Monday, April 28, 2014

Pick Your Poison

Full reverse captain!

Even though I live in the area I was a bit surprised to see the quantity of snow on the ski hills at PYP.  As in "Hey!  There's a bare spot".  For me, PYP has been the season opener for a few years.  First time I'm allowed out of the sugar shack...

Reports of the trail conditions leading up to the race and on race day were ominous.  Snow, ice and mud.  Very slow conditions.  Perfect!  Due to the never-ending syrup season (I boiled down 3 days before the race) my conditioning was laughable.  I should NOT be running a 25K race with so little training.  A trail race with ski hills.  Fortunately, the trails were slow, slippery, treacherous and nearly unrunable in spots.  Everyone would have to run at my speed!

I had the usual apprehensions of someone who had only run 28K in the last 2 weeks, during 4 runs.  Would I uber-bonk at 20K?  Would I make it to 20K?  Does snowshoeing out from the sugar shack with a case of syrup on my back count as training?  After 40 years of running, I figured something out.  If I start slowly and don't do anything really stupid, I can generally make it to the finish line without having to use the Quasimodo lurch.  As the race unfolded, all the snow, ice and mud really cheered me up.  To indicate how slow it was, first place in the 25K was 2:05!  Not the typical 1:45 range.  It was tough!

The first 12.5K loop was run at an easy pace, in 1:35.  I was tired starting the second loop, but thought I would simply run until forced to walk.  I don't know if this occurs because I have leg memory, or some such thing, that tricks my legs into thinking they can actually run for 3+ hours without any training, but I was able to run until the finish.  Sure, I took walking breaks up the hills, and my definition of a hill changed dramatically as I slogged along, but I was not forced to slow down due to a conga-line, as I had at spots in the first loop.  I don't like slowing down, just to cross a little bridge, or to step over a bunch of logs.  Just close your eyes and maintain a steady rhythm, and your feet will figure out what to do.  Trust me!  So the second loop was completed in 1:39, for a fairly even split and a total of 3:14.  Because of the conditions, 3:14 is actually a respectable time.  I'm very happy with it and hope that with a modicum of training, I can do better!

So, I went home happy and tired.  I was invited to my brothers for supper, which would (so I thought) allow me to hit the pillow circa 10:00 PM.  Nope, not even close!  Supper turned out to be more of a retirement party (I retire May 1) with 80 - 90 of my closest friends.  Quite the surprise!  Lee Anne had spent 3 months planning the event and it included family and friends from work, running and old acquaintances.  Quite the spectacle!  The only problem with such an enterprise is that there were 20 - 30 people with whom I would have loved to spend an hour or two talking.  However it was great to see everyone and it helped impress on me that retirement will actually happen!  I got home with a bunch of retirement gifts and made it to bed at 02:00 AM.

Well, see you soon at the next race!

No comments:

Post a Comment