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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ooch, tough day out there. Race was a classic style event on one large loop with a 3 mile grind to the finish up an old narrow guage railroad bed. Weather was a waxing nightmare, with temperatures below freezing, cold snow and a warm air mass on the way with rain. I dithered until 20 minutes before the start and played my best hope, purple klister melted with a torch and some violet wax over top. 20 minutes later the gun fired and we were on our way. Two skiers broke from the gun and were pretty much gone. I settled into 4th. position in the small field but promptly got wiped out by a guy on my inside on the first turn. I called him a name related to a feminine hygene device and got back to my feet, then worked my way back into 4th. The tracks were glare ice and rocket fast. It was going to be a tricky day getting down some of th4ese hills on rickety little racing skis. I managed to get into third for a brief while, but as we started into the hills, my skis were not kicking much at all and I was startin to drop into the redline climbing the hills. Fast forward an hour and we are all still grinding away, just the gaps have grown immense. My wax is completely gone and my skis have zero kick, I'm double poling up the hills or running on my skis. I drop to 5th. place and hit the bottom of the last climb, 3 miles to a hot shower. Had I remembered how to do a ski race, I'd have brought some wax along and taken 5 minutes to rewax, since my skis were going nowhere at this point. Instead I spent the next 20 minutes hoisting myself up about 1000 vertical feet with my arms, looking down at my feet, dripping sweat and watching the snow slowly crawl under my skis. At least there was still some hot water left for me at the end of the day...
 

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Cool report. Being a non-skier, I got no idea what the deal with wax is.<br><br>
What preps you better for CX, your running or biking? Neither most likely...
 

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This is one sport that just never caught my fancy.<br><br>
Great job out there despite missing the podium Roden!
 

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Great report & great job out there JR!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A skier propels themself down the track by a foot long section of kick wax, applied under the foot. When it works, it acts like a ratchet, allowin the skier to drive off a ski stuck to the ground and slide down the track. If the wax is too soft for a given temperature, it sticks and forms a big ice glump, while too hard will not grip at all, leaving the skier powerless to climb hills. It's pertty simple when its cold, but at temperatures right around feeezing the snow gets more complex. Also, you use a different type of wax called a klister for icy snow that is applied with a blow torch and is like glue from a tube, very messy stuff indeed. Sometimes you just miss your wax...<br><br>
In terms of other sports, the first two skiers to finish kind of train for skiing year round, using roller skis, running, hill bounding etc. They will jump in run or bike races in the summer, but they are gung ho skiers. third place is a very good marathon canoe racer and good bike racer. You see few elite runners in XC skiing, they are too puny. Triathletes have the perfect build, bike racers like me do OK, but our upper bodies can be wimpy. I don't use the roller skis enough to be any good, you can only try hard at so many sports I guess.
 

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As someone whose only skiing experience ever ended with me getting a whole bunch of snow shoved up the backside of my jacket while I slid down on my back down a bunny hill, this was still a pretty cool report. Congrats on persevering and getting thru the race, JR
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not this grainy in real life, note the spiffy matching ski outfit from santa claus<br><img alt="" src="http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y173/jroden99/roscoe.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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OK, so how much are the arms at work in a race like this? I hate to say it, but it sounds like swimming would do you some good in a sport like that...yeah I know, you ain't getting in the pool!<br><br>
Thanks for the wax info. I was wondering whether you wanted it sticky or slick, since I can argue in my mind that you need both.<br><br>
You ski-fashion is a bit better than your bike fashion.
 

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Nice report John. As a former XC-racer myself, I remember the days when your wax just wasn't working, or even worse, when it worked far too well. I haven't skied in ages, but will give it a go next winter when I'm back in North America and conditions are better. Way to gut it out to the end of the race.<br><br>
Jim: To make things nice and complex, most often you use two different kinds of wax - kick-wax and glide-wax. The kick-wax grips, and goes on the part of the ski that's underfoot, while the glide wax goes all over the rest of the ski. If there's anything that keeps people from getting into skiing, it's probably the waxing. It's a real pain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As a post script, I went to bed with a 101 fever as I think I have the Strep throat both of my kids are recovering from. Perhaps that's my excuse, off for a throat culture today, we are getting husband and wife special...
 

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Solid effort JR! Sounds like the waxing problem made you work extra hard when you may not have been feeling all that great.<br><br>
All my ski racing was downhill - XC is way more work!
 

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As always, it is fun to read your RR. Hope you are feeling better today. I enjoy XC skiiing. It seems to use much more inner thigh muscles than anything else I tried before. It must be a great winter fun/training!
 

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I am lucky enough to have some good XC trails right out my back door. Conditions were great until all the rain and refreezing. <img alt="sad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad.gif"> I approach it more like a way to "walk in the woods" in the winter. There isn't a quieter place on Earth than out in the woods after a big snowfall.<br><br>
Oh yeah, enough about me <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> : nice race as always!
 

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Great report and photo JR<br><br>
I have to admit I prefer the slippey wax and gravity to help me (ANd a nice chair lift to go up the hills <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> )<br><br>
Neil
 

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Grainy boy, great report... sounds like a tough race bordering gruelling after the wax came undone. Did you ever get a chance to plant female-product-idiot in the snow at a later turn, or did idiot boy get off free?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, Thor--when I looked back at the bottom of the final climb, he and his side kick were bearing down on me, but strangely enough I able to pull away using arms only. I'm not hercules, so I suspectthey were in the same boat as me. The guy who finished seond actually stopped twice on the way up and re waxed and finished well ahead of me.<br><br>
I think in the 48 hours after this race I have been as sick as I've ever been--some sort of flu bug has laid the whole family out, plus the kids also have strep. I ran the snowthrower for 20 minutes and had to nap for 3 hours.
 

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Wow, that sounds like a brutal race, JR. Nice job sticking in there with skis that weren't going anywhere. Sorry you're sick, hope you fet over it quickly.
 

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Very cool!! Living in Texas, I don't get to XC ski much. I love it when I'm in Colorado, though. I'm not all that great at it, but I enjoy skiing through the trees and enjoying the nice scenery. I didn't even know they had XC races! LOL I got to XC for the first time this year since about 6 years ago. It was nice! I like the nice matching ski outfit too! <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"><br><br>
To answer someone's question, you use your arms quite a bit! It is a GREAT workout! That's why xc skiing is supposed to be the hardest aerobic workout. Water Polo is next, but I think it is A LOT harder!! Treading water for that long just kills you! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We have a pretty decent scene here, you can do regular XC races all the up to 50K marathons, we have a series of biathlons with skiing and shooting and ski orienteering where you go in the woods with a map and compass.<br><br>
There is a race I really want to do called the canadian ski marathon--you ski 50 miles with a 20kg pack, sleep outdoors that night and ski back 50 miles the next day.
 
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