I missed two Eastern Cups last season, while I was in Norway, so apparently I only have two 2015 Eastern Cup results to my name. Because you need three races to get seeded, I was mixed into the random draw of unseeded people for the start list, and ended up starting 5th from last. Normally, this isn't a huge deal, but naturally, after a total drought all winter, it was snowing like mad. Testing skis before the race yielded a good hard-packed slick surface; as the snow piled up during the race it got slower and slower. Well, weather conditions are part of the game, but there was a definite advantage to starting in the first half of the race. I need my advantages!
The more I skied that morning, the more my desire to race waned. By the time I finally got around to testing my own skis, I found myself dealing with some last-minute equipment issues, and considered bagging the ordeal. But, I'd paid, and I was there, and sometimes, you just gotta get out and find the hurt, chase it down and make it work for you.
Into the race, and I could tell I had no spark. My legs were leaden, with no snap to my technique, just a slow, evenly-paced slog. I couldn't seem to summon any fire, but at least with such a poor starting position it was good for my ego to keep passing people. I tried to stay conscious of that ticking clock, and I slowly reeled in one of my J2 girls who'd started a minute ahead of me. I was proud of how well she was skiing, but I knew I probably should have passed her sooner. Each time I lumbered up the steep little hill at the end of the climb, I felt slower and less inspired, and completely unable to will myself to hurt. When I finally crossed the line, I was just disappointed in myself. What happened to my spirit?
I was definitely happy to not be racing the next day. I didn't feel overly tired, but skiing the course testing wax I was not enjoying the hills, and usually that feeling of striding up hills with the wax hooking up perfectly is what I live for. Maybe I just needed a rest.
Fast forward a week and I'm in Florida, for my cousin's wedding, wondering what the heck all this not-snow is on the ground. You'd think this is a restful vacation, except for the part where it's not, and I was back in Boston in time for a 4am wakeup to coach the Massachusetts State qualifier race - the race my juniors use to get selected to the Eastern Highschool Championships team. I'm head coach this spring, so really oughta be there, but there were so many places I would rather have been. Like curled up on my couch with a book!
Gunther assembling his bench. "It is very easy, very quick!" 20 minutes later...
The single photo I took during the races. Prospect didn't have quite enough snow to set tracks, but all my kids skied admirably despite that. It was lumpy bumpy low-snow conditions, like what I grew up on at Harriet. Good to teaching you to ride a steady ski!