December 31 - January 6
Monday - Fyffe run in Putney. I really wanted to hit this one particular road in proximity to Fyffe's house that brings you down a dirt road and on both sides are amazing fields. In the winter these fields are picturesque and the road builds huge snow drifts, cussing awesome. The only way Fyffe could make this run happen without going too far (we wanted 10 or under) war to run up some big cussers. I wanted today to be a chill paced run, but dear cuss, it was a climbathon. We did get to run down the road I wanted...
Tuesday - I've been feeling physically better and better all the time and felt close to getting my training levels back to normality. Normality is huge runs, some speed and the great outdoors of the woods.
Tuesday brought epically beautiful weather and the longer I could be outside in it the better. I opted to investigate the Grafton Power Lines 14 mile loop on the snow shoes. I walked part of the trails the day effort and they were magnificently groomed and ready for some rolling (or as much as one can roll with SS). I thought I might be out there a while (like everything I think: I was right) so I brought a camel back with aqua, some chewy powerbar deliciousness and a powerbar (the snickers wannabe kind).
The day couldn't have been better, I wish it was the scene from Groundhog Day and it could be amazing weather Tuesday every time I woke up (for a while). There is a long climb to get to the power lines, then there are some unreal climbs on the power lines, and then, you cut back into the woods and there is one of the tougher climbs I do (referred and known as Satan's Smile bc it looks like a cussing V, but also known as Satan's Taint, Satan's Grundle, Satan's Cuss Stick). it's one tough climb, without SS on...
I was out there a while but and it felt like a marathon effort but it was awesome... The headaches that returned, not awesome. Might have been a little eager...
Wednesday - SS run on the White Dot trails behind my house. Unbelievable conditions, absolutely ideal. Definitely glided a lot of tips as I descended... Finishing down the switchbacks at night is gnarly and a blast.
Thursday - I made the trip to Mark Miller's house for a night snow shoe run with Greg, Najem and Mark. I haven't run with Mark in a while and was excited to be getting after it at night.
I had to swing through Keene and grab some things (trying for teacher of the year) and while in Target (I had to get miniature zombies for a simple machines unit the kids did. The kids built simple machines that shoot a marshmallow. The students premise is that they must save humanity from a zombie apocalypse... Kill'em all and let god sort'em out type of class. Cuss yea! The original idea calls for popcorn, but that sounded lame. After doing the project, there's a reason people use popcorn, the marshmallows traveled at speeds too fast to see! When kids got hit in the face it sounded like balloons popping: teacher of the year). So, while at Target I realized I was starving, so I grabbed a lunch-able (bc I'm an adult) and a pizza from the PizzaHut. There must be cocaine or heroin in the pizza bc cussing cuss it was cussing delicious.
Finally at Miller's, we embark on a wussy speed session. Wussy bc the we were running a slow pace, speed session bc we were at 4min mile efforts at times. I attribute it to Miller being excited we were there to run (he led the run, I had no cussing idea where we were even though we were on the same trail more than once, it all looked the same to me) not bc some people think he is fit... If he's fit, than so is Rex Ryan. But in all honesty (Miller is not fit and I'm over it) the run was of great speed for snow shoe standards and we ran 5+ min faster than the previous run on the same trails. The run was great. I must have looked like an idiot (or more so) bc I was so happy and excited to be out there doing I was smiling like a fool the whole time. It was great to crush a run with the guys and get light work done! Cuss yea!
Friday - long day at school and a weeks of 5 hours of SS running and a pending race this weekend allowed for a day of rest, and it was good.
Saturday - I hit Leach Rd across the street and headed out the dirt road to the apple orchard. I wanted to get some strides in and since I'm racing tomorrow, it was great to feel the stride. Not great is the lingering headache I got from this week, cuss balls.
Took it easy and clipped off 4 miles.
Sunday - Prospect Mtn SS Race (in place is "I Love Woodford"). Tim Van Orden and Bob Dion locked it down and up and held an amazing event on last day notice. Even if it wasn't last day notice, you'd never know, the race was flawless, except for my racing...
It was a short 3 mile course (maybe even 2.4/2.5?) and was very tough terrain. The snow was heavy and not traveled on, which is what the conditions should be.
The race started downhill then hit a single track. I am pretty sure, but not that sure, where my fitness is. I still thought I was going to run well and maybe even steal a W, if things work out.
Knowing the single track was there I had the plan of getting to the front and keeping the pace as comfortably slow as I could to try and keep any front runners close with maybe an attempt to steal a W. Unfortunately, the single track was 15 seconds long, hahaha, I thought it was at least a quarter mile. Haha.
With that plan out the window and suspect fitness levels (especially coming off of a solid week) I went for plan B (which is usually plan A) wing it. Dave Dunham made a move on the hill and I had no ability to climb today, the effort was there, but the results weren't... I ended up falling way back and fighting like a cusser to stay in view of second and battles some dudes for a bit before outdistancing myself for a permanent third place finish. My body felt great, just didn't have the extra gears that comes with fitness. I tried as hard as I could and was pumped I have felt as good as I did.
No headache the whole race, but it came immediately after, which brings me to my final conclusion: I just got to get running two hours+ a day and shake the headache by shear force of will. (or I'm going to consult my doctor).