- BethAnn Chamberlain
- Boulder, CO, United States
- From Minnesota to Maine to the sunny land of Boulder, CO, I have been competing as an athlete all my life and been working as massage therapist for six years now. Helping athletes with greater recovery, bounce back from injury faster, and helping one's body perform at it's best is what I aim to do. My love for sport, training and helping a body feel good and perform at it's best has driven me into a career in massage therapy. I strive for nothing less than the best...let me help you reach greater heights.
Monday, March 7, 2011
A tough day on the Birkie trail
It's been over a week since I had hoped to have my Birkie report but but am just now getting into it. A little over a week ago I jumped into my second ever American Birkiebeiner. My first was last year and I was pleasantly surprised with how it all went. I finished last year in 11th place, and less than a minute out of the top eight. This was all news to me when I finished, since I was clueless on where I was at through most of the race.
Going into this years race I had high expectations for myself. Going into the race I was feeling pretty good and felt recovered from my fight with the flu. (By the time the race ended I am not so sure I would have agreed with that statement however.)
The Birkie is an intense scene. I believe every Nordic skier, especially North Americans that enjoy skiing longer distances, should at some point make their way over to Hayward, WI and join in the festivities. There were over 11,000 entries in the weekends events. In addition to the skate and classic 50km races this is a 23km Kortielopet and another Prince Haakon 12km race. The excitement the day before, morning of and of course hours afterwards is pretty spectacular.
My 2011 Birkie started off well. I was surprised at how easy it was to stay with the lead pack of women for the first 20km of the race. This was a change from last year, when I was a bit intimidated by the pace right out of the start.
Somewhere around the 20km mark I was caught off guard by a cramping pain in my legs towards the top of an easy hill. Knowing that I had quite a few kilometers left to go, I decided I should back off a bit and keep my legs from becoming very angry at me while still having over 25k's to go.
My race continued on like this for sometime, feeling good and then getting cramps that would last a kilometer or two, just long enough for me to fear that I wouldn't be able to finish. In the end I did of course finish but it was a bit of a crawl the last few kilometers. Skiing across the lake and onto the main street in Hayward for the finish, was the hardest thing I have ever done. I can honestly say that I left NOTHING out on the course, having put every last ounce of energy into my race. I had to be happy with that. I ended up 15th in the women, not a bad result but not quite where I had hoped.
After blacking out at the finish I recieved an IV of fluids for the second time that week, my first was during my battle with the flu earlier in the week. I can now honestly stay I have experienced bonking in a race and hope that I never have to go to that very bad place again. Something tells me that odds of that happening are not very likely. For now I will try to forget the pain and just remember the good stuff. That is why we all keep racing right, because of our amazing ability to forget about the bad and keep feeding off the good. Sounds about right to me.
Can't say for sure if I will make it out to Hayward for next year's Bikrie Fest but I know at some point I will. Hope to see you all there when that day arrives!