The stadium today. A balmy +5, beautiful sunshine, amazing snow… Canmore sure is putting on one incredible show!
Today’s race hurt. It hurt real bad. 10km skate, three laps of a relentless 3.3km loop. Out the stadium, UP, little bit of down, UP some more, UP again, back to the bottom and repeat twice more. Normally I would love this course, it is a climbers dream! But today the legs had different ideas.
If you look at the lap splits, you might think “Pate, you silly little man, you just went out way to hard!” I will argue however, that I went out with the podium in mind. It is a fine line between blowing up and keeping it together for the win. I was not close to that line today however. After the first lap I was already in survival mode. Trying to climb smooth, and conserve as much energy as possible to get through another two laps.
My legs were pretty toast. They felt like they did last weekend (heavy), even with a week of easy training and very focused recovery, they still hadn’t come around. The mind was rip rarin’ to go, and in a very good spot. I have spend quite a lot of time thinking about this race and mentally preparing. I think that without this prep and focus, I would have been a lot further down the results page. It was a big mental game to push across the finish line. At which point I immediately collapsed, and spent the next 30 min trying to bring my heart rate back down, get my breathing under control, and make it back to the wax room to get some fluids in me. It was not a pretty sight. I was white as a ghost, and not really “there.”
I came around after a gel and some very strong sport drink. Enough to go out for a cool down, spend 15 minutes in the ice bath, and head home. I have spend the afternoon horizontal, eating and drinking plenty.
Overall I am disappointed, I was looking for a podium, and ended up 9th, over a minute back. Respectable, but not where I wanted to be. I know I am in good shape, and have the capacity to reach my goals this week, I just need to get the legs back under me. We have a rest day tomorrow, then Tuesday is the 15km classic, individual start. I am quite looking forward to this race as I feel my classic skiing has come a long way over the last little while.
In other news, there are groomers on Mainstreet!!
This restored Tucker Sno Cat, mounted with speakers-a-blarin’ is parked on Mainstreet, which also happens to be covered in snow! They have brought down snow from the Nordic Centre, and covered Main street Canmore, from one end of town to the other. There is skiing for all, booths set up, parades and awards presented from each days race on the snow. It was one cool sight, and one of the many reasons I love this little ski town!!
Amanda Ammar, coming out of retirement to team up with Annika Hicks, to create Canmore 1 in the open womans team sprint yesterday!
Canmore 1 (Stef Kuhn and Phil Widmer) leading Canmore 2 (Phil Wood and Russell Kennedy) in the open mens team sprint yesterday!
Russell Kennedy chasing the main pack. Canmore 2 had some bad luck getting tripped up twice and loosing contact with the leaders. They put up a good fight to regain contact, but were never able to do it.
Yesterday was a good day for Canmore Nordic in the team relays. Canmore 1 came second in the open men, and Annika and Amanda skied to an impressive 2nd place finish as well. Congrats to Annika on a great 5km today as well, coming 4th overall and 1st in the junior woman’s category. Very impressive skiing!
Until next time! – Pate