This past weekend were some Eastern Cups in Rumford ME. Classic sprints and a 10k skate. I thought that the 10k was mass start, but I was wrong about that. It was fun anyway, but a mass start would have been more fun. I was having problems with getting into the racing mindset this weekend. It never really hit me that I was racing all weekend. I remember at one point in the 10k wondering why it felt so hard to do this. I was also having a lot of trouble finding motivation to race. Driving over to the sprint, Jess and I were talking about ski racing, and it seemed very remote to me. Like it was a very nice concept, and it might be fun to watch.
Anyway, fast forward, and I'm in the same place in my head that is very definitely not reality. I also had a small problem in that my watch was 11 minutes slow and I didn't realize this. Apparently, as I was waxing my race skis, Jackson told me that I had three and a half minutes to the start. I said ok, and kept waxing, really calmly, like I had nothing to worry about. I never heard him say this. Four people in the tent heard him say this. when I saw number 410 ski by the tent, I realized I was in trouble, being number 414. I sprinted to the start with my skis half waxed, tripped over a dog leash along the way, and got there as number 428 was starting. I figured, why rush, so casually re-set my watch so I could time the lap, put my poles on, and skied down the trail. I yielded the better line to number 428, since I figured she was racing for real, and I was sort of shuffling behind her up the hill on skis that definitely hadn't been waxed to satisfaction, when I realized, oh yeah, I'm supposed to be sprinting. So as the hill turned I turned on the jets for a bit and got well ahead of her and eventually crossed the line in 3:25, approximately. Had I not had an official time of 6:07, I would have been between 15-20th. For some reason, it didn't bother me at all that I'd missed my start. I mean, sometimes it takes making a mistake to not do it again. It had been six years since my last missed start, so I guess I was overdue for another one. This way, I got to watch the heats, which was fun, although it started to get cold.
The 10k rolled around the next day, and I didn't really feel any more motivated. I knew that I wanted to race negative splits, since highschool hill can be pretty difficult if you've wasted yourself on the rest of the course. I think I took it to the extreme, though, with my second lap about a minute faster than the first one. I felt like I was mostly in level 2, except on the longer hills, and I couldn't really pick up my tempo at all. Finally around 5k, Carina Hamel caught me from a minute back, so I skied with her to the finish. That was a little faster, but it was still surprising to me for some reason that skiing was hard. What is this strange phenomenon? I would say that I was definitely lacking a little focus in that race... waste of money, really, except that I ended up with a decent result anyway.
The Colby boys tore it up this weekend. I love this shot. Briggs is so relaxed, and the Dartmouth guy is just hammering. Different styles...
Hillary barely snuck past Anja to advance to the semis. It was fun watching both of them just fly past Bethann Chamberlain on the downhill. She must have way overwaxed her skis. Silly biathletes.
Colin's cat. Or should I say parrot.
Its just a really strange cat.