Well, this one cracks the first post in the 2010 season. It was officially snowshoe season up until about 3 days ago as most of the hard pack has since melted and left things a little sloppy out there lately. Being that we are only 18 days into the new year I've been a little busy racing all over and training a TON, and for the most part, it's been good.
I got laid off on 12/12/09 from the recruiting firm Spherion due to the economic downturn as they couldn't support my salary and I was the most junior person there. So I had some time to train and look for a job and just get out there and "play" on all the snow with the ability to be able to do some runs in the daylight being a big plus. (editor's note: the fun and games of "fantasy training camp" as some of my friends were calling it, are coming to a close on 1/25/10 as I signed an offer at another local recruiting firm and will be heading back to work full time, yay!)
So onto the race reports; Freezeroo#2 on New Years day in Mendon Ponds Park. I did this series of races a few years ago and always like running the roads and trails at Mendon. It's a pretty hilly area and it gets the legs ready and heart ready for the season ahead. My buddy Phil VP came in with his wife from Portland for the holiday season and convinced me to run this race with him as his dad, PVP, was helping to organize it. This was a 7.5 mile road race and I was feeling pretty spry at the start.
Gun goes off and this one is taken out fast. I think I tried to ease up before the first mile marker, but still went thru in 5:30 or so. I was running near Tim Dwyer and we were doing a cat and mouse type thing with each of us going off the front for a bit before being overtaken by the other one. We were far off the leaders, but still racing hard. I passed thru the 5k mark in 18:06 and knew the pace was quick. We were averaging sub 6's there. Tim and I were duking it out more and more and I caught him again up a big hill around 5 miles and put a good surge into him. I was running scared again as I didn't know if I could maintain that pace. I hit the 10k in 36:32 and had to mentally hold on to the finish. I crossed the line in 44:15, good for 5th overall. Not too shabby for a triathlete. Good race and a relatively mild day too.
Frozen Assets 5k snowshoe was the next day at Harriet Hollister Spencer State recreation area in Canadice, NY. It was brutally cold as the thermometer read 8*F and that wasn't counting the wind chill. I've loved going to this race for years, it's a great day to be out on the snowshoes and running some ridiculous hills. I can't remember much other than being 3rd going into the single track and holding everyone up behind me. When we hit the triple track, about 5 people passed me and I think I MAY have gone out too hard :o) Other than that it was just COLD. I hit the line in 22:33 and that was good enough for 8th overall and 2nd in the AG. We all hit the awards at the Brewery in Honeyoye Falls and had brewburgers and beer. Good times. Kim and I did a 10km swim workout the next day at RIT with our USMS masters group and I was pretty trashed after that weekend.
Just yesterday was the Mendon Winterfest 10km snowshoe race. This was a qualifier for the Powersox Snowshoe Nationals race (conveniently this year in Syracuse) and the competition was good. People from Ithaca, Saratoga Springs, and all over were in attendance and this was at the Mendon trails we all run every week. I goofed up the time of the start, so I was there an hour early and all warmed up then so I was a little cold when I got to the line. This race was quick and I was struggling to hang on to the first lead pack after the gun went off. The pace was high and we all settled in, but the hills hit back hard once you get into the race. The two biggest hills were about 1-2 miles from the finish of the 10k and they were brutal. I was able to hang on to 9th overall and qualified for Nationals so I was happy.
Other than that, it's been pretty status quo here. I'm on a rest week after 14 hours last week (and I'm not even doing a FULL Ironman next year!!! - CRAZY!) so I have a little reprieve now. I suppose this will allow me to clean everything up and get things done before I start the new job in a week. So, that's the status update. 3 race reports rolled into one. Keep getting out there and training folks, and I'll likely see you on the roads or trails. Cheers.