Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bogburn Race Report

This weekend it was time for leg number of two of the reality check chronicles -- an individual start, 13k classic race called the Bogburn. I was on the fence about this one until Alex -- fresh off a trip to US Nationals in Anchorage, that saw half the races canceled -- rallied the troops and got four of us into her car and on the road from Boston at 8 am.

It was definitely the right decision. The snow was deep, the trails were awesome, the downhills were sketchy -- as far as old-school venues go this one was hard to beat. There were a disturbing number of college teams in attendance, but I'm far past matching myself up against guys who do "dryland" and "ski camps" and whatnot. I was more interested in seeing if I could hold together something resembling "race pace" for 45 minutes of hilly classic skiing. Despite my pull-up dreams, the upper body strength is lagging well behind where it should be.

With 15-second intervals between starters I was expecting a lot of traffic, mainly passing me, so I was pleasantly surprised to not get passed by anyone for 2/3rds (5k?) of the first lap. Unfortunately, when I did finally get caught by someone it was by my 1:15 man (!) and he was dragging along my 45 second man with him, so yes, some people out there were skiing much faster than me.

The lap ends with a stair-step climb back to the finish which is probably the longest on the course; I hadn't skied this part during the warmup, which only compounded my misery here. I got caught by my 30 second man (a Dartmouth kid) and my 15 second man (a Colby kid) who were skiing together, right as we turned the corner to where about five members of the Dartmouth girls team were cheering. Despite the fact that I had only lost 30 seconds in first 20 minutes to the Dartmouth kid, I probably lost another 30 just on that hill, such is the power of da ladies. Colby kid was also motivated by the college girls, so he disappeared up the trail as well.

I finished the first lap and noticed that Colby kid's crowd-pleasing efforts had done a real number on him and I was suddenly closing rapidly, now that we were back in the ovary-free parts of the course. This made me feel a lot better, although the Dartmouth kid was still pulling away.

I closed the gap down and passed him back, dear god, I think we're actually have fun and being somewhat competitive here! Wait, that's because I'm on the generally downhill part of the course. My arms were, of course, not up to the task of climbing any hill longer than 30 seconds, so I felt like a rockstar through the rolling descent -- and turned back into a pumpkin on the real climbs near the end.

The stair-step climbs back to the end of the lap, and the finish, were pretty killer. I could feel the finish line just minutes away, so I kicked it up a notch, then Emeril was like BAM, that's my trademark, and I almost threw up. Turns out that supplementing a light breakfast with McDonalds en route is not a recommended fueling strategy, despite Thom P's claims that "breakfast is the freshest meal they make at McDonalds!"

Anyway -- with two steps to go I suddenly felt a novel pressure in my stomach that was very alarming. I slowed down. I turned the corner to find Alex and Linnea waiting for me -- time to force that Egg McMuffin back down.

I sped up just long enough to be kind of photogenic, then trashed over the last hill and slid in for a big bad 40th out of 99.


The tale of the Garmin showed an only slightly positive split between laps, which is very encouraging to me -- at least I'm in touch enough with my slowness to start slow, instead of detonating like I have in the past, when I tried to ski like I had been training for it. All things considered it wasn't too bad a result -- after all, it's only January 10th, I still have two months to find enough muscular endurance to not embarrass myself in the March marathons. Low expectations really are the foundation of happiness.



14 comments:

josh 1/11/2009 11:41 PM  

who was the colby kid?

Christopher Tassava 1/12/2009 8:15 AM  

That ain't bad for early January. Or is it mid January? What's the goal for the marathons? Place? Per-k time? Overall time? Being able to do 0 pullups the next day?

Colin R 1/12/2009 10:18 AM  

Josh -- Colby kid was Will Tyson I think.

Chris -- definitely early January for my purposes. It's only been 20 days since my first time on skis.

The marathon goal is roughly "don't do worse than you did last year." Given changing conditions, per-k is out, and variable fields of 100ish, instead of 1000s like your midwest marathons mean your place could get knocked down 15% if a few college teams show up.

Basically, if I feel like I was as respectable as last year I'm happy. My internal definition of "respectable" is hard to explain, but I know when I miss it :)

C-BOMB 1/12/2009 10:32 AM  

That's funny, because my goals for this ski season are measured solely against your performances. If I can beat Colin, then I skied well, if not, I skied poorly. The real question is, when will we have the pleasure?

Colin R 1/12/2009 10:36 AM  

Hey man, I race almost every weekend* and every Tuesday night. Just show up and the odds are I'll be there...

*offer not valid for Eastern Cups, although I'll be at the Geschmossel next Monday.

Luke S 1/12/2009 10:46 AM  

Don't be a pussy, race the 15k classic at Rumford. And you were excluding the start loop in your calculations of split times, right?

Colin R 1/12/2009 10:55 AM  

Yes, start loop was excluded from split times.

Eastern Cups are too much money just to get beat down, I'd rather do a 15k on Monday against citizen racers like myself -- and I'm not doing both because I'm worried about burn out from going zero-to-intense-race-schedule in a month.

Also -- 17 seconds?

Luke S 1/12/2009 2:07 PM  

Also...5 falls. Thats a minute. if not more like two. As long as I beat you I reserve the right to give you shit.

Hill Junkie 1/12/2009 2:13 PM  

Everyone has a nemesis. Young guys don't like getting schooled by old guys, old guys don't like getting schooled by girls. There's a natural pecking order in there somewhere.

When you refer to your peers still in college as "kids," I feel old as dirt.

Luke S 1/12/2009 4:12 PM  

Us young 'uns don't like getting schooled by girls either. In fact, it really sucks. Like a lot. Like Sunday's pinelands race sucked. a lot.

josh 1/12/2009 7:14 PM  

ah i know him, good kid.

Big Bikes 1/13/2009 11:15 AM  

"breakfast is the freshest meal they make at McDonalds!"

Is a very relative statement, uttered from an entirely unreliable source.

It's like saying "My perpetually inebriated Uncle Mikey who often suffers from unremembered head wounds told me that the
Huffy Teton Dual-Suspension bike is the best bike Huffy makes...I don't know why I couldn't hang with the rest of the Expert field on it".

Just like that.

-t

Cosmo 1/13/2009 11:39 PM  

Some people can do high protein prerace breakfast. Some people can't. No shame in it.

Bogburn is a fantastic race. The fun years are when they do it skating.

Luke S 1/14/2009 4:31 PM  

Bob hasn't run it as a skate race in a few years now, and probably won't go back to skating anytime soon. The trails are just too narrow to have 200+ racers skating on them, and the snowmobile groomed base wouldn't hold up at all to that kind of traffic.

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