Today was the infamous ‘Climb to the Castle’ here in Lake Placid. Its a nice 5 mile race straight up to the top of Whiteface mountain! The forcast called for 90 percent chance of rain, and the weatherman was not wrong on his call, but that didn’t keep all the excited rollerskiers away from the challenge. The race is freestyle, so everyone was skating… except me. (I decided to classic stride after talking to my coaches and team physical therapist. After having 3 surgeries on my legs in a 1 year span my calves still get pretty tight after workouts and I work really hard with stretching and massages to get them to loosen up. It seemed like a bad idea to skate hard up a mountain for almost an hour and undo all the work I’ve put into my legs. Classic skiing is much easier on my lower legs.)
So we took off up the mountain in a huge pack, and since I was classic skiing and everyone else was skating I was expecting to be in the back of the pack right away. But that is not what happened at all. I was in the zone, just racing my race, and look up to see that I am in the lead! I got pretty excited but I also knew I had a very long way to go to the top, so I immediately relaxed and got back into the zone.
I was able to stay in the lead for over a mile, I think almost 2 but I don’t remember exactly. All I know is that I went HARD and it HURT. The cold rain kept trying to freeze me and the wind wanted to push me back to the base of the mountain, but I felt strong and determined to make it to the top as fast as I could. And thats exactly what happened. I reaced the top of the mountain in about 54 minutes, and I am very happy with my effort out there on the mountain.