Monday, February 11, 2008

Slip Sliding Away

Saturday: North American VASA 50 km Classic Race
When my alarm went off at 5:00 am saturday morning, I was actually already a little bit awake. I didn’t sleep all that well because I was worried about getting down to T.C. in time for the 8:30 start. We made it, but with only a few minutes to billy dally around getting ready. In all the rushing around, I managed to forget my GPS/HRM sitting back at the car. Not the end of the world by any means, but a tad frustrating when you realize it one minute before the gun goes off. So it’s back to old school racing for me, no time, heart rate, or distance info. available. Just me and the snow. It was actually a tad liberating to be honest, but that feeling of liberation was soon replaced by a new and much less pleasant emotion: Frustration. The temperature was about 5 degrees warmer than predicted, and that meant my kick wax wasn’t all. There was no grip at all. This meant my only options for forward motion were to herringbone up the steeper hills and to use my poles everywhere else. My arms were real tired after just shy of five hours of work, but all in all I’d say things worked out pretty well. I wasn’t pushing the pace too much in the beginning because I was still a little concerned about finishing the race. But near the end, I did have the strength and motivation to pass four or five fellow classic skiers in the last 10 km with a good final push (literally). I ended up 3rd in my age group and 16th overall, finishing in 4 hours 51 minutes. So my first official ski marathon is in the books, and I feel way better than expected. I may just have to do a few of those next winter. Thanks to Sarah for driving and taking some cool pictures.

This shot is from right before the start. Check out the cool ski art I'm skiing under.

Here I am at the 27 km check point (where I normally would be done). I'm fueling up before heading out for the 23 km loop.

Here's a video of me crossing the finish line. Notice how my legs aren't moving and I'm using my poles to push myself forward. That's what I was doing the whole race. Let's just say it's not the easiest way to get around on skis and leave it at that.

Sunday: Backcountry Skiing @ The Tower: 1 hour 45 minutes, 1277 vertical feet.
After snowblowing the driveway yesterday morning, I met up with Marcus, John, and Dylan for a great (albeit a little chilly) powder day up at The Tower. It was cold, but once you got moving it wasn't too bad. The six inches of fresh powder were an absolute delight, and we got in some great runs.

This is what my thermometer in the Passatt read yesterday morning when I met up with the boys around 11:00. Brrr.

Monday: Getting back on the bike this afternoon for the first time in over a week for some light intervals. It should feel nice since I won't have to really use my arms much. Then I'm skiing the rest of the week and getting ready for the 12 km race at Hanson Hills on sunday. Hope everybody had as much fun as I did this weekend. Take care, and thanks for reading.


Zach Rodgers said...

fantastic accomplishment!

Anonymous said...

Wow, how many were in yur age group?

WPG said...

Well.....there were only three. But hey, I can't control how many people come out to play. And when you hardly ever crack the top ten, you've gotta take what you can get.