Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hello, Goodbye

There is not so much of this anymore:

We just had our last ski weekend. 15 days for me, 16 for Tim. I think that's pretty good. Especially when you consider the season is only 3 months long. The trip to Austria helped a lot. I think we'll still get another backcountry day or two in April in the high mountains. But it has warmed up fast!! Today at school I wore sandals and short-sleeves. This past weekend, we experienced in one day what would be a two month progression of snow quality in Colorado. With that sort of warp-speed, I'm not holding out much hope. But this season was awesome! I was so pleased with what we found here in Turkey AND I got my first ever ski vacation. I got a new pair of skis this past summer (G3 Vivas--sweet!) and I can honestly say I broke them in well. I am satisfied.

And now we approach our spring break. We shall head off for a week of sunshine on the island of Kalymnos. It's a Greek island, but so close, it might as well be Turkey. But it's not. It's Greece. And some of the best climbing in the world. We'll see. Next weekend we drive to the cool Med town of Bodrum where we'll hang out a night or two, then we'll hop a ferry to Kalymnos.

We're staying in these climber apartments where, with our rent, we get a moped for the weekend. How Euro! After these 3 months straight with kids (that's right teachers, no long weekends, no half days, nothing!) I NEED some time on the Med. It will be well-earned. Ahhhh.....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

PALANDÖKEN! Skiing Eastern Turkey

Unsure of what we'd find, last weekend we set off for eastern Turkey for the biggest ski resort in the country. We flew an hour and a half and took a 15 minute taxi up to the resort. Again, it was one of those all-inclusive deals, but this time, much cheaper for waaaaayyy better skiing! We didn't find any powder. In fact, they need some serious snow out there. But there was enough for us to have a total blast and not get bored on the pistes.

The place has an ancient gondola, 3 high-speed quads, and several dinky lifts and t-bars. The runs were plenty steep and long and there were several slalom courses set up all over the mountain--probably the only resort steep enough to have such courses. From the top of the mountain, we could get a couple thousand feet of decent in, and NOT on cat tracks. We were very pleased.

We also made quite an impression with the tele skis. People stared and the brave ones told us our skis were broken. Thank you for letting us know.

The bare landscape was still a bit shocking, even though I feel like I've been around the Middle East enough now to expect it. We felt like we were skiing on the moon. There were no trees anywhere. But of course, that meant plenty of wide bowls for carving huge turns.

As soon as we got back, we tried to book a second trip, but all the flights are full this month. We may have to wait till next year to go again, but we'll be sure to get out there at least once a month next winter!

Tomorrow we're off to yet another new ski area, Dorukaya. We are slowly reaching Tim's goal to ski every resort in Turkey by the time we leave--short winter be-damned!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

8 Weeks to Go Time

We've added a race to the calendar! It's the Golden Horn 1/2 Marathon! The race traces the Golden Horn in Istanbul--the old European bit that has all the old stuff in it. It's an out-and-back, but since it's confined to that one little area of the city, it should be easier to manage, logistically (read: no standing in the rain for an hour beforehand).

I learned about the race through a random email, and I'm glad I did, because there are just not many races here--none that I've heard of in my own city. I thought the next race we would run would again be the intercontinental race that we did earlier in the fall. We kicked off the 8 weeks with a huge trail run the other day. My knee is doing decidedly well. This race will be the longest I've run since my knee injury onset. I think if I get through it without knee pain, then my full recovery is official. I had no pain after the 15k we ran in the fall, so I'm keeping my hopes high. I'm still treating it and still certainly working on hip strength. I can tell when I ski--my left leg is still severely weaker than my right and that's just going to take more time.

In other fun news--we're working on our spring break, the first week of April. The early coming of spring has cut our ski plans for that break. Instead, we are planning to go climbing on the Greek island of Kalymnos--some of the best climbing in Europe. It will be in the middle of training time, so I guess I'll need to do some runs on the beach. I know, it's a rough life.