With the times and durations of my workouts I feel lucky when I get to ski or ride with a friend. Most efforts are done solo, the window opens and then it's out the door, practically no warning. It's funny how the last few years it's become more frequent that I do have a partner for more of my workouts, fortunately I still have podcasts and music to keep me from getting too locked into my thoughts. Nothing like thinking and learning about macroeconomics and string theory to avoid pondering the calendar and the paycheck. I guess kids and commitments are a great driver to get out of bed when it's too early and too dark.
I guess in retrospect it would have been smart to push harder early but not knowing how long the race going to be and how hard the climb of Guide's Ridge was going to be on us we conserved more than we should have. It's funny coming from cycling where you know how long and roughly how hard a race is going to be-the uncertainty in SkiMo races plays with strategy and planning. I had great legs the first 90 minutes, predictable considering what I do for most training efforts. Then at about 2 hours the rotten stomach showed up around the time that kick turns zig-zagged us up steep face after steep face. Instead, we kept a modest pace and only lost touch with one group whose pace would've been good to keep. These were faster and technically sound skiers-on the ups. My kick turn technique outright sucks, it needs a lot of help. So, I tried to do better and not lose balance and too much time. My legs were fine considering my comfort level on steep, icy faces that required good kick-turning. Then if I'd prepped better for Guide's I'm sure it wouldn't have been such a shit show. I know that all of those dark thoughts that creep in when on a long effort, the ones that sap energy, motivation and focus are fading and the satisfaction and thrill of what I accomplished takes over. We all talk about it, in the middle of the effort you are ready to retire and then within an hour of finishing you'd sign up for the next one if they put a registration kiosk in front of you.