Friday, March 29, 2013

Review of 2012-13, the season without a cap

Closing this season out early, and like 2005 and 2010 (injured) finishing without the good closer at the Sonot. I'm disappointed but feeling good now.

Season Highlights:
Tristan's emergence into the top 10 at state and then breaking through again at Junior Nationals, with a pair of top 6 finishes and a national championship in the relay. We were expecting maybe top 20 at state and maybe 20s and 30s at JNs with a berth on the B relay team. What a month he had! He did the hard work but also thanks to coach Christina at West Valley and the coaches for Team Alaska. I enjoyed being parent/fan at state and JNs, rather than coach.

My own season, kind of tended toward disappointing, but the sub 2:30 at Tour of Anchorage and the 30K freestyle race here in February were the highlights, followed closely by the 20K Skiathon the other week. My best classic race in several years.

I also got a kick out of racing with my son Mikko and our friend Kuba at TD Relays. Good times and great memories. I'll be sort of sad to see them go off to college next year (nevertheless excited that they both plan to run for their respective universities!).

Obviously that last Wednesday Night Race in mid-March, which I was barely able to finish. I don't know what happened other than it was cold and windy, and I could not warm up. Some days you just don't have it.

Too many cold days for skate races! Except for the Tour of Anchorage the freestyle race days were all 5 to -10 F. I think only one of them (Besh Cup 10K at 5 F) was above zero. Can't do much about that I guess--or maybe we can. More on that later.

Killer local courses. Racing should have an element of fun. Moreover, local racing is not the World Cup. Too many local races now have courses that are simply too demanding to be enjoyable, and now that the new courses are established at Birch Hill it looks like it will be around and around on those big hills. Makes me want to retire from it all, or at least those races that are right on the edge of technically legal. Seeing how other skiers stayed away in droves this year, I'm not the only one.
Well, it's over.

Looking ahead:
I'm putting skiing aside early this year. Normally I'm at 60-40 skiing-running still and gradually transition to 50-50, which I'll hold until the snow goes out. I'm done with racing and will be running 4-5 days a week already and expect to be at 6 days a week by mid-April. Still look forward to a few more nice outings on skis.

I'm not sure what I'll focus on yet, it depends on my foot and how it responds, so far it's 99% better. I think I'll put a little less emphasis on running a "fast" mile and 5000 m in June. The speedwork seems to stretch out my foot, causing irritation and inflamamtion. However, I want to do the half marathon, my favorite distance, and 10K. Possibly a marathon, with some good choices in August, September, and October. There are good logisital and physical arguments for an event in any one of those months. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Just build a good base by mid-late May and decide in June or July.

To the next ski season? Already not looking forward to it that much. I'd like to see some changes, personally like how-when I train, and in the community. I'd like to see more opportunity for fun races outside of the Birch Hill scene. I can't say how refreshing it was to go to UAF the other week and do the citizen friendly Skiathon. We need more of that here. Fortunately, I have some friends who feel the same and we will be talking.


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