Erika gives the “run-down” of the latest uphill run time trial!
On Saturday, our team joined the SMS juniors for our first official time-trial of the summer training season. Time-trials are one of those things skiers love to hate but also hate to admit they secretly love. Different from the athlete vs. athlete mentality of a “race,” time-trials are meant to be personal measuring sticks used to track improvement and training effect. Without the pressure of trying to beat another person, the sole focus is on trying to beat your previous best self. We grumble at the start line in anticipation of the pain, tell ourselves the results don’t matter-that the “trial” is more of a personal check-in, and shake off any last minute jitters before toeing the line. And yet we can’t help but love the challenge. We love the personal satisfaction that comes from scratching valuable seconds off of a previous best and tracking measured improvement. We latch onto that progress and let it drive us until the next test.
Saturday brought the usual pre-trial jitters marked by last minute dashes to the woods and a pre-start spit circle. With little fanfare and only coaches to watch us suffer, we ran our first 2 Mile Uphill Test of the summer. Cool temps and a speedy start set the pace for a few record-breaking efforts including an impressive 20-second PR (personal record) by Sophie! Annie and I had solid efforts but still have our best selves to beat in the future and Ben took the win for the day. Jessie also set a PR and impressed (confused) everyone by running it a second time! (?) Sophie, Ben and I jogged back towards the finish line to cheer on her second pain sesh of the day. At less than 800 meters to go, Sophie jumped in to pace her and with one final grunt, Jessie notched up the speed for an impressive and gutsy finish. No one gives awards for time-trials and most of the time no one even sees the results except you and your coach. And yet the anticipation, the suffering and pain, and the final feeling of euphoria upon crossing the finish line really aren’t so different from racing. They say train how you want to race right?