December 18, 2008

After a small hiatus, I'm back....FF Snow Cheap race #1 report

Well hello there, it's been a while since I last wrote and the reasoning behind that is that I didn't have much to say after the Ironman Wisconsin/Rochester Marathon combo. That was a pretty stupid idea and I wanted to take some time off to reflect on the season past and reorganize myself for the 2009 racing year.

I made it a self imposed rule that I was not going to race again until 2009 and after a few months of boozing and relaxing and just relishing in the off-season, I started to plan my 2009 season and include the big races into the grand scheme of things. I knew I was doing Ironman Lake Placid as my "A-race" and I had a few other races in there that I liked doing as well. I have built my calendar for the 2009 season pretty well and will post it to the sidebar in a little bit (maybe before year end? - No wait, I probably won't be THAT ambitious! :o) haha)

But I digress, I've been having a fun off-season relaxing a bit, travelling a little (I actually got a chance to hop a plane and witness a close friend of mine kick some serious ass in Arizona at the Ironman there in Tempe and also check out the course some too.) That was actually really nice because it snowed furiously the day before I left and I went from like 30 degree weather to sunny and 70 within hours. :o) It was a whirlwind tri of 42 glorious hours in the sun, but it was well worth it.

I've been doing some other stuff too, as I said before I wasn't racing again until '09 (unless it was non-competitive stuf or fun races) so sometime in October or November, I organized a trail beer mile. A few of us lucky souls decided it would be fun to do a beer mile again (If you don't know what that is, check out THIS site...) and we ran it on the trails at Mendon Ponds and it was a hit. So much so that we are already planning out a snowshoe beer mile. Should be a trip. If you know my facebook account, you can see some awesome photos of the madness from the Beer Mile and from Arizona on there. Here are two shots of the beer mile madness :o)So, other than that, I've gotten back in the pool with masters again on a regular basis, I've been ridin my trainer more than is normal for me in this off-season (last week I rode for 7+ hours) and have been focusing on the bike as that seems to be my weakness in LC racing. I'm running a little here and there and debating whether or not it is beneficial to do an early season marathon to boost my run fitness before a last 2 month build for IMLP. These are the things I think about when I daydream at work... :o)

And as for racing, I broke my own rule last night and hopped into the first of a 6 race trail series that is hosted at Cobbs Hill Park in Rochester that is called the Fleet Feet Snow Cheap Trail Series race. It's basically the dirt cheap series style race (very low key) but this time around it's in winter and you have the option to run on snowshoes or not... I am my own coach and I looked in the mirror yesterday and said quietly to myself, "coach says it's okay....there are only 2 more weeks left until January....DO IT" and I made some arrangements and signed up.
The race was actually pretty cool, it was held a 6pm in Rochester and headlamps were required (which added an extra cool flair to it) I got there in the nick of time, registered late, saw a TON of friends and got a bib # that was scratched on the BACK of a bib from another race (apparently more people than expected showed up to race...) Unfortunately for me and my walls, this is a repeat bib# from a dirt cheap race. First one in 4 years of raceing thats repeated... #117. Anyway, the run was a short 3 or 3.5 miles and the gun went off and we were all joking around and laughing and throwing snow balls at eachother. It is always goofy fun.

A nice pack of about 10 of us fell in to the front and we ran comfortably for about the first mile until the large hill and then it spread out. Kurt Spacher and I kinda gapped the field and went up some switchbacks in the course up to the top of the rez. We flew around on the trails and he was heading up the hills with some gusto. He started to slip a lot and I had some pretty good traction thanks to my YakTraks and got around him about 1.5 miles in at a clearing. That was the decisive move that took the race. I knew it too when I made it. I knew that this was the point where I had to pass him and not just soft pass him, but blow by and keep up that speed to drop him and gap him good.

After that it was clear trail, pretty easy markers to read (except for one spot that forced me to double back) and more clear trail glowing from the beams of my headlamp. The snow was about ankle deep and some sections felt like you were running in sand, but it was passable. I got some shouts of encouragement from spectators as I barrelled downhill to the finish chute. My time was 21:53 which means nothing because the course was approximate, but I felt good enough to go on a nice 2 mile or so cool down and I felt like it was over too fast. I like the longer races. Still a good time though Anyway, that was Snow Cheap and how I managed to end my season with a win on a high note. I'll try to post some pics and the 2009 race schedule as soon as I can, but until then folks, train hard this off season (race a little bit - but keep it fun) and remember Winter is the season for base, so get out there and do some long an slow and steady miles before any of this speed stuff. Take care, have a pint or five and JFT. 'Tis the season :o) Cheers.

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