Another 10K: More Loathing Than Fear
With 177 meters of climbing, maybe it is. One thing for sure, you have a long tough climb out of the Black Funk hole, up to the top of Tower, for a skier of my lessened state, 7-8 minutes of climb with a 20 sec downhill.
I probably should have brought my heart rate monitor, but had more than enough on my mind with six skiers on the team also racing, and I'd been up waxing since early.
I dialed back on Black Funk and Tower Direct, but then again saw that I was closing on Bad Bob who had started about 1.5 minutes ahead. My skis were pretty fast and I actually caught him on the downhill on Tower, even though he's 30 lbs heavier. We cruised through the stadium and down into White Bear in style and Bob hung close up the long climb back to Sidewinder, but a faster skier overtook us both and I latched on for a few hundred meters. After that I was on my own, although I had David and son Mikko (J1s) lurking back there. A couple other masters skiers were up 30 sec ahead, so I'd closed the gap some on them. I think the section that did me in was the second time up Competition. I was dead tired after that and never recovered.
I was also feeling some blood sugar issues, second race in a row. I think I ate well enough. A bagel and bowl of cereal with banana for breakfast, and a Cliff Bar two hours before the race. It was only an 11 AM start, so it wasn't like I was starving. But I felt light headed, a little weak, and a big pit in my stomach like I hadn't eaten in 8 hours.
On Tower Direct my plan was to gradually accelerate the effort. However, the reality hit and all I could do was maintain and not fall on my face. Things got dicey on the downill, off that first pitch on White Bear, when I started choking and gaging on mucous in my throat. I cleared that out, and hit the bottom of the hill in high velolocity and my vision became blurred. Just 1 km to go. David, who started 30 sec behind me, was closing in so I gave it my all, although kind of dogged it on that transition over the top because I was feeling so peaked. Finally, on the switch backs coming into the stadium I felt like puking--this happens on most of those hard 10Ks, right about at that spot. I gave it all I had in the stadium.
The result, 42nd place (but only about 3 seconds out of 38th) in 33:12, but a ridiculous percentage back from Lex Trienen (let's see that's 6:15/26:57 blah blah), about 23.2%. Both time and place were off a bit from all my previous outings where I've managed to be in the 20s-mid 30s place wise and at 20% or under behind the winner. Maybe Lex caught a flyer as he won by 45 seconds or so against some very good college and post college skiers.
So even if it wasn't my best race, it was my best effort on this day.
Next up: the kids! They did me proud.