Saturday, January 26, 2008
Okay, well they aren't really so much sunny as it is warmer. It's 55 degrees warmer than it was Thursday morning, so that's all good. It's amazing when it warms up, people start smiling and talking again as opposed to the militant way we get around in the subzero weather when stopping to chat can mean suffering. But enough of the cold.
The rest of my week went well, trainer (bike not human) Friday morning, dinner with my friend, Penny that nite. I did my first ultra with Penny and she has this zen-like calm that I try to channel in stressful times. While I was waiting for Penny, I started to wax my skis for the the Spud Chase the next day. I was undecided on wax and really kinda apathetic about it too, practically a sin in nordic world. I put some cold weather wax on one and went to dinner.
Too bad I waxed the other one with some warmer wax Saturday morning and really, I wish I knew which one was the velcro ski because one was working but the other one was clearly not. I rode over Teton Pass to the race start with my BMT crew which is next weekend. We registered, got the same t-shirt from two years ago and warmed up. Skis sucked but we had already determined that. I saw "no poles" and felt the rematch was on. Mark is really a great guy, from the UK, struggling to get citizenship (don't even get me started) and a heck of a skier with or without poles. I figured I would try to keep him in my sights.
During the warm-up, we figured out that anywhere but the middle of the track was going to be disaster, seriously soft snow made passing a haze and pole plants really deep. Powder snow is not a nordic skier's friend. I started the race in the back (normal) with Mark and the old Sheriff in town, who was a funny guy. I got stuck behind some kid, 11 years old and not afraid to block the pass. Finally got by him and a few others with polite "Could I pass on the left?". Passing the last person to catch up to Mark when I went down in some powder, damn and hard to get up! All those people I had passed went right on by and I had to pass all those people again, "scuse me, sorry, on your left". Energy level = low. Margaritas from last nite rearing their ugly head.
First lap was slow for me but the course was beautiful. Teton Springs is just on the other side of the Pass and is set on a golf course with the obligatory rolling hills and some warm springs towards the back of the property (not the "soak in them" kind, more like the "did someone just fart?" kind). We did two 10k loops and it really has a great mix of terrain. My friend, Dick was sponsoring the race through his store, Peaked Sports. Dick has been incredibly "retail kind" to me and gotten me bikes, skis and other goodies on pro deal. Proceeds of the race went to TVTAP, the Teton Valley Pathways, a great organization that promotes pathway use and grooms the trail for everyone at no cost.
First lap came in at 39 minutes and my goal for the day was to negative split (here's to you, Lisa), so I set out with a better pace on the second lap and also knew that I had time to spare without having people to pass and falls not to take. I felt pretty darn good on the second lap and even though Mark had gotten about 3 minutes (about 1/2 mile) ahead of me, I was chasing him down. Mark, for some euro reason, wears orange tights to races and now has the nickname of "tangerine dream". So he's easy spot even from far away (like space). Even though it was back of pack, people were not letting me get by so I was hanging back and waiting for a spot.
Finally I got by three people and there was 1000 meters (1k) to go and Mark was right there about 200 meters ahead. He's pantomiming using poles but I have real poles and they were going fast and hard. I don't know why it was vital that I catch him, but it was. I almost lost it before the end, using too much energy too fast (and having an odd fantasy about drinking a beer, love mini hallucinations). We all agreed that the last 1000 meters was not really measured out and felt more like 1500 meters. I caught him with 100 meters to go and told him to pick it up. I have a rule that I don't pass people at the very end of a race if they have been ahead of me the whole time. Ever since I saw that Hawaii Ironman where the woman who pooped her pants was crawling to the finish line and the other woman ran by her, I just don't think the karmic world smiles on that. I vowed not to do it. Maybe if the person had poked me with a pole or clotheslined me on the course, but otherwise, they can finish before me.
Big surprise, Erich Wilbrecht, olympian won overall and Barb Lingquist former world champ triathlon won by a boot over another girl (definitely not me). Both ladies have two kids and look like they could model bikinis. I won a euro styled front fanny pack that is available for stylish nordic outings or traipsing around Austria. Oh, second lap = 38 minutes. Negative split.
Tomorrow might find me on a run with my friend Julie and Kris. They are training for Moab's Red Hot 50k (they are doing the 33k) and want to run the entire distance so I might join them for some of the run but don't feel obligated to run all 18 miles. It will take a while because of all the snow here. Thank goodness, I never feel like I have to run the
distance I am training for. Before my 100, the longest run I did was 36 miles and the extra 4 was only because I got lost during a 50k.