Coaching and teaching have been a vice grip on my brass cusses and have made it tough. I'm still out the door, but have found that I have to balance. Like a true GD Jedi, I'm handling it.
Last week was gnarly bc I had 3 runs over 2 hours on hilly rugged terrain. Sunday was the best, the weather blew, and was a tough day to get out into. It was a cold rain, but I really wanted to have this run under my belt coming into my next few races. The run was the Avalonian Ridge run which is essentially a run from my house to the top of Putney Mtn. The best part was Greg Voltroned with me 90 min in and we ran the last part to where Fyffe met us to give us a ride. Tough run with a lot of climbing but fast runnable climbing.
That set up a sweet week of running with the culmination of two races this weekend as I get ready to roll out a mtn 23k in the wild lands north.
The two race weekend was from two weeks ago now but was awesome nonetheless. Saturdays race was a tribute/ memorial 5k to a former high school teammate and good friend who is no longer with us. I haven't even thought about running a 5k but my awesomeness and self confidence was all I needed.
Before the start of the race I saw a stranger there doing strides and doing them wicked fast. This made me wonder who the cuss he was?! It didn't matter who he was really bc inlet one person was winning this race for Ben and that person was me. I was asked by a lot of former Keene Highers if I was taking it seriously and here was my answer, "cuss yea, coach Goldsmith is here."
And this is true, I never want to do anything less than my best (anytime) but especially with my high school coach there. He has the nickname Gandalf, and I too, without being a total cuss about it, would have sacrificed myself for the journey to Mordor for the man. He's awesome and a huge part of my success, even to this day. He has given me life long lessons and there was no way on hades fiery hell I wasn't going to win this race in the honor of coach and Ben.
So... I ran as fast and comfortable as I could and it turns out that that is 5:04 pace for a flat XC course and 15:46 total. The dude was on me for the first mile and then faded, but still ran a good time for someone no one knew and lives in Keene.
The second race of the weekend was the Stratton Race To The Summit. Essentially a 2+ mile race to the top of Stratton, which starts in the village. I've done this race a bunch now and still hold the course record. He weather was perfect and my family was there to share the day. This race was fun and even with a little tiredness in my legs I was able to climb extremely well. I was hoping to use this weekend as a good workout for the Canadian race I'm signed up for. Stratton was a victory as well as I ran comfortably the whole time.
Canada: I saw a pic in one of Greg's magazines about a race in Canada called the Xtrail 23k. It had some amazing pics and upon further investigations found that it was directly north of me across the border. I wanted to do the race last year but was sick as cuss, so I made sure I bagged it this year. Najem decided he wanted to practice his French with me and we rolled about Friday afternoon.
I had no plan other than to destroy, so I had no plan if where to stay, eat or anything else. This meant it was almost perfect situation.
We got up there and headed right to the mountain to pick up my registration and asks few questions. This was great and it was interesting to find that only 30 miles across the border how little, and I mean little, English was spoke. Very cool. Maybe it's in my ignorant USA blood, but I figured being that close there would have been more American spoken.
Najem and I found our place, dropped off our cuss and headed to find some grub. We didn't travel far before we stopped for pizza at a little dive. The waitress was sexy and mean as cuss, so, perfect. She didn't speak English, but my godlike prowess overpowered her bitchiness and we got some decent cunuck style pizza (which later have me a stomach ache).
I also ordered some wings, where they served sour cream instead of blue cheese. Weird.
A decent nights sleep (to be honest, I didn't sleep at all as I was too excited), and was up early to get my war mind on.
The course was interesting. 7 miles of rolling XC style trails then a hard cuss mtn race the next 7 miles. Having things in kilometers was way better bc they came faster (that's what she said).
My assessment of the field told me I was going to 1812 them and felt good about my assessment. Right before the race the two lead in songs were Master of Puppets, followed by Enter Sandman; I was def ready to roll!
Now, my assessment was based on attire, and there happened to be a dude there that was one the Canadian National Mtn Team and has some decent (found out afterwards) PR's. And this dude raped and ravaged the beginning of the race. He took it out extremely fast. I was ten seconds back at 2k and he kept pressing. We hit 5k under 16 (I agree with Najem, it may have been short), but you're not thinking its short when you're out there. And by 8k I had to give in and back off and was a better part of a minute behind. Cuss!!!
The main climbing really started at 13k, but there was a few rolls around 11k. At 11k I got him in sight. I kept telling myself to be patient and kill the climbs, and was furious at the early pace. At 11k I was a solid minute back, then you enter the single track and begin climbing and by 13k I out a minute on him. He hit the climbs and started walking immediately.
I had to fake it a bit and surge by him and keep running on a very technical, very steep climb (one I would have power walked on). I wanted to break his spirit and get out of sight so he couldn't catch me or see me. The first climb was incredibly tough, and was about 3k of very technical, very steep moist rocks. It just weaved it's way up the side of the mountain. Then there was a a break and the next 4k was up and down and very similar to Northfield Mtn Races single track. Runnable but tough. This is whee I punished him, the trail and myself and felt very good, and also felt very good about how I was racing. This took you up over an amazing section with unreal views. This section spits you out on the backside of Mont Orford and I hit a section that was exactly like the Upper Walking Boss of Loon except without the switchbacks, it was straight up!
At half way up I could here some spectators below rattling the cowbells and saw second (same dude who led). He looked like he was right behind me and this fired me up again. I had to post walk most if it, then I saw him looking at me and deliberately started to run, hoping to break his spirits again. Once at the top I screamed down a very steep section of dirt road with loose gravel rocks before one more small climb before the last 1k finish.
Once I got to the very top of the mountain I was confidant that it was in the bag and just ran smart to avaiod any twists of falls.
This is def one of my favorite races now and highly suggest it to anyone with harder than usual genitals.
I wore my La Sportiva with the Helios during the race and then rocked my brand of VOMax afterwards in my custom gear!
The race advertised $3,000 cash prizes which in Canada means an asics backpack, but a nice one. Hahaha.
Gearing up for a 50k now out west and ready for any and all takers on some runs.