Saturday marked the opening of the winter snowshoe season for me with the jaunt down route 65 to Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation area for the 10th anniversary of this wonderful little 5k called Frozen Assets. This was the 5th time I've done this race and it was a brisk day out and there were rumours that this was going to be a trail race due to lack of snow, but Mother Nature prevailed and dumped JUST enough on us the day or two before that there was snow cover to race with the shoes on. Winds were light and the main "highway" thru the park that we share with the XC skiiers had a pretty solid base, so the conditions were ideal.
The usual suspects all come out for this race on the snowshoe circuit, in addition to some new faces (always nice to see) Tim Dwyer even ventured out into the tundra for his 2nd time on snowshoes and did remarkably well for his virgin race! I'm not gonna lie, one of the main reasons I do this race is because they hold the awards at "the Brewery" in Honeyoye Falls and we all stick around, tell stupid stories and have a few beers. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday in January with friends....and the beer selection is solid as well!
Anyway, gun goes off and I really don't have the "killer instinct" that I've had in races in the past. I don't know what it is, but I'm just not feeling like pushing myself to the edge and beyond today. (now don't get me wrong, I was still going to run hard, just wasn't willing to turn myself inside out for this race...) We hit the single track a little later than normal (because they had to re-route the course due to the apparent lack of snow) and I was right behind Jeff Beck (not really the position you want to be in if you are going to "cruise" a race) and we made the climb up Little Marcy and into a little more powder.
5k's are pretty hard for me because as soon as you find your groove and place to run, the race is over. I've been doing a lot more slower stuff this year since Chicago and I wasn't in the mood to red line it today. I kinda raced a LOT last year and wanted to take some time off of running really hard to focus on the bike. But anyway, we got some scenic views in during the race of Hemlock Lake, I got passed a few times in the woods and I held off Nate Huckle coming down the final stretch for 6th place overall. It was a good race and I was pleased with the result. I even nabbed a nice black fleece Mountain Hardwear beanie in the give-aways at the award ceremony. But for some reason when I race in the winter time I sneeze a TON afterwards. Not sure if it is because my sinuses were opened up, or just the exertion or what, but I'm talking about uncontrollable and violent sneezes. These seemed to last for about 2 days as well and didn't put me into the nicest of moods that evening. I apologize to anyone that I grossed out at the Brewery by sneezing so much and having to blow my nose every two seconds...
But, I got over the sneezesm and it's on to a rest week for me now. Which means only recovery rides and runs and some EASY peasy training over the next few days. I'm starting tempo and strength training (big gear) work on the bike next week and want to be as rested as possible for that. I'm signed up for the Mendon Winterfest 10k snowshoe on Sunday, but I'm just planning on casually running that one, not really racing it. Just maybe using it as a tempo effort run and adding a long warm up and cool down too to call it a day.
I'll be on the trails this weekend at MPP and I've got some other good plans in the works in the near future, so stay tuned! Good stuff all around. So get those base miles in friends and get out there and have some fun. Now's the time to get those fun runs in with people that you normally don't get to train with. (I've had the pleasure to cruise the roads with Mr. Matt Curbeau and Steve Gonser in the recent weeks, on separate runs) Enjoy it while it lasts, the base phase is gone as quick as it comes! See you on the snowy roads and trails friends, cheers!