Thursday, January 30, 2014

Boulder Lake (aka: Sufferfest)

Boulder Lake was my first race this year. I've been very busy with work and family and this was my first opportunity to race. I knew I shouldn't put it off any longer if I wanted to not bonk at the Birkie, and figured this would be a relatively easy one to start with. In past years, it has felt relatively easy, but not this one. I guess I can handle a course like that when I'm in shape, but that's not the case this year. I haven't done nearly as much intensity as I normally do because I haven't had the time, or more importantly the energy, to do much. Boulder is a very flat course. There is virtually no rest on a course like that, which is hard for me to take. I need a rolling course to let the lactates clear. The weather turned out warmer than expected so my wax was a bit slow. Not terrible, but not great. (The weather forecasts have not been reliable this year and seem to change significantly in just hours making it hard to wax ahead.) I went out just a tad fast but finally established a comfortable pace about 5k in. The next 10-15k were good. I felt pretty good and was just the right temperature. At the end of the second lap, things took a down turn. I started feeling cold and that is always a sign that I'm getting tired. Then the muscles in my left thigh started to twinge and cramp. Every little downhill I could find, which were precious few and far between, I would get into a tuck and dig my elbows into my thigh to try and rub the cramps out. They would feel better for a bit, and then start tightening up again. After several k's of this, my right leg started feeling tired too, then my arms. The last couple k were just survival mode. I was so glad to be done. I'd driven up with Cheryl and we were both tired so we didn't do much of a warm down before heading home. I was so cold and tired and hungry. Cheryl had a decent race and finished just behind me, but had skied hard and wasn't feeling the greatest either. I at least felt that I had put 'money in the bank' as Cheryl had said.

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