Tuesday, August 27, 2013

100km Skiathon

We successfully completed our 2nd annual 100km skiathon on Sunday! We were out for 6:40 and were probably skiing for just over 6 of those hours. There were no wrong turns, no casualties (except for the roadkill), and there was no broken equipment! We had many cheerleaders out there to support us including family, boyfriends, and coaches, and as far as I could tell, no tears were shed. In order to complete a ski that long, or any physical activity that long, there are a few important rules I follow.



1. HYDRATION - You must hydrate often and early. I think we did a good job of this because Gus had to refill our huge water jug. You should drink enough so that you have to stop to pee multiple times in the first hour because after that, no matter how much you are drinking, it probably won't be enough. We were also drinking more than straight water. As we get further into the ski, the drink mix seems to get stronger and stronger. I remember last year it also seemed to get saltier and saltier (Gus...?), but this year I stuck with Gatorade and topped it off with some coke my Secret Santa gave me at the end.

2. SUPPORT - We couldn't have done it without Gus's constant support and encouragement as well as our friends that came out to cheer us on. Dartmouth coach, Cami, came to bike with us for the first half. Holly, Isabel, Sver, and Dan were there to bike with us for the second half, and Will and Henry rode with Gus in the van. The van was there whenever we needed more food or drink and the bikers could zip back and forth between groups so there was always someone there making sure we were happy and safe.
Gus

Dan keeping me company

Annie and Holly

3. FOOD - It's important to eat plenty of food leading up to the event, during the event, and after the event. Annie P.'s boyfriend, Will, brought a huge container of cookies for all of us to snack on during the ski and I prefer bars to gels, so I stuck to bars and cookies during the ski. I think the hardest time for me to eat is directly after the ski. Every part of me is exhausted and I basically lose my appetite for an hour or two when I finish, but this is actually one of the most important times to eat if you want to recover. I made the mistake of not fueling properly after the ski last year, so this year I made myself eat a big PB and J sandwich and a couple cookies right after I finished and it made a HUGE difference. Maybe I just felt better in general this year, but I think properly fueling played a big role. That evening I was able to stay up to a normal hour and make it through a movie without falling asleep, which is something I usually can't do even when I haven't skied 100km and when I woke up the next morning I felt...fine!
Erika giving Packer some puppy chow

The cookies Will baked for us!

4. TEAMMATES - There is absolutely no way I would have been able to complete that ski without my teammates. We took turns leading because taking turns is a nice thing to do and we all felt good at different parts of the ski. We told stories and did secret santas to help time pass and we encouraged each other when anyone looked like they were struggling. Our team is really special because of how well we get along and that's something I've known for awhile. The 100k ski is a good reminder of how lucky I am to have such supportive teammates that I genuinely enjoy being with for 6-7 hours straight on rollerskis because I'd be willing to bet that most people can't say that about many others.
Still smiling!

The group

Annie and Jessie exchanging Secret Santa gifts in the middle of the ski

5. GOALS - The longest race I do each year is the 30k at Spring Series. It's the final race of the season and I only have to do it once a year. We just skied three of those plus ten more kilometers! Accomplishing a goal like skiing 100km is very rewarding and it's even better when you can accomplish it with your teammates. Thank you to everyone who supported our skiathon and encouraged us every step of the way. We're all a little tired, but we're happy and psyched to start fall training!
We did it!

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