I arrived on Saturday near 9pm and the Zoom Performance guys and Marco were just finishing up. The temps were warming up and the sun was showing it's face. I new that my opportunity for good snow was diminishing. To make things better, the groomer was just finishing up (thanks Kevin?).
I did one warm-up lap that included all of the little side trails out and back. 31min of a good workout (later found out 157avg heart rate). I shed some clothes and took off to beat my previous time. I stopped once or twice for a short conversation with others, but mostly kept ma decent pace. I finished 29min later with a 164avg. Somewhere on these two laps I hit a 177max, so I guess that I now have evidence that XC skiing is indeed a good workout.
I set my alarm for 6am on Sunday as the overnight temps were staying too warm. After a quick Starbucks stop, I headed back to Big Creek. I started at 7:15 and the temp was showing 34degrees from my car. I was hoping that the fog would keep the snow in good shape and just as I was ready to start I heard Kevin (?) come by on his snowmobile/grooming. Again I did a short warm-up and two laps. My body (especially my ankle and foot muscles) was feeling the effort from Saturday. The first lap was 31min again, but the heart avg dropped to 150. I went hard on the second lap to set a mark to shoot for in the future. 27:32 @ 162. I'd bet that the nicely groomed trail helped, plus my form is coming along better.