Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 9 (Sunday) - Moose Mountain and Weekly Recap

February 9 (Sunday)

Weekly Recap:
Days Running: 7
Total Runs: 10
 - Treadmill: 5
 - Snowshoe: 2
 - Trail/Snow: 3
Total Races: 2
Total Miles: 67.1

Mileage down a little this week but I was sick and I bailed on a cooldown on Sunday that would have at least got me 70.  So 67 on a sick week, with runs every day and a 6 mile day on Sunday, I'll take.  I got 2 solid races in on Saturday and Sunday (like old times).  Both snowshoe races including a tough effort on Sunday at a location that was near and dear to me (but literally pretty near to me) :).  I'll look to increase the miles maybe a hair this week but continue running each day and putting together some fitness.

February 9 (Sunday) - 6.1 Miles total.  3 mile w/ up including some snowmobile trail (with Trailrocs) with Paul Baz + some snowshoe running before the start.  We hit the middle section of the course for an out and back.  Then race: Moose Mountain Runaround Snowshoe Race.  1st OA out of ???.  It was a pretty small field.  Maybe 20-30 people if that.  The race was down the road in Brookfield, NH right past the Wakefield line at the base of Moose Mountain.  This was the same place I hit up a few times while I lived in Wakefield a couple winters ago before I moved to Madison.  I had wanted to do a snowshoe race here (and by 'do' I mean race direct) for a couple years now.  It made perfect sense.  There were gads of options.  It's got a HUGE parking lot, a few open fields, a crazy intersection of local snowmobile trails and major NH corridor trails, an amazing facility with snack bar, seating, bathrooms, and last but not least, the MOUNTAIN.  It currently serves as a tubing park but they have frisbee golf in the summer + a bunch of other activities and events.  It's very popular w/ snowmobilers because of the parking and intersection of a bunch of trails.  They also go straight up and down and over the mountain.  Kevin and I scoped this out last year and tried to figure out where we could have the race.  I also had talked to Chris Dunn at acidotic / GSSS about possibly having a race there.... but then Dan Coons (acidotic) beat me to it this year!   I saw a flyer at Sidehiller about the race and was floored.  I lost an opportunity to start a great race there, but Dan did a great job at hoping on it and getting it done.  I wanted to go support the race and check it out for sure (if I was feeling ok after Horse Hill).  It's not too far away, plus it gave me a chance to swing over to my parent's place in Wakefield afterwards to check everything out while they are away for the winter.  I had been meaning to do that.  So this was killing 2 birds so to speak.

I got down to Moose Mountain in Brookfield, NH nice and early, went inside and registered.  Then I got to sit inside and stretch and massage my calf that had been VERY sore after Horse Hill and got progressively worse as the day/night progressed.  I was hoping it would just be sore from the day before and not progressively get worse with a harder effort on Sunday.  The course was looking pretty dang sweet.  It was advertised as 3.5 miles and had single track, snowmobile trail, some climbing, some loose snow, some open fields, and one of the coolest single track descents I've ever seen.  Paul Bazanchuk showed up and we headed out for a warmup over the course (snowmobile section).  The conditions were great.  Not rock solid, not too loose.  The field and single track was a different story.  They were loose, deep snow and slow.  Unfortunately the course didn't really go up the mountain any higher than the top of the tubing park, but it was ok.  I was just looking for a good effort on a new course and just get some more snowshoeing in.  After the warmup, Paul and I got on the snowshoes and I did a little more running back and forth near the start at the base of the mountain.

The race went off with about 25 or so (maybe a few more).  I took the lead but didn't really push it.  I wanted to just get a good effort in but didn't want to aggravate my calf any more.  For the first half mile or so I ran pretty easy and had a couple of acidotic guys in tow (Phil, Scott, and Paul Baz were lingering).  After the small field section, the single track loop up near the tubing park was brutal.  Slow sugary snow that basically slowed my pace to almost a walk.  After that section, I cut down across a rough snowmobile trail/groomed section and down across to the snowmobile trail loop which was the major part of the course.  I continued to go easy on the faster sections of the course but soon felt awful on the climbing (and it wasn't even that much climbing).  I just felt flat and tired.  The snowmobile trail was beautiful and nice footing but I was gassed.  I hit a couple of the cut-through sections of single track and continued up the snowmobile trail.  After a while, I kept peaking around corners to see if I had any company because I felt so slow.  I didn't see anyone so I figured they were having as rough of a day as I was.  Somewhere during the uphill climb on the snowmobile trail, the course then took a right off onto a single track trail that reminded me of Curly's Record Run (the descent).  It was the same type of tracked single track as the Horse Hill course, but windy switchbacks down down down.  It was so much fun, especially after that climb.  I turned on the jets and tried to work that section even though it was a perfect place to 'recover'.  Eventually it dumped back out onto snowmobile trail and I knew where I was at that point (it was around the same place I lost my car keys a couple years ago). I pushed on back to the parking lot and up across the base of the mountain to the win (a rare win these days).

Gary Reuter Photo

To my amazement, it was a bunch of minutes before I saw the next person.  I was nervous at first, looking at my watch and seeing only 3.15, that maybe I screwed up...but after talking w/ a bunch of people coming in later on who also had GPS, we all had the same.  I think the course (with all the single track switchbacks) could have been around 3.5 like Dan had on his GPS the couple times he did the course, tracking it and marking it.  After about 4-5 minutes or so, I saw a pink singlet pop out of the woods with Leslie Beckwith inside it. At first I was thinking 'wow, she broke those guys on the climb'...but then when she came across the line in 2nd place I asked her when she took 2nd place.  She looked at me confused.  She didn't know she had come in 2nd.  Phil Erwin and Scott Mitchell and Paul Baz all missed that single track downhill off of the snowmobile trail and continued to run up towards Tumbledown Dick Mtn.  They ran an extra half mile up before realizing they were off course and all turned and headed back down to where the turn was.  Then they had to blow past a bunch of people on the single track to get back.  Scott also found a small black glove on the trail past where the turn was, and thought I had been through there and dropped it, so it gave them false hope that they were still on the right trail.  So instead of finishing 2-4, they much deeper down in the results.  I didn't have any problems following the markers.  I saw the flagging and Dan had spray painted (orange) arrows, etc.  I guess when you are in a small pack and racing each other, you tend to key off the others and if someone misses it, you all miss it.  I felt bad for those guys, but good for Leslie.  Then I felt bad for Leslie because if I didn't go to the race, she would have won the entire thing outright :).

I really did love the course and love the location.  It's got so much potential for other course options, plus it's nice and centrally located right off of 16.  A good option for a GSSS race in the future for sure!

After the race, I went back inside and got ready for a cooldown but my calf was really stiffening up and I opted to grab a coffee and something to eat (hot chili) before heading over to Wakefield to check on my parents lake house.

Good end to the week.  A fun time with 2 good snowshoe efforts and no injuries to speak of. I'm feeling slightly better too so I'll take it!

Garmin Data:

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