Friday, January 30, 2009

“Do One Thing A Day That Scares You”

I as I read that off my Lululemon manifesto water bottle, I’m confident I have THAT ‘scares you’ part covered for this weekend!

Experience: That’s what it’s all about right?? When I started XC skiing I was pretty adamant that I was not going to race. Skiing is my winter survival activity. While focused on training and racing all summer with triathlon, the last thing I needed was another competitive sport. I ski when I want, when the weather is perfect; without worrying about equipment, heart rates, intervals, technique. It’s playing in the snow - That’s all it represents for me. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of overlap between the local tri and ski community, so last fall I joined a few tri friends in a XC dry land clinic with Olympic hopefuls Caitlin Compton and Johanna Winters. I figured it would be a great way to support these amazing athletes, not to mention to do a fun group workout together.

But then it happened…The Post Clinic Raffle: Free Entry to the City of the Lakes Loppet (35km). Jmac and I looked at each other laughing because it was the LAST thing we wanted to win, but sure enough my name was drawn! I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but a few months later, and after 5-6 outings on skate skis, I figured it could be a ‘fun’ experience. My longest ski to date is ~15K, so what’s another 20K right???!!! Of course I had to wait to see the race day weather forecast (remember good conditions are required), but with temps forecasted in the 30s on Sunday, my entry HAS BEEN SUBMITTED!

I told my coach last week that I was going to do it- I’ve never had a XC ski column in my training log, but I suddenly I had 6 hours of skiing on the plan for the week including all kinds of V1, V2, Double polling drills…HUN? I don’t even know what that stuff means… THIS IS GOING TO BE INTERESTING.

I dropped my skis at the shop last night for waxing. First waxing since I picked them up from Gear West in November. I feel like such a rookie… Some advice from friends: “Protect your poles at the start,” from someone else I hear…”it’s like a bike race, get out in front at the start”. I’m now visualizing myself as the non-swimmer at the start of a triathlon, and suddenly I have much more sympathy for those folks! I have no idea what to wear, what to expect, but I guess that’s all part of the experience. It reminds me of the Inline Marathon Kerry and I did a few years ago. We showed up in St. Paul for the inaugural race, had hardly rollerbladed in our lives, but ended up having a blast at the back of the pack rolling through Downtown St. Paul for 26.2miles. It’s a very different atmosphere at the back of the pack in these endurance races, and I’m hoping to find the same fun, inviting vibe in WAVE 6 (the last wave) on Sunday morning.

This race course it pretty hilly for the first 8.5K, but then it flattens around the lakes and finishes on the streets in uptown (yes, they put snow on the roads for this race)- URBAN skiing at its finest.

Kerry will try to get photos on Sunday morning, but I’m considering bringing my own camera. I’ll be looking for photo opps (ie rest breaks) along the course!

Have a super weekend folks.