I woke up the morning of the Birkie and my head didn’t work right. It’s not only because it’s 5:30, but also because I haven’t slept this week. Monday night I was on a plane, so got a total of 4.5 hours of sleep (1.5 on the plane, a 3 hour nap later). The rest of the week topped out at 6.5/night.

Nothing worse than trying to race through thick brain fog. I throw myself into the car and drive off to the start of the race. I find that we’re WAY early to Telmark! Wa-hoo!! I head inside IMMEDIATELY and lay claim to a 5 foot piece of floor and fell into a deep sleep. I wake up with a random guy literally standing over me (one leg to my right, one to my left). WEIRD. But, I’m really rested, so I don’t care! Amazing how a 30 minute nap will help! But… then I realize that I have to haul butt down to the start. Hmmm. Last year I told myself I was going to get to the start line early. Oh well.

As I did last year, I am scrambling to get to the line. When I finally do, I have about 2 minutes until the gun goes off. Wow. The wave takes off, and as I’m at the back of the wave, it’s pretty slow going. I have fast skis, though (thank you Devin!!). I actually cheered outloud down the first downhill when I zoomed past a guy who had at least 150 pounds on me (when does that happen? 🙂 — he was not happy with my outward display :).

Up the first hill, I realize that my legs are still really tired. Oh NO. They never take this long to recover from a big running week! I had given them this week pretty easy. At 7k my eyes widened at the thought of another 43. Oh, boy, this is going to be a really long race. Another thing NOT to do next year — a big mileage week the week before the Birkie.

So, instead of being able to fly up the hills and not worrying about how much my legs were going to hurt (that’s usually my strength — I only felt a slight burn on the last few hills last year) — I’m now worrying about conserving energy.

There was nothing else very magical about this Birkie — I kept plodding along, watching the K’s click past.

I finished 101st. Not bad, I guess. But not great. I’m actually a little disappointed in myself. I really wanted to improve over last year. I’ve since looked at last year’s training log, and realized that I probably don’t deserve to move up all that much — total rollerski and ski hours for the year were only at 70. That’s really sad. I’ll be at 400 (or a little over) hours for the year, so only 70 of them skiing isn’t good at all.

But, even with that ridiculously low amount of time, I feel like I am a better skier than last year. I had no problem with the downhills this year, watching other skiers around me & not crashing into them, etc — something I struggled with last year. I think I glide a little better and V1 better, but who knows…

Guess that’s what keeps you hungry, excited about next season 🙂


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One Comment

  1. Hey Nicole, I found your blog a week or two ago through Finn Sisu's website. I'm mainly a runner who's added skiing 3 years ago, so it's always nice to find a runner who's trying to figure out skiing. Nice job at the Birkie. At the time I didn't think anything of it, but I kept trading places with bib #2550. When I looked up the results, I saw it was you. Kind of weird. Anyway, nice job – especially given the tired legs.

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