|Family and friends meeting for dinner the night before the race last year.|
|Zoya and I pre race last year.|
This weekend we are all (except the dogs) off to Anchorage to see family and friends, and ski in the Tour of Anchorage. This is a yearly event and really it isn't all about doing well in a race. It's more about seeing friends and family in Anchorage, and the race acts as a touchstone to rally around. About half of the people we will see are in the race and the other half will be watching the race and cheering the racers on. That said, everyone who's racing also wants to do well - improve their times and maybe beat someone they lost to last year - and the race acts as an incentive to get/stay in shape during the slow days of winter. On a rainy day in January I might go skiing instead of staying at home. I like to be in my 'best shape of the year' in March for the race.
This year training has been a bit difficult. We did have great snow early in the season from mid November through December, and training for the race was easy. But the conditions in January and early February were 'tough'. I did manage to train but I did not do any of the 'speed' work - wind sprints, race pace days - that really helps out if you want to do well on race day. A lot of the time I was training by climbing mountains and going downhill skiing, or hiking up to the snow with my skate skiis. Zoya did a lot of her training at A Balanced Approach - teaching powerflex and indoor cycling classes.
And then this week I got sick.. . .. I'm hoping I got sick early enough that I'll be fine by race day. The last time I raced sick back in 2010 (click here) it was awful. I got REALLY sick afterwards and coughed for days. So this year if I am still sick on race day I plan on taking it really easy.
All that said my goals for the race this year is to beat my predicted time of 2:48 (my 50K time in 2011 when the race was 2K longer than usual) and finish in the top 80. I am seeded in the second wave - so basically I want to have an average second wave race. In the second wave to do really well it is actually pretty hard to pass all the slower elite women and first wave skiiers in front of you. They are just going slow enough that you do not want to stay behind them, but just fast enough that it is tough to get past them. I started in the second wave way back in 2002 and I remember it was all about passing and getting stuck behind slow people on hills. But back then I was a fast wave 'oner', and still broke 2:30 for the race. Now I am an older, slower skier who belongs in the second wave. This year I want to enjoy the race and finish with the pack in wave 2! And then have a beer with family and friends after the race. I can practically guarantee that I'll be able to meet the latter goal.
|Training yesterday when it was raining in town.|
|The downhill skiing was GREAT.|