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Run Efficient: Recovery and the Squall

Monday, January 23, 2012

Recovery and the Squall

This week was a bit of a recovery week after last weeks intensity and mileage. 

Monday - Scarborough, 5 miles.  Mellow run around the neighborhood right before dark. Felt a bit stiff from last weeks efforts, and the roads were not all that fun.

Tuesday - Blackstrap, 7.  Really tried to keep a tempo today and hit some hills but not necessarily repeats. The snow conditions and weather were absolutely great with a bit of crunch underfoot and about an inch of fresh powder. After parking at the Hardy Rd. pull-off I hit the road up to the blue barrel, on to the tree farm and along the power lines for a bit meandering here and there up and down a few side trails.

Saw some Trail Monster footprints (quite unmistakable Inov-8 shoes) and a pooches paw prints. I assumed Ian and Emma, but it turned out to be Ian, James and Jeff.  Great run, however I definitely still felt last weeks workouts and struggled on the hills.

Wednesday - Winnick Woods, 7.  Today was supposed to be an 'easy' run but conditions once again threw in a curve ball and made for another character building run. I hit Winnick Woods thinking I could do the outer loop twice and get in 7 nice and slow. I also figured it would be easy after yesterday's great conditions and the fact that last week I packed down the trail, not so much.

The weather had warmed up enough to make the footing crunchy and loose. That is to say that each step crunched down a few inches sucking the energy out of the forward motion. The outer loop ended up being much worse and I was surprised to see that a few sections no one else had been on since I was out. So I decided to hit the inner loop four times to get in the mileage and really ended up working hard on the run.

Thursday - Bradbury West, 7.25.  Met up with Ian today and ran a loop of the Squall course in snowshoes and with his pooches while Alison and friend Louie hiked the mountain with Francesca. At the parking lot we changed in to screw shoes and did another lap. Great conditions with crisp air made for a fun run and as always great conversation. This snowshoe run was fathoms better than my previous but I still feel a bit behind the ball with snowshoeing this year due to conditions.

Friday- Wohelo Trails 2, and Scarborough, 7.42.  In the morning I hiked with Alison, a friend and Francesca in the deep snow super early to catch the sunrise and gorgeous snowfall.  In the afternoon I hit a nice and easy run on the roads to avoid slipping and sliding and give my legs a bit of a rest.

Saturday - Scarborough, 5.  Easy but annoyingly cold run around the neighborhood on the streets.

Sunday - Bradbury Squall Snowshoe Race, 3.5.  Alison and I arrived a bit early to bring wood, check in and do a proper warm up in the cold conditions.  I was crazy nervous for this race and it felt real good to run a few miles on the road to calm down.  Last year over the winter all I was really thinking about was running my first snowshoe races and beginning to train for the Pineland 50.  This year I'm real focused on Peaks 100, and with the snow's late arrival I hadn't given much thought, or training for snowshoeing (like most everyone else I'm sure).

A bit before the race Ryan had some encouraging words to basically get out right in front from the beginning, and Alison echoed the thought.  With Ian stating course conditions earlier that day I had a good sense that it was not going to be easy to pass people during the race. 

So I started in the front of the pack, which is still a bit weird for me.  After a few hundred yards we settled in to a pace and I was third behind Judson Cake and Matt Lundt.  For the first mile or so the race heads up hill, either by a bit of double track on the Northern Loop and Ski Trail or some tight single track on Krista's Loop.  For pretty much the whole way I was saying to myself, 'what the hell am I doing here running with these two up front?'  I actually felt rather good and was surprised to stay close to them.  My goal now was to keep them in sight and push hard. 

By the time we'd reached Tote Road Trail Judson had garnered a lead and Matt started to pull away on the more 'level' trail.  It was clear to me on the Boundary Trail that Matt was taking more chances on the downhills and quicker on the flats and could pull away.  However I gained a bit of ground on the inclines and would real him in just a bit.  It was apparent at this point though that I would not catch him though, and it was my race to lose if I'd gone out too fast too early. 

The last climb on the Boundary Trail was brutal and definitely took it out of me.  I was gasping and coughing horribly at this point due to the cold air and fatigue but was feeling OK.  By the time we got back to the Northern Loop and there was a half mile to go I absolutely gave it all I could for a strong finish. 

This run was monumental for me and really surprised me.  I remember how awful I felt last year during the race and just how much of a slog it was.  It really made me appreciate just how much goes in to racing.  I was overjoyed at the finish to see the other TM's coming in strong and knowing just how much effort it was for them and how much training they've all done to get to this point.  Man I love this sport!

I want to thank once again Ryan, Ian, all the volunteers who made this possible and continue to create an enjoyable atmosphere, and Mr. Penta of Maine Running Photos.

Week:  45 miles.


At January 24, 2012 at 8:29 AM , Blogger sn0m8n said...

You raced right where you belong.

At January 24, 2012 at 1:37 PM , Blogger Sparkplug said...

Impressive, Jeremy! You are one strong runner! Way to go.

At January 27, 2012 at 7:29 PM , Blogger R. Ian Parlin said...

Someone has hacked Ryan's account, that sounded like a sincere compliment.

Great race Jeremy.


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