Tbay City Champs went down today. It was a 10 km pursuit, not exactly my event since 1. I've never had a good pursuit race in my life, and 2. I don't think 10 km is my distance; I'm more of an "extreme" kind of guy, liking either a sprint distance or a 30 km. So today was just aight. I hammered off the start to stick with the front guys, but soon got dropped as the pace was just unsustainable for anything over 3 km. So I dropped off slightly and skied my own little 5 km classic race on my own. I did my transition, fumbled with my Salomon classic bindings HARD (I ended up having 2nd fastest transition though...the others' transitions must have been junk!), and then went on my merry way into some insane climbs that would bring me up to the high-altitude plateau that is the Lookout Loop. I went into the skate about 10 s off Pate, and by the 1 km mark in the skate he must have put another 10 seconds into me. So I got my climb on and ascended for all I was worth. Luke V. and Chris Hamilton (who I took out pretty good off the start!) caught me and hauled me up a few climbs. Chris peeled off cause I suppose he'd had enough and we didn't see him for the rest of the race. I plodded around Lookout for a while mirroring Luke, and I decided I would try to do something on the long downhill section into the finish since my skis were slightly quicker. I made a pass on a long downhill, and then tried to emulate my good friend Petter Northug with a devastating finishing kick. Didn't happen... I had snap, but i should have used it earlier. Got my ass handed to me in the dying meters of the race.
So like I said, the day was aight. I did a race but didn't have any ground-breaking sensations. The calm before the storm perhaps (Nationals). I did notice however, that the air tastes different now. I believe my body is completing its transformation into race shape now, as the intensity has been cranked up and the focus on distance-based training has been muted for the time being. I have become more efficient anaerobically, and less efficient in most areas aerobically. This change in state alters my metabolic functions and makes hard work feel different than it would have in the summer. Right now I feel like I have made big gains training-wise over the past few weeks. Now I need to reap those gains with some intense rest this week. This is what it means to find the "hidden workout" in every situation in life as well during actual workouts. What you do every moment will change your life; how you approach a training session, how you go about a training session (gauging intensity accordingly, mental aspects etc..) and how you approach periods in between training sessions. It's up to you.
You reap what you sow.