Monday, October 13, 2014

Electrolytes

We all know that electrolytes are important for performance, not to mention normal bodily functions. There are plenty of electrolyte drinks and whatnot out there, but I prefer to get them through my normal diet. I usually eat pretty well. I don't eat much processed food and try to eat plenty of veggies and whole grains. Even so, I have had trouble getting enough of various electrolytes at times.

The first issue I had was a few years ago with low sodium. It's pretty unusual for an American to have low sodium, but I think the combination of not eating processed foods (that have a lot of sodium), not adding any to what I cooked, and exercising (and hence sweating) a lot, caused my sodium to drop over time. I started having really bad muscle cramps after exercising and even some mild heart arrhythmia. I got a blood test that showed all my electrolytes in the middle of the normal range except sodium which was barely inside the low end. I started adding a little salt to my food and the problems cleared up pretty quickly.

The second issue I had was with calcium. I was just not feeling well and was having a hard time going hard. I felt like I needed to stop and lie down after about 30 seconds of going hard. I didn't know if I was anemic or what, so I went back for a blood test. The only thing that was off was calcium which was barely inside the low end of normal. Calcium is critical for muscle function. I drink a fair amount of milk so I don't know why it was low. It may have been due to the drug tamoxifen I was on to prevent breast cancer recurrence which also caused me significant fatigue. I started taking calcium supplements and started feeling better, although the medication was still taking its toll.

I've recently had an issue that I believe was due to low potassium. (No blood test this time.) Earlier in the summer I had been feeling great and my time trial results were back up to where they were a few years ago. But several weeks ago my body started feeling (especially my legs) heavy and fatigued and like I wasn't recovering well from my work outs. I didn't have any good reason why I was feeling this way. I tried giving myself plenty of rest and recovery, but the next hard workout set me back again. I started googling "heavy legs" and several running websites suggested it could be due to low potassium. I can't eat things like bananas too frequently because I start having allergic reactions to them so I needed to find a source of potassium I could eat daily. I looked into supplements but they only contained 3% of the RDA and that didn't seem worth the expense and bother. Then I remembered that salt substitutes are made of potassium chloride and thought that I could use that. So I started adding 1/8 tsp (10% RDA) to my oatmeal every day and lo and behold, started feeling great again. Now I can crank out my hard workouts and bounce back like I used to.

The thing that surprises me most is that I could experience such symptoms when the electrolytes weren't that far off of normal and how small the additions to diet it takes to feel better. Food for thought!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Adventures in Northfield

Last Saturday Nate and Craig invited everyone down to their neck of the woods for a long roller ski and brunch at Nate's house. We had a nice group of about a dozen of us. The brunch was great and it was fun to see Nichole as she nears the birth date of their first child.

While it was nice to have a change of scenery from the usual Afton area, I must say that the roller ski session was a bit of an exercise in mental toughness due to the wind that day. The Northfield area has a lot of corn and bean fields and while it's pleasant to be out in the country they, don't do much to stop the wind. Plus it was a rather chilly wind. So after a few hours of fields stretching to the horizon, the beginning of body aches from K upon K of double pole, and the cold wind whistling through your helmet, the mind numbs and begins to ponder the truly great questions of life such as, "Why does the wooly bear cross the road?" Some cross one direction, some the other. Some go diagonally, some straight across, and some down the road. Some just roll into a ball and lie there. Where are they going? It's not like there is any food or cover from predators out there. And then there's the whole stripe width thing. What's up with that? These are the sort of things the mind contemplates on days like that. Yep, it was that sort of day...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Core and mental toughness training with a bear

My kids, Will and Libby, and I recently visited Yellowstone National Park to visit my niece who is a rafting guide in Gardiner, MT.  We were looking forward to an active, adventured-filled week, but we got more than we were hoping for. It was our second day in the Park. We awoke to light rain, so we decided on two shorter distance hikes.  We didn't want to be too far away from the car in case the weather turned severe.   Our first hike was Bunsen Peak. It is listed as one of the top 5 most popular hikes in Yellowstone by the Lonely Planet Guide Book. The trail head is close to the main road. The type of trail where you'd expect to see more people than wildlife. 

