So another weekend came to pass and this one was fairly eventful.
My weekend first began with tragedy. At 8am on Saturday morning the company vehicle drove up to my residence, driven by my buddy and co-worker. As he got out of the car to help me load up my stuff in the van, he noticed a rabbit; half frozen with its rear legs inoperable, yet still alive. So we loaded up the van, and pondered what to do about the situation, as the frost laden rabbit looked on. It's an age old question still debated for human kind...do we let it live and eventually freeze to death (or one of the local bums will get him for lunch), or euthanize it AKA... put the rabbit out of it's misery. We chose the former, and now I have to unhappily carry the death of the rabbit on my conscience.
With that aside, we drove on down to the Mora Vasaloppet...our goal: to promote the business, break even, wax skis, and get some skiing in ourselves So we got there set up and waxed away. It was a pretty busy day of hot irons, wax flying, and acting as if you were expert on the wax of the day. Throughout this trip I had no expectation nor intention of skiing the Vasaloppet, yet by the end of the day we had received free entries into the 42 km race. By this time I had eaten almost nothing the entire day and was famished, and when finished with the skis we went down and scarfed a $20 meal.
I awoke the next morning, stretched, went for a jog and discovered it really wasn't as cold as predicted. We drove up and walked down to the race start, greeted by traditionally dressed Swedish ladies as I stepped onto the frozen lake in which the race would take place. Moments later, there I was at the start line watching the timer count down....and was off.
The start of a race is always pretty intense... people are stepping on each other's poles, pole tips are flying dangerously close (I'm sure there's was an accidental stab along the way), guys are wiping out (you're trying to not do the same). Personally in my head I'm thinking "when is this going to calm down"... in a 42 km race things should settle out and they did. Since were on a lake, there was no real down hills to rest on nor up hills to get you...just a steady growing exhaustion.
The first 15 km lap went fast, the snow was good and hard packed, and I still felt pretty strong. The second lap was ok, the snow was getting chewed up pretty good, but I was maintaining a decent pace. But the last lap was rough...after 1200 people have ski over a loop twice, your dealing with sugary powder along with the fact you're already tired. So in a lot fewer words, it was tough, and the normal question came to mind about this time...."what are you doing...this is painful...exhausting...and I can't wait for food!!!!" This is usually countered by the sense of accomplishment after the race and wasn't any different this time. So I toughed out the last few km's and finished, and was content. And based on my inherent lack of training, I was happy with 70th place and 2 hours and 12 mins of racing...