Sunday, March 05, 2006

The great race Khalil

Well I feel like hell right now..even typing this entry is taking up a lot of effort.

So we all went along with Marc's idea to do the 30 KM race from Tahoe city to Truckee. I really didn't imagine it would be that hard.

I was pretty excited to race when I woke up in the morning. We made pancakes for breakfast and hustled out of the hut. We got to the race course and it was a lot like a rowing race, with people husltling around to prepare their eqiupment and last minute bathroom stops.

All four of us lined up in our starting pen. I had my classic skis on and was part a small minority among all the skaters. We were in the fourth starting group. There were six starting groups (it turns out I should have started in the fifth or maybe the sixth starting pen.

The first 5K was a moderate uphill and I was being passed by a steady stream of skaters of all kinds; young/old/women/men. I was striding fairly hard and passed a few slow skaters. After the first 5K the course turns up into a steep incline and stays that way for the next 6K.

At this point, it became a lot more even and the steady stream of skaters passing me, became a trickle and I started passing a lot of the skaters back as the incline evened out the style disadvantage. I was feeling good, but not great, my heart rate was probably a steady 165 bpm. I was pretty exhausted by the time I reached the peak where the first soup station was. I had only stopped once before for some gatorade so I stopped and had a couple of small cups of sports drink and took off down the hill.

The next 6K was for the most part a split between moderate and moderate to hard downhills. I kept snow plowing because I was afraid to pick up too much speed since my control around downhill turns had something to be desired. After passing the 15K mark I was starting to feel worn out and the downhills were stressing me out. Of course I didn't realize that the worst was yet to come. The course became much hillier with steep inclines and scary steep decents that had many hairpin turns. I ended up spilling out a few times when I new that I wouldn't make the turn. By this point any of the skaters that I had worked hard to pass were just whizzing by me down the hills. I finally got to the 20 K mark in one piece.

At this point I was intensly hungry, worn out and stressed out by the what was to come. I was quickly decending into survival mode. I had been skiing for 2 and 1/2 hours and still had 10 K to go. I slugged through the next 5K thinking to myself about what a wimp I really was. I stumbled into the second soup station. I drank some more gatorade and had a very small piece of granola bar.

Five Kilos left and I was feeling completly worn up, I would have been happy to hop on a snowmobile and hitch it home at this point. My head hurt and my legs were burning. The course at this point was not that challenging, but I was in no shape to take advantage of it.

I finally came round a turn and there were some course organizers who were very nice and cheered me on. (everyone at the race was extremely nice). I mumbled to one of them how much longer? The guy answered, 1K, dude! That really lifted me up. Then he said:" Its just another hill then a really narly downhill." And now that didn't feel good. So I struggled up the last uphill which was about 3/4 of a KM. The hill wasn't all that bad except that I was really stressed out now about the narly downhill. I had all these images in my mind that in the end did absolutely no justice for what actually lay ahead. I finally came to the downhill, which was a steep downhill with a series of S turns and it was really bad. I literally tumbled from one turn to the next. I finally saw the finish line which was at the end of a legitamate downhill skiing run. The other three guys were done and decided to trek up to the top of the hill to encourage me on.

By that point I needed all the help I could get. I finally pointed my skis down and snowplowed really fast to the finish line. As I crossed the finish line the anouncer said my name and I did a full speed face plant in front of the crowd which elicited a "OOOOOOO"

Feeling completly sick and wiped at this point I found the other three who were nice enough to congratulate me on finishing.

I am so glad that its over... and I am really hungry right now.


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