Monday, February 15, 2010


What an awesome weekend! On Saturday, I met Scott at 6 AM and we drove to Hayward, which is just under 3 hours away. We skied the 42K Pre-Birkie and couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was a little crisp at the start with temps in the single digits, but it was sunny and the trail was in awesome shape. As Scott said on the way home, there may be better trails in the U.S., but we don’t know where they are.

I wasn’t really treating this as a race, but more of a long training ski. I had cheap wax on my skis and was near the back of the pack during the mass start. I ended up skiing a couple seconds per kilometer faster than I skied at last weekend’s race. I ended up skiing 2:37:35 or 3:45/K.

Although I appeared to have skied better, the results show I still have a bunch of work to do. While I don’t expect to win my age group, I don't think I should be in the 79th percentile. Yeah, I was 27th out of 34th. I mean, based on my running results and aerobic fitness alone, I figure I’d be better off than that.

It reaffirms that I need to spend the two weeks leading up to the Birkie focusing on my technique. There are no gains to be made from a physical fitness standpoint, but I think 2 weeks is enough time to make gains on my technique. Maybe it was from watching the U.S. go 2-4-6 in the Nordic Combined yesterday, but today’s ski seemed better. I’m trying to spend time thinking about; 1) keeping my skis pointed forward as much as possible, 2) getting my feet close together, 3) slowing everything down and being more forceful, which also leads to focusing on the timing of my movements.

We’ll see where that gets me. Not sure if I have a sub-3 in me or not. If I had to guess, as of yesterday, I’d say I’m a 3:08 skier.

One thing I don’t understand, if I suck so bad, how can I be in wave 2 (out of 10) at the Birkie? Maybe it has to do with the number of people skiing the Korte (half the distance), skiing classical, and/or first timers who go into wave 10.

I should have some more helmet-cam links tomorrow. For some reason, I can’t share them from work.

I love today’s QOD, especially in today’s world of “everyone’s a winner”. It comes from a local high school girl after she held off a close friend to win the state Nordic skiing title.

Quote of the day;

“Crossing the line holding hands would have been kind of cool. But a race is a race. You don’t race so you can skip across the finish line. You race so that you can blow your guts out.” – Jessie Diggins


Adam said...

Nice job!

The Birkie is infamous amongst statistics geeks for a very unbalanced wave system. By contrast, the City of Lakes Loppet registration director uses past race performances to seed the waves to be as even as possible. There used to be a write up on the COLL web site, but I couldn't find it anymore. I think he's sending it to Bruce Adelsman for a skinnyski front page story though. It's that good!

Chad said...

I did see that prior to COLL. I looked at about 2 charts and closed the document. Too much info for me.