2014 Ski Season 1
As I began the season I was well aware of what was ahead and was working to adequately prepare. Knowing that July 2015 was bringing Ironman I took the plunge to sign up for the back to back Gatineau Loppet; first day classic and second day skate. That would give me something of distance to train for.
Starting in November I began to get up at 4:30a every day. I would do 1 P90x3 session and then something on the bike/treadmill. I was in a rough place; my left heel was still killing me from the Medronic Marathon in October. I would also do a short afternoon workout such as rollerskiing.
Luckily, we got snow early! The second weekend in November we had enough snow to ski the toll road. After that jaunt, I could barely walk. After seeing a doctor I was told I had Achilles tendonitis and just to stay on flat ground. Easy enough–it snowed in town that day opening VanHo and all of the golf courses!
It was awesome to stay on snow through thanksgiving. After a little blip with the weather, we got a huge dump. I was focused mostly on technique training until the big dump but quickly jumped into speed and strength. I was feeling great on skis!
At the season opener I was on Janets heels and just out pushed Gabriella. I had hoped to be a bit stronger but was satisfied with where I was. I began to really push distance and intensity. The weekend after that race Gabriella and I skied the stadium side twice. The next day I went and skied because it was supposed to rain. While it rained a bit, the snow stayed. I skied, skied and skied during the holiday.
It was at this point that I loaded up my schedule. I decided I would start by doing both of the Harry Eldrige races, do the Craftsbury Loppet as a warm-up to Gatineau, Empire State Games, the cookie clash, the Lake Placid Loppet and the NYSSRA Championships.
And then the cold of January hit. It was serious cold! I continued to ski trying to do more back to back long skis. When race time came, I was ready. Too ready-I overwaxed my classic skis the first day of Harry Eldridge. It was around 30F and I choose to go with something that would be great for 35F. I was double polling down hills!! Luckily, the next race the wax was straightforward and easy-green. It was bitter, bitter cold, just a preview of what was to come. This day I went out hard but not too hard. The first lap I was ahead of Janet but she snuck by me right before the 5K downhill and that was it. Boy-I was bummed!
I vowed to ski with more control and really focused on taking care of my body. Craftsbury ended up being another freeze fest. Given that it was my first 50K I wasn’t sure what to expect. However-I had ordered some boot covers along with polar wax and insulated water bottles to help. Survival was what I would have called it. The key was to not get pulled off the course and to not freeze. Keep moving forward. Thankfully for me it was a lap course; 4×12.5K loops. There was nothing too crazy or too technical in the loops-I just focused on skiing efficiently. During the first two loops all the 25K skiers were out there so it was a ton of fun. The trail had lots of people on it! The second 2 loops I found pieces where I was a bit lonely. Focused but lonely. During the last lap, my pod malfunctioned and began ringing. I stopped taking in fuel but continued with fluids-I had ~10K left. I plodding along feeling myself going downhill until I heard some people cheering for me. They literally cheered me into the finish line. Needless to say that day, my first 50K, I won my age group and was in the top 10 of women over 30. I was thrilled, tired, and my feet hurt.