Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whitaker Woods, Derry Prep, Gunstock Winter Tri and GBTC Invitational- Wow What a Weekend!

Amber and I started this weekend heading up to North Conway to run in Kevin Tilton's Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Race. Surprisingly, it was not what we were expecting. Knowing what we all now know about how Kevin likes runs that are gnarly we were expecting hills, hills and more hills layered with super-technical single track. Instead Kevin served us up some amazingly rolling x-c ski trails with maybe a mile of fun, single track that pretty much just descended. We were not disappointed that our expectations were not met, but it did, however, lead to super-fast racing. The usual suspects, JJ, DD, Tim Cox, Geoff Cunningham were all there as well as a new member of Acidotic Racing, Judson Cake. While Judson gave Double-J a run for his money, Jim ended up pulling out the win. Amber came in 12th*. Note the asterisk. That is due to the fact that some people opted to not make all of the turns, cutting the course a little short. Amber was one of those people. The course was overall very well marked, but that corner was a little tricky.
All in all it was a great way to start our weekend, capping off our trip to North Conway with a trip to Moat Mountain Brewery and a stop at the outlets for some "necessary" shopping.
The next day Am and I split up. She went up to Gunstock to compete in their Winter Triathlon which I had done a few years ago and vowed never again. After coming off the run and bike in first place, Amber was passed by three women on the skate ski to finish fourth. Instead of vowing to never do it again however, Amber is trying to convince me to join her for the next one down in Weston in February. We will see.
I, instead, thought it would be a good idea to spend my morning run 16 hilly miles in single digit temperatures in Derry(results). As bad as that sounds in print, it was worse in person. Probably one of the single poorest races that I have run in quite some time. Very positive splits(getting slower and slower as I was getting colder and colder) on terrain that got easier as the miles went on. I can't think of the last time that I wanted to quit so badly but didn't because I knew I'd have to wait in the cold for a ride. The race finally ended and I was able to quickly grab some hot chocolate before heading down to Boston. Oh Yeah. I was so brillant that I thought it would be fun to do a double-header running Derry then competing in the mile, 200 and 800 at the Greater Boston Track Club's Invitational Meet at Harvard(results).
I rushed into Boston only to find that the meet had been pushed back two hours so I then sat around for a couple hours before my first event. I would have definitely left and gone home but Amber's sister, Deidre, was meeting up with me so I had to stay at least until she got there. She got there just in time for the mile, or so we thought. Seeding myself at 5 minutes however put me in the 9th race so it was over 45 minutes before I actually ran. The mile is brutal. I started out last just hoping to hold on, counting down those 8 dreaded laps(indoor tracks are 200 meters as opposed to the 400 outdoors). After 6 I realized that I wasn't working as hard as I could so I passed four guys in my heat that I was pacing off of running a 34 and 30 for my two last laps to finish in 5:03. I was bummed out because I had enough left to be sure to get under 5 but I'll have to wait for another day.
The 200 was up next. How silly of me to have entered it. I realized this the moment they started setting up starting blocks. Starting blocks? Yep never used them. Actually can't recall ever running 200 meters either. Well apparently it's a sprint which I didn't realize until all the other runners pulled ahead of me(I was in the outside lane was ahead of everyone at the start). By that point it was too late. I was so bad that I couldn't even finish dead last, losing that spot by one as well.
After the 200, knowing we'd have to wait another hour or more for the 800, I made the only wise decision of the day-I decided to go out to pizza instead. And what I great decision it was. Delicious pizza, fun conversation, WARMTH! I couldn't have had a better ending to a very otherwise poor(or at least ill-advised) weekend.
This week has all been about recovering from that, in hopes that I have some legs under me to run Sidehiller on Saturday(the third part of the Granite State Snowshoe Series, and also qualifier for the USSSSSSSSSSSSSSA national championships in WI). We will see...

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