We were about 1/4 the way up the mountain, when the open terrain quickly changed to a densely wooded area. Libby was leading, I was behind her and Will was bringing up the rear. Suddenly we heard a couple of grunting sounds coming from the woods. I knew immediately it was a bear. Before we could react, we heard branches and trees coming down in our direction.  Then a large black bear jumped in front of Libby on the trail and started to growl at us.  Libby screamed and begin to sprint in the opposite direction down the trail. The bear followed in pursuit.  As the bear begin to charge at me, I put my hands up above my head and took a wide stance to appear larger. I also started to roar back at the bear. In my mind, I was thinking "Ok, this is one of those bluff bear charges that I've read about." At some point as her open mouth with sharp teeth and claws got closer to my face, I realized this was no bluff. It was the real deal. 

I needed a plan B.  I wasn't sure exactly what that was going to be. Thankfully, my instincts took over.  I tucked my head in between my forearms and leaned in towards the bear's chest.  As I made contact, I pushed as hard as I could on the bear's chest.  She seemed a little surprised and stumbled backwards, back onto all fours. Then her yearling cub emerged from the trees. The bear and I both looked directly at the cub and then they both retreated back into woods.  

We regrouped and thanked our guardian angels for watching over us. Then we got our bear spray out of the bottom of our backpack. We didn't want to test the higher spirits again. We continued up to the top of the peak and back down, singing loudly the whole way with the bear spray in hand. Our songs were a variety of pop, camp, Christmas,  improv and Sound of Music melodies.  We were quite an earsore to all creatures around us.  We opted to get the cowbell out of the car for our second hike of the day, to Osprey Falls.  Thankfully, there were no other close range bear sightings the rest of the trip!
 5 minutes before the bear!
Lower Falls from Uncle Tom's Cabin trail in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March

So, how come so many of us stop racing or even skiing after the Birkie?  Late-season skiing is often some of the best skiing, and the last month has been exactly that – more comfortable temperatures, more daylight, and still great trail conditions.  With yet a decent snow pack and with the really good grooming that seems to be pretty much the norm now in the Twin Cities, March has had a lot of wonderful opportunities to keep enjoying our favorite sport.

Even the late-season racing can be some of the most fun – low-key, no pressure, just get out there with your buddies and go as hard as you can for 10 k’s or so.  And those 10k’s can go by pretty quickly on March corn snow.  The Slush Rush at Elm Creek the weekend before last was absolutely perfect conditions – no slush, just immaculately groomed and lightning fast and a gorgeous sunny day.  I’d attribute my time of 22 minutes for a purportedly 10 k course to great skis and Fast Wax Cold Flite, but then pretty much everyone was flying that morning.

Even the past few days, with warmer weather and snow disappearing elsewhere, the conditions at Hyland and Wirth have been first-rate.  (Maybe especially for classic; corn snow and klister – fast and bomb-proof kick.)

I’ll move on to other things when the snow is finally gone, but until then I’m going to enjoy the skiing.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

MN State Pursuit Championships

Yet another chilly morning of skiing with a start temperature of -3F.  The sky was blue and the sun felt good, even if the air was cold.  This was my first ever pursuit race.  I chose to wear my skate boots for the races.  The boots felt weird during the classic race because of their stiff soles, but I adjusted. 

I didn't get the best start, the front line was filled with several skiers that should have started in the middle of the pack.  It didn't take long for the field to get strung out.


 
My son, Josh, had layed my skis out for me at the exchange.  The toughest part about the exchange was stuffing my lobster mitts into my pole straps.  After a couple minutes I adjusted to the skate technique and was on my way again.  The skate portion felt slow as the cold, sharp snow crystals took grip on my ski bases.  I had waxed with Fast Wax's HSLF-0, and my skis were gliding as well as anyone's out there, I just wish the conditions were faster.
 
 
I finished 10th overall and first female.  This finish gave me enough points to claim first place in the Fast Wax Cities Cup Series.  Dave Christopherson also had a race, finishing 9th overall.
 
