K2inCanada's Blog

February 26, 2012

Tough one

Filed under: Canada, Home, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 5:06 PM

Another P’ayak behind me. Last year I said I would never do this particular loppet again. But you forget the pain over the course of a year and they also changed the race course to the direction I wanted. We watched the weather forecast all week and it changed from lots of snow and warm to no snow and cold to lots of snow and warm – the latter not being the ideal conditions for my grip tape.

So when we got to Callaghan that morning, I first tried out my grip tape in the 30cm or so of fresh snow that had fallen over night. And guess what – snow was sticking to it like crazy. So I had to use my crowns since it was still snowing. I was the only classic skier in our group. Dan and John, who got a ride up with us were both on skates, so were Jeff and Dan’s friend Tom who we met up with at the check in. Jeff and John were doing the 50km – CRAZY – while Dan, Tom and I did the 30km. Tom’s and Dan’s wives, Helen and Angela, were volunteering and had to be there early to set up the course. They and Tom spent the night in Whistler. A major thanks to all the volunteers – it was well organized once again!!!

The race itself was just as hard as I remember from last year but I think the conditions were much tougher – the fresh snow made people’s ski stick and slow. It also built up in the corners on steep downhill section which created invisible, deep trenches on the trail which I had a hard time to navigate through with my skis – one ski up, one ski down – so I did a really good face plant less than 5kms into the race coming down from the Biathlon tail. But I am getting ahead of myself. Should talk about the start first – lining up with 150 or so skiers, most of the skaters. And right off the start the course did a left hand turn into a hill climb. Guess what, the race almost came to a halt right there with skaters running into each other on the uphill. Us few classic skiers could sneak by along the edges – but that was the only time I had an advantage over the skaters – sure enough they all passed me once we reached the top of the first climb. Oh well. Not too long after, all the 15km racers passed me as well – they started 5min after us. 3/4 into the first of two 15km laps the fast 50km racers came flying by – they did two 25km laps taking a detour at the top of the course but shared most of the 15km lap with us. At least Jeff never passed me until I was on my second lap :-). I thought I was doing okay on my first lap even though my grip felt poor – technique I am sure since the conditions should have suited my crowns well. But on lap two the whole having no grip got worse and worse and I felt like a total beginner. Back got sore, ankle started to get sore …. but somehow I managed to get myself together again except by that time my energy was spent and I crawled along for the last 8km. Double poling was still working though. I caught up with this woman on classic skis on Porter’s Glide on lap 2 and she got out of the tracks to let me by. But I told her to go ahead since the next hill was right around the corner and she would be going up it much faster – we had done this before on lap one.  And I was right – never saw her again.  There sure were many more hills than flat areas on this course :-). I was soo tired I even forgot to get out of the tracks on the last downhill part towards Mountain View and scared myself to hell by the speed I was going down – hit over 40km/hr – on wobbly, tired legs. Didn’t crash – maybe I should try this more often. Just before the finish I got lapped again by a couple more 50km racers and their coach was telling them to watch their form, stand up tall… after 50km of racing!!! Then I went passed him struggling to diagonal stride up this tiny rise and he said “Looks good”. Haha, that tells you how I look racing – like someone trying as hard as they can but still looking like a paddler rather than skier. But it did give me the energy to just double pole as hard as I could to the finish line. My time was better than last year (3:12:40 – 1min28sec faster but I think the course was longer as well this year, 32.3km) AND I finished before Jeff (although not by much 3:28:12) AND I wasn’t last. Even though I finished just above the bottom 10 skiers I achieved all my goals :-). Poor John had a tough race – he broke his pole right off the start and although he got loaners from the Solomon rep and was able to restart with the 15k racers he was all on his own for most of it. I think he still did exceptional given the circumstance.

Today, I went and bought myself skate skis – spending my so-hard-worked-for bonus on toys (skis and a new bike) – rather than doing another workout :-). It was snowing on and off all day and I didn’t feel like paddling in snow and my ankle didn’t want to be in ski boots today. So curling it will be for todays workout. I could have gone swimming …..but had to write this blog.


1 Comment »

  1. Congratulations! Good luck with the skating – I have been thinking about taking it up since the track situation has been a little crummy here. Classic will always be my first love though!

    Comment by Catherine — February 28, 2012 @ 7:46 AM

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