Sunday, March 6, 2011

Masters World Championships - the sweet life

It was a grueling day Friday getting to the Masters World Championships at Sovereign Lake, BC Canada. Three flights (two delayed) and an hour long van ride. My skis didn't arrive when I did and I developed a nasty sore throat. I didn't race the skate race on Saturday when everyone else did and spent the day napping since I was absolutely wiped out and my throat was quite sore. That evening I had to get my skis waxed for my race on Sunday and get to bed and was feeling a little sorry for myself. I didn't get to watch any races or drink wine and soak in the hot tub with my friends. What was I thinking in coming here? Sunday morning I was feeling a bit better, throat less sore and less tired. I was a little nervous because it was a 15k classic and I was unsure of waxing in these mountain conditions which include lots of fresh, very humid snow, very different than the cold dry stuff I'm used to. But the day turned out great despite feeling tired and under the weather. I realized that I was living the sweet life.

I got chauffeured to the race, had an awesome support team helping me wax, and my skis worked great. The start area was extremely well run and organized. Start position is assigned so there are no crowds or jockeying for position and the clothes bags are taken from you right before you step up to the start line. I got off the line well and exited the start area in first, but was quickly passed by several women. The first 5k were a gentle climb, but I felt like I wanted to lay down and die in the altitude the first few k. I was wondering how I was possibly going to finish 15k, especially since the last 5 are much hillier. I started to feel a little better k's 4 and 5 and made it to the top of the 5k climb in 5th place. Then there were rolling downhills for about 2k and I was able to recover well and my skis were running nicely. I was skiing with another woman most of this time and was just trying to relax and enjoy the race with her. I started running up her skis but I tried to just relax and rest and sit behind her. But I couldn't keep behind her and decided I needed to get around her. So I made my break about 9k or so and she couldn't hang on. I looked back a couple times but she was soon out of sight and I knew I was solidly in 4th. I was really able to get my rhythm and felt pretty good on the last hilly 5k. I felt good as long as I wasn't climbing too much. There was a big hill at 14k and I had to struggle to get up it without feeling like I wanted to keel over. I just kept telling myself that all I had to do was get to the top and then I'd be fine, and I was. I was able to push hard into the stadium to finish in 4th. I was just under one minute behind third and just over a minute in front of 5th. A fine finish for being sick and at altitude. Then home for more pampering the rest of the day which included napping, an incredible home cooked meal, ski waxing for the 10k skate tomorrow, and relaxing. This truly is the sweet life. No long work days, laundry, getting dinner, or other family chores. No wonder those young single pups (and retired old guys :-) can ski so fast! I'm hoping to continue to recover from my cold and enjoy the rest of the week. We'll keep you posted on everyone's results as we find time between naps and waxing sessions.

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