Yesterday’s distance races here in Rumford were an 11-lap 30k for the guys, and a 7-lap 20k for us. I have to admit, after watching and cheering for the end of the boys race (you know, just the last 4 laps), I wasn’t feeling too pumped for my own 7 laps. But in the end, it really wasn’t so bad. Here are my top 7 reasons why 7-lap races are actually not too bad:
1. You know exactly what terrain is coming up ahead of you. It makes it easy to plan out where to push harder and where you can count on some recovery.
2. Lots of cheering! It was definitely a good spectator course, and its nice to look forward to being cheered by the same people in the same spots on each lap.
3. You get to ski with people who are laps ahead or behind of you. I was hoping to get lucky and start right as some of the early starters were lapping so that I could ski with them. I didn’t get quite that lucky, but after a few laps Morgan Smyth and Alexa Turzian caught up to me and I so I hopped on the train and skied with them until they made a sprint for the finish, which was fun and definitely helped me keep moving through the middle of the race.
4. After a lap or two, you figure out where the rocks are and can mostly avoid them. (Though the trail was actually remarkably good! The Rumford volunteers put together a solid loop, given the conditions.)
5. Its easy to get lots of feeds. Every time I went by Pepa, she was yelling and waving at me so vehemently to take a feed that I definitely took a record number of feeds per kilometer for any race I’ve done. I think took 5 feeds, and most of them were coke, which I don’t even like, but I have to admit they tasted sugary and delicious at the time!
6. Splits–its easy to get them lots of times when you do that many laps. Though I guess at some point it was probably really complicated for people taking splits, with so many people on different laps.
7. You get to check out lap times afterward, which is always interesting! Although the lap times were only posted with the preliminary results. But its fun to check out what happened out there–who went out too hard and died, who finished strong, etc.
Wow, it actually really wasn’t too hard to think of 7 reasons.
I had a good race yesterday, ending up 16th! I’m happy with that! On the whole I think that its been a bit of a frustrating nationals for most of our team. We’ve all been racing well earlier this year, and we set high goals for ourselves here, myself included, which we haven’t quite met. But I don’t think that any of those goals were set too high…sometimes the races that you really want to be your best just don’t end up that way. And there’s still more racing tomorrow!