Monday, February 25, 2008



That pretty much sums up my first-ever x-c ski race.

It was a total blast - I didn't expect it to be so fun.

Seriously, I can’t remember having that much fun in a race in a long time.

When you add in the terrain and having to dodge people, on top of the speed, pounding heart, and oxygen debt, it’s just a different kind of fun than a running race.

I started in the last of 10 waves of the day, which meant I had to pass a lot of skiers that started before me. It definitely made things more interesting and frustrating; interesting in the sense of someone falling right in front of me as we’re heading down a hill and frustrating in the sense of someone stopping right in the middle of the trail at the top of a hill.

The course was MUCH hillier than I would have guessed. It seemed like the first and last thirds of the race were uphill. What little downhill we had went by so fast that it was barely noticed.

I really had no idea what to expect for a time. Being a runner, of course I was trying to figure out how fast I could run the course. Prior to seeing the number of hills, as well as the number of skiers clogging the hills, I was thinking I could finish around 4:00/K or around 92 minutes. I ended up finishing in just over 97 minutes. That put me 309th out of around 1,100 skate skiers in the Korte.

One of the cool things about the race was just going out and competing. Too often in running races I have a preconceived notion of what kind of time I should be able to run based on history and my current training (and all the competitors that I recognize in the race). Saturday I had no idea about any of that stuff – I just went out and listened to my body, adjusted for the course and the skiers around me. Maybe I'll remember this experience when I lace up my flats for my next running race.

About 5 minutes after finishing the race, the announcer mentioned the name of a guy from my Saturday morning training group. I didn’t know he was even in the race. He said it was his first ski race too and that he’d only been practicing for about 5 weeks. The interesting thing is that I’ve never beaten him in a race. So, beating him by 5 minutes shows that my practice must be paying off.

Adam asked if this race brought any closure to me regarding my ski season. With Boson only 8 weeks away, I should say, "Yes". However, with as much fun as I had Saturday and with thoughts of doing the full Birkie in 2009 already in my head, I have to say, “I don’t know.” Ideally, I’d like to bump my running mileage and add in more marathon-specific workouts. But I’m sure I’ll be strapping on my skis for some recovery days.

Quote of the day;

“Life is for most of us a continuous process of getting used to things we hadn’t expected.” – Martha Lupton


Gregg said...

Good Stuff Chad... I am glad you enjoyed yourself, hard not to at the Birkie! I have yet to ski it but have gone down most years and watched in downtown Hayward.
My only ski so far this year was the Book Across the Bay back in your old stompin' grounds.

Anonymous said...

Once you start down the dark path (and become a skier) forever will it dominate your destiny.

Running...there's no Force like it.

Chad said...

Gregg, I saw you did the Book Across the Bay. I can't believe that event has gotten so large. Sounds like it was a great time.

Anonymous, how can there be "no force like running," if skiing would "forever dominate my destiny"? That makes it sound like skiing is a strong force too.

Anonymous said...

Bruce Adelsman linked to your post about the Birkie in this week's news letter. I think that makes it official, you're a skier now. Welcome to the club, see you at next season's races.

Chad said...

anonymous, yeah I guess a friend of mine had something to do with that.

No harm in being a skier - beats being a triathlete. :-)