Friday, December 5, 2008

Nor-Ams Trip - Day 6

New red jacket alert!  Check out the new threads....  Team DHL jackets... Tony showed up like Santa Claus this morning and showered several of us with shiny new Halti jackets - they are SWEET!  Thanks Tony and thanks DHL!  Oh, and that is fresh snow in my hair not dandruff...  also a good thing.

Training today was pretty mellow since we race tomorrow. I skied the course (7.5km) with Jamie Stirling of the Nordic Racers (we did several dryland sessions this summer). Bill, our wax tech got my race skis dialed in which made a HUGE difference - they were FAST - made it so much easier.

I'll use the rest of this post to explain the races this weekend.

Saturday: Teck Sprint Race - Free Technique

Race Description:
 "Free" means you can use any technique you like, but everyone (well almost everyone), skates.  See the SKATE video at the end of the post to see what skate skiing looks like.
The race is 1100 metres in length and requires the skier to basically "red line" from start to finish.  There are lots of corners, a couple of steep but short hills and a couple of fast descents.

Race Schedule:  
In the morning we will do a "prologue" to determine seeding and lane assignment.  In the afternoon there will be a "final".  The organizers use a "Hunter Start" so that the first athlete over the finish line wins.  The hunter start accommodates our various disabilities - i.e. the "most disabled" skier starts first and so on.

Race Analysis:  
Sprints tend to be my best races.  I came second at Nationals last year to the same field of athletes.  I have put very little time into skate training this time around because our most important race (on Sunday) is a classic race.

I will be trying to win this.  Why not right?

Sunday: 15km Haywood Interval Start - Classic Technique

Race Description:  
"Classic" is the "old school" cross country skiing where it looks kind of like a gliding run.  My classic doesn't look like that just yet - more like a choppy run with skis attached to the feet but hey...  See the CLASSIC video at the end of the post to see what Classic skiing should look like.
"Interval start" means we will start 30 seconds apart, one by one - like in a time trial in cycling.

Race Analysis:  
This is the big race of the weekend.  It will be used in a complicated formula to determine qualification for World Cup Races this year.  World Cup Races lead to World Cup points (if you finish in the top half of the field) and World Cup points get you into the Paralympics - you only need 1 point.  This is complicated and I'm still not sure that is entirely correct...  but it's close.

For Para-Nordic and Paralympic Racers 15km is considered a "long distance" race.  These long distance races are much tougher for me as my technique is still "in development" - little problems (or big ones) really compound over the course of 15km.  So this is going to be a challenge for sure!  

Ski well through to the finish line - don't go out too hard - maintain concentration on effort, technique, course sections for the full duration - positive mental chants.

SKATE Technique

CLASSIC Technique


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Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I'm excited for you. Have a great racing weekend and I'm routing for you!

Karen Hoffman said...

can't wait to hear how it went...hopefully easier than you thought. Hope the 'snow gods' are with you.