XC Sking 3:15:16  45.03 km (4:20 / km) +955m 3:55 / km
Chip Time 3:21:46.5
Gun Time 3:21:46.5
Overall 387 of 676
Men 50 to 54 32 of 48
All Male 332 of 530
Split Time Pace Place
Fire Tower 51:21.6 4:17 369
Hwy OO 1:29:07.9 4:15 387
Boedecker 1:53:34.1 4:17 398
Timber Tr 2:51:37.5 4:27 395
TT to Fin 3:21:46.5 4:29 387
Overcast, 26F at the start, low 30s at the finish. I'd classify it as warm.
Wright socks and liners. Craft underwear and light Craft tights. Brynje, voler outer. Lt weight Lil Sport gloves, hat, buff. I was a little concerned about whether just the 2 shirts would be enough but Pat convinced me it would, and it was. The buff definitely helps. I'd say I got this spot on. As usual, I carried a spare hat and gloves that I didn’t use.
Wax & snow
At home: Rex cleaner and G21. This year I decided to pay $75 to have New Moon wax my skis. In the short term, this is much cheaper and easier than paying hundreds for the fancy race waxes. If I raced more then it would make long term sense for me to buy the stuff. But I don't. And this sure was easy. In the end, my skis were fine. No complaints.
Thu's snow was super fast, today not as much. With far fewer people the hills didn't turn into piles of potatismos, which was very nice. And the tricky downhills weren't scraped to ice and so much less stressful. But yesterday's high winds dropped pine needles, pine cones and sticks; I could feel those. The second half had some dirty spots. I found that staying to the side where there was still some corduroy and the snowmobile tracks still had some glaze and was a little faster.
Covid rules with fewer people made this very easy and relaxed. Nevertheless, I look forward to the zanny-ness and stress of a normal year.
Smarter management of my prerace dinner. Full but not stuffed. Morning = PB sandwich, yogurt, banana. Had a chocolate gel that had caffeine with the hopes that might help me in the port-a-john. 2 Superbeet chews. Some Tums. Liter of fluids (Fiz & some protein). At the start a Red Bull and a Kate's Bar. Last year I started with somewhat bloated feeling. This year felt good.
4 guys along the way. 2 less than last year. Felt fine. Maybe could have squeeze in another. Plenty of fluids I think. I think so, maybe.
Much easier and much less worrying about getting a pole stepped on.
Gosh darn it, I suck at these steep and punchy Birkie hills. No flow. Some walking. I always promptly got going again at the top. On more gradual ones like that I roller ski on, I can keep going. But the steep punchy ones are a consistent problem.
I was hanging with my wave 3 group through the high point. However, I slowly fell back and I'm pretty sure I was in the back of wave 3. I'd pass a person, then someone would pass me. Etc. After OO I didn't get passed and picked off a few people. However, it was really quiet and I was on my own for a lot of the time. The last 10k I did not see anyone.
My legs really weren't agreeing with the climb today. The outsides of both quads were tight and achy from early on, which made climbing and turning painful. It was a very uncomfortable day.
Usually from OO to the finish has a good number flatish sections and the big climbs aren't as steep. Covid had us go out on the skate trails and return to Telemark on the classic trails. Even though the course was shorter I think the total climb was slightly more and the hills kept coming. There was a good bit more turning, which while fun was owwy. I didn't feel like I finally got a reprieve until the last 2.5k. A sign signaled 400m togo and I was still in the woods. We popped out just before the Birkie Bridge. I did my best to push up the bridge and into the finish.
With fewer people I got a lot of attention from the announcer who said I probably came up to the Birkie from Dallas to warm up.
The consensus of people who I know who know things is that heading back to the Telemark from OO is indeed a tough way to go; more difficult than the usual. I wondered if I could see something in my splits. Below are the results from the 50-54 age group, the top 5 and the those who finished just ahead of me. I can't really see the effect of the hills per se but I seems I faded more than others. Perhaps I went out too fast. I was slightly slower than last year to OO but if we assume the snow was slightly slower then indeed, I may have gone out to fast. 20/20 hindsight though. At the time I really felt in control. Honestly, I think I just crashed. My guess is my time on the flats was about the same but that I got slower and slower on the climbs.
Sat skate 50-54
Place km 1 2 3 4 5 28 29 30 31 TC = 32
Fire Tower 11.5 3:05 3:19 3:17 3:26 3:42 4:22 4:13 4:13 4:11 4:17
Hwy OO 21 3:01 3:14 3:12 3:20 3:36 4:14 3:59 4:09 4:11 4:15
Boedecker 26.5 3:00 3:12 3:12 3:23 3:33 4:12 4:00 4:09 4:14 4:17
Timber Tr 38.5 3:05 3:15 3:16 3:29 3:36 4:13 4:09 4:11 4:25 4:27
TT to Fin 45 3:08 3:18 3:21 3:32 3:38 4:15 4:15 4:15 4:27 4:29