Monday, December 24, 2007

Reindeer Roundup

I skipped the Osceola world famous christmas race (and my chance to win PIE!!! Enjoy that pie, Jess), and hit up the Reindeer Roundup in Lapland Lake on my way home. This was a two-fer, as there was a ski-o here in the afternoon, so I could hit up both. The race was a continuous pursuit, 5k-5k, and they held it on the same trail for both classic and skate. We all lined up, self-seeded, and I got in behind a girl in a Dartmouth suit, not sure who it was. We go off, and Steph Crocker takes the lead for the girls (amid rabid master men and wobbly highschool boys) until things thinned out a bit. Then I heard someone cheering for both Steph and for Ali, so I figured it was Alison Crocker I was behind. She was starting to let Steph get away, so I went around her and skied behind Stephanie for a while, until Alison caught back up, with a junior kid. We skied like that for the rest of the 5k, which was pretty flat, with gradual uphills and fast downhills in the tracks. The rain hadn't hit Lapland yet, but the snow was sure wet.

Switching to skate stuff (there wasn't enough room for a true stadium, so our skis were all stuck in the snow by a flag with our bib numbers), I discovered how tricky it is to skate well when you have a track on either side of a narrow trail. Ali and I had faster skis than Steph and the junior girl, so we pulled away, and proceeded to ski pretty easy for the rest of the 5k. It was hard to ski hard, marathon skate was the technique of the day, and as the tracks were so fast anyway, that seemed to work. I led for most of the middle of the loop, and then right before the end I let Ali go by, because I didn't want to be in the way... what was I thinking? there is no room to pass on this finishing straight! Anyway, that meant that she got in first and I was right behind her, wondering if there was a way to sneak a ski past her. This may be the first and last time I ever ski with Alison Crocker... I'll take it! We ended up 6th and 7th overall, which is always nice.

That afternoon I did the ski-o... I don't think I'd eaten nearly enough food after the ski race, because I bonked pretty hard. I also wore my warmups, because I'd been cold beforehand, but I ended up just steaming myself to death, and naturally I didn't have any water. I navigated horribly, making at least one mistake on every leg, and stopping a couple times just trying to re-orient. Overall, a miserable race for me. The straight-line distance was 8.8k, but with all the twists and turns at lapland, I ended up skiing about 15-20k, and it felt like 50. ugh.

Driving back to Rochester, I went through one of the heaviest rainstorms I've been in in a couple years. It wasn't so bad that I could feel the water bouncing off the road and hitting the bottom of the car, but I couldn't see much past 2 feet ahead of my bumper. I could barely make out the lines next to the car--that was kind of scary. If only it had been snow! All the snow here is essentially melted away... I guess its a good thing bristol now makes snow on a nordic loop. Ahhh, loop skiing on manmade snow... its a good thing I'm used to it!

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