Saturday, February 14, 2009

Horse Hill 7k

Saturday was race #5 (of 6) in the Granite State Snowshoe Series for 2009.  The Horse Hill 7k Snowshoe race in Merrimack, NH (results) is run in beautiful Horse Hill Nature Preserve and put on by 3C Race Productions.  The usual suspects were all in attendance today, including the Dungeon Rock racing team and the acidotic RACING team.  I was kind of in the dark on this race before the start.  I was supposed to run over the course on Thursday afternoon with Steve Wolfe but had to back out and pulled a big '0' on Thursday, as I have been suffering from severe stomach pains and issues since Wednesday night.  It all started after my long run of 18 on Wednesday afternoon.  I started to really suffer from what I thought was bad gas pains on Wednesday night and it led me to have to go out to the store at about 11pm to get some Pepto.  That bottle was gone before the afternoon on Thursday and I got about 30 - 60 minutes of sleep total on Wed. night.  Thursday I could barely stand and straighten up, the pain was that bad.  Running was impossible.  Thursday night it got slightly better (had to go out again and this time picked up some Maalox).  Friday afternoon I was able to do two shorter runs, but the sharp pain in my abdomen persisted.  I knew through all this, that I was getting dehydrated so I did my best on Saturday morning to rehydrate myself before the race.

I got into Merrimack with a little over an hour to spare, registered for the race, and saw, to my delight (and contrary to the race form information) a bathroom facility (i.e. brand spankin' new Porta-John...I even unwrapped the T-P and was the first to 'christen' it)...  After tending to my business, I warmed up over the course with Steve Wolfe and Mike Wade (GCS).  The course was completely packed down and iced over.  It made it almost impossible to run on with any sort of speed with our trainers...but the deep cleat on the Dion's would be a different story...  We ran to a couple of the intersections where Steve said it may be confusing, but Mike A. had put out a substantial amount of signs and Steve had spray painted the snow earlier in the week so it was very well marked.  Some AWESOME course descriptions/elevation profiles/maps can be found on Steve's Blog.  A quick change of the clothes (de-layered, as it was nice and warm out after the warmup)... and we were off!

I got right out and noticed a couple things right off the bat...1) the conditions were FAST.  REAL fast.  It was like a trail race out there on the straight, wide parts.  2) my stomach was not an issue at all.  3) my hamstring was very tight and I was a tad dehydrated...  My right hammy started to bark almost immediately.  I tried to shake it out as I stepped down some of the downhill parts and held off any major issues.  About a K into the race, I stepped off the trail a little bit and rolled my right ankle slightly...enough to bother me a little over the rest of the race...it actually made it feel like my right shoe was coming loose although in the end, it wasn't.  I clicked on through the K's pretty strong...felt a little sluggish in the middle parts (there are are 3 major climbs but nothing that will really hurt you) and rocked on the last downhill section.  Overall, I'm very pleased with the effort for sure, and thankful I didn't have any problems with my stomach during the run.... 
For a little bit, I could see Chris Dunn behind me through the trees and knew that Steve Wolfe was milling around in there too.... I also knew Mike Wade was out there in his first snowshoe race, but he's a trail monster and I knew he'd be mixing it up up front as well.  I also like the fact that Scotty Graham wears the brightest colored jacket on Earth (probably visible from space)...so it makes it very easy to spot him as well through the snowy woods (as opposed to stealthy Steve Wolfe who wears white so you can't spot him as he runs you down!)...  In the end, the course was fast, well marked, and the climbs were subtle enough where I could run the entire thing without a power hike...I really do think the conditions on the flats also contribute to me being able to hit the hills runnin' as well...the races that have very loose and slow-going single track leading up to the climbs, wear me out enough to where the climb, even if not that difficult, becomes tough because my legs are worn before I even hit the start of the hill.

Results:  7k - 1st of 50 - 30:41 / 7:04 pace

Top 10:

Place
Time
Pace
Name Team
Age
S
City/State
1
30:41
7:04
Jim Johnson       CMS POLAR BEARS    
31
M
Salem NH    
2
36:03
8:18
Steve Wolfe       acidotic RACING    
44
M
Merrimack NH
3
36:51
8:29
Chris Dunn        acidotic RACING    
40
M
Strafford NH
4
38:11
8:47
Michael Wade      GATE CITY STRIDERS 
40
M
Nashua NH   
5
39:03
8:59
Reeder Fahnestock acidotic RACING    
29
M
Exeter NH   
6
39:21
9:03
Patrick Smith     DUNGEON ROCK RACING
46
M
Salem MA    
7
39:48
9:09
Scott Graham      acidotic RACING    
50
M
Westford MA 
8
39:52
9:10
Jay Myers         acidotic RACING    
38
M
Dover NH    
9
40:04
9:13
Dan Cooper        DUNGEON ROCK RACING
36
M
Salem MA    
10
40:09
9:14
Jim Hansen        GATE CITY STRIDERS 
50
M
Nashua NH   


50 total finishers...

For my effort, I got the first pick of the swag on the table...I opted for 1 of 2 copies of 'Fun on Foot in New England'.  It seems like a pretty interesting read, with cool pictures, maps, and write ups of hikes, walks, and runs all over New England... You can never have enough of these types of books in my opinion.

A La George Zack, I put together a very quick and dirty video blog of my pre and post race ramblings...  A kind of visual 'Cliffs Notes' for anyone who doesn't like to read my ramblings above...


Next up is the Kingman Farm Snowshoe race in Madbury, NH on Saturday night (5k) and then the DH Jones 10 Miler on Sunday....First USATF-NE GP event of 2009!!!  It also 'kinda' marks the end of snowshoe season for me and the beginning of the road racing season... good stuff!

5 comments:

  1. So JJ, I just watched your video and I have one question. What the heck were you going to do with a plastic bag if they didn't have a porta potty on site? Hold on, may be I don't really want to know the answer.

    You are going to enjoy Kingman Farm. It's a real lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All I have to say is you should have seen what I did in my car the morning of the Children's Museum 5k in Portsmouth last year... all I have to say is this:

    just off of Market Square near the water... ZERO WOODS, no stores.

    2 Jiffy Johns for 850 people. TWO.

    big breakfast.

    old t-shirt in the back of my car. tinted windows.

    Enough said...hey I think that was a haiku.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Remind me to never ask for a ride in your Xtera. Thanks for the visual.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, I am a new fan of your blog. Hope you can join my free horse lovers club RiderMate.com. It is very active now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. nice post and thanks for sharing....

    ___________________
    Britney
    Entertainment at one stop

    ReplyDelete