What was the race like today?
From the start, it was kind of hard, because I hadn't touched my skate for two days, which for me is usually a mistake. Usually after a day off, I'm terrible. So from the get-go, my shins were hurting.
I was trying to relax. I tried to do some breaks. I tried everything: go, stop, whatever. But nothing worked; my shins still hurt.
So with three laps to go, I decided I would make a real attempt at a breakaway. And they [skaters in the lead pack] let me get away.
My shins were unbelievably locked up. I could hear my feet hitting the ground, clunk-clunk, clunk-clunk. I had no control over anything (laughs). At one point with about one lap to go, I thought, I am just going to go back to the pack ... because I was hurting so bad. But I don't know? I figured it was just three miles left, so I would just keep going.
You went on your breakaway headed into the wind, didn't you?
Yeah. It's easier to do it that way. With 110s and everyone skating on bigger wheels now, it's very hard to get away from the pack going downhill. It's almost impossible because the pack carries so much speed. They don't really have to skate hard; they just roll. And if one person decides to go to the front and go a little bit hard, the whole pack just goes with him.
Back in the day of 84mm wheels, you could actually get away from the pack whenever you wanted if you were strong. Now you have to be smarter and pick your battles. Even in the World Cups, the breaks only happen on uphills or on really long flats. On a downhill, you are never going to get away.
How were you feeling on the last lap?
I was thinking, man, is this ever going to end? ... Going into the wind, I caught up to the masters group, and I sat behind them for about 30 seconds, and then I said, All right, I've got to go. Then going up the hill at the end of the course, I said, man, this is miserable, and I almost fell down. ... I kicked myself. I was in bad shape.
Then coming to the finish, I was like, this is it. Just look smooth. Don't fall down. That's what I was telling myself.
Then as soon as I could after I finished, I took my skates off and my shins were like rocks.
This was kind of a wakeup call for me today. I need to get outside more. There's only so much you can do indoors.
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