Finally Racing!

It’s been a BUSY winter for me this year, with many coaching duties, numerous other supplemental jobs, and continuing to work in my own training. But in these past three weeks I have finally been able to get in some racing! In fact, I’ve been on a roll: 3 races in 3 weeks. The first race I was able to jump into (thanks to having lots of coaching help on the day and getting the waxing out of the way relatively early) was the Allan Bard Classic down in Mammoth. This was a 20-km classic race, which is pretty much perfectly suited to my strengths. I had a really great race, and was able to come away with the win, posting a strong time. This was an awesome feeling, and I enjoyed the race and really pushing myself again, but was reminded how much it HURTS! Not knowing where anyone else was in the field, I was not willing to let my foot off the gas, and put myself in the hurt locker big time by pushing full-throttle pretty much the whole time. But hey, that’s racing, right?! It’s not really supposed to feel good — until it’s over anyway! But generally, I was actually really encouraged by my ability to push so hard in this race, and just the fact that I felt pretty strong, despite everything I’ve been trying to balance this winter. I guess you could say I got the racing bug back, along with some confidence!, so I went ahead and jumped on the opportunity to race a few more times.
The next race was the Paco’s Valentine’s race up at Tahoe Donner XC. They did an awesome job of making this race happen despite really thin snow pack. This was a fast, fun race. But again, it was tough! I was able to get another win, but I really had to work hard for it, and once again crossed the line with no shortage of race pain. I decided to take a fairly early lead in order to take advantage of the gradual descents and flats that are my strengths, so I couldn’t let myself slow down at all, knowing there were some fast women chasing hard behind me. All in all, I felt this was another strong race, and I was really encouraged by my performance.
I raced again this past weekend at Monday’s President’s Cup race at Auburn Ski Club. The conditions were fantastic! This race was especially tough for me, however, given that it was one of my biggest coaching weekends of the season, and followed a few pretty long days of coaching and waxing. I felt pretty tired from the get-go, and really just felt like I was working exceptionally hard but unable to go all that fast. My body just didn’t have enough “juice,” so to speak. But, I gave it my all, making sure to honor the real purpose of racing — to go absolutely as hard as you can all the way to the line! — and still came away with a decent result, placing fifth in a very strong women’s field. Congrats to the juniors on a seriously awesome performance — they are looking STRONG! It feels good to be back into the groove, so to speak, with racing. It’s always nice to really challenge yourself and see what you can do when you’re put to the test. And there’s really just no way to mimic a race scenario other than to get in on the real thing.

About Kara

Hello hello! I am stoked to be on the Far West Farm Team this year. I grew up here in beautiful Truckee, Ca. and am a proud product of the Far West junior teams. I learned to ski and to love skiing here in these mountains, so it was only fitting that I come back to fuel my passion for the sport. After attending the University of Denver for three years, I transferred to the University of Nevada where I finished my NCAA skiing career and also threw in a year of running. Today, I am a triathlete, runner and as always, a skier. I am also a journalist with a passion for writing, story-telling and interacting. I love living and playing in the mountians with my dog Levi, and will change the world one day… one story at a time.