Monday, March 14, 2016

Kingman Farm Moonlight Snowshoe Race

Monday, 2/8/16- Skipped the evening run. I felt like I needed a day off and just went to yoga at Mountain Center that night.

Tuesday, 2/9/16- I had a root canal appointment that morning, so it left me with no time to drive anywhere, and the roads near home were slippery. I opted for a 10-mile run on the treadmill. Progression run with incline in 1:09:43 at 6:58/mi pace. Super happy with this even though it was over an hour in the dark, dank basement staring at my mess of stuff that I don't need. Music is my friend when I'm on the treadmill.

The root canal wasn't that bad. It took awhile, but I thought I would be in pain. I wasn't and almost fell asleep during it. Later that afternoon, John and I cross country skied in the Albany Town Forest with Spot and Phoenix. 3.1 miles.

Albany Town Forest ski

Wednesday, 2/10/16- Usual 5 mile progression run on the treadmill. Blah, blah, blah. Haha. The only run that is the same every week. 7:00/mi pace. Followed by my 34 hour shift.

Thursday, 2/11/16- 34 hour shift turned into a 35.5 hour shift when we ended up on a late call and didn't get out until 6:30pm. By this point, I decided to cut my original run plan short. I don't enjoy evening runs to begin with, and my original plan would have had me out until 9pm probably. Plus, it was dark, the wind was whipping and the temps were cold. I didn't feel bad about cutting it short. Drove to Hemlock Ln to hit the mountain bike trails in the Green Hills. I ran a 5.8 mile loop on perfectly packed (by fat bikes) trails up the Quarry Trail and back Pillar to Pond. I lucked out in that the mountains completely blocked the wind, so other than the cold, it was a really enjoyable run on the trails.

Friday, 2/12/16- I had an appointment in Portland at 8:45am, so I decided to do my long run over there. I hit the Holy Donut first before my appointment. SO GOOD. I ate one as my pre-run fuel, and funny enough, had one of my best long runs post-injury. I had planned to run the Eastern Trail starting in Scarborough, so I drove over to the northern terminus. I put on my microspikes and started along the path which was perfectly plowed and smooth running...for about 100 yards. The trail then turned into nothing but uneven, frozen footprints. I kept going for about a minute then realized there was no way I wanted to do a long run on this surface and aborted my run. I got back to my car and went with Plan B. I pulled up my map and realized I was right near Cape Elizabeth and the Mid-Winter Classic course that I've run twice. Having some familiarity to the roads, I decided to just run from there. I felt slow at first, but when I saw my first mile was a 6:58/mi pace, I had a feeling this was going to be a good run. It was also what I consider to be "flat". I maintained a sub-7 pace for the entire run. I even had to run on slushy shoulders a good portion of the time since the drivers were not so courteous, but that didn't slow me. I surprised myself as I ran that I was maintaining this pace. A lot of it had to do with the lack of hills for sure. Plus the weather was beautiful. I ended up on a portion of the race course and then looped back just before the point where the race finishes. I still felt great until the last 3 miles when I started to really lose it. By the last half mile I was all done. 17.5 miles at a 6:57/mi pace and a "flat" 364ft of elevation gain. I had little time left before I had to head back to NH, but I went by the Bier Cellar as usual to grab some beers on hold and pick some other enticing stuff.

Kingman Farm Moonlight Snowshoe Race

Although the winter had been mild up to this point, the temperatures this weekend were brutally cold. The evening's snowshoe race was going to be a COLD  and WINDY one. Race director, Chris Dunn, had already modified the course to keep us out of the field where the below zero windchill would be the worst. This really meant nothing to me since I had never been able to run Kingman. Something had always come up. Work or being a mom. Haha. Now that John joins me for every race, I was able to go. The winter made things iffy, but when I realized the race was a go, I was so excited! Finally! I didn't care how cold it was going to be. I just wanted to race Kingman finally.

It was nice taking a lazy morning at home for John and me. Around noon, John and I went to his friend's birthday party before heading to Madbury for the race. It was just over an hour, and we were there pretty early. As soon as I stepped out of the car, the wind hit me. It was COLD. I got John inside the building and got ready for a warm up. Bob Jackman, Jim Johnson and I hit the road for an even faster warm up than the previous week. It was shorter, though, at only 2 miles. We passed a small alpaca farm on the route, and the alpacas were all huddled together under a shelter looking at us like we were the biggest morons for being out in that cold. It was hilarious and totally cracked me up just seeing the looks on their faces. We just ran an out and back, and then I went back inside the building to figure out how in the world I was going to dress for this race. I ended up with a light top under my nordic top and the usual shorts under the pants. I wore gloves and mittens and a hat. With about 10 minutes to the start, we all ventured out to the starting line. There were cool ice sculptures with lights inside them guiding the way. I had seen pictures of these from last year and was hoping they would have them again. We lined up at the start line for about 5 minutes. My warm up was out the window since I was FREEZING. I was never so happy to hear the start of a race; I warmed as soon as we got going. I decided to go off fast, since I knew I might have some competition, and I knew it would also be double track for a bit. I wanted to get in a good position before we hit single track. Unfortunately, as soon as the race started, my headlamp started falling into my face; I hadn't put it on tight enough! I run with this headlamp twice a week and never screw it up, but of all times to mess it up, I do so during a night snowshoe race. Haha! It ended up being a major annoyance the entire race. I tried to fix it, but my hands were way too cold, so I had to randomly just hold it up out of my face during the race. That being said, I don't think it slowed me down at all. What slowed me down was not knowing the course at all. I had no idea the first part was going to be so flat or I would have pushed myself more. I also didn't realize we were near the finish when we were or else I would have run the the last hill harder. But all in all, I ran ok. I did get stuck behind another racer on the big hill, but I didn't mind it. Helped me catch my breath. I also stepped into an invisible hole by a bridge and went down. Took me a few seconds to get back on my feet and my momentum back. Once at the top of the hill, the racer in front stepped aside and a whole bunch of us moved on. I ran the downhills pretty hard and was prepared for the second small climb. One last downhill and then we were all of a sudden back right near the finish. I thought it was longer, but I was happy to finish. Holding my headlamp up in the last mile had left me cussing up a storm and dropping F-bombs loudly. I finished 1st woman, 13th overall in 28:25, over 2.5 minutes ahead of 2nd. I had 3.3 miles on my watch when we finished. I guess that's why the finish came more quickly than I expected; I thought the course was going to be longer. But it was fine. I was ready to go inside and warm up a bit before going out for a cool down. Full Results

Scott Mason stood out in that brutal cold as long as he could and captured this one at the start.
Bob, Jim and I cooled down together on the road again. I was all done, and these 2 miles seemed to take forever. Bob and I forgot our headlamps, so we had to follow Jim's light. No idea why I didn't bring the headlamp, but I was glad one of the three of us had one. We ran about a minute slower per mile than the warmup. My legs were done. The awards and chili cook-off followed. I never got any chili, but I won some Lindt Chocolates!

John and I joined the Tuesday Night Turtles for food and drinks after at 7th Settlement Brewery in Dover. The beer and food were good. John seemed to enjoy himself there. If I take the phone away, he usually is more social and has fun. We left for home after that. I only had about 13 hours before the next snowshoe race: Horse Hill.

Post race beers and food at 7th Settlement Brewery

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