Monday, February 14, 2011
Photo of me and Ann before the race(taken by George).....we are both smiling...mine was short lived once the race started.
Snow Shoeing "The Brad" ........ OK, this race started much better then the last.....because I actually showed up for it. I honestly didn't know what to expect from myself because it was my first snowshoe race. I decided to start near the rear and as it turned out, it was the best place for me.
I have to admit, my choice of snow shoes worked very well for me. I didn't slide around at all (like I noticed many others do with aluminum frames.) My draw back was a little bit more weight then the racing Dions.
The Tubbs flex adapted well to the uneven part of the terrain, had great grip on the uphill icy sections and the loose downhill areas. I was a little worried at first because during my warm up run, the left shoe loosened up and fell off. This never happened any of the times I went out running but during the warm up I practiced lifting my feet up higher and pushing off more with my toe.
Despite the worrying, I had no problems during the race with the shoes. There was one area where it was new type single track trail for about 1/2 mile that was a little narrow for my shoes. I suspect the trail was broken with the racing Dions and they must be just a smigit narrower than the Tubbs.
I started slow and settled in the middle of a pack of runners, most of whom were faster than me and within 3/4 mile all but three of them left me behind. The four of us spread out in a short period of running and I found myself following ......well more like trying to keep up with a woman runner.
I found out later it was the person I know of called "neighbor Kate" I think she wanted me to pass her, but I knew if I did, it would only be a matter of time before she was breathing down my neck, because I would surely slow down if I wasn't "chasing" someone.
I actually think this arrangement worked well as she claimed I was "pushing" her. Whatever it was, it worked very well for both of us. My intent was to stay as close as possible and out kick her at the finish.
The thing about racing close to someone else is the hard parts don't bother as much when you can see the others are working hard too. It is makes one realize the terrain is the problem not the conditioning.
When I run alone, I tend to take it easy after working hard on a hill and with Kate in front of me who by the way was "killer" on the down hills, I struggled to keep up until we hit the uphills, then I would be back on her tail.
This whole yo yo thing was beginning to worry me as the finish is mostly downhill so I would have to really push to stay close enough to pass her for the finish. I had an opportunity at the top of the South trail, right before the long down hill to pass Kate as she tripped or slipped or something and landed hands first in the snow.
For a split second I thought of slipping by and going for it. You know, I could have done that but I didn't, I stopped asked to see if she was OK and waited for her to get back up. I guess I wanted to earn the spot at the end.
I found out quite quickly that I underestimated her. Like a horse headed for the hay in the barn, she was suddenly flying with me barely on her tail trying to keep up. This is when I saw a glimpse of the pack that left us behind in the beginning. We managed to pass one person and were quickly catching others.
At the bottom she passed a slower runner but I was not so lucky as I could not find a spot to pass. I could see Kate putting more distance between us and finally I just jumped to the right and hoped the deep snow didn't take all of the energy I had left.
I could see the finish and turned on the best kick I could. I caught Kate, but ran out of trail and we finished side by side. I think she knew I was coming because it looked like she put everything she had into the last dozen steps. We collided across the finish almost took out the finish tape. I actually didn't realize how fast we were running the last quarter mile until I pulled the stats off the Garmen.
She said I brought out the best in her, but really she brought out the best in me. I was lucky to have someone to chase(thanks Kate), it made the experience much more enjoyable. I really have no complaints about the race. Ryan did a top notch job and it was great to see all the Trail Monsters having fun.
I ended up taking third in my age group. Of course there were only four in my group but hey, you can only count the ones that show up and race so I'll take the honor.
4.25 miles @1:02:54 (14:35 pace)
8:13.....153-164 (last 1/4 mile)