Book across the bay…

I showed up for this race hoping to lay it all out there, seeing just how fast this heart of mine could ski a 10K on hard/flat tracks, but the ski gods had other plans and must have felt I needed more work on my passing skills and tolerance for slower people blocking the tracks/trail.

After parking in Washburn by the finish line and getting registered, we caught a ride on the bus over to the starting line in Ashland. Originally, I had signed up for the first wave, but at the last minute after temporarily losing confidence in my technique/ability, I decided to start in the second wave so I wouldn’t get left too far in the dust. I think this “shaken confidance” might have been mistake number one and was somehow tied into mistake number three… Lesson learned, “No matter your skill level, never sell yourself short. Always start as close to the front of the pack as possible…”

Then, mistake number two, instead of warming up my heart like I should have been doing prior to the race, I decided to get in line at the porta johns with only 15 minutes prior to race time. After standing in line for 10 minutes it finally occurred to me that maybe I should do the math… 20 some people in front of me and less than 5 minutes to the start gun with the average person spending upwards of two minutes in the john…? The math wasn’t working out in my favor but thankfully about that time I spotted a couple cedar trees out behind the tent that weren’t being used… Lesson learned, ” look for a tree prior to getting in line for porta johns at any major sporting event…”

Mistake number 3 was getting to the start chute way too late. By the time I arrived after my trip to the cedar trees, there were thousands of people standing between where I was, and where I should have been. I have never had so many slower people in front of me at once. Only four sets of tracks and thousands of people standing in them blocking the way to what I had hoped would have been my fastest 10K ever… There was no way of busting through that blockade of people for the first mile or so. It was total gridlock in slow motion. It was hard work keeping my track/road rage in check while I skied on top of one person’s skis after another in slow motion. I am proud to say I managed stay sportsman like, even though during the first mile of the blockade, the thought of full contact xc skiing crossed my mind more than once. Lesson learned, “instead of being blocked by others, show up on time and get a proper starting position towered the front of the pack so you can be the one doing the blocking…”

With barely enough room between the tracks to pass, I lost count of how many times I was hit by someone’s poles as I squeezed my way past. Thankfully I was able to stay focused on getting through the blockade without tackling anyone in front of me. For the better part of 2 miles I just kept double poling my way between the tracks, passing hundreds of people in this fashion… Those first couple miles I never got in the tracks other then crossing them to go around people.

Somewhere around mile 3, people in the tracks started thinning out enough that I was able to get in the tracks and stay in them, finally realizing a little speed between jumping from track to track as needed to get around the few blockers that remained.  By mile 5 I had passed thousands of people and finally had clear tracks to do what I had come to do and that was to go as fast as my heart would push me on those skis.

I think the last couple miles may actually have been a couple of my fastest miles on skis yet but we will never know because Garmin decided race time was a good time to update my watch so I have no splits to review… When I turned the watch on at the starting line it went into update mode… Thanks, Garmin… This is the third time I have not been able to use my watch for a race because you decided it needed updates at the starting line…  

All and all this was a really fun race, and more importantly, my heart never missed a beat or came close to running out of steam. Despite mistakes made leading to the slow start of this race, my heart was still able to land a finish in the top 20% of the few thousand skiing this event. I call that a win for my heart on any day, a loss for heart disease, and a testament to the effects a heart-healthy lifestyle has on chronic disease. The lifestyle we choose determines our health…

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2 thoughts on “Book across the bay…

  1. Hi Shane,
    It’s Rebecca, Tim Miller’s friend.
    I have wanted to walk the Book Across the Bay and have lived near Ashland for 20 years and have never found the time. It’s still on my bucket list.
    So, I have tried the Keto diet and just can’t make it past a week before I fall head first into a bag of chocolates. My biggest obstacle is snacking at work. Boredom snacking.
    I am really struggling with my weight post cancer and with menopause too.
    I’ve found a couple really good keto soups that I like but it’s the snacking.
    Any suggestions for me.

    1. Hi Rebecca, Nice to hear from you… Book across the bay was a fun time. Heidi and I will most likely do it again next year weather dependent. Let us know if your going to be there crossing it off your bucket list. Very fun event. As too keto and snacking. What worked well for me was to really keep an eye on my macros, and my electrolytes. As long as I remained in ketosis and consumed enough salt, magnesium, and potassium while consuming roughly 70 percent of my daily calories from fat, 20 percent from protein, and less then 10% percent carbs, I did not experience any cravings. However, when I messed up on any of those things and bumped myself out of ketosis or missed supplementing my electrolytes, the few times it happened, I did get some cravings. So I drowned those feelings/cravings out using my version of keto coffee (fat coffee)… My version actually changes from time to time depending on my imagination but is basically the same as the Bullet Proof version, using quality beans ground fresh, Kerry gold butter or ghee, and refined coconut oil, although on special occasion I will splurge and use the more expensive “Brain Octane Oil” from Bullet Proof… Then I blend the ingredients in my Vitimix until it becomes a creamy frothy café style cup of coffee (blending is very important.. Keto coffee sucks unless fully blended until creamy and frothy). I do not use any sweeteners, nor do I use Heavy Whipping Cream other then on rare occasion, but many people do use both items and still have success staying in ketosis, so don’t be afraid to keep trying different things until you find something that works well for you… Other snacks usually found readily available in the keto category that I occasionally snack on include salted macadamia nuts, almonds, cheese curds, and smoked fish. But the keto coffee…? Anyone just getting started on keto should have a thermos of this stuff everywhere they go, and use it to avoid that bag of chocolate. I hope you are able to stick with keto long enough to get through those cravings because I can attest to the fact that keto does in fact work great once you get the hang of it for a bit of time while your body adjust’s… Looking forward to hearing your success of a healthier you… Thanks Rebecca

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