February 1 (Sunday) - I had originally thought that the Beaver Brook Snowshoe Race (results) was on Saturday (it was rescheduled a month or so ago) so I was really a little disappointed in having to wait until Sunday as I had other potential plans, but I headed the 2+ hours down to Hollis in the am for my 6th time running a snowshoe race at Beaver Brook. I've run 5 'series' versions of the race and one non-series 'winter 5k snowshoe race' version. I've been lucky enough to have won every time.
2009 (blog) - 1st of 27 (this was a non-GSSS series race in December) - out and back course
2010 (blog) - 1st of 90 - out and back course
2011 (blog) - 1st of 91 - longer looping course
2013 (blog) - 1st of 98 - longer looping course
2014 (blog) - 1st of 75 - out and back course
2015 (you are reading it) - 1st of 86 - out and back course
This year, it was again an out and back course which makes the course very short. There was too much snow to make a nice looping course on a lot of the other trails in the preserve with the amount of time the RD had to set it, so they had to make it a straight out and back again. I loved the other version of this course we had in 2011/2013. The out and back was way too short in my opinion (especially for the cost and the drive). For the 4+ hours in the car, I got just under 18 minutes of racing in. Thankfully because I won the series the year before, I didn't have to pay for this one...30 bucks for a 2+ mile out and back is a lot. The RD does put a ton of great work into good timing/results, good prizes, shirts, etc. He's always done that... if this race was a longer, maybe similar version of the other course, it may be worth it....but it's tough to justify the ride and cost for me to go all the way down there. Also, Mikes famous(ly awesome) Kale soup was NOT on the menu! It was a chicken noodle or something. It was still delicious...but one of the justifications I had for going all the way down there was the Kale soup.
The course was also really slow going for about half of it because of the snow conditions. It did have a single out and back rail to run on (the rest was deep snow), but the one on the right (left on the way back) was really soft. You really could only run on one side. On the way out, that was fine. On the way back, as you run against a ton of other people coming at you, you start to realize that it got even worse than the other side, with all the foot traffic digging it up. Needless to say, the way back was a grind. The RD added a small single track section to the course but it basically paralleled the main trail so it didn't really add any distance to the out and back. That section was slow to begin with, so the way back was even worse in there. Plus that was really the only 'climb' on the course.
I took off from the gun, with my teammate Eric Narcisi close behind me. The start was on a single rail and basically single file for the most part. Eric let me have the front and he stayed right with me for most of the race. He kept me in sight and I didn't have much on him on the turnaround. The course goes straight down about 1.4-ish miles and then turns around a cone and comes straight back. I really felt zonked on the way back but managed to hold a lead and came through in 17:57 (not quite a minute up on Eric who was 2nd).
That's basically all I can say about this one. It was straight out and straight back. Lots of snow. I managed to win, which is always nice nowadays, I ran under 18 minutes total, and I was almost 4.5 hours in the car total.
I warmed up 2.3 miles, raced for '3 miles', and cooled down for 2 miles. 7.3 miles total.
Wrap Up - Week of January 26 - Feb 1:
Lower week (considering) because of the storm and a couple of missteps on my part. Still hit 70+ miles but since 8 of my last 9 weeks have been 80+, I was a little disappointed. I was planning 2 races and because of the re-scheduling, I could only get one in. I would have done a workout mid-week if I knew that. I didn't even have a double-digit single run this week but had a few decent double sessions with some easy miles. Still not sure how much more I want to snowshoe race... Just looking forward to spring and some real road/trail/mountain running. Right now, I'm getting outside once a week if I'm lucky and I'm ok with that, but my hill work is suffering a little bit. I just have no patience for the cold and snow and ice and all the winter bulls*t.
Longest Run: 9.5
Climbing: 449 (all on Sunday)
Total Time: 8:53:00
Monday: 4 miles on snowy/icy Conway roads with Kevin Tilton. (32:18)
Tuesday: 8 miles on the treadmill (60:00).
Wednesday: AM: 9.5 miles on the treadmill (60:00). PM: 8.5 miles on the treadmill (60:00).
Thursday: AM: 8 miles on the treadmill (60:00). PM: 8 miles on the treadmill (60:00).
Friday: AM: 6 miles on the treadmill (48:00). PM: 6 miles on the treadmill (48:00).
Saturday: 6 miles on the treadmill (45:00)
Sunday: 2.3 mile w/up + 3 mile race + 2 mile cooldown with Eric. All on snowshoes.