Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ski Memories

Confession, I took THREE days off from running after my 20 miler on Friday! 
It wasn't intentional.  I would have run Sunday but everything was covered in snow and I was enjoying my day inside in pajamas a little too much. 
I would have run Monday night, but it was below 30 degrees (and windy!) and I had to go with Greg to pick up a car we had in the shop after work, so by the time we got home it was around 6:30pm and I wanted to make Greg dinner before he headed out to work.  I did do some more at home yoga that night though!

Anyway, last night I finally got back out there and did a little over 5 miles. 

It was a little cold, but not too terrible.  I realized that running in the dark, cold air with snow on the ground reminds me of something...  Night skiing!  Growing up in New England, I learned to downhill ski somewhere around second or third grade.  I was pretty much hooked from the first time I clipped into my skis.  My mom took my brother and I to a small mountain near where I grew up almost every Friday night.  I took lessons and then enjoyed hours and hours of ski time with my friends.  The place I went was called Maple Valley, and I'm not even sure it's actually still running.  How sad!

I remember worrying we wouldn't get to go if the roads were bad, but somehow my mom usually seemed to be willing to take us.  I learned a lot in my lessons and picked up skiing fast.  It wasn't long before I went from this: 

"Pizza, french fry, pizza, french fry"  
(Watch the Aspen episode of South Park, and you'll know what I'm talking about...)

to this:

Haha, just kidding, that's Picabo Street.  I was never anywhere near that good.  But I could do the black diamond trails at Maple Valley ;)

Here's the good ol' lodge, where I ate many a french fry and drank gallons of hot chocolate.

I remember how I would be bundled up in my ski pants, jacket, gloves, goggles, and hat, with just my nose exposed (if it wasn't tucked into my neck warmer) and how the cold, crisp air felt riding up that ski lift.  I remember looking down at the white snow on the pretty evergreen forest in the moonlight and then bounding off the lift ready to race down and do it all again.  I loved carving my tracks in the fresh snow and skiing down the mountain like lightning.  It was a total blast and I'm so grateful to my parents for exposing me to skiing as a kid.  Skiing is pretty expensive, so it was pretty cool that they were willing to spend the money and let us go. 

I also skied all through high school at another small mountain in Western Mass called Berkshire East (wow, it's still there/open!).

I went twice a week all winter long and loved every minute of it.  Fun Fact: I actually had my first kiss on the bus ride home from skiing when I was in tenth!

I really miss skiing a lot and I've said to Greg if there's one trip I'd like to take in the US that I haven't taken yet, it would be to go out west somewhere and ski someday.  I went to a few other bigger mountains in New England to ski a bunch of times but have never gotten a chance to ski out west.  Greg actually skis too and is pretty good for a Chicago born boy.  We went together a few times in western Virginia when we lived up there and had a blast.

After my run and flood of ski memories, I created this for dinner.

Basically a scaled down version of vegetable marrakesh, because I was using what I had in the house.

I used:
1 acorn squash, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
1 apple, peeled and cubed
1/2 onion
1/2 roasted red pepper
1 heaping teaspoon of garlic (1 or 2 cloves)
1/2 cup pureed butternut squash
1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of tumeric
1 tablespoon of cumin
Plus 3/4 cup Quinoa cooked in stock

I roasted the acorn squash, carrots, and apple for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees on a cookie sheet with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.

Then, I put about a tablespoon of oil in a large pan, and sauteed the onion, garlic, and pepper for a few minutes.  Once the roasted veggies were done in the oven, I added them and the chickpeas into my pan along with the cinnamon, tumeric, and cumin.  Stir in the pureed butternut squash and the apple juice.  Lastly add your cooked Quinoa and stir til everything is well combined and heated through.

I love the flavors in this dish.  :)

Have you ever skied?  What did you do in the winter when you were a kid?


Lizzy said...

Great run! I only run three days a week so I enjoy the extra rest! I wish I could ski! I hope my kids will have experiences like you did. Sounds like fun!

Becky said...

Love all the skiing memories! I am desperate to get to the mountains, but school vacation isn't always the best time. We're only about 40 minutes from Wachusett, so we can go night skiing soon. I got my first pair of skis when I was 18. My boyfriend taught me it!

Brittany @ A Healthy Slice of Life said...

I learned to ski with "pizza" and "french fries"! :)

I adore skiing, but I've been told I've been spoiled because I've only been out west. Vail, Park City, Breckenridge, Tahoe, Snowmass, etc... next on my list? I want to try Jackson Hole!

Jaclyn @ Baking Charms said...

I've only been skiing once - I was all about ice skating!

Runblondie26 said...

What great memories. I'm so envious if your skill. I wish I had been introduced to it earlier in life. I started snowboarding when met DH, and I'm such a ecstasy cat. Whenever I start going too fast, I freak and sit down.

Another perk of living in base, snowboarding in Utah for under $30 a day. Get the 1st flight out in the morning, arrive in SLC around 11. Rent a car with the airline discount for $20. Show your boarding pass at one of the participating resorts for a free lift ticket. Leave the mountain around 6:00, top off the gas for $10, get on the red eye back home.

I'm sure Continental has a similar agreement somewhere. Check it out. Works great before you have kids!

Kristina @ spabettie said...

I LOVE to ski... I may have had more night ski runs in my life than daytime, since I was on a ski team and we had practice every Wednesday night. THe hardcore team members would go up on Thursdays too, and we'd drive my friend's VW Bug up to the mountain, skis clipped to the back! :D

My favorite ski memory is taking a helicopter to Whistler - then ski down. That was amazing.

Anonymous said...

I used to be like that! "pizza, pizza, pizza"

I've never really been into skiing. Give me a tube any day! :-)

Ali @ Ali on the Run said...

I'm from New England too and basically grew up on the ski slopes! Now that I'm a runner, I've grown a bit terrified of skiing for fear of injury. My knees are fragile these days!

Runblondie26 said...

Haha, just reading through my earlier response. Gotta love auto-correct.

Katy (The Singing Runner) said...

Great run! I had my first experience running in the snow a few weeks ago when I was visiting Maryland. I'm a Florida girl so it was a bit of an adjustment!

Cindi said...

When I live in Utah again someday - you can come stay with me and we'll ski our snowbunny hearts out!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Skiing, my family owns a condo out in Steamboat, Colorado!! We go out there EVERY winter. I would love to give you the details of my condo if you would like to stay there when you go on vacation. I know that you would love it out there because it is a nice resort with a small town feel!! :)

RunningOnCoffee said...

My husband and I brought our skis with us to Western NY for Christmas and we got a chance to go this past Wednesday night. I didn't learn to ski until HS, but then I joined ski club for my Sr.year and got to go weekly for about 2 months. Then in college, I was able to ski for my gym credit, going to the same mountain for night time skiing once a week. We've been to Stowe, VT to ski about 3 times, but never been out west. Now that we're in NJ, the closest skiing is the Poconos, which is about 2-2.5 hours away, and only 2/3 the size of the mtn in NY where we grew up.

I wish we were closer to a good mountain! My calves are now always sore for a day or two after skiing (despite being in better shape running and biking-wise) but they were never sore when I used to ski weekly!

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