Monday, January 21, 2013

Squall Crispies race Report

Honestly, I was a bit worried about the snow shoe race at Bradbury. I would surely not be racing and actually would be happy just to finish. I ran in snowshoes only once this year, a couple weeks ago and experienced a very painful left ankle and archilles.

 I am not sure if I did something while memory of twisting it ......but the next day it was swollen, black and blue, and very painful. I suspect it was more the aftermath of the snowboarding incident, or possibly the zero rise runners I wore with the snowshoes, but not really sure.

 The ankle plus the fact that I have only been getting in about 6-8 miles a week (on the road) for the last month and a half, would affect my capabilities at this race .....and running 8 miles on Saturday might leave me with pretty dead legs.

 Was there anything positive to say for this first snowshoe race of  the year? Actually, yes. The conditions were pretty good, the weather was darn near perfect, it was the normal great group of runners and the Trail Monsters (including volunteers) put on such a fantastic race.

 I arrived about an hour early and tried a short half mile run on the shoes to see how thing would feel.
The left archilles felt very tight and the last thing I wanted to do was injure it. So my battle plan was pretty simple, this would just be an easy showshoe jog with little expectations and I would pay close attention to the archilles......aborting the race was surely an option.

I lined up somewhere near the back and settled on four goals........start slow and give myself time to warm up. Keep the heart rate around 80-85% max, run the whole way and finish strong. Though these goals sounded awful good in my imagination, I suspected they would fall apart fast and the realization of how out of (running)  shape I was would hit me in the first mile.

Ryan said some funny stuff (as usual) and we were off.......I settled in to a spot after the turn onto single track behind a couple other runners and actually was feeling pretty good. I passed a few runners early and was not passed by too many in the first mile ( maybe three or four).

  The second mile was more of a steady slight climb and though I slowed some, I managed to pass three runners without pushing the heart rate past 85%.  After mile 1.5, I had no issues or scares from runners behind me and my pace keep getting faster.

 I was a bit worried in mile three that I would hit a wall, but it just never happened and I was able to really pick up the pace in the last half mile of the race. I finished strong to surprisingly reach all of my prerace goals.

 I am not sure what happened here because dispite the fact that it felt like I was running with sandbags on my feet, My body just never gave in. It doesnt make sense because I was not trained or race ready at all.......but I had a fantastic race.....go figure.

3.5 miles @44:37  (12:45 pace)
39 th place 


Friday, January 4, 2013

I Am My Own Worst Enemy

I haven't been running now for almost two weeks. Crazy that I have slipped this far. I have excuses and I can explain......but it doesn't sit well with my running and racing plans this winter.

Last week was full of interference but I was not too worried because I had a very long run panned for Sunday that would make up for it. You see Saturday was a planned trip to Peaks Island and our Christmas party with My oldest daughter.

 To our delight, there was snow on the ground and was snowing during the afternoon. We had planned an odd event of bungee sledding. Basically we had this large rubber bungee style rope and the plan was to tie one end to a tree and have three or four able bodied people pull back as far as we could while the sledder or snowboarder held on tight.

Let go of the bungee and the sledder would get a powered jump start for the hill and thus much more enjoyment.  Well the fresh snow was just not slippery enough and it did not work well at all. We decided the only thing left to do rather than abort the idea was to tow the sledder or snowboarder behind a car  (did I mention there was some drinking involved?)

 In the name of safety I thought it would not be smart to tie the bungee to the rear of the car because if the end got caught or if the sledder got into trouble, someone could get hurt. So instead the rear hatch was left open and a person sat in the rear holding onto the bungee rope. The idea was to let go of the rope if the person fell or got into trouble.

I was the first to sit in the back and holding the rope. I found that I had enough strength to hold on as long as I wedged my feet on the left and right side of the car body. This system worked well for one person and also worked well for two, but when we tried towing three or more, it was hard on the hands to hold on.

 So what I did was wrap the end of the rope around my arm first and use my body to help support. This worked well and I was able to let go when needed ........well all except for one time. This time we had four people, one on snowboard , two on sleds and one one his back.

They got tangled up and went into the snowbank, the bungee got caught (exactly what I was worried about and why we didn't tie it to the car bumper) Problem is the bungee was so tight by the time I tried to let go, it became caught around my body.

You can see where this is going right?  The bungee became dislodged and instantly came toward the rear of the car at an incredible speed. If you can picture a man sitting in the rear of a car with both legs spread to lock the feet into the sides of the rear, you can imagine how vulnerable that guy might be......

 The rope and handle hit my left leg from the knee to the groin and my right inner thigh just above the knee. My first thought was that this was not as safe as I first envisioned, my second was ow!! The thud and crack sounds were so loud, I thought for sure some thing was broken. I was able to get out of the car and walk so a bit of a relief. It sure did hurt though.
Consequently I have some pretty good bruises and didn't get my long run in on Sunday.

All week I have been hoping things heal up a bit to allow a run this weekend. The left knee became more painful as the swelling subsided and actually is more sore now than it was the first three days.
My hope is to try a run on Saturday ......I am cautiously optimistic

Was there a lesson to be learned here?  Well not really, sometimes people do dangerous things in the name of fun and sometimes it doesn't go so well comes with the territory. Your only guarrantee not to get hurt is to sit on the couch all day and don't move.