Monday, February 3, 2014

Skate Skiing - City of Lakes Loppet Freestyle Marathon

Challenging but awesome! Carpooled with Karl, who had done the classic marathon yesterday. Will have to work my way up to his prowess! Maybe when Mellie retires.
Got to the Wirth Chalet with time to spare and saw a lot of friendly faces, Marice and Jane among them. We chatted and finished putting on or adjusting our gear and spend the time before the start in a warm place. We moved to the starting area at Par 3 with 15 minutes to spare, dropped our bags and saw the Best of Birkie take off. The it was our turn. A nice, clean and civilized start. The skate deck was in good shape. It took a while for the field to stretch out, good thing for me, I always have a tendency to move too fast. Once passing became possible, I made my moves and generally stuck with the same group of skiers.
When we left the wooded areas and moved into the open, the snow becam somewhat softer but was still very manageable. No major events throughout, I caught up with Eltsbethfor a while but I knew she'd eventually drop me. Technique makes such a difference when you get tired and that's where I am sorely lacking. This is going to be a challenge for me, I know.
But back to the Loppet. Saw a few club mates along the way, Hillary whom I passed and who said Ciao with 6 km to go and others. I took one minor stumble in an uphill (over my own pole) and a major one on Cedar Lake. I was getting ready to pass a couple of slower skiers I had been behind in order not to lose contact with the group ahead who was skiing maybe a little faster than me and planted my right pole in front of my ski. Faceplant, with both poles pinned under my skis. By the time I extricated myself, I quickly caught the guys I had tried to pass but the group I was trying to stay in contact with was out of reach. So I skied by myself, inching closer to Hillary again but she eventually dropped me. Now, at the SW corner of Lake Calhoun came the hardest part: about 500 m of very slushy and dirty snow, where if you had been striding you might have said "nice cick" but without any glide. Then, pristine snow again, but extremely soft. Very hard work for 4 of the last 6 km, I passed a couple of guys and was passed by a few gunners from the lower waves, but I skied by myself. Glad to be on aqua firma again when I reached the ake and glad to have the finish line in sight. I think the organizers seriously shortened the 41st km, the psychology of moving from sand-papery slush to fast snow could not account for the short time between the markers. I was actually kind of glad! The rollecoaster hills into the stadium were nothing and my friend Colleen, who volunteered at the finish greeted me with a friendly "good job."
The Nerd Notes, top to bottom:
Sisu Ski Fest hat
MNOC buff
Casco flip-up shield. Arrived on Friday, first time I wore them. Awesome! No fogging whatsoever. I was using the photo-chromatic glass and it seemed a little dark at first, but it was not a problem. I tried on Blitz, One-Way and Cascos. I liked the Cascos best. Since there was no local vendor I bought some online at Altius Guns, a Biathlon specialty vendor. They were very helpful and called to let me know that the model in the color I ordered were out of stock. After some discussions I went with the medium instead of the large. Size only applies to the shield and not to the strap and frame. Highly recommended.
Nike Combat Pro vented baselayer
A thin fleece
Salomon hydration vest with 1.5 l of warm Gatorade G2.
Race top
The upper body was maybe a little overkill but I wasn't dying from heat. I shall start counting the hydration vest as a layer!
Thermal briefs (glad I did!)
Compression tights
Race tights
The bottom combination was right on!
Fit socks and Salomon S-Lab Carbon Skate boots.
Yoko Windstopper gloves, cold for the first 20 minutes (used to that) and sometimes when skiing into the wind for an extended stretch
Fanny pack with squeeze bottle of Hammer gel
I did not take any gel but had about 1 l of my water, plus two trail-side cups. I do like the hydration vest better than dumping water cups down my chest.


Name City of Lakes Loppet Freestyle Marathon
Location Hamline Midway/Como Park
Start Time 2/2/2014 10:05 AM (UTC-06:00) Category My Activities:Cross-country Skiing:Skate Skiing
Distance 41.00 km Time 02:49:56.0
Time Moving 02:49:56.0 Stopped 00:00:00.0
Average pace 04:08 min/km Max. pace 01:47 min/km
Average heart rate 158 bpm Max. heart rate 169 bpm
Total Ascent 275 m
+7 m/km
Total Descent -247 m
-6 m/km
Weather Sunny; -12.7 °C

Map: Street - (Hike & Bike)

Heart Rate

Splits: Recorded laps


Splits: Recorded laps


Splits: Recorded laps