Ice Skates and Runnin’ Shoes

admin | February 3, 2010 in Endurance,Running | Comments (14)

It’s January 2009. I’ve never played ice hockey before, and a good friend in Minnesota has made arrangements to take over a lake with her neighbors for a weekend of frozen fun. Snow skiing is also in her plans, some sledding, ice fishing – just a whole bunch of “we are freezing our butts off” activities that sound like a lot of fun.

The snow skiing I’ve got covered; been skiing since I was a kid. Everything else? It’s all new. I’m a little wary of the whole “frozen lake” idea, as the ice-skating I’ve done has always been on legitimate skating rinks. I can skate…and I can swim…but I’ve no interest in mixing the two.

I recall a favorite film – “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In the film, George Bailey goes into the icy water after little brother Harry breaks through and nearly drowns. George is the hero…but the rescue costs him his hearing in one ear as a result. “Are we sure the ice will be thick enough?” the piano player in me wonders.

But I’m told the locals are parking their cars in the middle of the lakes outside their ice fishing huts, so I guess it’ll be okay. Sure. I can do this.

Still, I’m already scheduled to be in Arizona that weekend for my first Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon. Two Phoenix buddies and I have planned to run together representing Team McGraw to raise awareness for the need for increased quality of life brain tumor research through the Tug McGraw Foundation. They are counting on me to be there…and I’m not a good “let ‘em down-er.”

For the record, Phoenix ain’t nowhere close to Minnesota.

I’m gonna have to make a choice; I can’t do it all. It’s too much. I’ll…no, wait…sure I can. It’s not as if I’m slamming myself with travel and activities…

I’m just “cross-training.”

Ice hockey is just like jumping onto a chilly Precor Elliptical Machine that requires a little more balance. NO, it doesn’t “require more balance.” It assists in “training my core.” If my feet take off without me, it’s merely an opportunity for a series of impromptu lunges. When I fall on my butt – “and I will” – it’s one more sit-up.

Skiing builds up my quads and glutes. It challenges my thighs and hip adductors. So I ski first…skate later…as skating will be “lower impact” in advance of the run to come in a few days.

Ice fishing? I don’t know what that is. We’ll call that “recovery.”

So I shoot up to Minnesota, ski, sled, play hockey, try ice fishing…and then jump onto a plane to Arizona in time to slap on my number and saddle up for the start of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon.

Following our “thirteen-and-change-mile” jaunt through the dry and the hot that is Phoenix, even in January, it occurs to me that exactly twenty-four hours earlier, I had been bundled up and up to my knees in snow, eighteen-hundred miles away…and it was ONE HUNDRED DEGREES cooler.

Now THAT’S cross-training.

14 Responses to “Ice Skates and Runnin’ Shoes”

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  1. Comment by Steve Cibulka — February 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm  

    That is some beautiful form, my friend. The second pic looks familiar. Hmmmm…I wonder why. You earned your medal in that half with your antics that week. Keep it up. Can’t wait to run with you again!

  2. Comment by SharonFebruary 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm  

    That is some temperature differential…but it sounds like you had fun! 🙂

  3. Comment by Michele Kolb — February 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm  

    WOW, you da man Jeff!!!! You’re awesome; hope you had a blast!

  4. Comment by Kelley S JFebruary 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm  

    Love the running images side by side! Keep em coming! This site was a fantastic idea! WELL DONE!

  5. Comment by Lindy — February 3, 2010 at 6:01 pm  

    We had soooo much fun ~ didn’t we? You left out: geocaching, human bowling on ice, and the sleigh ride! Come back soon and we’ll play some more! You’re awesome! 🙂

  6. Comment by Angelika Cutino — February 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm  

    Well Jeff I will tell you, you are braver than I am, and I don’t back down from challenges, but there are some things that I draw the line at and ice fishing is one of them. When I was in Hawaii, we went parasailing, snorkeling, jet skiing and those are three things that none of us had done before and I am afraid of heights. So parasailing was a challenge for me since we went 1,800 feet up in the air, but ice fishing is crazy! PLEASE be careful when on the lake in whichever activity you do. That worries me; things would not be the same without our Piano Man! I don’t blame you for not wanting to mix skating and swimming together, so just make sure you are careful. Remember, if you have any reservations at all, just remember you have a commitment the following day in a different state!

    Enjoy your weekend and we will be thinking about you on Sunday during the half marathon, and I know you and all the other guys are most likely getting jazzed for the upcoming tour. See ya on the road this year!


  7. Comment by Cerissa — February 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm  

    There you go, killing two birds with one stone multi-tasking. Having fun skating, skiing, and exercising!

  8. Comment by Matt Beck — February 3, 2010 at 9:11 pm  

    That is impressive. Now I feel lazy for only run the 1/2 marathon that weekend.

  9. Comment by ChristineFebruary 3, 2010 at 11:41 pm  

    Jeff… I get exhausted just reading about your whirlwhind of a weekend last January! But on the other hand, I commend you on your endurance, energy, and enthusiasm to survive the eighteen hundred mile trip and one hundred degrees temperature difference. You are an amazing Man…. McMahon!

    Ya gotta believe!


  10. Comment by Kathy Brown — February 4, 2010 at 5:50 am  

    Jeff, is there anything you can’t do or anything you won’t try? So now, let’s see…it’s piano/marathon/triathlon/hunter/ski/hockey/ice fisher man…whew! Gonna have to get a bigger business card! Have fun, but PLEASE be careful!

    See you on the road!
    Ya Gotta Believe!!!!


  11. Comment by Kyle DreierFebruary 4, 2010 at 7:52 am  

    Something says your next adventure will be hiking the Grand Canyon … wearing a deer pelt and hockey skates. On second thought, that’s probably not extreme enough. 🙂
    – KD

  12. Comment by KevinFebruary 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm  

    That is a hard week to pull off… physically, mentally and logistically! That’s why you’re the Road Dog! Love the hockey pic.

  13. Comment by brenda — February 6, 2010 at 1:58 pm  

    Wow!!! Wish I had half your energy! (Hahahaha!) You’re such an inspiration! Thanks!

  14. Comment by Temple MarconiFebruary 12, 2010 at 9:51 am  

    It is very easy to cache without a GPS. When I first started out caching I didn’t possess a GPS, had never utilized one and didn’t actually find a need to purchase one. I found Google maps, looked at distinguishing turning points and set away to retrieve caches. I detected many with this method and still do to this day. The majority of these finds are woods-based caches and I’ve even finished a “multi” in this manner. Although I nowadays have a GPS, I utilize it chiefly when I hide caches and explore woods away from my local region.

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