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9:15 AM

55 km


7:44 mi


23 F
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I skied a really strong race ... for about 26 miles. The last 8 miles were a real struggle. Bonk? A-fib again? Not sure. After finishing, it took me a while to feel “normal” again. I did not ingest enough fluids and carbs during the race — just dumb. It was exciting to see my Avg Pace at just over 7:00 min/mi at the half-way point. It should’ve occurred to me that my 2 prior classic finishes were at an Avg Pace around 8:30, and that maybe this was unsustainable. I passed a lot of wave 3 and wave 2 skiers in the first 2/3 of the race, and even 1 or 2 wave 1 skiers, but they ALL passed me up in the closing miles, especially on the lake. I will say that I am happy with my mental resolve on the lake — I didn’t see ANYTHING other than the tracks in front of me. Skaters flew by on my right, and Classic striders double-poled past me on the left. I did not possess the energy to double-pole, so I diagonal-strided across that lake in slow motion.

I pushed well past my limits due to stupidity, but still managed a 20 minute PR, so that’s pretty cool. It *might* be enough to bump me up into wave 2 next year, which would be nice. Then again, everyone skied well today, so the standards might be tighter.

Biggest lessons:

- pacing: it should feel super easy until the last two aid stations so that I have something left to finish;

- fuel: longer breaks and more food and drink at aid stations;

- wax: I need more layers, AND I need grippier wax than whatever the experts recommend. I don’t need to wax so far forward in the kick pocket, and I definitely need it all the way to the back of the kick zone. My on-course waxing was a disaster; Start Oslo Purple was very sticky and may have worked, but I put it on only in the forward part of the kick zone. It didn’t improve kick much, and it killed my glide. Probably cost me 10 minutes — 5 minutes waxing at the side of the course, and at least 5 minute slowdown in last 8 km.

Still, hard to complain about a 20 minute PR!