Vasaloppet


What a great event! I love the home-town feel of this race.

The race didn’t go great for me. Nate told me to start farther up than I normally would (2 rows, he said). So that’s what I did. Except that still put me really far back after the gun… I don’t think it’s as much where I start as my inability to get around people. There’s so much going on: poles, skis, people falling! The girl next to me was able to find a hole & ski ahead. Note to self: practice this (but how do you??)

Anyway, the first 25k was a similar story. I’d find myself at the back of a train without any way to pass. I talked to someone afterwards and they said, “yes! you absolutely can ask people in a train to move over!”. During the race, though, it didn’t seem like I could… even if I did, there wasn’t really an extra shoulder to move to so I could pass. There’s the classic tracks, but my double pole is really weak…

Sooo… at 25k I finally decided that I had to GO. I’m not even breathing at this point. I found Peter Bauer and asked him if he was up for a 10k pickup :). He was, so off we went. The field was more broken up by this point and the trails wider at times, so it was a little easier to pass. I tried to use my legs as best as I could. I’m still not feeling anything in my arms or abs. Hmm, another thing I need to learn/practice. At least I’m passing people pretty quickly now.

I fell a lot during the race as well. My knees and hip are nice and blue 🙂 Gee, if I fall during the Mora — what about the Birkie? I need to learn how to go fast while staying relaxed, I think that’s the issue. I’m falling forward on the uphills, and there were a few step turns where I couldn’t move my feet fast enough.

One more question: How do you pass people at the top of a hill? At the top of the Mora hill, I caught up to a group of 3-4 skiers. They were DEAD at the top. This is where my fitness comes in… but wait, I can’t pass!! They’re 2 wide and not skiing straight… argh, guess fitness doesn’t mean anything if you can’t take advantage of it. I ended up catching a nice break behind these guys for the next 5k 🙁

Anyway, I finished with an OK place/time. I won a 3rd place age group horse, which Nathan tells me is really good. Except that I feel I should be able to do much better. I don’t really care about the trophy, I’d just like to feel like I’ve raced after a race. I checked my HR after the race: averaged 182. Really? That’s just above long run effort. Hmm. That’s not acceptible. So, guess I need to focus more on the technical things (passing people, learning to move quick so I can accelerate to pass, transitions, etc) — except those are all the things I hate working on becuase I feel so awkward and slow…

Argh, my love/hate relationship with skiing continues…

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