Belated Wednesday Night Race Report
Let's just say, #%^&%&$& some folks sure are amped up around here! There have been a lot of changes this year, some might say improvements. Maybe not. Someday I look forward to residing in how should I say, a more laid-back ski community.
For starters, I didn't even want to be there on the line on Wednesday. The Besh Cup weekend was exhausting, 10K race included, and I'm not real keen on racing in the evening. Family time. Dinner. Relax, read. You know normal things like that. Nevertheless, I do like to support the series and what it stands for so I like to make at least half the races each year.
It was a cold, about 1F, and snowy night. The crowd seemed a little thin, but the usual masters suspects, Dave, Jim, Bob, and Max (technically a sub masters (50 and up) in the series but still spry in his 40s I consider Max to be in the masters crowd). And the infamous Mark.
Dash, practically the lone citizen racer holdout under the age of 43 anymore blasted out, and I was thinking uggh, not this! as I tucked into about 4th or 5th place. On Relay Alley return Max picked up and reeled in Dash; I tucked behind Dave and watched the widening gap until we got about half way through Rollercoasters. This was earlier than I'd wanted, but my skis were running well and and those guys already had 15-20 seconds and if I'd have any chance of catching them I didn't want to lose more time.
Dash came back quick--or did I pick it up pretty hard?-- and I caught him in the stadium after White Bear access. I started to work on Max and by the time we came through the first lap I was 10-12 sec back. However, I was feeling the burn already and couldn't get enough oxygen into my tired legs to go any faster. I knew it would be a long second lap.
About half way through the second lap I could hear Dash coming up from behind, but I didn't have enough to do much about it. Coming out of White Bear Access the last time the gap was only a few seconds. I expected him to blow by but no, so I tried to keep it strong. Out of Warm Up I thought I might actually hold him off, but sheesh that was wrong! He blew by under the building and into the home stretch. Wasn't even close as I was 4-5 seconds back and something like 25 behind Max up front.
And then the pain set in. First I noticed that my nostrils were searing from breathing in the cold air. And my right ear, felt like someone had jabbed a One Way ski pole 2" into it. My buff had slipped off my hat and even though it's a thick wool/blend Swix cap, it felt like it had been jabbed and then the projectile twisted. About 40 seconds later, and for a good five minutes thereafter, my breathing could not catch up and my lungs and chest were on fire. I didn't have an asthma attack or anythiing but it hurt to breathe for longer than normal. So I just bent over hand on knees and tried to regroup for a cool down.
Ouch! I'm 54, not 24. Why do I do these things still?