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Monday, March 07, 2011

The Tour - Goals met and unmet

Oh where do I start. The Tour of Anchorage completely kicked my booty. That said, it was such a great weekend.

Patrick was VERY happy with his place-he took 36th overall in the 50K, which exceeded his goal of placing in the top 50, and he got third for his age group. He was very excited to keep up with some of the elite skiiers in the Spencer Loop. The Spencer loop is in the beginning of the Race and is a 800 foot climb up and is the worst part of the 50K.

It was so fun watching him ski by me...there were some very fast, very serious guys that flew by and then in the next couple small groups of guys, Patrick flew by. I had a feeling he was in the top 50, as there weren't too many guys before him. THe 50K'ers are 100% business. Shiny bodysuits, and legs and poles just flying ahead. I was proud to see Patrick with them and I yelled out "Go Patrick! Love you!!". He chimed back, "Go Zoya" as he flew into the sunrise and I was huffing and puffing along.

My race was brutal. The 25K course I did had a new start at Alaska Pacific University. At the start line, the announcer said, "We don't really know how long this route could be 20K or it could be 30K...if you have a GPS, track it for us and let us know." At the end everyone agreed it was closer to 28K....

The trail looped back and forth all around, up and down moderate hills. I felt encouraged by how things were going until I saw the sign that said, "20K to finish". I looked down at my watch. I had been skiing for 56 minutes. I thought, "NO WAY". I have skiied more than 5K, surely. But I didn't let it fluster me and just focused on the trail and my form. Towards the middle/end of the race, the snow felt very slow. It was soft and dirty.

At 1 or 2 points during the race, I lovely would it be to catch a ride with one of these nice spectators back to the finish...but I really pushed those thoughts from my head. I had moments throughout where my hip flexor and low back muscles would tighten for about 5 minutes and I was just inching along. The final hills to the finish were brutal. Everyone was in the same boat--exhausted. As I approached the finish line, I saw my ski instructor, Lili standing in the crowd and I smiled at her...she said "Hi" and waved and then took a picture of me with a camera with a big lense. I wanted to sink form was HORRIBLE. I was practically walking. I think she understood.

There were 9 people in my family cheering crowd, screaming, "Go Zoya! Go Zoya" as a I finished. Nora and stuey were 2 of them. I finished in 3 hrs 17 minutes, about 50 minutes longer than I had hoped for.

I'm really glad I did the race--it gave me something to work for this winter. The process of training got me back into regular exercise. And I'd like to do the race every year instead of having 3 year gaps between the times I do it.

Patrick did awesome and I'm so proud of him. He was up there with the big guns...he worked for hard for it all winter. Here in Kodiak--where there are no groomed trails.

A major highlight of the weekend was our friends and family who also did the race--my brother in law Todd did the 25 freestyle, My stepdad did the 25 classic and did incredible (took second for his age group!!), and our friends Ray and Bruce in Anchorage also did awesome. Bruce did the 50K for the first time and Ray met his goal of being in the top 100 for the 50K. Julie took second for her age group!!! Our friend Aubrey who has done archaeology in Kodiak before took first for our age group.
Everyones personal times were slower than prior years, because the race was most likely longer due to the new course.


Photos: Nora and Stuey with the Tour Moose at the finish. On the car ride home last night nora said, "Mom-I think that moose is actually a human underneath. I think that moose wants kids." Pretty funny.
Cousin Will and Nora. Patrick loved that Nora wore his bib after the race, and struck a pose like she was double poling in the race!
2 pictures Beth S. took of me at the finish....the smile was somewhat forced....I was moving VERY slow.

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