XCFeedsDay Three!

FasterSkier FasterSkierJanuary 6, 2010

Well, the best way to describe today’s 20k classic race is, TOUGH! The forecast for today called for temperatures anywhere between 26-32 degrees and a 50 percent chance of snow/rain, possibly starting in the morning or maybe holding off until the afternoon. For those of you who don’t know as much about the technical side of skiing, well these conditions are probably the toughest for waxing! The options are endless…is it zero skis, harries, stiffer skis, softer skis, klister cover, hard wax, etc. As you can imagine, this makes for a little bit more stressful morning choosing skis.br /br /When I woke up this morning I checked the temperature, 27 degrees. I looked outside, falling snow. “Hhmmm” I thought to myself. As I drove to the race venue, the snow was beginning to fall harder and it was starting to accumulate. I walked into the waxing trailer where the coaches were busily testing everything! I managed to get a good warm-up in, although I forgot that the first 2.5k of the course doesn’t have lights. It was dark and I kept my eyes open for moose meandering the trails. Fifteen minutes before the start, I frantically went looking for my coach and my race skis. I tested them with only a few minutes to spare and they were slipping. My coach applied another layer of wax, but with only five minutes remaining until the start, I did not have time to test them again. I ran to the start, went through ski check and found my starting lane amid 9 lanes and over 70 starting positions. Everyone was silent and still with 30 seconds to go. “Bang!” the gun went off. I had a strong double pole start, positioning myself near the front. As soon as the pack of women hit the hills, I began to slip! I focused on setting my foot and wax pocket…but I just kept slipping. I immediately dropped back to somewhere around 20th place in the first 2k.br /br /div style=”text-align: center;”a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_bfd1dFDmRWA/S0Z9SXUmcqI/AAAAAAAAAic/ZZfWrg4o3ag/s1600-h/women+20k+up+elliots.jpg”img style=”margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 214px;” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_bfd1dFDmRWA/S0Z9SXUmcqI/AAAAAAAAAic/ZZfWrg4o3ag/s320/women+20k+up+elliots.jpg” alt=”” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5424160555665879714″ border=”0″ //aspan style=”font-style: italic;”The pack of women 1k from the startbr /Photo by Bill Roth of ADN.com/spanbr //divdiv style=”text-align: center;”span style=”font-style: italic;”br //span/divI completed my first 7k lap and I was discouraged. I was expending a lot of energy trying to set my wax. I passed my coach and asked if dropping out might be a good option, in order to save some energy for Friday’s classic sprint. I did not get a quick enough answer, so I kept racing. Back out onto the tough 5k loop with lots of big hills I went! I slowly caught and passed the girl in front of me. Half way through the second lap, my skis were beginning to kick better and i was able to push a little harder. I caught up to a pack of four girls in front of me. I hung on their tails for about 2k before making my move and passing them. With 6k to go, I skied as hard as I could! I managed to work my way up to 11th and was gaining on the girls in front of me. Had we skied another lap, I probably could have caught them.br /br /div style=”text-align: center;”a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_bfd1dFDmRWA/S0Z7mV43NNI/AAAAAAAAAiU/oges0lJhlqY/s1600-h/women+20k.jpg”img style=”margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 320px; height: 230px;” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_bfd1dFDmRWA/S0Z7mV43NNI/AAAAAAAAAiU/oges0lJhlqY/s320/women+20k.jpg” alt=”” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5424158699855230162″ border=”0″ //aspan style=”font-style: italic;”Liz Stephen leading the train of women.br /Photo by Bill Roth of ADN.combr //span/divbr /Today was a tough race but there is always something to learn and today I learned not to give up! A lot can happen in a 20k race and fortunately my race got better and better as I went. Tomorrow is a rest day and U.S. Nationals will conclude on Friday with the classic sprint.br /All for now!br /br /Click albuterol

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