Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Running is Not a Snow Sport

I went away to Mammoth Lakes, CA this weekend for my third time seeing snow and second time snowboarding. Well, my first time didn't really count, as I was basically sitting on my board most of the time, using my arms to push myself down the mountain. Boy, did I have sore wrists at that time!

Anyway, I had a nice and very patient *dude* who knows his way around the slopes (I'd call him "The Russian," but technically, he's Ukrainian) teach me how to at least keep balance on the board. These pictures were taken from a lift (I'm the white puff). This may look easy, but my calves were getting horribly tight doing this. I wonder if running has made some parts of my leg weak, as I get similar tightening after too much Dance Dance Revolution (DDR).

I think that the next time I get to spend a day out there, I may actually finally get to know what I'm doing. Don't be fooled by the pictures, though. I spent a lot of time on my knees/behind.

This picture below is from an evening full moon snowshoe walk that ended with free cider and dessert. Food was definitely a needed reward after awkwardly walking for an hour in the cold wind, in the dark, with ski poles. I think the guy had to get mine from the kids' area because the longer ones were too unweildy. Yes, I took very cold in this picture. Cold isn't something I am used to anymore living in Southern California.

Fortunately, snowshoeing is a little more intutive to this runner than boarding. It isn't easy (the ground got to be very unstable at times), but I found it good exercise and totally do-able.

The moral of this post is, I am definitely more comfortable in some niches than others. However, everything takes some getting used to. I remember the first times running out in the street and how awkward that was, and how scared I felt all the time. Or when I first started going to the weight room, where I was timid but too stubborn to ask for help. The same thing is happening with these snow sports and my bicycle.

By the way, I came back with some minor knee bruises and one painful tailbone, but my wrists were perfect!

I should add that I am trying to update more often with more content, but I'm currently working two jobs along with full-time student-ry and working on my master's thesis. As you can probably guess, getting all the training in is a feat in itself and deserves a medal (like the one I claimed for the marathon I did not run!).


Photo credit goes to June B.


  1. Thanks for your note!

    I learned how to snowshoe last winter and had the same experience - much more intuitive than some of the more extreme winter sports, but still lots of fun.

  2. Looks like a great time. I have always wanted to try snowshoeing.