The big one is tomorrow. It is Birkie time!
I was in at Finn Sisu this morning putting the last touches on my skis (and to help out waxing some of the skis submitted for waxing at the shop). The recommended wax job for the Birkie is: a coat of Rex Blue, a coat of Rex RCF Black, a coat of Rex Olympico Moly, and 3 coats of Rex TK-72. It sounds like things will be pretty abrassive on the course, so that hard wax with the graphite is going to be important. Duribility will be key.
There were a lot of other people in at the shop this morning too. Most of them were from out of town who were picking up some last minute items on there way to the race. There were 2 guys there because the airlines had lost their ski bags! Apparently the airline has no idea where their bags are, and could not even find a record of where they had been checked in. Ouch. One of the guys had a pretty good attitude about it ("a good excuse to buy new skis!"), but the second guy was coming all the way from Sweden (!) and was pretty bummed out.
To make this weekend even more crazy, this Sunday are my dental board exams. I am typing this from the dental school computer lab waiting for a mandatory pre-boards meeting. From here I will be swinging through my parent's house for some pasta, and then heading the rest of the way to Hayward to their cabin. After the race tomorrow I will unfortunately not be heading to the Sawmill Saloon, and will instead be heading back to the Twin Cities to get ready for my 7:45am exam on Sunday. This is the patient-based part of the exam, so it consists of scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning), a class II restoration (a filling on a back tooth), and a class III restoration (a filling on a front tooth). The dentistry should not be too bad, but if one of my patients doesn't show up I might be screwed. At least I have the Birkie to keep my mind off it until the last minute.
I have been going over the race in my mind the last couple of days, and I still havn't decided on my final game plan. The last two years I have been the first or second guy who has not been with the lead pack (28th last year, 30th the year before), but I got there two differnt ways. Two years ago I went out and skied my own race and let the lead pack go early, getting into that second group and skiing easier from the start. Last year my goal was to stay with the leaders for as long as I could. Around the 18k mark I was spent, and Chad Giese and I both kind of fell off the back of the lead pack, and skied together for a few k before the second group caught us and we jumped in with them. Both methods lead to about the same result, and to be honest, skiing my own race hurt a lot less (until the last few kilometers, at least). It will be interesting how having two strong teams in the race (the Italians and CXC) will affect how things go at the front. In the past the Italians could pretty much control how the race was skied, but now CXC might be able to mix it up as well. I am glad it is going to be recorded again :)