Back from the Birkie

Lynne Kiesling

This weekend the KP Spouse and I headed six hours north into northwest Wisconsin and joined a cabin-full of friends in the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race, although my pace was not so racelike! We did the half distance (the Kortelopet), which is 23km (14.26 miles), classic style (i.e., not the skate style that you’ve been seeing on the Olympics). I was slow, even slower than my running pace, but it was a gorgeous course and the weather was beautiful. In terms of fitness I was in good cardiovascular shape for it (and from a cardio perspective could have done the full 54km Birkie), but my x-c skiing technique is poor, and it sure did challenge my muscles! My natural tendency is fast-twitch muscle activity and things like downhill skiing, so long-distance cross-country slow-twitch endurance is not my thing. But it was fun, especially the big party in Hayward afterward and then pizza that night with our party … although I am sure having some trouble moving today!

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