I want to help Nate out here with a little contribution since he does such a great job keeping the blog going:)
First, if any of you haven't skied since the Birkie, Theo Wirth was in amazing shape (front and back 9) as of 11am this morning. It's great to have that kind of coverage and grooming in sunny 30 degree weather.
Second, the Birkie was fun as per usual. Unfortunately I'm still unable to push to a good high max HR as things continue to heal post-sugery. But after really struggling up through OO or so (while very seriously contemplating a DNF), I found a little rhythm and hung on to a small group. I was at Mayo last week, and the surgeon said he believes everything seems to be healing (although they put me back on a rate control drug due to my 90-100bpm resting HR). Luckily, I snuck into a top 200 spot, so hopefully next year I'll be fully recovered ready to go again.
Finally, next Tuesday I'll be defending my PhD thesis and then moving to Portland, OR to work as a circuit designer for Intel. Luckily there is good CC skiing one hour away at Mt. Hood (see pic below), and a little further than that in Bend. It's a bummer to move away from such a great city with so many trails, but such is life. If anyone finds themselves in Portland and is looking to roller ski or ski, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to everyone who has helped me work on my form or whipped my butt in intervals. I'll be following Vakava results from the Northwest!