My COLL was a great improvement over my earlier races. The slow new snow wasn’t great for me, but I felt much better than I had in a long time. My skis were good with Fast Wax HSF White and Flite Arctic. I’ve used them before and had good results so I felt confident using them again. After the flood of men went by at the start, I had no idea where any of the other women where. I ended up skiing with a few men, but pulled for most of the first half. It was such a relief to get on the lakes and fast snow. I really took off and had one man that went with me. We were caught by Audrey Weber on the north side of Cedar Lake and she got in front. It was such a relief to have someone pull who knew what they were doing. It was also really nice to know that all the fast women weren’t long gone like I had assumed. We skied together for a couple km but then I past her by accident just as we headed into the wind on Cedar. The one man went with me and I powered across the lake. Then he pulled for a bit and we switched off back and forth and dropped Audrey again. I kept powering on and caught a couple more men. I asked for the inside of the curve as I passed and one of them took the opportunity to hop on my train. As we passed a couple more I heard him tell another to hop on as well. After a bit I was looking for a break and asked if he could pull, but it turned out we were almost off the lake so I didn’t bother and just kept going. I felt strong heading up the street to the finish. So after a lot of self-defeating thoughts at the beginning it turned out to be a decent race after all. It seems that the extra calcium I’d started taking had helped. I had another doctor appointment the next day and confirmed that my calcium levels had indeed risen. I felt more confident that my racing career wasn’t over after all like I’d feared.