Monday, February 08, 2010

CITY OF LAKES LOPPET

It’s always kind of fun to go back and read the race reports from a year ago, especially if you’ve just completed that same race. Here’s last year’s City of Lakes Loppet race report.

It was another fabulous weekend for skiing in the area. Saturday I brought Kinsey with me to the packet pickup so that she could ski around a little and then compete in her second Minne-Loppet. Here she is at the start. Thanks to Nick for emailing me the photo!



Last year I started in wave 4 and remember being pretty frustrated on a lot of the hills because there was no way to get around other skiers. This year I moved up to wave 3 and I felt like it was the perfect place for me. For the most part, the people around me were going the same speed, so there wasn’t a lot of jostling for position. It made for a much more enjoyable race.

I felt like I was skiing a lot better than last year. I was able to V2 in a lot more places. However, I ended up skiing 2:02:35 or about 40 seconds slower than last year. I know the course was a little different and that you can’t really compare times from year to year due to the changing snow conditions. But still, I thought I’d see some improvement just from being more fit overall. I think one thing that has hurt me is that even though I’ve skied on hilly courses this year, I have skied for more than 2:20. Towards the end of the race, my shoulders were killing me.

But I think I should be okay. We have an extra week before the Birkie this year. I’m squeezing in another (42K Pre-Birkie) race this Saturday. And last year I only skied 20K during the 2 weeks leading up to the Birkie because of a warm-up that melted our snow. With all the snow on the ground here (and more falling as I write this), I don’t think that will be an issue this year.

I’m thinking there definitely has to be some key to the technique that I have to find help to open. As I looked at the results, it turns out the group of women I was skiing with all seemed to be in the 50-54 age group – six from that age group beat me. 40 men aged 50-54 and 21 men aged 55-59 beat me. I was in the bottom half of men 40-44 (52%) and barely in the top half (47%) of all men. Then, as I got more and more depressed analyzing the results, there it was; William S. 2:06.

William is one of my arch rivals in the running world. He’s one of these guys that I’ve never met and don’t have a clue what he looks like. I only “know” him from running race results. He’s in my age group and he always seems to be just in front of me. As I look for some silver linings from this race, beating him is one of them. Now I just have to transfer that to the roads.

After the race I met my family at a local winter festival that had tubing, x-c skiing, bon fire, horse-drawn carriage rides, etc. I was surprised when my 6-year-old Katie said she wanted to try x-c skiing. She’s usually very reserved when it comes to trying new things. But she did it and I’m proud of her and she gets today’s QOD.

Quote of the day;

“I love skiing.” – Katie Austin

4 comments:

Julie said...

Hi Chad,
That is a great picture of your daughter, she is very cute! Congrats on kicking butt on your ski race!!

Bill said...

Hi Chad,

"William S." here. Congratulations on your race. See you at the Birkie.

Chad said...

Thanks Julie.

Bill, when did you turn 40? We must have nearly identical birthdays, mine's in August.

Was this your first x-c race? Nice job out there!

Bill Sikorski said...

I turned 40 in November. My first X-C ski race was CoLL last year, then the Birkie, and I'm doing the same two this year. I improved 24 minutes in CoLL over last year, but I agree with your blog...there is some breakthrough in technique that I must be missing to take it to the next level. It sure isn't obvious when I watch people pass me what they are doing differently!