Monday, April 02, 2007

2007 Ski Season Wrap Up

The cold snap finally broke! We had only 3-4 days above freezing from late October through the end of March. The entire month of March was below freezing (actually much of it below zero!) until the very last day when the official high reached 38. It will go down as about coldest March on record.

Meanwhile, about that light--we now have an abundance. Less than two weeks past the Equinox, there is still a glow at 10 PM and by 6 am it's getting light. The early transfer to Daylight Savings Time was not well received in Alaska. Actually it's just not needed here at all.

Back to skiing: Last year this time I said that my goals were to increase dryland training and to place in the top 20 at Tour of Anchorage 50k and top 6 at the Sonot. One out of three isn't too bad but the season went pretty well.

The first goal was easy to acheive. I actually did some dryland training! In addition to a lot of hill and trail running, I did 7 or 8 ski walking workouts in the fall, plus trained on the rollerboard 3X/week through most of the summer and fall (took it easy during August, early, Sept. while sharpening for Equinox).

(it was a wierd season, with an early start on poor snow; followed by a huge gap with no races in Dec. Jan., and only two classic races in January, and then another huge gap until March and by then it was so freakin' cold training was just a drudge).

Town Series #1, 8k Freestyle (11/18/06)
Time: 25:59
% back: 17.4
place: 20th overall (3rd 40-49)

Turkey Day Relays, 5k Freestyle (11/24)
Time: 16:41
% back: 18.4
2nd place masters team

Distance Series #1, 15k Freestyle (12/10/06)
Time: 48:31
% back: 17.1 (that's against NCAA double bronze medalist--I'll take it!)
12th overall (1st 40-49)

Town Series #2, 10k Classic (1/13/07)
Time: 33:26
% back: 9.1
4th overall (1st 40-49)

Distance Series #2, 20k Classic (1/21/07)
Time: 1:11:16
% back: 14.8
5th overall (2nd 40-49)

I was planning to do the American Birkebeiner on Feb. 24, but that was semi-cancelled due to warm temperatures and no snow in Wisconsin--so I didn't even race in February (but did two snow shoe races instead).

Tour of Anchorage, 50k Freestyle (3/4/07)
Time: 2:38:41
% back: 19.3
28th overall* (4th 40-49)

Skiathon, 20k Classic (3/17/07)
Time: 1:15:07
% back: 10.7
5th overall (1st 40-49)

Sonot Kkazoot 50k Freestyle (3/24/07)
Time: 3:06:44
% back: 17.8
9th overall* (3rd 40-49)

Looking at my goals--they were within grasp but I didn't close either marathon well. I was 5:40 out of 20th place in the Tour of Anchorage, and was pretty close to that pace with only 5k to go, but bonked bad. The Sonot was tougher; conditions were difficult throughout, and I didn't bonk as bad, but I lost 5 minutes over the last 10k.

*denotes ranking among men; got beat by 2 women at Sonot and at TOA so placing would actually be 30th and 11th OA.

Next year?

Maybe compete in World Masters, which will be in Idaho but that will be a huge commitment (2 weeks), and I'm not sure if that'll be feasible.

Otherwise, pick up the dryland training. Work on weakenesses: esp. upper body strength, explosive strength, and transitions; figure how to finish marathons stronger. Race the marathons a tad smarter to stay ahead of the elite women.


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