At the finish we were all treated to hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and hot dogs.  The key word here being "hot".  It all tasted good.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Birke - 50km Skate

When we are told to catch a bus from Hayward no later than 6:30 AM, they actually mean it!  We were running a bit behind schedule and pulled into the parking lot at Donnellan Field at 6:38 AM.  Not knowing if there was a parking spot left in the lot, Angie Robinson asked the attendant if we could park "here"; a spot partially blocking the lot entrance.  We took the attendants confusion for a "yes", and quickly vacated our vehicle.  We headed for the next loading bus as another bus pulled forward, next to the line of loading busses.  The driver open her door and asked if there were a few skiers that wanted to get on.  Angie and I ran over to the bus.  After about fifteen of us got on she closed her door and zoomed away.  We looked at each other and said, "that was weird, why didn't she wait until the bus was full?"  We were glad to be on a bus and headed for Cable. 

As everyone that skied these races knows, the ride to Cable took a bit longer than usual.  We finally pulled into Telemark about 7:50 AM; our race started at 8:00.  Certain we would miss our start, we pleaded with the driver to let us out ahead of the other unloading busses.  We were told there were procedures and we needed to wait our turn.  After getting released from our bus we ran for the start area.  My running wasn't quite as fast as Angie's since I had consumed an entire thermos of Gatorade on the bus ride up.  All I could think about was my bladder and how badly I wanted to empty it. 

As I approached the bag dump area I saw Brad Skillcorn.  Without saying a word he nodded "yes" and I handed him my bag which he relayed to the bag check truck.  I heard it announced that we had two minutes to the race start.  I ran to the nearest truck and finally emptied my bladder (sorry truck owner).  With one minute to race start I jumped over the start area fence and into my skis.  I still can't believe I actually made it to the start on time, and I was nice and warmed up from the run.

My race started off O.K. skiing with Jan Gunther.  We worked together for quite a few kilometers (20 or so?).  Just before OO I started to feel energy depleted;  I officially "bonked" not long after.  I have a really fast metabolism and needed a higher dose of calorie consumption than what I was getting, especially in the cold and slow conditions.  I have a few ideas for next year.
With about 17 kilometers remaining
 
With about 12 kilometers remaining (just before Bitch hill) I was in serious trouble.  I started feeling like I was floating and had to back my plodding down to a crawl (literally).  I oscillated between plodding and crawling for the remainder of the race.  With 100 meters to go I wasn't sure if I would actually cross the finish line, or if I would pass out on main street (how embarrassing would that be!). 
Crossing lake Hayward
 
I did finish and was whisked away to first aid on one of their golf carts.  Wow, first aid isn't such a bad deal.  They put me in a 80 degree room, brought me my clothing bag, fed me hot soup, barbeque potato chips and brownies.  Catlin stopped by and I was able to chat with her about her race. 
 
Hopefully next year I won't look quite as pathetic at the finish as I did this year.  But, I am very grateful for the wonderful volunteer that took care of me.
 
It's all a big adventure-

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mora Vasaloppet - 35km Skate

It was a brisk morning for skiing!!! In the negatives at the start and barely rising above zero by the finish.  Going into the race I knew my skis had too much structure for these cold temperatures; I was apprehensive about strapping them on at the start just to confirm.  I was pleasantly surprised to find relatively fast snow.  The groomers must have worked overtime to make sure the course was well packed with beautiful corduroy.  The start went well with no crashes or falls (at least none that affected me).  I started a few rows back and so after the 35km split with the 58km I was looking around to see what women were in front of me.  Throughout the race I wasn't quite sure what place I was in, but was guessing Elaine Nelson and I were the first two (actually, I thought it was Margie).



My skis were riding well.  I did exactly what Dan Meyer (Fast Wax) recommended: HSLF-10 teal followed by HSLF-0 white, and then Flight Arctic as a top coat.  The pack from the photos above stayed together for just about the entire race.  The kilometers flew by and before I knew it we had 7 kilometers to go.  I was still feeling the marathons from last weekend, so I was happy to just ski with the pack and not try to break away. The streets of Mora were a welcome site after 35km.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

City of Lakes Loppet Minne Tour - Finn Sisu Sprint

I will start by saying the City of Lakes Loppet race, or rather the epic 3-day adventure that made up the new Minne-Tour was a blast! Despite any minor growing pains from expanding the event to longer days and longer trails, I think the Loppet Foundation put on a great event, and it should only get better.

My weekend started on Friday night at the Finn Sisu Sprints. Honestly this was the first sprint race of my life, and I really didn't know how I would fare. My quarterfinal heat consisted of myself, the very fast Andy Brown, my formidable Vakava teammate Craig Cardinal, and two other skiers. Truthfully even though we had some fast skiers I think we had the easiest of the heats simply because this was actually the first sprint race of Andy and Craig's lives too. The other heats had guys like Matt and Doug who have done the supertour races and have much more sprinting experience.

