Saturday, February 21, 2015

Exeter Snowshoe Hullabaloo Race

Friday, I ended up taking a rest day, as planned. I was still pretty beat from lack of sleep coupled with the 20-mile run, so I figured I needed a break. John and I went cross-country skiing on some trails near the State line, but that was about it. I knew I had the Exeter Snowshoe Race the next morning, so I really wanted to catch up on sleep and be ready for it.
Unfortunately, I woke up this morning not feeling that great. Very shaky and weak, and I wasn't up for being social at all, so I started to get a little worried. John was actually able to stay behind with his dad, so that helped not having to worry about him for a change. As I was on my way down, I realized that I really needed food and not the peanut butter sandwich I had made, so I did something I never do. I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts and got an egg and cheese bagel. As I was eating it, all I could think of is how this could be a really bad idea. It was really gross, but I ate the whole thing, and it did actually help. I felt less shaky and by the time I arrived at the race, I was feeling better, only slightly tired. I was there pretty early since I knew I wanted to get a good warm-up in. I got my bib, mustered up a smile for the few people I made eye contact with and then headed off down the road for a solo run. My plan was to do 4 miles, so I just ran down the road and ended up in the center of Exeter. Yesterday, I had Googled coffee shops there and found one I was thinking of hitting after the race (I didn't since it was the opposite direction from the way home). My 2-mile turnaround point happened to be right at this coffee shop. I found it! Ha ha. On my way back to the race, I saw Sam and Abbey Wood warming up and got nervous knowing I'd have some competition today and would have to just push through whatever physical and mental shit I had going on.
Once back at the car, I had 20 minutes before the start, so I hung out there as long as I could to avoid everyone. At the start, I hung out with a few of my acidotic teammates for a little bit before walking to the start. As we lined up, I found Abbey behind me, so we chatted a bit about her awesome race at the World Snowshoe Championship in Quebec a few weeks ago. I also lined up with Chuck Hazzard and Phil Erwin. This race started off fairly tight, so you had to line up right where you thought you should be in order to not get stuck. Turns out I lined up perfectly. I never passed anyone, and no one passed me.
The race started, and I went out fast. I fell in line right behind Jonathan Miller and Chuck, with Phil right behind me. The course was actually really well packed and not too narrow, so I was able to just move along at a good clip. I had heard it was a lot of up and down, which I guess it was, but the hills were super short, so I didn't find it very difficult. I guess I would call it a somewhat hilly course. Phil was right on my heels for the start, but then took a fall and was never able to catch back up after that. I could see Jonathan just ahead of me so I tried to catch up with him. By the last mile, I was pretty close, and then I realized that Sam Wood was right in front of him. I was surprised to be catching up to Sam since he's normally much faster than me, but I know he hasn't been doing a lot of snowshoe racing this year. I thought the race was supposed to be over 4 miles, so I was caught off guard to find us passing the start line when we did since I knew the finish was maybe 100 yards (if even) away. I came through 1st woman, 9th overall in 35:38, with 3.78 for mileage. I was happy with my finish. I ran hard the whole way and really enjoyed the course. My plan was to finish, head right to my car and bolt, but I ended up talking to Sam and Abbey for a little bit. They are both so nice. After that, I headed to my car, changed clothes and then got out of there. I had to be back home for when John was getting dropped off, so I was thankful for an excuse to be antisocial. It was one of those days where I didn't feel like talking to people. I normally enjoy hanging out with everyone and laughing, but my laughter just wasn't there today. Hopefully, I'll feel better at Ski and Shoe to the Clouds next Sunday, which is my next race. This will be my third year doing that one. I really love it. It's such a different experience than the Road Race. It's quiet, peaceful and not hot. I always want to keel over and die from the heat below treeline during the Road Race. I've come in second woman the last two years behind Bridget Ferrin-Smith, who is an awesome runner but doesn't race that often. I don't know if she's racing this year or not. If she is, I will have my work cut out for me.
I was hoping for a few more pictures to go along with this post, but this is all I've got.
aR teammates pre-race. Sinthy Kounlasa, me, Keri Bassingthwaite, Sarah Schlaack and Jennifer Johnson

Finish line. My face is so chapped. Photo by Chris Dunn

No comments:

Post a Comment