Tuesday, February 14, 2012
After a solid weekend of training, I did manage to reward myself with a rest day on Monday. I'm sick of feeling like I'm in a training hole most of the time. So Tuesday rolled around, and I felt great. Best in a long time. I threw my bike with new Power Tap wheel in the car along with running shoes and skis. I wanted to cover all bases. I'd like to start focusing on the bike. When I saw that the Rangeley Loppet is definitely on again, I figured I might as well head down to Weston to ski. Tuesday night "worlds" is always a great cardio workout, just not very bike specific.
So at lunch, I decided to run, else I wouldn't meet my two runs per week objective. I felt like I was flying and fought hard to restrain myself. Most notable was my breathing. Even at a 7 minute pace, I was still four-stepping. This means while breathing in, my feet would go left-right-left-right before I started breathing out, which again would be left-right-left-right. My cadence was around 170 steps per minute. So I breath seriously slow while running. I've run with accomplished runners from work, and they say my breathing is freaky. It seems I have ample cardio capacity for running. This drives my what-if curiosities, like what if I really trained for running, where could I go with it? Anyway, I finished by running nearly a 7 minute pace the last couple miles, which I didn't want to do if I was ski racing several hours later. I figured we did a 10k race the Tuesday before, so it will only be 6km this night. I was wrong.
I got out of work late and had time to do only two laps of the course at Weston for warm-up. Conditions were amazing, pretty much as good as they can get. Tons of new snow were made and perfectly groomed. It was like mid-season packed powder conditions. My skis were a lot slower than last week though, and they got progressively slower during the night.
Pre-race instructions informed us we were doing five laps, for a 10+km race. No sense in letting the spectacular conditions go to waste, right? I felt impending doom, as I was feeling the run from a few hours earlier. I lined up same as week before, 8th row, but some row crowding went on and this put me back into at least 30th place.
We did the usual NASCAR neutral half lap before race went live. On the last hairpin before going live, crowding around the barrel boxed me in. I think 10 people got skis and poles all tangle up. The train I wanted to hang with was gone. So now should I kill myself in the first five minutes of a 30 minute race to get back on, or do I hope others around me try? I didn't recognize anybody near me, so it was doubtful they'd be able to close the large gap.
I buried myself for the next several minutes. I did catch back up to Victor and a few others. If I finish with Victor, I usually have a good race. I drafted and recovered for a while. Skiers kept getting shelled out of our group. I think it was Maddy that pulled for about two laps. Victor came up for a while too, then I took a partial lap pull. We were down to just three of us with nobody in sight front or back. Maddy was doing a fine job "master blasting," and she put the screws to us in the last half lap. It seemed Victor and I had nothing to contest the sprint. I finished with 31:33 on the clock, good for 23rd place overall. Wicked fun. I skied about 22km in 1.2hrs for the night.
That made for two solid workouts in the same day. Feels like my fitness is starting to come back around, as I rebounded from the weekend overload rather nicely. I do need to start spending more time on the bike, else Dave will destroy me in Arizona next month.