The daylight is fading fast this time of year. The rapid ransition from summer to autumn goes all too quickly. There is already a crispness in the air. The sunlight hits at a low angle and casts long shadows across the roads and trails. The change in seasons puts pressure on my workout schedule. It’s grown too dark in the morning to do anything meaningful outdoors. There’s little time to waste between the end of a the work day and the workout.
Tonight was a nordic workout. Specific strength intervals in a race against the coming darkness. Four sets each of V2, single-stick, and no-pole skate, one minute effort, recover. The V2 is a full-body effort. The kick, the crunch, the poling all firing in unison. My stomach hurts, my heart rate is pegged. I’m breathing in gulps. I’m going too hard. Single-stick loads the upper body, the arms especially. I can’t muscle my way through it, but I can get persist. No-pole skate still feels much harder than it should be. I’m good for 45-50 seconds, then I lose form and start dumping energy, slapping the ski onto the ground, letting my weight get back. And it all goes to hell.
By the end of the session, the sun has set and I make my way back to the car in the twilight. At the car, I change into running shoes and head out for 25-30 minutes run in the dark to finishing things off.
I’m splitting time between the end of the cycling season and the ramp-up of the nordic season. Tonight, there wasn’t enough time to be on the bike. I’ll race the Mayor’s Cup in a week and a half and that will do it for bike races for me this year. My cycling fitness has come back quickly but the Mayor’s Cup will be the real test. There’s something to be said for 27 years of muscle memory, even with the little or big interruptions along the way. I’ll carry as much of that fitness into the ski season as possible.