So again I’m sitting in the bus trundling towards the tracks. It’s between race days now the 15km was yesterday and tomorrow is the skiathlon (30km). We are all off to test skis again and to try and get our bodies turning over again.
So race day began again early with us rising and heading out for a morning run. Things went a lot smoother this time, no fires under generators or busses delayed which is a first for the organizers. However I should mentioned the poor old Great Brittan (GB) team now have had two busses break down on them out of four race mornings, so I don’t think there to impressed with the organisers.
So testing waxes and warming up I was feeling good perhaps a little tired but still fired up and keen to race hard. As always the skis had perfect grip and awesome glide so thanks again J.C and Fabian!
I was off 9th and I had two GB skiers in from of me that I know quite well and a Greenlander who also has his skis waxed by us starting 30seconds behind. The race plan was to go out strong but nothing crazy and slowly build into a mean pace for the last lap. The course has six climbs in it per 5km lap, two that are steep pinches and then two medium length hills with two very long striding hills at the end.
The first lap I was feeling ok, but started to question how I was feeling when Karl from Greenland closed the 30 second gap quickly and was only a few seconds behind. However the last part of the course was where the two massive striding hills were and with a little technical advice yelled from coach J.C on the side of the course I found a strong rhythm and was able pull away from Karl and in the end put quite a bit of time into him. The second lap was hard, I was trying to slowly build but the altitude was starting to take its toll and my body was starting to ache. I was able to capitalise on the long striding hills and was given some good splits, being up on the Brits in front of me whom I was aiming to beat.
However I was burning a lot of energy on the pinches. The third and final lap I was still holding good technique and glide through out the course and as the last two hills came I tried to give it everything I had leaving everything out on the course. This for me was probably the weakest part of my race. I felt I just couldn’t “throw down” and just go nuts on the last few kilometers like I normally can. I found myself gasping for breath and having to drop my rhythm back into the previous pace that I’d been using. On the top of the final main climb again coach J.C appeared and as always he knew exactly what to say and as he ran beside me throwing life and limb on the line (he was so focused on yelling at me that toward the end of his sprint he tripped and did a spectacular face plant!) With J.C’s words ringing in my ears I tried to lift again and I held the pace over the top and into the decent. With only one more climb left in the race I tried to carry my momentum into the last hill and went crazy over the top and into the final circuit of the stadium and into the finish straight. This ended up being was one crazy big double poll interval and then all of a sudden it was over and I was done.
The race was fairly good for me I’m satisfied with it but not ecstatic. I was really hoping to produce a PB and I was close, getting the second best point of my career to date but still I feel frustrated about the lack of zing I had in my last lap and my inability to let loose like I’d planed.
I’m learning so much from all these races and watching what the winners do differently and seeing where I went wrong. I think next season if all goes to plan I’ll be a completely different racer but we’ll just have to wait and see if I can make the changes I’m planning.
For the time being
Train hard. Rest easy. Live for the moment.