The sprint course was approximately 800m with a 100m straight at the start, followed by a wide, 90 degree left-hand turn into the short up and down "hill" over the covered walking tunnel, followed by a 50m flat. This lead to the big hill on the course, which was actually pretty steep and was a true V1 hill. At the top of the hill was a 100m flat section with a 180 degree turn at the end. You then went in reverse on the course to the finish - with the added bonus of a "jump" on the last downhill (very Qu├ębec city-sprint). (f/go has a bunch of pictures of the evening)

In previewing the course it became immediately clear that whoever got to that first turn would have a huge advantage for the remainder of the race, as the passing opportunities were very limited. So for my quarterfinal heat I went out as hard as I could, immediately jumped to the lead, and then spent the rest of the less-than-two-minutes of the heat flailing to stay in front. Around the final turn to the homestretch I was far enough in the lead that I could ease up to the line. Andy was able to hold onto second to also advance to the semifinals.

Our semifinal heat was only 15 minutes later, and my legs were jelly when the gun went off. Now Andy and I were facing off with Doug Debold and another quick guy, Kasey Basco (dressed as Super Mario, the video game character, not the Swiss skier), and despite my prior knowledge of how important a fast start was, I immediately found myself in the back of our group of four. Despite my legs wobbling the whole way, I stayed right on the back of Andy and Kasey, and around the last turn as Kasey was starting to fade I actually had a fleeting vision of slingshotting around both of them into second. Instead as I tried to move around I ran out of room, heard Andy's pole break, and only could come across the line a very close (but still) 4th place. So Andy and I moved to the B-final.

Now I had over an hour to relax, pick up my other bibs, and wait until my last race of the night. The whole point of doing the sprints was because they were part of the Minne-Tour series, and you could get minutes (or seconds) reduced off your overall time for finishing well in the sprint. Winning got 2 minutes off your overall time. Winning the B-final (and so finishing 5th overall) got you a mere 10 seconds.

The 10 second advantage must not have held enough appeal for one of the other B-final starters, since we learned he had decided to just go home and get ready for tomorrow. But I had paid my entry fee, and heck, the sprints were fun, so Andy and I lined up with one other skier for our final. When the gun went off this time my legs felt normal again, and so I was able to again shoot to the front and take the lead. I was actually feeling pretty good in this heat and extended my lead to win the B-final (and those precious 10 seconds) pretty comfortably. Not bad for my first sprint race! It helped that my skis felt fast all night despite the cold temps - I went with a layer of Fast Wax HF Green, a layer of Fast Wax White, and a topcoat of Fast Wax Flight Arctic on my Salomon skis with a Finn Sisu fine grind.

After the race Craig and I headed off to my parent's house for the night. Getting a nice meal of pasta and a chance to finish kick waxing my skis for the next day's race.

City of Lakes Loppet

The City of Lakes has always been one of my favorite races. I love its unique urban terrain, combining sections of challenging hills and beautiful city views. I was trying to mentally prepare myself for a long, grueling race with cold, new snow and the additional 7k including the Minikahda golf course section that was added this year. I was thrilled to find my skis running so well right from the start and throughout the entire race.  I followed Dan's Fast Wax recommendation of two layers of HSLF 10, followed by two layers of HSLF 0 topped with a coat of flight arctic ironed in with a base saver.  I also chose a pair of Atomic World Cup soft track skis. I've struggled with climbing the past few years, so I was especially grateful to find my friend and teammate, Rob Edman, to follow through the bog and the flower gardens. It sure is good to have friends in all the right places! I was also impressed with how my skis were performing. They were fast on the downhills and flats and the soft track skis worked especially well on the hills and cornering. Rob and I skied together on the lakes for awhile and then lost each other. I was happy to make it out of the Minikahda golf course with the soft conditions and the extremely slow and dirty snow at the entrance and exit.  Good thing I had a top coat on my skis to help keep them running fast all the way to the finish.  One of the best parts of the race was seeing and spending time with my friends afterwards. I loved hearing about their war stories on the trail, with a glass of Surly Beer in hand. 


