Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Beaten by a HOCKEY PLAYER!!

Trevor Linden beat me in the Payakenstut loppet on Saturday up at Callaghan Valley.  I am O.K. with announcing this to the world because when I mention the name people are more likely to pay attention to what I am writing about! haha.  I can safely say however, that even Mr. Linden must have found this race HARD.  Until  I was about 18 I raced for Team Hardwood Hills at Cross Country Skiing, and ended up choosing to only continue in cycling simply because I had more friends at the time who were cyclists.  After I quit racing on skis, I refused to touch them for almost 5 years.  It took me moving out west to B.C., and meeting people who conned me into getting back out there.  I am very thankful to these con artists :)

B.C. didn't have the best snowfall this year - so my prep for the race was definitely not as extensive as I was planning.  I registered for it back in December, hoping that that would force me to go and train for it.  I was able to get up to Callaghan 5 times before the big day - and thank gosh I at least did that.

It might look like I'm smiling - but I'm really cursing.

Before the race I looked up the times that the fastest girls put out last year in the 30km - and I was determined to seed myself on the start line as if I too  would be able to do it in 1 hour 45 mins.  I tried to forget that the one time I did ski 30km this year it took me 3 hours.

The start was awesome, everyone was tripping on each others skis and falling (me too!), and slowly but surely up the first climb the pack started to thin out.  I latched onto a couple girls who looked like they knew what they were doing, and I killed myself to stay with them until about 10 km in.  My main issue - hello cyclists! - was my arm strength.  I have never felt so much lactic acid in my upper part of my body as I did on Saturday.  When I came through the start finish area to go out on my second lap (2 X15 km), I wanted to stop so badly.  But there is no way I can quit something that I entered 'for fun'.

We are so lucky to live in B.C.!

My favorite part about the race was the feed stations.  Every 5 km or so there would be brave volunteers handing out warm Gatorade in half full plastic cups.  I tried to get some every time - and every time I managed to get it in my eyes or on my bib - and NEVER in my mouth haha.  First world problems.

After being 6th place for most of the race, I finished a solid 8th out of 56 women in a time of 2 hours and 2 minutes - not too far off the pace I was praying for the night before.  Next year I am aiming for a podium - although Alison just proposed training for the 50km...I'll have to think about that one haha.

TRT at the end of the loppet!

Huge shout-outs to all the Masters and sponsors on TRT who also raced Saturday!  Graham Tutti pulled out an impressive 8th place in the 50km!  How does this guy do it!  When we greeted him at the finish line it looked like he had been partying all night and about to pass out - one of those might be true.  And if Mr. Linden ever sees this - watch out for next year!