; WedSki bridge climb 2x
-088 days: 05.5 km; 0:26:25; 12.5 km/h avg; TueSki SpeedSki
-089 days: 04.3 km; 0:24:24; 10.6 km/h avg; MonSki up the creek without the ice
-090 days: 02.7 km; 0:16:11; 011 m elevation; 10.0 km/h avg; SunSki1 around the block, light rain
-091 days: 21.1 km; 1:58:20; 178 m elevation; 10.7 km/h avg; SatSki bridge climb 4x

[Sea Org woman, waiting or her bus] That looks like fun.

naVasa2018 -087 days.RyobiManMy skiing distances have lessened the last few days, as I began turning my attention to some other targets that need completing before my North American Vasa trip to Traverse City. Namely, I have begun the annual task of trimming the mangroves to preserve our water view. My new little 8″ cordless 18v lithium battery powered chainsaw “on a stick” has proven to be just the tool for the job. The battery lasts only 12-18 minutes,  but that keeps me out of the mangroves for extended periods, which is good for mo·rale.

I have been exchanging emails with Timber Ridge in Traverse City, and it looks like I will have a “cottage” to stay in Up North! I may be putting my skis on outside my front door, and gliding right onto the Vasa Pathway trail. How awesome is that?

2018/01/27 -073 days Noquemanon Ski Marathon
2018/02/10 -087 days North American Vasa

Guernsey* Shepherd’s Pie

12 Nov

*Guernsey is my name, not where this recipe is from; i.e. “Jack not name. Jack JOB!” – Sweetums, “The Muppet Movie”, 1979.

*In honor of Alice Guernsey (“Hi, Mom!”), who did not so much teach me to cook, as demonstrate complete competence in the kitchen, preparing and perfecting her legacy and original signature dishes, like nobody else could. Thanks, Alice!

shephards pie, nearly gone


1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground beef

1-2 pinches herbs de provence (basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram, lavender, tarragon, fennel seed)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large  vidalia onion
5-6 cloves garlic
4-5 carrots

1 [10 ounce] package frozen peas

7 or 8 potatoes
1/2 cup cashew milk
3-4 tablespoons (earth balance soy free) butter

provolone cheese (follow your heart provolone style) (sliced)
pecorino romano cheese (grated)


I like my pies moist, but not soupy, so I reduce (cook the water out of) everything I can before adding it to the deep covered baking pan. I also strive for distinct layers, and a lightly browned, crusty top.

layers [top to bottom]
mashed potatoes
sauteed vegetables
browned meat and herbs


quarter the potatoes
boil the potatoes
mash the potatoes, adding milk and butter #MoistButNotSoupy

brown the ground lamb and beef in a large skillet; the herbs can be added now, or during assembly); this may take up to 30 minutes; #MoistButNotSoupy. It is done when you smell the meat starting to char.

chop the vegetables

saute the vegetables in olive oil; this may take up to 20 minutes; #MoistButNotSoupy

assemble in baking dish, compressing slightly and smoothing each layer; I sprinkled the herbs on top of the meat layer

cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350 F
uncover and broil for 5-10 minutes (this melts and browns the cheesy top)


North American Vasa 2018 -92 days

10 Nov

17.8 km; 1:39:40; 36 m elevation; 10.7 km/h avg; FriSki

As a brand new member of the Vasa Ski Club, I started the Vasa Ski Club page on strava.

92 days? Really? Oh, my.

2018/01/27 -078 days Noquemanon Ski Marathon
2018/02/10 -092 days North American Vasa

appalachian hike

10 Nov

crow caws on mountain
echoes attenuating
sure footsteps climb on

in tree tops rustle
autumn’s final leaves to fall
true spirits arise

awakening dews
in icy winds turn solid
summit now in view

lofty targets met
backlit trees in slanting light
home with heart refilled

2017/11/10 © paulGuernseyPlayer haiku