If you asked me last weekend how I was feeling going into my first race I would be a little bit worried. Last Saturday I did my first hard skate intensity of the year (besides a skate sprint this fall). I did some intervals that were 1 minute-ish long. Rest varied between intervals along with terrain. One thing didn't vary though: sensations (bad). It was soft and unevenly groomed at WOP. Technically I was poor; trying to navigate my way along the more solid looking patches while attempting to ski with a long pushing phase for the soft conditions. I was seizing up quickly and not recovering between "ons". All in all I felt like crap.
3 days later (Tuesday) I did my 2nd hard-ish skate intensity. It was something like 5 x 2 min up Callaghan Country mainline (WOP was in shambles) with Pat and Pate. The old-school Fischer rock skis could not handle Pat's pimped out, Caldwell shop-tuned Madshus, nor Pate's last season's Atomic race skis on the flat sections, so I had a lot of time on my own to think about what I was doing and try to figure out a way to ski with my poles sinking 6 inches into the snow each pole plant. I ended the day with much more positive sensations than the Saturday workout. I was breathing strong, maintaining form and recovering well.
Now bring us up to today, Thursday. T-minus 2 days until the first race. Yesterday we got in to Vernon. This morning we did a skate ski up at the race site. O ya, by the way, this morning ended up being Christmas morning because of all the new gear I got. I was talking with the girls about what I was wearing out training. Nearly everything I had on or was skiing with was on its maiden voyage! New skis, boots (new brand too! I'm happy to announce that I am now a sponsored Alpina skier), pants, jacket, toque - like Butler said - I was a new man. He didn't even recognize me. I also did some fast stuff today. Feeling even better than Tuesday. Pretty good trend to have going into a race, constant improvements leading up to. Confidence abounds. Expectations for the weekend aren't huge though. This race doesn't mean too much. Mainly just points and experience. My main objective is to get into some heat skiing and ski well there. That means I first have to qualify top-30 with all of North American in the hood. Like I was saying, good to have confidence on my side.
Glad I finally had something cool to talk about on my blog! Well, maybe not cool... I tend to keep my training diary to my training diary but there's so much excitement leading into the first race with all my skiing buddies around and the first opportunity to prove myself quickly approaching that I had to mash up a quick update to letchyall know that it's all good.
The rock hard conditions at SLNC might be softening slightly with snow in the forecast before Saturday morning.
Time to gear up.
PS - you are lucky I didn't bore you with a "random thought" blog update with random facts about my year from iLog along with music reviews and other absurd topics. The post is just rubble from a brainstorm that will sit around and fester until I go through another period of meager blog writing topics.