Run 4:39  0.46 mi (10:07 / mi)
Jogging to the men's room (side of a snowmobile trail)
Ski 2:49:14  30.77 mi (5:30 / mi) +879m 5:03 / mi
So that was … different. Preparation went fine, feeling good on the start line, gun goes off, start to shift through the gears once the accordioning stops and … there are no gears to shift through. I thought I was recovered from the past month of mostly being sick, but there was nothing there. I felt like I was pushing hard, and I skied evenly, holding onto 250th place (or so) the whole way.
This is not to complain, it was a beautiful day, the trail was perfect. But it is slight concern, because one of the other skiers in our group said "I expected to see you near me, you're Mr. Consistency" and he's not wrong: I've finished between 154th and 204th every year since 2009. 260th is a significant outlier! The Occam's Razor explanation is that I was still quite depleted from the norovirus last week, and never fully recovered (apparently it can stick around, and maybe my stomach isn't absorbing nutrients well, which would explain not being particularly hungry during or after the race).
I also don't really have a benchmark from the past few months. One attempt at a November Project PR that didn't go great, but other than that no half or full marathon to go off of since last April. In the past decade I've run every marathon in a 6 minute window and every half in 4 minutes (aside from one at like 8000 feet). So if New Bedford is between 1:22 and 1:26, I'll chalk this up to cold + noro. (My 800s a few weeks ago may have been a sign, but that was pre-noro.) If that's outside the window (if the weather is normal, anyway) I'll start thinking about an awkward note to my doctor: "hi this might not seem like a medical concern but I just ran a 1:31 half marathon and that is a significant outlier and maybe there's some blood work that could be done?"
This seems to have been relatively recent, my time was 18% more than Craftsbury, and everyone else who skied both (and not out of the 7th wave) was in the 1 to 14% range (all but 1 in 1-8%). A 10% increase would have had me at 2:37, right where I would have expected. I noticed Caitin Patterson's time because I saw her on the flight out, had bested her by 3 minutes at Craftsbury, and she was 20 minutes faster at the Birkie (the women had a bit harder job at Craftsbury, on the first lap at least). Not a lot else to go off of so just hoping it's just lingering depletion from a month of being sick and that I'll wind up recovering.
Anyway, the rest of the afternoon was lovely, lots of fun podcasting, lots of sun, seeing all the people (but not actually all the people) and soaking it all in. Next year is #18 which is crazy, Facebook flashed up "here is your memory from 17 years ago" and it was my first. Wow, I'm old. Maybe it's that.