Saturday, January 28, 2006

Saratoga Sprint 1/28

Weren't sure this was going to happen. The weather has not been good for skiing, with virtually no snow in Syracuse. We kept checking the Saratoga web site and sure enough, a day before the race they determined they had enough snow. Just enough. During the race there were patches of grass!

Caleb and I went over to Saratoga Friday night and stayed at the Flip (Feels Like I'm in Paradise) Inn. The place was an early 70's style with textured walls, basket chairs, etc. Very comfortable! It sure beat waking up at 4:30am on Saturday, race along the thru way and running around when we get there. This time, much more relaxed. We had a good night sleep - except for the radio/alarm that went off at 5:30. Caleb couldn't figure out how to turn it off so he turned it to am and tuned to a 'blank' channel. I didn't hear a thing - I wear ear plugs when on the road.

Next morning we headed to the Saratoga biathlon club. And a very nice day it was: sunny at climbing through the 40's. The Schreiner's were everywhere as usual. One was doing registration, Jim Sr. the mayor of Schreiner town was greeting, Jim Jr. setting up the range, another one directing traffic in the parking lot, and so on. We got registered, equipment out - there's one thing about biathlon, there's a LOT of equipment to move around. We did our zero and did some skiing. This time I hesitantly decided to wear a heart monitor. I'm not sure I wanted to know.

Race started with Curt Schriner, three time Olympian, followed by each person at 30 sec intervals. I took off 35th. Felt pretty good and was chugging along - trying to avoid dirt spots - and soon found that I had come up behind King. I had actually caught someone! I tucked in behind King and let him set the pace. We reached the range and both missed 2. He was done much quicker than I and soon lost contact. I looked at the heart rate: 195! So, based on my tests, my AT (Anaerobic Threshold) is 177! So I knew I was in trouble - could almost feel the lactic acid pouring into my system. Half way through loop two I really felt it. Got into the range to shoot standing and was hopeful. Last race I had gone clean and thought I could do something here and maybe catch King. First shot missed and I pulled the trigger too soon on the second and it didn't event hit the target. I then missed the next three. Zip. Five penalty loops is a depressing thought. I slogged through the loops then went out on the course. I was dying. Heart rate settled down to 187.

All in all it was a fun day. Learned something about heart rate, my hill climbing is getting better, and had a good time with Caleb.

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