Whew! Got that over with! The first races of the season are always such a nerve-wracking ordeal for me. I was shaking so hard this morning that I could barely braid my hair! And I had to lie down in the middle of breakfast because I was worried it would come up. But turns out, once I got out of the start gates, all the nerves melted away and I was free to focus only on the race at hand, and doing everything I possibly could to have a successful race.
We did two sprint qualifyers – a classic starting at 9am and a skate at 10am. The course was a challenging 1.5 km that actually had more uphill than down – and ended at the top of a steep hill out in the woods! So it was pretty crucial to get warmups on ASAP after finishing. Luckily, the temperatures were really great – a sunny 25* F for the classic and it warmed up for the skate.
Part of the reason I was so gosh darn nervous was because I was bib #1. I always like to do the chasing, and I never like going out with a big target on my back! So this was good for me, to have to deal with the pressure of getting out first. Funny side note: the bibs were so large I made the executive call to sew mine! I put in some loose stitches and looked goofy but, hey, that’s nothing new for me. 🙂 Both races felt good – I hammered the classic and wish I could have pushed a little harder in the skate. The skis, thanks to Jason Cork, James Kyes and Bill Pierce, were absolutely fantastic (as always)! The skate skis were so fast I hardly knew what to do with them, and I think coordination at high speed is something I can definitely put more focus on. At the end of the day, I finished 1st in classic and 2nd in skate. Full results are posted at Summit Timing, linked HERE. Our entire CXC team did well, and I’m happy with how we opened the season!
A couple days before the race, Cork and I sat down and wrote out some process-oriented goals that had absolutely nothing to do with time or results. Goals such as get food, gatorade and dry clothes within 5 min after finishing the first race so I’d be ready for the second. Or be completely warm when I’m starting my race – being able to feel all 10 toes and fingers is pretty crucial. So after the race was over, it turns out it didn’t matter that I didn’t know what the results were, because I accomplished all my goals for the day. But I’m still so happy to have those races done with!