In any event, my misgivings and issues aside, it was great to see so many people out on the morning after a Nor'easter for a snowshoe race! It was a beautiful blue sky day with no wind and perfect temps. Everyone was excited about the snow, despite knowing we'd be working pretty hard out there. Ian and Ryan had done a lot of work to put together a great course that had been run only 3x prior to race time, meaning the snow was deep, fluffy and not well packed. Practically the polar opposite of the first race! I said a few hellos to people before heading out onto the road for a short warm-up, and then donned my snowshoes and headed across the street.
I lined up a bit farther back in the pack than I did for last month's race, which probably ended up being the wrong thing to do, no matter how I felt. I got caught behind a few people who had started out a bit too ambitiously, and passing in the untracked knee-deep powder was tough! A short ways along the Knight Woods trail, I caught up to Leslie. Hmmm. I knew she was recovering from being very ill the past 3 weeks, but was surprised to see her. I fell in behind her, and we soon had a train behind us. After we crossed the Snowmobile Trail and headed up onto the fun singletrack we hardly ever take, Leslie took one spill and then another. After the second, she let us all pass. I was now in the lead, and what did I do? Take a spill! Rebecca, who was right behind me, very kindly helped me/picked me up, and let me keep the lead, which I kept until we linked back up with the Snowmobile Trail again, at which point I literally had to pull to the side to cough (I know, I know, pull over in a race?! AIE! But I could barely breathe), meaning about 6 people passed me in quick succession. Sigh.
Once onto Fox, I passed three of them back rather quickly, and then was alone in the singletrack for a while. I was feeling OK, but it felt like with each step, the snow was sucking up any and all energy. I was actually happy when my cleat hit a rock or log, as it meant I had something to push off of! Saw George in this stretch, running the opposite way to cheer everyone on, which made me smile, and honestly, the woods were gorgeous - blue sky, white snow, dark trees, deer tracks criss-crossing our deep tough of singletrack - but I was definitely struggling. I got passed somewhere close to the turn-off to Tuttle Road by a small woman in purple and then on Tuttle Road by a guy, who looked like he was just bounding easily through the snow. I felt like I was even working on the downhills! Sometimes my short stride has its disadvantages...
As I was taking the turn onto Lanzo, I looked over my shoulder and saw Nathan not that far behind. That was just what I needed - my competitive juices kicked in just a tiny bit, aided by the fact that I knew I had only about a 1/2 mile to go. I pushed as much as I could through the last stretch, and made up some ground on the woman in purple, but wasn't quite able to catch her. I actually felt quite ill during that last portion, and then felt like I was trying to run through some sort of quicksand along the Link, where a snowmobile or two had churned up the sugar and made it even more powdery! I didn't have the strength to smile for the photographer capturing everyone's finish line shots - in fact, I think I have my tongue out just slightly, which usually means I'm really focusing :-) In this case, I just wanted to get to that line and STOP! Ha.
Final stretch (Photo courtesy: Maine Running Photos)
3.42 miles in 49:25. Phew! That was a tough one! FULL RESULTS
Not my best performance, but hey, what are you gonna do? Happy to have gotten out there and finished, and hopefully I'll be healthy and raring to go for the last race!
Once again, Ryan, Ian and all the volunteers banded together to put on yet another great race - thanks guys! Some really great TMR performances out there today too. Yahoo.
I didn't stay long after the race was over, so that I could get home and relieve the babysitter, and I didn't have any energy for a cool-down either. Think my legs are going to be a bit tight tomorrow...
Of course, once the racing was done, we couldn't just plop on the couch... it was too nice to stay inside all afternoon, so we took Sam out around 3:00 for workout #2 - sledding! Up and down the little hill out back, along with plenty of sitting in the snow and snow-eating. The afternoon ended a bit earlier than anticipated, as when bouncing around in the snow with Ryan, both of Sam's boots came off and we literally had trouble finding them. Guess that's how you know there's a lot of snow! :-)
Happy girlie (with marker and paint marks all over her face from earlier art projects :-) )
In the snow
As a friend said upon seeing this photo on Facebook, "She's a devil, huh?" Indeed, but an adorable one :-)