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Bonk Series: 2000 Thanksgiving Sunday Roller Ski
By:  David Zylberberg   (2005/02/16)


Thanksgiving Sunday, 2000. I was a member of the Thunder Bay National Team Development Centre and we were embarking on a long classic rollerski up on the highway to Armstrong. We began at the intersection with Highway 17 and were to head north until the coach decided we were done (he was driving a van with extra food and water while we rollerskied). I expected it to be around 3.5 hours on a crisp and sunny fall morning.

As we began, I realised that I had the slowest rollerskis of any of the men but also that the others were not properly focussed on good technique and proper intensity. Having a heart rate monitor, I decided to ski at my proper intensity after the first hour and proceeded to open a sizeable gap on the other two men, while keeping my heart rates in zone 1 (below 150). Then at around the 3 hour mark, they caught back up to me near a gas station, and we skied together for around 15 minutes. At the 3.5 hour point, coach came by, I filled my water bottle and he said we had about 1.25 hours left. This was a bit of a shock since I thought I was done or close to. We kept going and I got dropped by Brady and John, but was still moving.

After 4 hours, I was getting tired and began to notice my heart rates were quite a bit higher than earlier. After 4.25 hours I began to occassionally stop to let my heart rates return to normal and was quite tired. At the 4.5 hour point, I stopped and sat at the side of the road waiting for the van. After 5 minutes, I started going again and 2 minutes later it came and pulled me over. I was done after 60km into a headwind. We then drove up ahead and picked up Brady and John after rollerskiing 69km that day.

Overall, it was a long fatiguing day in which I suffered from not knowing either where or how long I was going to. I also should have eaten during the workout and not insisted on forcing the pace. Lessons learned for the future.

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