Owie! This one hurt. Warming up, I immediately recognized my skis were uber slow, especially on the downhills. I waxed with a colder HF. But I wonder if more is going on that just that. I used my race skis tonight. They are RS11's, just like my training skis, but I think they may be one notch stiffer. At 192cm, they may be too stiff for me. They surely felt different than the skis I've been on all season so far, yet they are identical model. I definitely need to sort this one out before the bigger races.
This time we seeded based on last week's result. I was in row six just like I self seeded last week. Also like last week, there were bus loads of kids there. It was a new course format that I could not figure out warming up. I prayed that those I followed did not lose contact with those in front of them, and somebody up front knew where they were going. I immediately lost ground on the double pole start, maybe five or six came by. We were not in tracks. It was a slight downhill, and my slow skis were no doubt a contributor. Two skiers tangled just after the skating began, with at least one going down. I was far enough back to avoid it. I held my ground for a while on the first of two laps, but man, it sure seemed like there were a bunch strung out way ahead of me. Things split up, and I was at the back of the third group.
We ventured onto part of the golf course that has no lighting, a section I haven't seen used in Tuesday night races before. The ground there undulates something fierce. It was the most unnerving feeling not knowing if your ski was going to plant 4" high or 4" low. The snow was super moist too with temp in the mid-30's. It very quickly packed down and became hard and less edgeable.
In the second lap, I passed six skiers. One stayed on me along the straight away across the back of the course. I tried to hold him off at the line, but I think he just edged me out for 22nd place. The clock appeared to die again. I estimate my race went 4.86km in 14:53 minutes per GPS (I was too busy trying not to hurl instead of hitting the lap button right away). No results yet, but I was told I was 23rd to finish out of at least 70 that started. Another clean race for me with no crashes or close calls.
Warmup, race, and post race tempo laps
This course was much flatter than last week, and I felt like I was flailing half the time. I need those hills to level the playing field some. It was also too short, about 30% shorter than last week. Looking at the heartrate data, I was just getting warmed up when the race was over. I should have done some more rigorous efforts before the race. My HR might have responded a little more quickly at the start. I probably wasn't recovered from last week's skiing either. I logged 98.5km, most of it on the weekend at a rigorous pace. Nearly 100km is a new weekly PR skate skiing for me. After taking Monday off and working late, it was good to get a superb endorphin fix in. I probably won't fall asleep until 3am tonight.
On a side note, I posted some time ago about Omega-3 supplementation for asthmatics. I have not used my albuterol inhaler in about six months now. The true acid test is intensely anaerobic efforts in cold air. These last two weeks at Weston have not produced a single wheezy inhale. I am essentially asymptomatic, going on six months now, for the first time in my life. Can't say for sure it's the fish oil I take twice a day, but my asthma went from frequent nuisance to non-existent. Recent studies suggest it is not so much a lack of Omega-3, but a huge imbalance of Omega-3 to Omega-6. Americans get way too much Omega-6 in their high fat diets. Perhaps I could acheive the same effect by drastically cutting Omega-6 fat sources out of my diet.