Vakava had some amazing results!  Extra cudos to the Warriors who did both marathons!

42K Classic Results Men
Nate Porath                  10th overall                 5th age group
Craig Cardinal             17th                              6th
Rob Edman                  38th                              10th
David Christoperson   46th                              1st
Kevin Ivens                   141st                            11th
Brent Oja                      157th                             14th

42 Classic Results Women
Bonnie Wiskopf Albrecht   3rd Overall           1st age group
Angie Robinson                  8th                          2nd
Xena Huff                             10th                        4th    (new Vakava recruit)
Michell Oja                           17th                        6th

42K Skate Results Men
Nate Porath                         4th Overall             3rd age group
Derek Wallen                      20th                         7th
Craig Cardinal                    32nd                        10th  
Rob Edman                         44th                         12th
Andrew Kromroy                 51st                         15th
Paul Olson                           72nd                        20th
Dave Christopherson         98th                         1st
Mark Ahlers                         132nd                      16th
Mike Nohr                            144th                        8th
Kevin Ivens                          375th                       45th
Brent Oja                              402nd                      51st

42K Skate Results Women
MB Tuttle                             1st Overall              1st age group
Bonnie Wiskopf Albrecht   7th                            1st  
Cheryl DuBois                     8th                           3rd
Michelle Oja                         28th                         6th

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Boulder Lake (aka: Sufferfest)

Boulder Lake was my first race this year. I've been very busy with work and family and this was my first opportunity to race. I knew I shouldn't put it off any longer if I wanted to not bonk at the Birkie, and figured this would be a relatively easy one to start with. In past years, it has felt relatively easy, but not this one. I guess I can handle a course like that when I'm in shape, but that's not the case this year. I haven't done nearly as much intensity as I normally do because I haven't had the time, or more importantly the energy, to do much. Boulder is a very flat course. There is virtually no rest on a course like that, which is hard for me to take. I need a rolling course to let the lactates clear. The weather turned out warmer than expected so my wax was a bit slow. Not terrible, but not great. (The weather forecasts have not been reliable this year and seem to change significantly in just hours making it hard to wax ahead.) I went out just a tad fast but finally established a comfortable pace about 5k in. The next 10-15k were good. I felt pretty good and was just the right temperature. At the end of the second lap, things took a down turn. I started feeling cold and that is always a sign that I'm getting tired. Then the muscles in my left thigh started to twinge and cramp. Every little downhill I could find, which were precious few and far between, I would get into a tuck and dig my elbows into my thigh to try and rub the cramps out. They would feel better for a bit, and then start tightening up again. After several k's of this, my right leg started feeling tired too, then my arms. The last couple k were just survival mode. I was so glad to be done. I'd driven up with Cheryl and we were both tired so we didn't do much of a warm down before heading home. I was so cold and tired and hungry. Cheryl had a decent race and finished just behind me, but had skied hard and wasn't feeling the greatest either. I at least felt that I had put 'money in the bank' as Cheryl had said.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Balsam Vinterfest

Nate and I loaded up in a car with a few other skiers this weekend to head up to the Balsam Vinterfest.  The race is on the Garfield county park trails, which were my home trails growing up and where I learned to ski, so I'm always excited to get back and ski them.  We stayed at my parents Friday night and they fed us some noodle hotdish, a good carbo loading meal.  The trails are really fun to ski, they are rolling and windy enough to stay interesting, but still flow well.
Garfield County Park Trails - Photo: Stuart Radde
The race has a nice small town feel, no chip timing, only one feed station at the lap, and about 60 skiers total.  Which is good because the trails are narrow and there aren't many great places for passing.  When the trails are icy there can be some tricky downhills, but with the fresh soft snow everything could be taken at full speed with no problems.  The groomers had been hard at work to pack down the new snow we got the night before and the trails were in great shape.

