Saturday, January 27, 2018

Badger State Games: Nordic Skiing

            Rachael and I arrived at Nine Mile only 15 minutes before our race was set to start after being delayed that morning.  We quick picked up our shirts and bibs, had a bathroom break, ran shirts back to the vehicle, and put our skis on for the very first time ever, with only 3 minutes to spare before the 21K classic was starting! Crazy!
My first fall was just after we got started, which was followed by many more (at least TWELVE to be more precise)! We also missed a turn at the bottom of a hill (it was poorly marked). We would have had really fast times if it weren’t for all those delays! The course was really icy and scary even.  In fact, when I saw a caution sign at the top of one hill, a lady, who was an experienced skier, suggested taking off our skis and carrying them down the hill – and that’s exactly what I did! I had no advantage (except that I didn’t die at the bottom) so I hope that wasn’t breaking any rules. Prior to that hill, I had a couple really bad wipeouts, one in which I think I left some skin behind on the icy trail.  I was hurting so bad at that point, that I was terrified of the downhills!
            Going up the hills was a struggle and we got worked.  It was a lot of upper body.  The second half of the course was less intense and the flatter sections with gentler hills were actually a lot of fun.  All of the big hills seemed to always have a sharp turn at the bottom of them too. The race was a lot more technical, and slick, than I was anticipating.
            All of my training had been on waxless skis on non-groomed trails, which was pretty slow going and much more controlled.  This was nothing like that! We borrowed wax skis. The course was groomed with big hills, and it was warm the previous day, which iced everything over.  It was a completely different ball game.  We did really well though and ended up 5th and 6th overall (I was 3rd in my age group and Rachael was 1st in hers)! There were a lot of laughs, bruises, and exhaustion, but it was a worthwhile experience.  As Rachael put it, “It’s great to do something with the goal of just finishing!” My body is in a great deal of pain but the memories and laughs will outlast that.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Off to the Races!

            January 27th will mark the day of my first cross-country ski race! I’ll be going down to Wausau for winter Badger State Games with a friend and fellow track coach. I did a lot of skiing last year (averaged 4-5x/week) and skied a lot between Christmas and New Years this year, but have since discovered that the reality of skiing with 3 littles is next to impossible.  I did it once by myself with Rowyn in the front pack, be he has outgrown that.  The straps for the back carrier interfere with the harness of the chariot and Baya said she can’t hang on the back for very long if I pull her on her skis behind it.  She does love using her skis on her own though!
Nice scenery for skiing!
            So now I’ve been going once/week by myself for a long ski and been working up to 2 hours. I’m counting on swim/bike/run fitness to get me the rest of the way. I’m still on non-groomed trails and have waxless skis, so my pace is far from impressive, and I look forward to seeing what it will be like in a race.  It may very well take me a long time. We are dong the 21K (roughly a half-marathon) classic ski race.  If I don’t line up wax skis for us, I’ll pick up some wax that is designed for waxless skis.  Nevertheless, I think it will be a fun experience!
            I love BSG events, so I’m glad this is the race I’ll be doing.  It will be my 4th different BSG event (duathlon, swimming, and track thus far), but my first winter one! Since December, I have been training, and it feels great.  Skiing will be a fun adventure as my focus on the next big thing intensifies.  I’ll announce what that will be soon!