Mt Washington Cup

Do not expect much from a 10k skate race the day after playing squash for 2 hours.

This is especially true if you don't play squash. At all. And were abused by superior players for 2 hours.

The good part of the race was leading for the first 2k. It's pretty cool to ski with nothing up barely-skied corduroy in front of you, and then to look over your shoulder and see a train of 20 people behind you.

Of course, eventually the trail pitched upward, I relinquished my lead, and managed to get a cramp in my stomach before admitting that the pace was to high and dropping off the lead group of 6.

So I panted shallowly for a few minutes while contemplating the purpose of nordic pain. In retrospect, I should have realized that the cramp was killing me and slowed down until it went away, instead of flogging myself up the hill for five minutes, but in any case when the trail leveled out I slowed down a whole lot. And then my cramp went away, and suddenly I was able to ski again.

This was about the same time the dude in 8th caught up with me, so we skied the rest of the way together. He was very chatty, which is always a strange experience -- am I supposed to be responding to him? He kept telling me how many hills we had left and that there were two guys behind us, and also cheering me on when I led him up hills (he seriously said "yaaah! yaaah!" like he was herding cattle at one point), which was both bizarre and oddly motivating. I was kind of ashamed to realize that some guy yelling at me like I'm a sled dog was making me push harder.

Once we neared the finish, he told me that we'd lost the other two guys, and it was pretty obvious he didn't care about sprinting. But I went for it anyway, just because it's a freakin' race, and if you care enough to race for 36 minutes then you ought to care enough to race the last 20 seconds. I think that makes sense.

Thanks to late March snow in Boston there's another Tuesday night master blaster race coming up, so my knee will get more chances to explode (did I mention this? It's really bad.) and I still haven't taken a picture of my pole that exploded in a way my knee can only dream of.

So I'll have more "content" later.


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