Working on starts during practice last week was at least somewhat helpful, as was the extra elbow room at the start line.  I was the second one off the line and Nate tucked in right behind me.  I took things out fast but controlled, and by the 2k mark the two of us were well away from the rest of the field.  When it became clear that the race would be between the two of us and that I wouldn't be shaking Nate off I dialed the pace back and tried to ski relaxed.  Both of us were skiing on Fastwax Green and our skis seemed to be running fast and just about even, so there would be no advantage to be gained there.
Nate leading through the lap - Photo: Stuart Radde
We traded off the lead a couple times, but Nate was climbing better than I was, so slowly a gap formed.  I pushed to close it a couple times, but that took it's toll and eventually I just couldn't keep contact.  I kept Nate in sight all the way to the final downhill, but there was nothing I could do to bridge back up to him.  Nate won the race in 57:30, I was 40 seconds back, and it was another 5 minutes behind me to third place.
Nate and I after the race - Photo: Stuart Radde
It was a great day to be out racing, and fun to have a Vakava train leading the race.  Next weekend is Seeley Hills Classic, a chance to see how Nate and I stack up in a classic race.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The 2014 City of Lakes Peace Coffee Pre-Loppet Summary

Thanks City of Lakes Loppet Foundation for putting on a great quality race!  The trails were in great shape and the temperatures were about as good as it gets, especially this year.

My day of racing was a success even before the 17 km race started.  My biggest measure of success these days is getting all my kids to the start line on time and with kick wax that actually works for them.  Whew! the Swix VR 60 was the ticket, thanks Piotr .  Caden (10) won his U12 5km race, Bryce (8) was second in his 2km U10 race, and Ethan (5) was 7th out of 12 in his 7 and under race.  Ethan only fell three times and only cried once; quite an improvement from the Twin Cities Championships when he said, "I fell 29 times and cried the whole way".  Thursday evening, Ethan put his tooth through his lip skiing at Wirth; I was proud of him for just getting out there on Saturday.

Start of the Youth 5km Classic Race (Caden is wearing the bright blue hat and grey MYSL suit)
 
I lined up for the start of the 17 km without a warm-up, well I guess running after my kids for the last couple hours would count as a warm-up.  Just after the start, there was a pile-up right in front of me; I narrowly avoided it, but lost precious time in the process.  My skis felt fast (I waxed with Fast Wax's HSLF 10 teal, followed by HSF 10 green, and a final coat of Flight Cold using the Base Saver to apply it).  I also waxed my kids' skis with Fast Wax and they were very happy with their skis.
Bonnie Skiing the Pre-Loppet
I didn't look at the course map before the race, so I wasn't sure where I was on the course or what kilometer I was at.  I saw my son, Josh, cheering me on around the time I was entering Wirth Lake for the second time.  I asked him "how far to the finish", thinking it was between 2-4 kilometers.  He said it was just across the lake. 
Bonnie Skiing on Wirth Lake Toward the Finish
 
I tucked in behind another skier to catch a little draft across the lake.  I was greeted by family, friends, and a nice bag of Peace Coffee at the finish.
 
Vakava had many age group podium finishes at the Pre-Loppet:
 
30-39 females - Anna Peterson 3rd (8th female overall)
40-49 females - Bonnie Weiskopf 1st (2nd female overall)
30-39 males - Nathan Porath 2nd (6th overall)
                     - Craig Cardinal 3rd (7th overall)
60-69 males - Dave Christopherson 1st (61st overall)
 
Other strong finishes from Vakava include:
Ryan Atwell (15th overall)
Paul Olson (76th overall)
Mike Nohr (77th overall)
 


 
 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Twin Cities Championships Spectator

I had fun watching three of my sons race in the Twin Cities Championships today (U12, U10, and U8).  Endurance United put on a nicely run race.  It's always a bonus if my kids all stay on course and don't get lost.  Of my three kids racing, two took top honors in their respective age categories.  My five year old didn't quite make the podium.  He said, "I fell twenty nine times" and cried the whole way.  We all have a day like this once in a while!  My 9th grade son raced in a continuous pursuit at Theodore Wirth. 

Even though I wasn't able to race today, I did get a very nice ski at Lake Elmo Park Reserve later in the day.  I skied on a new pair of classic Atomic skis I bought from Finn Sisu.  I'm embarrassed to say it took me over a month to put them at the top of my family's ski waxing priority pile.  To prep them I ironed in a thick layer of Fast Wax's fluoro Hot Box wax, let the wax completely cool, then re-ironed them.  Next I put on a layer of Fast Wax's fluoro base wax, then one layer of blue.  They were really fast!  Finn Sisu did a great job fitting me with these skis; they are really fun and kick/glide really nicely.

Hope you all enjoyed the relatively warm weather today.