This last Tuesday was one of the first "bonus" races of the spring, though that all depends on how you count the costume race. The costume race was great, because not only were most people wearing costumes, but then we got to eat delicious barbecue and the prizes were either chocolate or beer! That's what I call a good prize, no more medals unless they're edible. I was skiing in a sparkly miniskirt and a furry Russian ear-flap hat, which led to some extreme overheating on my head, but thankfully it was a short race, only three laps. Despite having skied an hour beforehand with the juniors at practice, I hadn't done anything by way of hard skiing, and so the first lap kind of served as a warmup. Terry and Mark pulled away, and I blocked admirably and fell in to the chase-chase pack. The second lap, I caught my breath, and bridge the gap up to someone who had been dangling in no-man's land, and into the third lap I could see Terry and Mark playing cat and mouse, but they started skiing again for real before I could fully catch on. It felt good to push that hard, not just drafting, but lesson learned - level 1 skiing while coaching is not a warmup!
So this week, we had four laps, and I actually did a bit of L2 skiing in the warmup. Gotta start with baby steps. It was slushy, but luckily it was little ice-balls of slush, and not too draggy, though even on my soft skis I was sinking in a lot more than I would have liked. Tricky skiing, hard to stay on your feet and hard to apply any power. First corner, John was already on the ground, and I managed to avoid the body but ran over his pole; thankfully it didn't break. That served as a warning to stay on my feet.
Terry wasn't there, and Mark didn't blast off the front, so I soon found myself in a group with Mark, Brandon, and Cooper, chasing Bob and Drew. Cooper was experimenting with playing around at the front, and I was happy to let him waste himself up there, since he's a J3 he doesn't provide much draft but he also doesn't really get in the way. Eventually Mark went back to the front and I jumped in behind him, drafting for nearly an entire lap. Going into the third lap, we made contact with Drew, who had fallen off of Bob's pace, and then put in an attack that dropped both Cooper and Drew. I took a pull, and discovered that my left calf really *was* blowing up, it wasn't just in my head, and Mark quickly took the lead back, as I was going too slowly. That finished off the last lap, and Brandon played his cards well, jump skating past me up the Mt. Weston bypass, and blocking me out at the finish to take the sprint. Not that I would have done anything differently, but you don't enter races to finish third of three in a sprint!
Hopefully we'll have some more weeks of racing, god knows there's enough snow. It'll probably piss off the golfers pretty good that we're still skiing and they can't play...