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Training Log Archive: Bash

In the 7 days ending Mar 8:

activity # timemileskm+m
  XC Skiing - Skate3 3:15:13 17.17(5.3/h) 27.64(8.5/h) 457
  Total3 3:15:13 17.17(11:22) 27.64(7:04) 457

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Sunday Mar 8 #

9 AM

XC Skiing - Skate race 2:17:28 intensity: (1:00:00 @3) + (1:17:28 @4) 19.63 km (8.6 kph) +352m

Scenic Caves Ski-Orienteering

Day 2 Long

We had a great time last night catching up with Funderstorm, Amber, Arthurd and Katie.

Today there was a choice of Medium or Long courses, where the Medium course was the first of two maps that made up the Long course. The Long was advertised as 15 km point-to-point, estimated to be about 20 km of skiing.

It was another bluebird day but the temperature had been above zero overnight and was forecast to soar this afternoon. The snow was slower and I felt awkward - like I'd never skate skied in my life. I think I may have been a bit dehydrated. I should have carried water - duh! Thanks to Funderstorm for the awesome scenery photos.

We started with a few long legs today so I had lots of time to think about my poor skiing. It was fun to get into the southwest part of the trail network that we didn't see yesterday and do some bushwhacking down there.

Between 12 and 13, I thought it would be fun to take a shortcut by removing my skis and running down a snowshoe trail to a lower ski trail. Two young women followed me. They got their skis on faster and left. My boots were jammed with rock-hard snow so it would have been faster to just stay on my skis and go around on trails. I was bent over for at least 90 seconds, using the tip of my pole to gouge snow out of my boots and trying not to slide after I put on my first ski. When I stood up, it felt like something triggered my heart to start racing and I felt lightheaded. I'm not sure what it was - maybe a combination of mild dehydration, stopping in the middle of a hard effort and standing up after bending over. It only lasted a few seconds but it scared me into taking it pretty easy for the rest of the race - at least as easy as possible, given that I was on skate skis.

I stopped at the map exchange and waited for my heart rate to get close to its resting level. I was ready to turn around if I didn't feel right. I kept my heart rate moderate and just did herringbone up some of the hills instead of skating. Ugh. I was tired after the race but actually not as exhausted as last year's Long Ski-O race. Looking back at my log, I was so thirsty after that one that I bought a big drink at the chalet before downloading my SI card, and I felt like I'd been hit by a truck for several hours. The aftermath wasn't nearly as bad today even though I skied a little farther in warmer weather. This was the 2nd longest skate ski of my life; the longest was a 3-hour ski-O practice session at Sovereign Lake in Feb. 2006.

Map 2 was different enough from Map 1 to keep things interesting. I saw almost no one since most skiers stopped after Map 1, and the rest of us had spread out. The temperature rose to the point where my skis stopped sliding reliably. It happened very suddenly - glide, glide, glide, glide, stick, stick, stick, glide, stick, stick, stick, glide. For the last half hour of racing, my skis decided to surprise me constantly. This was especially fun on downhills if one ski slid while the other hit the brakes.

I was grateful to learn that I'd visited all 32 controls in order. What an immense amount of work to organize this race! Big thanks to Mark and Jackie Tarno, Hammer, Etoile and Anvil for a super fun weekend.

Saturday Mar 7 #

1 PM

XC Skiing - Skate warm up/down (Groomed Trail) 10:17 [3] 1.56 km (9.1 kph) +5m

Short warm-up ski before the ski-O race to remind myself what it feels like to skate ski and what it feels like to wear a ski-O map case.
2 PM

XC Skiing - Skate race 47:28 [4] 6.45 km (8.2 kph) +100m

Scenic Caves Ski-Orienteering

Day 1 Sprint

With help from the Wadd Squad, the Tarnos organized a fantastic weekend of Ski-Orienteering at Scenic Caves Nordic Centre. The courses were lots of fun, and they got the weather exactly right with sunshine, blue skies, soft snow and spectacular views of Georgian Bay.

Today was the Sprint, advertised as about 5 km between controls as the crow flies - although it's not always safe (or legal) to ski with a crow! I forgot to turn on my watch until 10 minutes after the start so my distance is an estimate. (Click on photo to enlarge it.)

Bushwhacking was permitted on white parts of the map, i.e. through the forest. On orange/yellow areas of the map, we were required to stick to marked trails including some temporary trails created by a snowmobile in open fields. This provided lots of route choice. Some controls were on snowshoe trails so there was some unavoidable floundering in the woods on skate skis, which suited me just fine as someone who does lots of classic skiing.

Most trails were marked with chevrons to indicate the required direction of travel. For skiers familiar with Scenic Caves, it was important to be alert because it was legal to ski the wrong way for a short distance on a one-way trail as long as we did not cross a chevron on the map - and even legal to punch a control at a chevron that was pointing the wrong way. This was different from the one-way trail rules in other races I've done and organized (trails have usually been 1-way from junction to junction), and I lost a bit of time in a few places as I made an extra effort to ski in what I thought was the required direction.

It took me a few minutes to get into the map. I'd expected to ski off into the woods but we headed toward the chalet instead. I'm told that several regular Scenic Caves skiers made the same mistake on #2 by skiing to a small ski loop that we've all seen in front of the main chalet (unmapped) rather than a small loop near the parking lot. This ensured that our moment of confusion was witnessed by the maximum number of tourists in the busiest part of the Nordic Centre. :)

After that, my brain started working. I haven't been skate skiing lately but it felt pretty good. I didn't have as much trouble in the deep snow off-trail as I'd expected. I'd considered classic skis but I don't think the off-trail sections would have been much easier. There were 19 controls in a relatively short distance so we always had to be thinking.

Lots of fun! My hero of the day was Stacie Smith, who placed 2nd to Milla Tarno in the Open Women category. She's just returning to sports after many months of health issues. I gave her my Masters prize because she deserved it *way* more.

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