January 3, 2012

And we're off

My quarter final heat
After some incredibly warm weather an an evening of pouring rain, the scheduled start of US Nationals was delayed by a day in hopes of cooling temps and allowing the saturated course to drain a little. And cool down it did! Today was brisk and windy making for a wintry feel despite the only snow being that on the 1.4km course, all man made. The course was in great condition and very fast making for some exciting sprints. I have not done a skate sprint in a number of years due to my great injury and other mishap record over the past 2 years. As a result, I started in the back of the field and had a less than stellar qualifying round. But the great part about sprinting is that as long as you make the top 30, you get a chance to go head to head and move on regardless of how your qualifying round went. Turns out, I do still remember how to do this and I was feeling pretty good today so I had an easy time moving through my quaterfinal on to the semis. The hard part of sprinting, for me, is being scrappy, aggressive and moving around people with ease. I much prefer to just go hammer my heart out and beat people based on fitness rather than tactics. My semi was full of scrappy people using every tactic in the book and it resulted in a messy tight race that left me without a spot in the A-Final. Regretting every part of my semi, I headed to the B-final with some anger to work out so I just took my chances and went for it. Turned out, I had some killer skis and enough energy to hold off the rest of the b-final on the downhill draft and into the finish lanes putting me into 7th place. I am very happy with this result and more so with how I felt. I am quite regretful of my lack of scrappiness in my semi final and am hoping to use that to my advantage in the coming races.

Results are here: http://www.uscrosscountryskichampionships2012.org/results.html

Thursday: 10km Skate
Friday: 20km Mass Start Classic
Sunday: Classic Sprint

I will do my best to put up a quick story about each race to keep you all up to date, but if you are really anxious, they do have live timing at the above link and a more detailed schedule. Thanks for following!