XCFeedsAnother Boulder Story

FasterSkier FasterSkierJanuary 20, 2011

I’m not much of a pack skier but my teammates tell me that I should be and since I had a pack experience of sorts on Sunday I’ll share it. My goal for the race was to hang with Angie as long as I could which was going pretty well until I caught a ski tip in the edge of the snow and helicoptered then fell – meaning I was facing the wrong way. By the time I got up and turned around Angie was rounding a corner and Christi Nowak had passed me. I quickly got around Christi but it was early enough in the race that I didn’t think it was a good idea to work too hard to catch Angie so I set a pace that was a bit of a push without burning out to see if I could gain on her and drop Christi at the same time. Neither happened. After a few k not only was Christi still behind me but there were a couple other folks, too, so I let her lead for awhile. I felt like the pace was too slow for me but everytime I jumped into the lead to try to pull away, the pack would hang with me and we still had more than 20k to go. I knew Angie, Carolyn and Elaine were ahead of me and I know they are faster and that it was unlikely I’d catch them so I made a strategic decision to stick with the pack for awhile even though I thought I could go a little faster. It was mostly Christi and me taking turns leading. Occasionally we’d catch a guy and if I thought he was too slow, I’d pick up the pace, go around, and see who could keep up. I also discovered there was another woman, Jenna Ogston, in our pack. About half way through the race I went for a Gu and with no downhills to glide on I lost the pack while using my hands to get the frozen blob down my throat but was able to catch back up. Then at some point near the end of the second lap, as I was leading the pack, someone skied over my pole and pulled it and my glove right off! So there I was gliding forward with my pole on the trail behind me and the pack taking off ahead of me. Thankfully “The Guy in Pink” picked up my pole as he skied by it and handed it to me but I still had to stand there and put it all back on since I was at the bottom of a hill and needed my hands. I was a bit miffed, having done most of the pulling of the pack only to be rewarded by a stripped pole and being ‘left for dead’ by the pack so I worked to reel them back in. It took about 6 k to do it. I had decided that if I caught the pack I was not going to pull them again. So it was either tuck in behind them or take off. I took off. At that point I figured there was about 5 or 6 k left (no k markers on this course). I just pushed the pace to see what would happen. After a bit I sensed that no one was on my heels. After a few k more I turned around and couldn’t see anyone but kept pushing the pace. I picked off a couple more guys on the way but I knew I wouldn’t see any more women either ahead of me or behind me so now I was just going for time – how close could I finish to the woman ahead of me? So for the last 6k or so I skied the way I normally ski in races – all by myself…..and it worked out pretty well.br /A couple technical notes: It was -7 at race start. I stuck the Graber chemical toe warmers with adhesive to the socks underneath my toes, left the boot warmers trailside, stuck hand wamers in my mitts and stayed very comfortable during the race. The toe warmers are thin and except for not having frozen tootsies I didn’t know they were there. Also used dermatone on my face and it worked well – a little frozen upper lip for part of the race but I could tell I was not in danger of frostbite.div class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/1572647974447867713-2430148090428235544?l=vakavaraceteam.blogspot.com’ alt=” //div

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