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