Monday, December 8, 2008

Nor-Ams Trip - Day 8

Sorry for the delay.  I have been sorting through a bit of post -race frustration and needed to conclude that process before sitting down to type.  A byproduct of this frustration appears to be wordiness and an inability to edit so I apologize for the epic length of this post.


Yesterday's clash at Sovereign Lake was the most important race of my short ski career.

It was a challenge to prepare for in a few different ways:

- Short amount of time on snow
- Lack of snow
- Rumours/changes/politics

The first two are quite easy to comprehend.  You might find the third a bit surprising/confusing...  I know I did.

I didn't bother to go into the details on the blog but the Sunday race changed several times during the week - which is very hard on the skiers.  For various (too boring to elaborate) reasons the organizers changed the technique to skate, then changed it back the next day, then the distance changed.

In the end it was a 10km classic race - a result I was totally pleased with.  I could have done without the emotional roller coaster of changes... but dropping 5 km in an early season race was a good result for sure!

So I went into the race feeling quite ready to do some damage.  That lasted about 5 minutes.

It was an interval start and I held my position nicely through the first climb, in fact I was gaining on the skier in front of me - the skis and I were climbing like a dream!

As the initial climb flattened and I tried to pole through a flat section - there was no glide at all. I. was. not. moving. at. all. period.  

I STOMPed. 
I pushed.
I jumped up and down.

 ...nothing would help.

The intricacies of x-c waxing are completely unknown to me...  thus I had no idea what to do about the situation.  Nothing I tried worked to get these skis moving.  So instead of sliding I ran...  I kept running up and even DOWN hills for a few kilometres.  I was like Forrest Gump on skis - I was runn-ang.  

Meanwhile every single skier passed me - one by one.  (I can run fairly fast but a skier gliding downhill goes a lot faster.)

I cheered a few friends as they passed, I ran up a hill with Courtney and Andrea (then they slid away down the hill as I ran on alone....)  A random woman who witnessed me jogging down a steep hill offered me her skis but we had incompatible boots.  It would have been awesome if she ran after me like the people did behind Forrest....

You can see where this is going....  DNFville.  By the time I reached Jeff (maybe I ran about 3 - 3.5 km with the skis on) the race was over for me.  We made an (illegal) adjustment to the skis but it was unsuccessful.  

Frustration, anger, disappointment, confusion.  

I felt great (physically) and had lots of gas left in the tank* so I considered runn-ang the whole 10km just to make a point - the "I don't quit" point.  After giving that some thought I realized how grueling running that distance with skis on would be (and how my skis would likely be trashed as well) - and for what?

So that was it.  I attended the awards ceremony and told the story 50 times.  Awesome :)

I don't want to lay this on the wax tech's though.  I know they tried very hard to get this right.  And frankly, the last minute changes totally screwed them and me - I had no time to test this wax because the race was changed from skate to classic with too little time for testing.  I got my skis and had to run to the start line.  I also had the same wax as everyone else.... just my skis were last off the bench.  Another theory is that I require less wax.... who knows we didn't have time to test it.  We know what not to do though.....  Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get.

And, it should be noted, that had I known to scrape the wax off (by using the edge of my other ski) I might have been able to achieve a glide.... (grip on the uphill might have been tough without the wax though).  These are the things you learn and these are the ways you learn them....  it sucks that it was THIS race though.  As Forrest said, "$hit happens."

What I will take away:  A whole lot of fire to direct at my next race.  I'm madder than Captain Dan and this can only be good.  Incidentally Captain Dan would have been guaranteed silver in the male sit-ski category as there was only one other competitor...

If that wasn't bad enough you should hear about my drive home....  I'll save it for my next post though.  Here's a hint:


*Note my clever foreshadowing.

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3 comments:

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

LOL! Sorry about the race, but that picture of sking-Forest is awesome! I had no idea that the wrong kind of wax could bring you to a complete stop. I did a x-country race once on a pair of borrowed (i.e. crappy) skies. I kept passing people like crazy on the uphills only to watch them all glide past me on the downhills. Very frustrating. You are right, take it out on the next race.

BG said...

Hey dude! Bad luck with the crappy wax. Take it out on them in the next one!

dinghao said...

hi meyrick is me dinghao is nice to see you again see ya