Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Nationals 5k skate

Steph Crocker in the snow.

Its been snowing for the past 48 hours, give or take a couple, which I suppose causes the U.P. to live up to its reputation. The course was pretty firm during the girls' race, though, so I was happy, since my only skis with a cold grind are pretty stiff, too, and don't do so well on a smooshy course. I just used the word smooshy.

I had a plan for this race, since I tend to go out way too hard in 5k races, and I didn't want to blow up. The course started with some flat then a long downhill, then a long uphill, then another long downhill and essentially the rest was rolling or uphill. So, I wanted to take the flat part as hard as possible, rest on the downhill, ski comfortably up the first uphill, and go from there. I did that, although it was hard because I could see my 15 second girl the whole time up the hill and I really wanted to just catch her, and later on I could hear Jess, who had started 15 seconds behind me, and I really wanted to run away from her like a scared rabbit. Starting the race, a terrified pine marten or something had bolted across the trail, and that is fairly close to how I felt. They really shouldn't put friends 15 seconds apart. Anyway, I managed to ski my own race, and I caught my 15 second girl on the last uphill into the finish, and the finishing straight is possibly the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I really didn't think I could I could take one more stride; had the finish line been ten feet further I'm not so sure I would have made it.

Overall, it was a good race, and I was very pleased with my effort. Times are so close at these races, especially in the "B" seed: I got ahead of Jess by 12 seconds and 20 places. I think that I got every second out of that course that I could, but its rough looking at the results and seeing your top 50 goal 18 seconds away. 2004 nationals skate race: 132nd place. 2008 nationals skate race: 66th place. Maybe compartment surgery did make a difference... or maybe I just got faster.

Pre-race prep

One civic, five people, skis and poles... and then some snowy doughnuts.

We had some spectacular moroccan couscous for dinner, Jess sure knows how to make that vegan crap taste good! Check it out here. We also discovered that you can make Annie's mac and cheese perfectly well in a microwave.

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