Sunday, January 11, 2009

This Sport is Tough

I took the ride up to East Madison yesterday for the Pooh Hill Snowshoe Race with teammate Bob Jackman, not knowing what to expect. Having not raced in over 2 years and with little training at all, my expectations were very low. Last week was my highest mileage in 8 months at 21 miles, but i figured that i have to start somewhere so this was as good a place as any, why start out with something easy?

It was cold at the start, the temperature down in the single digits without any wind, so it did not feel too bad. I ran a short warmup with Bob and then we strapped on the snowshoes for another short run, this was the first time Bob had ever run in them. With the race about to go off, I did not know what to expect. How slow should i go out? Slower than i started would be the answer to that! Running through snow on single track is work, my lungs were burning before the 2k marker and i found it easier to walk up the hills and get going again at the top. Then i arrived at the Pooh Hill trail which went up for what seemed an eternity.

 As i was trekking up this steep trail, Jim Johnson was flying down the trail looking somewhat out of control with a very comfortable lead. Turns out that Bob was running in second place when he missed the turn for the trail and did not realize it until he was kilometer or two down the course, so his race was over as he just jogged it in, at least he has some snowshoe
experience in the bank now. As for Pooh Hill, that would be a tough hike with no snow around, so doing it in snowshoes was just brutal. It really showed me how badly out of shape i am in right now and also train that much harder to get back. By the time i reached the top, the knees were screaming at me and now i had to run back down. The run down was incredible, you are out of control and trying not to run into any trees or trip over any logs. My knees hurt and i was loving the challenge of bushwhacking down the hill. Once i got to the bottom and back on the groomed trails i just slowed it way down and did some powerwalking on the way in with some jogging in between. I finally finished in a whopping 14.41 per mile pace.

All in all, i am glad that i went up to this race. Acidotic Racing put on a good event.

 I met Steve Wolfe, who finished second and has a blog i read alot,  

I will be doing more of these races, i am looking at the Feel Good Farm 7k outside of Wilton in two weeks and then the Sidehiller up in Center Sandwich. I hope to be in better condition for these. Can't get any worse :)

Special thanks to Kristen Wainwright for taking the photos. See more here

Read Jim's account of the race here


DoubleJ said...

Scotty, you did great for your first time on snowshoes, first race back in 2+ years, and with only light mileage recently... you gotta get these races in and out of the way and get the dust's the only way... And you are right about that hill... That thing was a killer! Even though it is very tough, especially on the lungs, it is really making the winter fun! I just got back from 8 miles on the Dion's and I'm contemplating unleashing one of these Long Hammer IPAs I took home... :)

Scott Mason said...

Yeah, i'll take it for a first race back, but it is great incentive to get my butt in shape. Today was my "mandatory" running day off for the week, which is probably a good thing. You seemed to run like you were on pavement, but i did hear from Bob that you got wet at the brook crossing. Good job out there.

Hope to see you at Feel Good Farm in two weeks.

Steve W said...

Scott, nice to meet the person behind NikonRunner!
It couldn't have been THAT least you're thinking about doing another one :-)
Probably won't see you at Feel Good Farm since I'm doing Boston Prep the day after (I may change my mind though!)

pbazanchuk said...

They are tough for sure. Whenever I think I'm in good shape snowshoe races always prove me wrong. Welcome to the "club".

s p running said...

Thanks for your kind comments on my blog... will we see you soon? Derry 16 miler, Amherst 10 miler?

s p running said...

p.s. Beautiful flower photo

Scott Mason said...

Possibly Derry, maybe Amherst, definitely New Bedford all while trying to survive some of these snowshoe races.

I'll actually meet you in person somewhere along the line :)