The build continues! With the Northeast Snowshoe Championships only a week away and the U.S. National Snowshoe Championships less than 3 weeks away, I’ve really pushing my body to the limit in hopes of a high peak at race time. All of this effort has added up to a new weekly record of 18 hours, 10 minutes and 37 seconds of training!
I’ve never felt so tired, sore and stiff in all of my 5 years of running raw. Towards the end of the week, I had to drag myself out the door to each workout and had to listen to an entire orchestra of excuses in my head as to why I should just take a long nap instead.
When the weekend rolled around I had no interest in racing. It was hard enough just to get myself out of bed. But the amazing people that I get to hang with at WMAC/Dion Snowshoe Series races have become very dear to me, and there is no way that I was going to miss an opportunity to run up a mountain in deep snow with them. These extraordinary people who get excited about running in below zero windchills, uphill, in quad crushing crust and deep powder, have become my heroes and my inspiration.
Saturday’s Moby Dick Snowshoe Race up the southern flank of Mt. Greylock in Lanesboro, MA was the most arduous race I’ve ever done. Seven miles on snowshoes would be bad enough, but you are climbing over a 1,000 feet for the first half and then descending through frustratingly fragile crust that keeps giving way and throwing you rapidly into a lunge position in the deep snow, sucking all the life out of your legs… When I finished I felt as if I had been run over by a herd of stampeding bison. I was bruised, sore, charley-horsed, and exhausted. Somehow I ended up winning.
My legs were locked, and could barely support my weight when I plopped them on the floor at the sound of the alarm on Sunday morning. My first step was very painful as the bruises and knots strained and screamed under my weight. I drank a green smoothie, took a shower and made the one hour drive to West Hawley, MA to compete in the Hallockville Orchard Snowshoe Race. Snowshoe doubles are quite a challenge. Especially when they come at the tail end of your biggest training load yet. As I did a short warm up I thought about dropping out of the race and just getting in a workout and cheering on the other racers. I didn’t think I could get my legs to move faster than an 11 minute per mile pace. The course was flat and rolling on a packed snowmobile trail. We call these races “track meets” because they are an all out sprint (on snowshoes) for the whole race. I was definitely NOT in the mood for such a race. We lined up, Ed Alibozek yelled “go!”, and so I did. The voices of doubt disappeared, the pain was shoved into some recess in my mind and I found myself in the lead and moving fast. My Garmin 405 bleeped at the 1 mile point and informed me that I had just run a 6:35 mile. Ouch! I bore down and kept at it. Thirteen minutes later I crossed the line, again in first, and again totally spent.
If I can do that well while feeling like a train wreck, I can’t wait to see what I’ll do at the Nationals with a taper in my training 🙂
- Total Training Time – 18:10:37 – New Record!
- Total Running Time – 13:44:55
- Total Running Miles – 87.6
- Total Elevation Gain – 9,214′
Monday Feb 14th – 02:09:03
- Snowshoe – 2.63 miles, 44:28
- Road Run – 10.2 miles, 1:24:35
Tuesday Feb 15th – 03:06:44
- Road Run – 8 miles, 1:04:37
- XC Skiing – 11.83 miles, 1:24:04
- Road Run – 3.41 miles, 27:25
- Strength/Tabata – 10:38
Wednesday Feb 16th – 03:29:30
- Upright Rowing – 50:00
- Road Run – 7 miles, 58:14
- XC Skiing – 8.27 miles, 59:33
- Road Run – 2.4 miles, 21:08
- Treadmill Run @ 5% – 2 miles, 20:35
Thursday Feb 17th – 02:46:29
- Snowshoe – 4.33 miles, 50:57
- Snowshoe – 3.11 miles, 50:51
- Road Run – 7.2 miles, 1:00:41
- Strength Training/Tabata – 4:00
Friday Feb 18th – 01:43:36
- Road Run – 12.5 miles, 1:43:36
Saturday Feb 19th – 01:59:33
- Moby Dick Snowshoe Race – 1st – 7 miles, 1:08:22
- Snowshoe – 1.88 miles, 24:17
- Road Run – 3.35 miles, 26:54
Sunday Feb 20th – 02:55:26
- Snow Run – 1 mile, 10:59
- Hallockville Orchard Snowshoe Race – 1st – 3.39 miles, 22:49
- Snowshoe – 3.76 miles, 46:05
- XC Skiing – 8.07 miles, 57:18
- Road Run – 4.4 miles, 38:15
To see all training data go to my Training Page.