Thursday, January 27, 2011

Paintball Biathlon

The girls got their first shot at paintball biathlon on a cold, sunny Saturday at the Mountaintop Inn near Killington, Vermont.

The shooting range was located in the middle of a 1K loop. Ava was disappointed that she only got to ski one loop for the 1st and 2nd grade division. She made up for it by skiing multiple laps before the race started and she kept skiing the sidelines after her race. The lollipopers, Julia's category for preschoolers and kindergartners, did not shoot during their 1/2 K race but they did get to try some practice shots. Though the paper-plate target was big, there were not a lot of hits from the younger age groups. Looking through the rifle sight to see the target is a new concept for most of the kids, who are skiers but not shooters.

Ava had the fastest ski time in her group of about 15 girls, but placed second behind a girl who hit more targets. (I don't think Ava hit any.) Her actual ski time beat the boys' times, too, which goes to show that good, classic skiing can be fast even though skating has the look of being fast.

At some point, Ava will learn to skate, which is the required technique for a traditional biathlon. But for now, she and her sister are classic skiing and doing fine. Julia placed third in her group and she skied without poles.

Now, we'll just have to get the girls to practice shooting.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Freedom from the Kids on Martin Luther King Day

I spent the Martin Luther King Day holiday skiing with my husband, a rare treat that we manage about once a year. Both of our kids were invited for a playdate, which left us with a few hours free. The single-digit thermometer reading was intimidating, but the sun was out, which made it feel warmer than it was. I also heard the weather forecaster say that the higher elevations would be warmer than the valley floors. That's really what got me out the door.

Tom had raced the day before so it was a good day for him to go easy. Of course, his easy is hard for me, but going a little faster than usual kept me warm. There was blue sky, powdery trails and snow-covered trees, and the trails we skied on were relatively quiet. I even got a few pointers on my technique (which I asked for and which were helpful).

We enjoyed a quick soak in the fitness center's outdoor hot tub after the ski. Then when I found that my locker was next to a mom with a loud toddler, I moved my clothes to the next room so I could hold onto that relaxed feeling a little longer before picking up my own kids.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stowe Mini-Marathon

Blueberry soup, s'mores, and lots of skiing made up our adventure today in the Stowe Mini-Marathon. The girls both got in their biggest skis: Julia skiing 6K with Daddy and Ava skiing 15 K with me. It was quite an accomplishment.

Ava wanted to be up front though it was a tour not a race. After the first big hill, in which she wanted to be away from her mother, we had a good time until the last couple of kilometers when she fell a couple of times on the downhills. Tom reported that Julia was all smiles. We finished and found lots of yummy treats to gobble up in the yurt making for a sweet end to a long outing.