Man, I am so out of Tuesday night blog titles.
This week's Tuesday night race at Weston was especially exciting because it's the "vacation week race," where everyone with kids doesn't show up, because they're stuck at the police station after chaining their kids to a stake in the yard, because they were bouncing off the walls for the last four days.
Also adding some excitement to the mix was the "Whistler Olympic Park" conditions -- 32 and snowing. Warming up, I thought I had atrocious skis, but it turns out that no one's skis were actually gliding. As soon as the race got going, I was like, "oh, we're all going slow tonight. Phew." And sure enough, race time was about 3 minutes slower for a 20 minute race.
So despite the standard prerace whining, I made it into the front group pretty easily. Cool. It was weird because mentally, I felt like we were going really slow, but I was still poling and skating pretty hard, so it wasn't relaxing or anything. Apparently a Holderness kid had the same confusion going on, because he came flying around me on a downhill, and then promptly blew up and dropped an anchor not 60 seconds later. One of the fastest reversals of racing attitude I've ever seen. Props.
I got around him successfully and stayed on the "lead" group, with public enemy #1 (Cary) right behind. "Lead" is in quotes because Joel Bradley was long gone and we were racing for 2nd, as always.
After last week's debacle, I was just happy to be with the group, especially in slow conditions, so when it split in half I remained firmly planted in the wrong half. All was well, because I noticed Cary had been dropped from the group, and thus the night was already a success.
Somewhere near the middle of the race my legs started to agree with my eyes, that we were going pretty slowly. Oh, but I don't want to take the initiative, that seems like it will hurt!
In the spirit of "Birkie training" I hardened up and headed out in pursuit of the other half of the lead group. I made and effort to actually bridge, instead of just time-trial around, and surprised myself by actually getting there and recovering.
While I was recovering I noticed that John and Greg had gone off the front of the group, while Terry was also coming across to it from behind. Oh, damn. That means I have to go out into the wind again, doesn't it?
Terry, who was supposed to be tired, kept coming, and my "bridge attempt" quickly became a "hold off Terry to the line attempt." Luckily there were only 3 minutes of racing left, which falls squarely in the "hurts wicked bad, but you can do this" zone. So I did it. And it hurt. But it ended up being good for 4th place, which is totally awesome if you don't know how many fast people didn't show up.
Adding to the success was trial run #2 of the Birkie Cam, and while I'll admit that I felt pretty dumb skiing with a drink belt in a 7k race, I was stoked to see how much better the picture came out this around. Linnea is off in Vancouver with the video-editing computer so I've got nothing to show for it, but at least now I know I've got something that'll work in Wisconsin next weekend.
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