Thursday, June 18, 2009

Boxford State Forest Trail Race Recap...

More details to come, but...

Tuesday Night Trail Race... Good (stress relief after a long day), the Bad (6:30 start times equal mad dash to car in order to make race starts), and the Ugly (commuter traffic and construction make an already tight squeeze even more dramatic).

- Arrive to race just in time to sign in, spray on Deep Woods Off, say hello to Trail Pixie, Michelle, and some of the GAC folks.

- Run back to car, dump camera and bug spray, run back to start.

- Hear Breakheart Dan's voice come out on nowhere and say "Oh crap, you made it!" We laugh, RD talks about stuff, we run!

- I found course to be extra tough for me. I am already working with my genetically reduced vision, so the combination of very dark sections of trail, mud, and roots and rocks made the first three miles challenging.

- Went out quick, held for one mile, backed off a little due to the footing and the desire to not bonk at three miles. Ran a decent second half, mostly in solitude as I could only hear the occasional woodland critter crashing through the nearby brush.

- Become one of the woodland creatures crashing through the woods as I come around a corner fast and clip a log. Get a nice slash down the side of my quad (didn't realize until after the race) and a nice welt and bruise on the quad. War wounds are cool. Almost wanted to wear shorts to work to show off, but a.) not in the dress code, b.) most people think I am crazy in the first place because I am a runner, regardless of the distances or locales.

- last two miles were tough, body still feels like it is working overtime to repair the trauma in my mouth, also have some nasty allergies working me over these days, and feel like I have bronchitis. Great times!

- Charge to the finish, bent on breaking an hour: 59:27, 19th place. So-so.

- Find out the kid that won the race was one of my main competitors in XC in college, we dueled a couple times back then and I smoked him. Not the case today, I have some work to do to get back there! Staying away from sharp objects and resisting the temptation to head out to the track right now to run 70 second quarters until I puke and pass out... almost positive I can't run a 70 second quarter at all right now... bummer.

- Sort of a short visit with the gang. We made a good XC team finishing within 10 spots of each other. Got a sweet NMC Pint Glass for my 'prize'. NMC events rock!

- Up next is the Dam Trail Race in Oxford, MA. Also considering the possibility of revisiting the scene of my first REAL trail race in the Skyline Trail Race. I do know the course now, and have slightly more time on really technical stuff, but man it is a toughie! I am sure Breakheart Dan and kZ will lobby me into doing it. No doubt questions of one's inner Mountain Goat will be tossed around!

-Otherwise, has been a weird week. 10 miles on roads Sunday, using Gallowalking, averaged 9:11/mile pace. Good stuff. Then race Tuesday. Maybe hills Thursday, and then long this weekend?

Really, really, really considering scrapping the long stuff and learning how to run 2-3 miles fast before resuming the long stuff. Not really extreme, but if I could get to a place where I am back at my base points of 12 mins. for two miles and Sub 20 for 5k, I would most certainly be able to bring my times WAY down for the longer stuff. There was once a time in college where I could run technical trails at 7/mile pace, and thought I was too slow. Come to find out that pace is fairly competitive in most trail races. Oh well.

Happy Trails!

1 comment:

Trail Pixie said...

Rob, you ran really well in the woods. It was technical out there especially with the dark skies. It's nice to see your family come and cheer you on, too. Regarding the faster days of yore...Speed, what's your need? you will find your zone and remember that "hills are speed work in disguise."