Nordic Spirit 2016

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bmullin
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Nordic Spirit 2016

Postby bmullin » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:12 am

I had a chance to drive up to Duluth this weekend and race with our own MN Hoser.

I still can't quite hang on, but I think I'm getting closer.

http://www.cyclova.com/2016/02/mullin-nordic-spirit-race-report.html

MN Hoser
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Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Nordic Spirit 2016

Postby MN Hoser » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:55 pm

Ben, I enjoyed the day and the read. One, I had great skis. As I look back at the video (I got it with Go-Pro), I'm killing everyone on the downhills. Rhett and Mark also had good skis. I wish I always had skis like that. So without that advantage, we might have skied the rest of the race together. Two, I felt like a drunken sailor in the beginning of the course. It was fast and I was tight as hell. I just couldn't relax and go fast (enough). The course had dips and bumps, and until I relaxed, those tossed me all over.

In your analysis, I'm guessing that when I was feeling good, I was pulling away. I caught the "50 group" and led Mark and Rhett for a while trying a mild attack. (It dropped Phil who had bad skis--skating downhill to hang on.) I stepped aside and I think that might be the first peak where we start to slow. Mark offered the lead to Rhett and Mark led while both Rhett and I weren't feeling good. We hit a food stop, Rhett took a drink, and Mark had a gap. Rhett let him go, and I bet that's where we slowed down (the second peak). I was just hanging on, and Rhett was making sure he had something left so I wouldn't take him at the end. It was fun to compete again and not be (as my mom says) sucking hind titty.

I have time marks for the video, and I just need more time to get 'er done. Interesting, but not too exciting. As is typical with ski videos, it's the downhills that are smooth enough to make the final cut.

Jay

MN Hoser
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Re: Nordic Spirit 2016

Postby MN Hoser » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:20 am

Nordic Spirit
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I guess I’m breaking the first rule of the internet: you got to have new content. This is a race Ben and I did two weeks ago (1/31/16). Sorry, it’s an old race (in internet terms). Ben put out the offer for a ride to the race, and I took him up on it.

The Skis
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As per normal, I love the technical aspect of the prep. I’ve had a pair of Speed max skis for a few years. When I got them, I was happy with their speed and then the weather turned cold and the skis were slow. Not terrible slow, but not as good as my other skis and I was disappointed. Then we had another cold winter (all winter) and I kind of forgot about these skis (first world problem). So this year I was really happy to try racing the skis in warm weather. I figured the high camber might make for a very good wet snow ski. Also, when the show turns wet, I’ve had good luck with SkiGo C22.

Weather
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It seems the local racing for a number of years has been below zero or maybe in the teens with wind. So having a day near freezing and no wind was a real treat. It wasn’t too much of a problem for the snow because the course is in the woods and only a few spots turned slushy.

Wired up and ready
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I picked up a Garmin HR monitor this spring, and I’ve been really enjoying all the data. So this was the first race were I wore it during the race. I also pulled out the Go-Pro and put that on a helmet. I feel like a dork, but what the hell.

Pre-amble
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This is really a Duluth race, and Duluth has some damn fast skiers. So the front line was made up of Nikolai, Rhett, Adam, Matt and Matt, Anders, Phil (and some others I didn’t know) and they were all chatting away. I lined up next to Mike (who was easily beating me last year) and behind Adam, who has a back that looks like a gymnast. Wow, he looks like a power lifter.

The Race
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Nikolai backed out of the start not wanting to break a pole. I ended up slotting into a fairly nice start considering I started in the second row (and I often suck at starts). Adam was simply gone and Rod hit the deck just behind me in the center of the trail. “Skier down!” Ben came roaring around on the right and I tried to match his speed.

In the first few km, I gave a demonstration of poor skiing. I felt really tight and inefficient, and my shadow in the Go-Pro looked nothing like my egotistical vision of my own skiing (grin). The course was fast, twisty, and not groomed quiet flat. The small boulders of snow left by the groomer tended to hide the small dips, but I think the main problem was I’m not used to going this fast and pushing that hard.

I have to say I was impressed with Ben. He accelerated by me without a problem, and then he handled the fast skiing quite well. After the first major downhill, Ben let me go by and I started chasing the next guy up the trail. He was climbing well, but I seemed to be closing the gaps on the downhills since my skis were getting faster as the race wore on.

I crossed some fairly significant gaps between a few solo skiers and then the gang of three. Unfortunately, it was my skis doing the work on the downhills, and I went to the front of the guys (Phil, Rhett and Mark) when the trail started to climb. At a certain point, I asked Mark to take over, he offered Rhett the lead, and then led us for a few km. At a food stop, Mark continued skiing, Rhett took a drink and choked, and I was happy to just follow.

That’s how it went for the rest of the race. Rhett was hurting and leading, I was hurting more and handing on. Hat’s off to Mark since he kicked our ass (in the age group).

Data
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Let’s see if I can import some Garmin data.

Image

This shows a heart rate around 170 bpm at the start and falling to about 160 at the end. That’s pretty high in terms of what I’ve seen during intervals this year, but low compared to ten years ago. So, I’d say I felt pretty good.

Image

Here’s the elevation profile. It’s a fun course with lots of twists and turn and some fast downhills. It reminds me of Elk River, and that’s a course I love to race. So next year, put this one on the calendar.

Video
https://youtu.be/ZMEGIArmOl0

Results
https://results.chronotrack.com/event/r ... vent-18238

Jay


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