Monday, January 21, 2008

Saratoga Race

Had decided to drive to the race the night before and stay at the Flip Inn. The race is just far enough away that I didn't want to get up at 4:30am and drive like crazy. When ever I do that, I get stuck behind some semi or little old man on the one lane roads and just get myself all up in a lather. Didn't sleep well - full awake at 6:30 with the race running around my head. Eat my breakfast, pack up and head for the race. The first thing I notice is that it's 9 degrees. Very nice day, but the temp worries me because the weather report said 32 and I had waxed my skies for that. I'm worried too about the weeks of being sick - am I going to make it around this course? Decide to go out for a ski to warm up and see how bad the wax situation is. Turns out the wax isn't too bad. Rather than fiddling with it to make it better, decide to go with it. Perfect day to race - sunny, no wind, good snow coverage. So the race strategy will be to go out easy, keep the heart rate down, focus on glide and work on smoothing out the range procedure. When coming into the range there's a lot going on: taking the poles off, opening the barrel snow cover, getting on the mat, load clip, hookup the arm cuff, get solid stance, and initial breathing. I usually rush this and am sloppy, so today we'll work on that. This is a tough course and my only time goal is to bet my previous time of 1hr 18min.

Skiers are going off at 30 second intervals this time, which makes things move along faster than normal. Get to the start line and realize I should probably have my gun with me! Ski back to pick it up and am thinking about taking one more trip to the mens room (think outhouse in the woods) and hear someone yelling for me! Rush to the start line and they say "go! go! go!". Off I go and set an easy pace, working on glide. Come to the first hill and am thinking - hey that hill's not as big as I remember! Things settle in and are feeling good from there on. Get to what I think is the half way mark of the loop and my time is looking very good! From there on, there's not that many hills. Range goes pretty smooth although I only hit 2 out of 5 in the prone. Not happy about this. Back out for the next loop and this too goes well with the half mark running faster than the previous loop. Hills are going good up, but the down hills are not. I get real nervious about going down hills I'm not familiar with so I'm loosing a lot of time on the down hills. Finish the loop and shoot standing. This is going better than expected - get 3 out of 5 and I think I rushed the last shot - feels good. Last loop I start to open things up. Feeling tired but still good. Look at my watch an realize that I'm going to break the 1hr mark so start to push it.

Race finishes well. All the demons in my head have been answered and I'm pleased with the results. Didn't place that well, but for this race, that's okay.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This is really fustrating - starting in Oct I got sick, then threw my back out, then got sick, got better, got sick - what the #&*$$! is going on with my body! I think the kids are on their third round of some kind of bug. Kid's are not clean, they pick,... never mind, you don't want to know. So I've missed two races so far, got a race this Saturday, and the kids were throwing up over this last weekend. Will I make it that far!?!