Craftsbury Marathon Race Report

I've done a lot of classic marathons over the years. Well, like five. 250k of skiing, I'll call it a lot.

Our good buddy New England winter *usually* makes these a klister-binder affair, because there's some nice transformed ice mixed in with the powder and with hundreds of skiers going through each track, the ice has a way of overcoming the powder.

USUALLY.

But I still can't explain why I thought it would be a good idea to use a klister binder. It was Thursday night, I was tired and in a hurry. The tube of KR20 was right there. So I just...did it. And then only brought one pair of (klistered) skis to the race. Because I am not very good at taking ski racing seriously, anymore.

When I woke up to see fresh snow, I realized I might have a problem. When the snow squalls started during the race, I knew I had a problem.

Since I registered day-of (online reg closed 7 days before the race... sneaky) I ended up in wave 2, which had exactly zero fast people in it. And I had slow skis with amazing kick.

...and that's why I was 2nd place in wave 2 after 22k. If you have good kick you gotta use it, right? So I was crushing the uphills, and getting eaten up on the downhills. But I was feeling good enough (because it was the first 90 minutes) to stay ahead of all but one guy. Nice day, good kick, great conditions -- feels great, man!

Until it doesn't. The problem with the whole "use good kick to make up for slow skis" thing is that "using good kick" still requires working HARD. I was climbing 10% faster but using 8% more effort; meanwhile everyone who was catching me gliding was using 0% more effort to do it...AND I'm a cross racer who does 60 minute efforts all fall. I knew what was going to happen, but I couldn't stop, the skiing was just too nice. Abby Weissman was at the 22k feed station, and I said to her "Abby I'm scrooooooooooooed." She was unimpressed at my fortitude.

I was right, though. This was my 3rd time classic skiing all year (!) so when we hit the 25k mark, it became LACTIC ACID BATHTIME. I got my rubber ducky out and prepared for a nice 25k soak in the pain...tub. All in the name of Birkie training?

The collection of older gentlemen that I had been holding off went skiing away from me and I tried really hard to convince myself that I was having fun. My muscles became progressively less useful, to the point where I really wasn't even breathing very hard. My heart could move all kinds of blood, but it didn't matter, when it got to my legs, they were just like... NO. Take that oxygen back.

Obviously my day ended with a bunch of college girls whom I had dropped at 2k in, passing me while talking to each other -- and then disappearing completely on a climb, even though I still had awesome kick, and thus no excuses.

NO EXCUSES! So I better just stop blogging, then.

The silliest thing about it all is that even though I spent two hours in a hot tub of my own lactic acid at the end, and my skis were endlessly frustrating, about ten minutes after finishing I was like, "eh, that was kinda fun."

Lap one, skiing with a bunch of guys who are twice my age and about to put five minutes on me on lap two. [ Dobie ]

16 comments