In my SISU report, I said I was signed up for the 22km race at Seeley because I wasn't sure I could pull off a classic marathon. One of the reasons I wasn't confident is I'm worried about missing the wax for the day and having to double pole and/or herringbone the whole thing. As I was looking at the forecast on Tuesday it was for race time temps in the single digits above zero which means kick wax is a bit of a no-brainer. So I decided to switch to the 42km. And every time I checked the forecast the rest of the week it got colder and colder. I think the temps at the start ended up being around -6F. It warmed all the way up to -5F at the finish.
With family obligations on Friday evening I opted to glide wax my skis on Thursday evening. Given the weather trend it wasn't likely to be wrong anyhow. I put two layers of Fast Wax HSLF-10 in, followed by a layer of HSF-10. I did one more layer of HSF-10, but that last one I mixed in some Toko X-Cold powder. I've used the same formula in the past and found it good. Today was no different and I found my skis running well all day.
For kick I ironed in and smoothed out a layer of Swix VG35. My plan was to then try either Rode Special Green, Multigrade Blue, or Swix VR30 at the trail. On my drive up Saturday morning I realized while driving through St. Croix Falls that I left my wax box on the wax bench. I had the Multigrade and VR30 in the car though, just no cork. I figured I could bum a cork from someone so it wasn't a big deal. Ultimately I went with 3 thin layers of Multigrade Blue. It kicked like roller skis for the first 15k or so. By the time I was done through a combination if it wearing off, me getting tired, and the track being pulverized I wasn't kicking nearly as well.
Clothing wise I was well prepared. Sporthill windbriefs and Smartwool socks to start. Then my new Swix RaceX Bodywear Windpant baser layer. That stuff rocks. I've had "cold issues" this year but not since I got those, not even today. On top I put on some light weight arm warmers I normally use during fall running season under my lightweight Smarwool baselayer. CyclovaXC ski suit of course. I kept my vest on for this race as a wind proof layer to keep my core warm. A windproof baselayer probably would have been enough in hindsight (not that I have one). Topped that all off with some slightly thicker than normal windproof gloves, moleskin cheek patches, gobs of Dermatone, last year's Seeley hat, and my CyclovaXC buff. I wear the buff all the time now (all the time being defined as when I'm skiing). I'm a huge fan of buffs now and its always good to display more team colors. I'm not sure there are any left at the shop, if there aren't harass Ben Jonjak about getting more.
My warm-up this time was pretty short. I'm not sure if you knew it was cold out. Tommy and I skied north about 1km and did a couple of short hard efforts. Before those I was COLD! Afterwards I felt much better and was ready to line up.
|Splits are Boedecker, Fire Tower, Boedecker, OO, and Gravel Pit|
|A huge thank you to Kelly Randolph of Once In A Blue Moon Studio for being out and taking fabulous pictures as always.|
My subjective analysis was a little mixed. While I was happy I was able to push the pace early and not bonk late, I wouldn't say that I felt strong the whole time. Despite knowing that the long race field is full of studs I was sort of disappointed to finish 41st. A gap of only 2:22 to Tommy wasn't too bad again. I could have raced a little smarter, but thankfully didn't suffer big consequences for my error in judgement.
Crunching the numbers though it was another solid race. The best race by the numbers in fact. If I limit my correlation algorithm to only use people who were 50% or less back in each race it cuts down a little on the variation you get further from the pointy end. The people at the pointy end are usually pretty consistent.
|Still a bit of scatter comparing classic to skate. I highlighted myself as one of the highest above the line indicating Seeley was the better race.|
Predictions and correlations aren't the same thing as actually racing, but this is definitely positive reinforcement that I'm doing the right kinds of things.
Getting over sore classic muscles is step one. I'm pretty wrecked one day after the race. Hip flexors and back are both well worked over. Thankfully my toes which hurt pretty bad last night are mostly good today.
Theoretically this coming weekend is the Marine O'Brien race. I'm not signed up yet given the questionable conditions. Snow doesn't seem likely this week either. I'll see what the organizers have to say and go from there. Registration is closed for the Three Rivers Rennet and the Noquemanon is a long haul. I'm hoping O'Brien is a go.